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ED50 replacement head (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
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?
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Registered User
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.
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Well-known member
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!


Well-known member
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.

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
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.



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.


Can anybody tell me what the true weight of the 700 RC2 head is? I have been burned by published weights on the Manfrotto site and other places that are much heavier than published.

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