Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

ED50 replacement head

Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Wednesday 2nd August 2017, 22:45   #1
Mostly off the radar
dwatsonbirder's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 2,337
ED50 replacement head

Apologies as this question has undoubtedly been asked many times before; excluding ball heads what would you recommend for a lightweight head for an ED50?
I'm after a replacement but not really looking to spend more than 50 as my travel kit generally gets rough treatment, and I don't mind used kit.

I've used the Benro S2 for about 2.5 years, but after a tumble in Sumatra, something inside has cracked and the fluid began to leak out. It's still usable, but certainly starting to stiffen up, ideally I'd want to replace before my next overseas trip in September.

I really like the Velbon standard head, but the arm is on the "wrong" side for me.
Is the Manfrotto RC2 700 the go-to option? Are the joystick/pistol-grip heads any good or are they just a variation on ball heads?
Kind regards, Daniel


Last edited by dwatsonbirder : Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 22:54.
dwatsonbirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 3rd August 2017, 11:30   #2
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 3,978
Velbon sells a small ball head, their QHD-41, which seems adequate for my ED50/Velbon Super8 monopod setup.

This is super portable, but the head uses proprietary plates and would probably gag at anything much heavier.

I did look into pistol grips, they did not impress me as adding utility. The ball head mount can be adjusted nicely using the ED50, so the extra stuff from the grip is just added weight.

Last edited by etudiant : Thursday 3rd August 2017 at 16:12.
etudiant is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 10th August 2017, 12:22   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: suffolk
Posts: 486
I used the Velbon PH157Q head for some years (handle control of pan/tilt) but realised some limitations on a mountain trip, when scanning slopes at high altitude - couldn't get between 'jerky' and too loose on a serious tripod height and angle.
Also (again after some years), the retaining clip for the plate snapped, which renders the whole kaboodle useless. I never felt too secure about this means of holding the plate in, anyway.
I went to the Manfrotto 700RC. Separate control of pan and tilt, but retaining some resistance even when loosened off, which i found a very good thing indeed. This is now my 'summer head', until the winds start blowing and it's time to get out the 500AH and apply some gravity to the situation.
The 700 holds a Kowa 883 easily (although it's generally got a Swaro 65 on it) but is very light and effective. It got some bad reviews from users who hadn't understood how thescope- retaining nut worked, so if you're looking around, check the 'one-star' reviews for complaints about this aspect. And if you buy one, read the instructions!
paddy7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 11:04   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: South Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 655
Another for Manfrotto 700RC2 - a superb and often underrated tripod head IMHO. Why people have trouble operating it, I don't know as it is disarmingly simple and effective.
Rotherbirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 14:10   #5
Alexis Powell
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: LY+DG counties, Kansas, USA
Posts: 2,887
Originally Posted by Rotherbirder View Post
Another for Manfrotto 700RC2 - a superb and often underrated tripod head IMHO. Why people have trouble operating it, I don't know as it is disarmingly simple and effective.
I've owned two 700RC2 heads and tried several others. They are not consistent unit to unit and most units seem to be flawed in two respects, (1) even when tension is adjusted to lowest setting it is still rather stiff or slow, especially in the cold, and (2) for each movement, if tension is set low, the movement exhibits some lateral play, thus making for an unstable view.

I've been much much happier with the Gitzo 1720QR. It is expensive, but has advantages of (1) smoother yet more stable movement, (2) easier to use with long plates to achieve good balance, (3) easy to adapt to Arca-Swiss plate standard, (4) slightly lower weight than 700RC2, (5) with single control knob, is faster to operate.

Alexis Powell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 14:48   #6
dalat's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,334
I use the 700 for the ED50. Perfectly happy with it. But its not very good for a bigger scope, like my Swaro 80 mm.
dalat is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Replacement objective lens for ED50 dwatsonbirder Nikon 0 Tuesday 21st February 2012 16:16
wimberely head / replacement foot combo peteh Photographic Tripods / Heads 1 Monday 27th September 2010 18:43
Nikon ED50: Tripod+Head kilianwasmer Tripod and Heads 10 Thursday 23rd September 2010 13:23
Ball head for an ED50? MacGee Nikon 14 Monday 16th March 2009 00:18
Which head for a Nikon ED50 NoSpringChicken Tripod and Heads 2 Thursday 29th November 2007 14:39


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.13132310 seconds with 17 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 10:06.