One of my most used piece of equipment for macro-photographer (after the camera and lens of course) are my Ball and Socket heads. However both of mine are well over 20 years old, but have served me well, so I decided it was time to look for a new one. I wanted a head with the following features:
Friction control for the movement
Smooth fluid rotation of the ball and socket
Capable of supporting a Canon 5D Mk IV with battery pack, a four way macro-rail and 100mm f/2.8 macro with extension tubes
Arca-swiss quick-release system, so that it would be compatible with my Gimbal heads
A bit of internet searching and I eventually found something to my liking - the Kenro Triple Action Ball Heads, and even better I could order one through FOCALPOINT!!
My chosen head was the KENBC3 - the top of the range Ball and Socket Head. But what does it do? The Triple Action tag indicates that the Ball head can be locked in position and the tension required to make any adjustments altered by the friction adjustment, and that horizontal movement can be made without adjusting the actual position of the Ball head, so is ideal if taking panoramic shots to be stitched together. Of course the inbuilt spirit level is needed for this, allowing you to keep the horizon horizontal!! The head comes with an integral Quick release Arca Swiss system and plate.
The KENBC3 will take a maximum load of 12kg, so can handle my Macro set-up with ease. In theory it should support my camera with the 400mm f/4 DO mounted, but I haven't tried this yet, preferring my Kenro Gimbal heads for the long lenses. The action with the Ball and Socket is nice smooth and with the friction adjusted, small changes can be made (although I do tend to use the four-way macro-rail for that). The KENBC3 comes with a small fabric bag to keep the head in - must admit I don't use this as the head is almost always on the my Benbo!
The images show the KENBC3 in use, and a couple of shots taken with the camera mounted to the head.
For anyone looking for a new Ball and Socket head for macro or landscape photography, I recommend the Kenro KENBC3, just ask Yvonne or The Doc at Focalpoint, and see if they can get one for you. If you need a new Ball and Socket for your hip, the you really need to see your Doc at the surgery!!