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Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head

B&H # SMBH8 Mfr # 700355
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $59.00
Product Highlights
  • Includes 60mm Long Plate
  • Arca-Type Quick Release
  • Supports 40 lb (18 kg)

The Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head is a rugged and well-designed ball head. It is rated to support up to 40 lbs, and is ideal for use with any pro SLR setup, or even a large format camera. All knobs feature a comfortable knurled rubber gripping surface. In addition to the large single-action locking knob, the BH8 also features two smaller knobs. One controls the 360° panning control, and the other the amount of ball friction.

Maximum tilt range of 90°
Head pan marked in 5° increments
Load Capacity 40 lbs (18kg)
Height 4.6" (11.7cm)
Quick Release Yes
Spirit Level No
Tension Control Yes
Tripod Mount Thread Size 3/8"-16
Weight 1.6 lb (725g)
Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head
  • QRPBH8 Quick Release Plate for BH8
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Smith-VictorBH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head
     
    4.3

    (based on 50 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (24)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (19)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (1)

    94%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (39)
    • Attaches firmly (38)
    • Large range of motion (33)
    • Strong clamp (33)

    Cons

    • Heavy (14)
    • Weak clamp (3)

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/scenery (36)
    • Night shots (25)
    • Portraits (22)
    • Home (17)
    • Travel (13)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (24), Semi-pro photographer (16), Pro photographer (8)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (35)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Very Nice Ball Head

    My BH8 is perfectly mated to my Induro 8M AT213 tripod and supports a Canon 60D with a 18-135 lens.Tightening the locking screws with normal force clamps the ball and camera rigidly, even...Read complete review

    My BH8 is perfectly mated to my Induro 8M AT213 tripod and supports a Canon 60D with a 18-135 lens.Tightening the locking screws with normal force clamps the ball and camera rigidly, even tilted over in the challenging cantilever portrait orientation that creates the greatest twisting moment of force. When I moderately slapped the camera or tripod or pulled on the lens in the portrait position, the camera did not budge, the BH8 demonstrating the mighty grip provided by its 40 lb load rating. This is exactly the kind of overkill I had been looking for and why I spent a few dollars more over the BH5.Setting the smaller ball knob lightly snug provides drag to prevent surprises while loosening the larger main knob to free the ball. The instructions advise tightening both knobs as needed for ultimate rigidity. While the assembly does not pivot about completely smoothly unless further loosened, this is a non-issue for me as far as its intended purpose goes: gripping my camera securely in any position I place it. When looking through your camera and finalizing the tightening of the knobs to freeze the head, there is a tiny vertical drop of about 1 to 2 degrees if the knobs start from a loose grip, as the load of the camera shifts from your hands to the tripod and head. However, closing the smaller screw just loose enough to move the ball results in almost zero drop upon locking the screws, since the head is already bearing most, if not all of the load of the camera. This is neither a defect nor a problem, and only for the most precise of shots requires a few extra seconds of positional tweaking prior to clamping down, as would any ball head.For horizontal articulation, clamp down the large and small ball knobs, loosen the panning knob, and you're rewarded with a very smooth, fluid action with perfect drag. Angular rotation markings provide a reference for panoramic shooting.In my hands, the 1.6 lb unit with its robust knobs feels husky, indestructible, yet has nicely finished edges and handsome black exterior that give it a refined look. Other ball head manufacturers will look you right in the eye and ask upwards of $300 to provide virtually the same performance and aesthetics. [$] the Smith-Victor BH8 is absolutely a no-brainer, must-have component. Did I mention there are no annoying arms to poke you in the face or complicate folding up and putting away when attached to a tripod?Get a BH8 and enjoy it for a long, long time.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    For the Budget Conscious

    This ballhead is a decent starter for the budget conscious. In my honest opinion, it's ideal as a secondary ball-head for car mount, Apex bean bag.

    CONS:
    -Clamp...Read complete review

    This ballhead is a decent starter for the budget conscious. In my honest opinion, it's ideal as a secondary ball-head for car mount, Apex bean bag.

    CONS:
    -Clamp design does not make it 100% arca-swiss friendly. The clamp jaw does not open wide to allow plates to be dropped in from the top.
    Instead, all plates, including Smith-Victor, have to be entered through the sides. The slots have to be aligned in order for the plate to slide in. A minor inconvenience when mounting equipment in the dark and in the cold. Because the clamps do not open wide, the protruding safety release pin interferes with the sliding placement.

    To accomodate my other arca-swiss complatible plates, I had to remove the safety release pin, completely disabling the safety system.

    -Panning is stiff. Difficult for birds in flight.

    -Ball motion is not as smooth as a Induro BHD2 and Markins M20 ballhead.

    PROS: Stabilization.
    The head is sturdy. It locks well. Landscape/Scenery photography.

    Reviewed by 50 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    4.0

    Can't beat the price

    By Sasquatch

    from Moscow, ID

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Good Stability
    • Large Range of Motion

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Shots
    • Travel

    Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

    This is my first ball head. I was uneasy at first with the purchase because I was trying to figure out how this ball head was so cheap yet it had such a high load capacity. When I received the head in the mail, it was pretty hefty and was not made of cheap materials. As for the performance it can easily hold my mark II with the grip and a 70-300mm lens I would say it could hold more but I don't know anything heavier.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    heavy duty on a budget

    By nvitalephoto

    from south florida

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Cheap
    • Strong
    • Strong Clamp

    Cons

    • Ball Makes Noise
    • Stiff Panning Head

    Best Uses

      Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

      This is a case where it is a good deal but you have to limit your expectations based on price. The ball is not the smoothest thing and not silent but gets the job just fine. The panning base is rather stiff. However I mounted a 500mm f4 lens on a sidekick and put it on here and with the weight of the big lens, the panning base felt much better. It also seems plenty strong enough to hold up a heavy setup. Others have mentioned the knobs being an issue, and while I have not had a problem yet, I can see how they could potentially be an issue.Overall: I knew going into it that it was a cheap, budget head, and therefore I got what I expected. It does what I need it to just fine and Im very happy with my purchase considering what other options could have cost me.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      4.0

      Solid, heavy duty, but one thing to note

      By Dantheman

      from Tulsa, OK

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Firmly
      • Good Stability
      • Large Range of Motion
      • Strong Clamp

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Video

        Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

        This is a great product. It's solid, heavy duty, and seems to be durable. I use it with a 60d that is cage mounted. The only thing to note is that it's great to have locked down, but if you want to use it to pan or tilt or any motion that requires the ball head to not be locked down, consider getting a tripod head. Movement is slightly sticky or jerky if you try to pan or tilt while recording.

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        • No

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        4.0

        Great value

        By Scott

        from Long Island, ny

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attaches Firmly
        • Good Stability
        • Large Range of Motion
        • Strong Clamp

        Cons

        • Not The Smoothest

        Best Uses

        • Home
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Portraits

        Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

        This ball head is great for the money. Fairly smooth, tension knobs are spot on. Ok it's not as smooth as big dollar ball heads but this is still smooth.

        If you're looking for the smoothest ball head this may not be for you. But if you're on a budget this is a great buy.

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        • No

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        4.0

        I would buy this product again

        By Jessica

        from Barstow, Ca.

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attaches Firmly
        • Good Stability
        • Large Range of Motion
        • Strong Clamp

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Hdr Panarams
          • Home
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Night Shots
          • Portraits
          • Travel
          • Video
          • Wildlife

          Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

          I take a lot of photos on ruff on uneven ground, so it really helps getting things level quickly

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          4.0

          Performed better than I expected.

          By Brad

          from Newcaslte, CA

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attaches Firmly
          • Good Stability
          • Large Range of Motion

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

              I have used this head pretty hard for a week now and am very happy with it. I did not have any problems with the rubber on the knobs slipping. It tightens down well as long as you adjust the tension screw correctly and really tighten the main knob. I only noticed my camera move slightly when it was tilted to the side. I shoot with a 5D III with 70-200 2.8 & 24-70 2.8.

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              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Good value for back-up ballhead

              By RM

              from Narragansett, RI

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Backup
              • Heavy Duty
              • Reasonable Price
              • Works With Kirk
              • Works With Rrs

              Cons

              • Jerky movement
              • Knob Grip Can Rotate
              • Pan Lock Is Not Smooth

              Best Uses

              • Great As A Backup Head
              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

              I have a Markins M10 ballhead on my main tripod, and that ballhead is smaller, lighter, smoother, and rated for a higher load than the BH8; it also cost about 5 times what I paid for this unit... With a little loosening of the locking knob this BH8 WILL work with Kirk and RRS plates. You have to remove the safety catch mechanism and you will have to slide the plates in (not drop them in from the top). It is a very tight fit, but it works and is a good value for what it is. It can be very jerky to position (i.e. precise positioning can be difficult), even with a heavy load. I am happy with this unit as a backup, but would not be so happy if it were my main ballhead. For perspective, it is also about as large as a beer can. The pan lock (screw) is either 'on' or 'off' with no in between and the knob will unscrew completely. The pan lock catches on the spindle when rotating through 360 degrees, it is not the same smooth feeling all the way around. I got this because of all the positive reviews. I intend to leave it mounted on an older tripod in my trunk as a backup unit, something I don't have to worry about getting knocked around. For that purpose I am happy.

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              • No

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              4.0

              Nice product for the price

              By Thoolika

              from Gainesville, FL

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability

              Cons

              • Not smooth

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

              This product is used along with my Induro Alloy 8M AT214 Tripod and it fits well even though the head is a little big. I use this for my Nikon d7000 and sigma 50-500m lens (~2.6 kg).

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              • No

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              4.0

              Heavy Duty Ball Head

              By PD from New Jersey

              from Aberdeen NJ

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                    This Ballhead is of very good quality for the money. It is strong enough to hold my D7000 in portrait position, even with the grip on it. A couple of things to note are as follows:Any Arca-suisse clamp must be able to slide on from the side. The clamp won't open wide enough to allow otherwise. Also the rubber knobs on all the adjustments can slip if trying to tighten them too much. Not a bog deal if you grab them properly. I myself popped them off and put a dab of glue on them and reinstalled them. Never to slip again.

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                    • No

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                    5.0

                    great value for the price

                    By maxbel71

                    from montreal

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attaches Firmly
                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion
                    • Strong Clamp

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Video

                      Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                      Nice product only complain is the little rubber band that spin freely on the shaft not a big deal tough

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                      • No

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                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      2.0

                      You get what you paid for

                      By pa3s

                      from Las Vegas, Nevada

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion

                      Cons

                      • Weak Clamp

                      Best Uses

                      • Home
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Portraits
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Travel
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                      This ballhead boasted signs of strong construction and good function at first glance and handling. After a few weeks of owning a pair, the issues began showing up. Shooting out in Horse shoe bend, the knob to tighten the plate came right off while loosening and fell into the canyon. This knob is not supposed to come off completely. Smith Victor sent me a new one without any issues. Wonderful customer support! My second ballhead is now showing issues with the tightening know for the plate as well. The rubber grip on the knob is slipping and I have to use a wrench and clamp down on the metal part of the knob so I can tighten it. The ballhead itself is showing malfunction, it clicks at certain angle of rotation and something inside seems to be getting caught.

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                      • No

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                      5.0

                      A Ball Head w/Balls

                      By Cappyden

                      from Washington DC

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                          Purchased this SV head to use on a pro slider. It's not only the best ball head out there for the money, it may be the best ball head you'll ever buy! The pan is smooth as silk, and the drag controls are very precise. The quick-mount release is in the right place and made of aluminum, not plastic. Overall, it's build quality is solid billet aluminum with an extra thick layer of black anodizing. The mount is perfectly machined and engineered achieving accurate fitment. Drag and ball controls are very well made and are infinitely adjustable. It does lack bubble levels but any pro will tell you, they're worthless anyway. We use a small pro level on the camera, not the mount. Overall, you will not be disappointed.

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                          • No

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                          5.0

                          It works!

                          By project7

                          from Montrose, Ca

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Good Stability
                          • Large Range of Motion
                          • Strong Clamp

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Home
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Portraits

                          Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                          I have used this ball head for Portraits, scenic shots and some night shots and it does the job well. It is a bit on the heavier side but for the price, well worth the extra heft. It can support a lot of weight and is very stable,it stays locked in place and is pretty smooth with its panning. I would recomend this for anyone on a budget that is looking for a ball head that just plain works!!

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                          • No

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          BH8 2.16mm Ball Head by Smith-Victor

                          By ebuti123

                          from Georgia Tbilisi

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Good Stability
                          • Large Range of Motion
                          • Strong Clamp

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Home
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots
                            • Travel

                            Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                            4 stars because of weak tension control

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            4.0

                            Heavy But Sturdy

                            By thedlr

                            from Las Vegas, NV

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attaches Firmly
                            • Good Stability
                            • Large Range of Motion
                            • Strong Clamp

                            Cons

                            • Heavy

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots

                            Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                            I like this ball head quite a bit. It is extremely sturdy and the larger quick release plate grips the bottom of my camera/lens very well. This means no more slipping when I shoot portrait. I initially chose to go the arca-swiss route because I wanted to buy the vertical L mounting bracket. But now I'm realizing that I probably don't have to. This thing is that secure.

                            Of course, the down side is that it's super heavy. I may end up buying an alternate lightweight head for travel. But for car camping and such, this ball head is excellent.

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                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Heavy duty without hefty price

                            By Rampant Rabbit

                            from Central Indiana

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attaches Firmly
                            • Good Stability
                            • Strong Clamp

                            Cons

                            • Heavy
                            • Weak QR Safety Pin

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                              This is my second ballhead. The first had a single knob for controlling all movements, and did not hold my Canon D7 with a telescopic 300mm f4 L lens (ca. six lbs.) as securely as I would like when tightened down. This BH8 ballhead, by contrast, securely attaches to the camera and easily holds my camera in set position when tightened down. Moreover, I find that having more than one knob to control the movement of the ballhead, while slower than a single knob, actually suits my needs better; the larger knob allows for quick major settings, while the smaller knob can be used to refine the amount of tension needed in any given situation. The BH8 is not light; but I would rather lug about an extra pound or so for the peace of mind I get from knowing that my camera is securely locked in position. The screw for attacking the quick release plate to the camera must be tightened using a coin or similar tool, but once tightened the camera remains firmly in position, thanks to the rubber mounting pads. The only caveat I would note is one needs to exercise care when slipping the quick release plate with an attached heavy camera+lens in or out of the quick release assembly. After loosening the release knob, normally a second button or safety release must be depressed to completely detach the camera from the ballhead. But in my experience, the weight of a heavy camera can force the quick release plate to slip past the safety detention pin, if the ball is not in horizontal position. Accordingly, I now always retain a firm grip on my camera while loosening or tightening the quick release knob. Once the knob is tightened, however, there is no concern. My final judgement: this is a very good ballhead and the money I saved can be used to buy additional equipment.

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                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Very stable!

                              By samson

                              from Diamond Bar, CA

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion
                              • Strong Clamp

                              Cons

                              • Heavy

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Shots
                              • Portraits
                              • Sports/Action
                              • Video
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                              This thing is very large! It's a lot bigger than what I expected, but can really handle the weight! It's got a lot of grip and the dials are very easy to figure out and use. The best part is the price! It's hard to beat for the price range!

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                              • No

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                              4.0

                              Great Value, works well.

                              By Greg

                              from Richmond Va

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion
                              • Strong Clamp

                              Cons

                              • Heavy

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Shots
                              • Portraits
                              • Sports/Action
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                              This is a good ball head, you would think it would cost hundreds of dollars. It is sturdy and works well. Initially the rubber grips on the knobs spun but a little sand paper and some rubber cement resolved the issue. When you lock it down it moves a little in one direction but is easy to compensate for.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Great ball head, price can't be beat

                              By Wolfy

                              from Rapid City SD

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion
                              • Strong Clamp

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Night Shots
                                • Portraits
                                • Wildlife

                                Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                                Purchased to use on camera stand in studio. Excellent value and a great product.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Totally Pleased

                                By SteveK

                                from Newman Lake, Washington

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Pros

                                • Attaches Firmly
                                • Good Stability
                                • Large Range of Motion
                                • Strong Clamp

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Home
                                  • Landscape/Scenery
                                  • Night Shots
                                  • Portraits
                                  • Travel
                                  • Video
                                  • Weddings/Events

                                  Comments about Smith-Victor BH8 Metal Alloy Ball Head:

                                  With the "few" reviews that had neg feedbacks I was a little concerned about the holding power for my set up, Nikon D7000 @ Tokina 80-400mm lens, NO! worries! Rock solid!

                                  The rubber rings on the knobs can slip a little, but no big deal, just "squeeze'em" a little.

                                  There is some drag on the rotating base, but for video this would help prevent jerky movements.

                                  This is a well built solid piece of equipment and for the price I think you would be hard pressed to find a better value!

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