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Manfrotto054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release
 
4.7

(based on 146 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (114)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (133)
  • Attaches firmly (117)
  • Large range of motion (116)
  • Strong clamp (106)
  • Lightweight (5)

Cons

  • Heavy (17)
  • Complicated controls (3)
  • Weak clamp (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (114)
  • Night shots (97)
  • Portraits (96)
  • Travel (61)
  • Home (59)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (78), Semi-pro photographer (35), Pro photographer (15), Casual photographer (9), Photography student (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (135)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Nearly perfect head for my needs!

I mate this head with the Manfrotto 190CXPro3 legs and it's a great combination. This is an upgrade for me from the 322RC2 head.I was never quite happy with the 322RC2, just too many...Read complete review

I mate this head with the Manfrotto 190CXPro3 legs and it's a great combination. This is an upgrade for me from the 322RC2 head.I was never quite happy with the 322RC2, just too many issues. I'm on my second one and while the concept is great, it's a bit poor in practice. I just have too many problems with "stiction", drooping and tricky adjustment. Also because I primarily use a Canon 7D, having a dedicated panning feature is a big plus for video use.The 054 just works wonderfully. Super smooth action all around, very quick adjustment. I actually find it quicker than the 322RC2 despite having to loosen a knob and then re-tighten it to frame your shot. The far more precise movement of the 054 helps to achieve this and the tension adjustment just works much better.There are a couple VERY minor gripes with it however (hence the 4 star rating, would actually like to give it 4.5). Both of my gripes have to do with the "pan" knob. For one, with the head oriented such that the "ball" knob is on the left side as I suspect most shooters will prefer to have it, the spirit level on my legs is completely blocked by the pan knob. It's no biggie as I don't even use that level much, if ever. Plus the 054 head has two spirit levels built in so the one on the legs is hardly missed. The second is that with the pan knob loosened (allowing panning action of your camera), the pan knob snags on the same spirit level and interferes with the panning! This was easy enough to over come by adjusting the orientation of the pan knob so that it stays out of the way. However, this orientation doesn't make it quite as ergonomically pleasing to me. Hope that makes sense. Note that this won't be an issue on all legs but it is a small issue when mated with the above mentioned 190CXPro3 legs.Now, these are very minor things and like I said easily overcome. But I feel they're worth mentioning especially considering that Manfrotto advertises this head to be a perfect match for the 190 series legs! Well, not quite perfect it turns out. You'd think they would have placed the pan knob in a position where it wouldn't interfere with the spirit level but oh well. Perhaps it's more complicated than I realize. That's all I have for negatives though.I like the size and love the magnesium construction. Everything about it reflects Manfrotto's typical build quality and great attention to detail in their designs. It really is a pleasure to use. So far I've only been taking low light shots of my dog indoors (just got the head a day ago) but I'm really looking forward to going after some great landscape shots over the weekend.Highly recommended product!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Knobs Uncomfortable

This ball head is nice and compact, but the knobs are not very comfortable to operate and don't feel like a very natural fit to my thumb and fingers. Also one of the knobs...Read complete review

This ball head is nice and compact, but the knobs are not very comfortable to operate and don't feel like a very natural fit to my thumb and fingers. Also one of the knobs was kind of wiggly-loose; I don't know if that was just the knob or the tightener mechanism behind the knob.

When I'm moving the camera to frame a shot, I don't want to have to take my eye out of the viewfinder to find and work the knobs.

One last thing pushed me to the decision point to return the ball head: when the panning knob is loosened, the movement of the head was stiff and not very smooth. So I returned it to B&H; I think I'm going to get the hydrostatic ball head instead.

Reviewed by 146 customers

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4.0

Smooth action

By Sp2pilot

from Peoria, AZ

About Me Casual Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easily Adjusted
  • Lightweight
  • Locks In Tight
  • Smooth Movement

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Outdoors
    • Portraits

    Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

    This ball head moves so smoothly!

    The tension knob doesn't really provide a noticeable difference though.
    I'm using this with the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod, which may not be the best combo together. Sometimes the tripod head gets in the way of turning the knobs on this head. Minor problem though.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Easy To Use And Solid

    By Bill

    from Yorkville, IL

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Adjusted
    • Lightweight
    • Locks In Tight
    • Smooth Movement

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Outdoors
      • Wildlife

      Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

      I wanted a Ball Head that combined good weight capacity and easy operation. So far this is doing the job.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Perfect match with my tripod

      By photovoice

      from arizona

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Complicated Controls

      Best Uses

      • Home
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Travel

      Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

      Online chat was of great help in guiding me to the right fit between the Manfrotto ball head and my existing carbon fiber tripod along with price considerations. I wanted to keep weight down and stability high and this ball head does just that with ease of movement. I cannot figure out the function of the small knob but will keep trying. I purchased a different ball head from another site and had to return it as it did not fit my tripod. Having someone knowledgeable at P&H is a tremendous benefit to making the correct decision. I will definitely keep buying from them.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Works well

      By jarhead8000

      from Philadelphia

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

        This ball head is stable and works well for all my photo needs!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        A great ball head

        By algraz

        from NJ

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

            This is my first ball head, so I cannot compare it to other brands/models, but can safely say that it does the job very well, it holds my D700 with 28-70 2.8 very firmly in all positions, easy and quick to set, and it is much lighter than my older three way head. I will update my review if things change, but for now I am very happy with the purchase

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            4.0

            New to Ball Heads

            By rman0987

            from Chicago Suburbs

            About Me Photography Student

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

              First time using a ball head. It's taking me a little getting used to time to feel more comfortable with it. It seems well built, and once I get used to it I think I will like it. No arm sticking out like the other heads. Less of a chance to bump it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Ball Head

              By Wally

              from Atlanta

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

              This is a very stable ball head even with my Canon 1Dx and 70-200 lens with 2x extender mounted.
              The adjustable ball tension works great.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Exceeded Expectations!

              By Chris Tucker

              from Las Vegas, NV

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Smooth motion
              • Strong Clamp
              • Well Built

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Home
                • Portraits
                • Sports/Action
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                Wasn't too sure at first if this ball head would be strong enough to handle the weight of the equipment, but it's far exceeded my expectations. I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark III with their 70-200 f/2.8 L II lens being my largest lens. Thought I was going to need one of the larger ball mounts according to a lot of other reviews regarding this particular ball head, but B&H assured me that it would be strong enough, and sure enough this tripod head does the job. It also have a very smooth motion and is well built. Everything you would expect from Manfrotto.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                A++++++++++

                By Not

                from Tn

                Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                Love it light weight and levels are great

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Better than advertized

                By billnikon

                from Pennsylvania

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Night Shots
                  • Portraits
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                  The 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 quick release is used mostly on a Manfrotto heavy duty monopod. I use this rig in conjunction with my Minolta 400mm 4.5 with an Sony A77 with a Minolta 1.4 multiplier giving me a 840mm lens. I find that the ball head handles the lens beautifully. The friction adjustment keeps the lens from falling forward. I have 2 quick release plates, one for the Minolta 400mm and one for my 300mm 2.8 Nikon. The 300mmm Nikon is heaver than the Minolta 400 but the head handles both with ease. I use this rig to photograph game ducks. To travel from one location to the next I tighten everything down on the ball head, place the lens over my shoulder letting the monopod stick out in front. I travel to my next location and just set the monopod onto the ground and I am ready to start shooting. I also put this head on my 190 manfrotto tripod. Again, I use it in the same way, when I travel I simple put the legs together extended, place the lens over my shoulder, and walk to my next location, spread the legs and set it on the ground and I am ready to shoot. I am over 6 foot tall and the ball head adds height to the tripod up to where I don't have to bend over. I prefer this size of ball head because it handles the larger lenses without difficulty. Start out by playing with all three adjustments and get used to using them without looking at them. After a short time you will become proficient at quickly adjusting the head to your specific requirements.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Easy to use and lightweight. I like it.

                  By gd

                  from Albuquerque, NM

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                    I have several tripod heads but as I don't use them every day they are sometimes cumbersome. I Just got this head and loved the weight and size right away. It's easy to pack and easy to use. I used it to shoot some landscapes and did some closeup work and had no issues.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Great Ball Head

                    By Landscape Lover

                    from Largo, Florida

                    About Me Casual Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Portraits
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                      This is the first Ball Head I have used - in the past a tilt/pan. I haven't had the opportunity to use it a lot yet, but so far I love it. It really is simple & user friendly. The quick release is great & locks the camera on firmly. It is great for portrait use & landscape including doing panorama's.So far I find this to be a great Ball Head for the price.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      A++++

                      By JR

                      from Tennessee

                      Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                      Very good ball head light weight yet sturdy construction

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                      5.0

                      Great ball head

                      By Shooter29

                      from Wyoming

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                      • Tighten The Lever

                      Best Uses

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

                      Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                      I wasn't sure which ball head to get with my tripod and I'm glad I got the 054. The pan feature is great and a step above the heads without pan. The quick release lever was loose and my 7D and 24-70 lens was really unsteady until I tightened the small bolt inside it from the bottom. Once it's tight the head holds all my gear steady. This is the perfect head for the 190XPro3 I bought, it's light and easly adjustable.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Very easy to adjust

                      By landscape1357

                      from Irvine CA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Stability
                      • Stable
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night photography
                        • Night Shots
                        • Portraits

                        Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                        Stable, very easy to adjust, quick release works smoothly. I mainly use this with Canon 6D with 70-200mm zoom.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Works Well, Good Build Quality

                        By CW

                        from Surfside, CA

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attaches Firmly
                        • Good Stability
                        • Large Range of Motion

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                            Light and feature-packed. Expensive, but given the price of my carbon tripod, not exorbitant.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            the perfect marriage: my tripod 55CXPro4

                            By Carlos França

                            from Natal, BR

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Good Stability

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Shots
                              • Portraits

                              Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                              the perfect marriage: my tripod 55CXPro4.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Great photo head

                              By Jeff

                              from Portland, or

                              Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                              I just bought this to replace a traditional 3 way head. It has been a huge improvement to a traditional head. It supports my t3i with battery grip and 70-200 f2.8 lens without a problem, and I think the best features are the friction adjustment and separate pan lock.

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Works really well

                              By Kirk

                              from Denver, CO

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

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

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Night Shots
                                • Portraits

                                Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                                I can't find anything wrong with this ball head. It is very smooth to use, and allows very minute adjustments.

                                I bought this to replace an inexpensive ball head I have been using for some time. I got really tired of the camera flopping around and had difficulty making small adjustments with my current ball head.

                                I was a little worried about buying another ball head, because I was worried I might have the same experience with this one. I was also worried the Q2 quick release would be too small.

                                After giving it a good workout, I am really happy with the purchase. It has allowed me to precisely adjust my composition. It pans well, and the friction adjustment makes a big difference over my cheaper ball head.

                                I haven't used it with a really heavy lens like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, but the Q2 held 2 lb lenses and a Canon 6D without any issues at all.

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                                5.0

                                Great head

                                By Tony

                                from Fairfax, VA

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

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

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release:

                                    Really love this head. It's lighter than I thought which is good.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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