Giottos MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release

Giottos MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release System - Supports 20 lbs (9 kg)

Giottos MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release System - Supports 20 lbs (9 kg)

B&H # GIMH1301656 MFR # MH1301-656

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Giottos MH1301 overview

  • 1Description

The Giottos MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release System is a medium-sized "socket & ball" head that has been carefully designed and manufactured to precisely position the camera easily and securely.

In order to cut back on its weight, this head features a hollowed out heavily anodized aluminum ball. The body shell (socket) follows a slimmer and lighter structure design, yet offers increased hardness. Three separate knobs provide optimal security and convenience. In addition to the main locking knob, it also features a friction control knob, and a separate locking knob for pan control.

The attached MH-656 is a clamp style quick release system that is compatible with plates that fit the Arca Swiss standard. It comes with horizontal and vertical bubble levels, and anti-twist reversible tabs on the plate to prevent slippage when using the head in a vertical position.

Features an independent calibrated pan bed
Hollowed out ball
Sliding calibrated quick release plate
In the Box
Giottos MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release System - Supports 20 lbs (9 kg)
  • MH-646 Quick Release Plate for MH-656
  • Draw String Pouch
  • Limited 12-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Giottos MH1301 specs

    Load Capacity 20 lbs (9 kg)
    Height 4.1" (106 cm)
    Quick Release Yes
    Spirit Level Yes; horizontal & vertical
    Tension Control Yes
    Separate Panning Lock Yes
    Tripod Mount Thread Size 3/8" (1/4"-20 reducer bushing is provided)
    Weight 1.1 lb (516 g)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.45 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 6.3 x 5.4 x 3.8"

    Giottos MH1301 reviews

    MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 38.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent addition to my tripod I got this to go with a MT-8361 tripod. It has a lot of knobs that look scary but they control all the operations of the ball head. This comes with a quick release (a must for any ball head). Under the release is a small bubble level to let you know that the ball head is level. There is also a safety button to keep the camera from sliding from the ball head. The head swivels 360 degrees and has a 0 to 359 degree ring (incase you need that feature). The knobs are used to release the ball, the swivels of the head and tilt of the ball. They not only unlock but manage friction on these items to allow them to be unlocked but not flop around. Great ball head.
    Date published: 2008-09-12
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good until you increase the weight I liked this head... Until I started to increase the weight. As you increase the weight one thing will become obvious; there is wobble in the head. The wobble is between the panning base and the body of the head. It is very annoying and I've tried to fix it without any luck. Also, not a fan of their locking system. Before it was just a small cylinder that moved up and down, now it's a screw that moves side to side. However, they never bothered updating the plates. Before as you slide the camera on, the plate is angled to push down the safety switch. Well, now you have to release the safety to slide on the camera. Very annoying.
    Date published: 2016-07-01
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Totally Solid and Rugged I had a tough choice deciding between a 3-axis style head and a ball and socket joint, but I'm glad I chose this one. The range of motion is indisputable especially since I can lock everything down and pivot just on the x-axis (this is really the only axis I ever need to isolate). I can't stress how important it is to have a sturdy feeling when handling a tripod and actually having a solid construction. It is very industrial in the sense that I feel I am handling a laboratory-grade product. However, this means that I can't keep the plate attached to my camera at all times since it has very sharp edges and can get easily damaged (or damage surfaces that it makes contact with). I needed MH-656 Quick Release System to allow sliding the camera closer or further away from the subject. (I need this ability to focus with my Nikon BR-2A Lens Reversing Ring when doing Macro photography. Otherwise, I would have gone with a simpler MH-300C style plate.
    Date published: 2008-03-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Professional Ballhead It is a very sturdy ballhead. I use it on my monopod, and because of it's size and weight rating, I'm able to support heavy glass without the floppy feeling of other monopods. It also gives me quite a bit of room to maneuver. I chose this head because I could also use it on a tripod, as opposed to buying a simple tilt head for my monopod. The arca type release system is great, but it does take a bit of getting used to. My only gripe is that the plate is a bit short, but you can always get the MH-657 for a longer plate. It is extremely sturdy, and consequently a bit heavy but I have much more confidence in the head when I put my equipment on it.
    Date published: 2010-11-14
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great so far Got this head to use on a Gitzo carbon fiber monopod. My other head is an Acra Tech GV2 on Gitzo tripod. While not in the same class as the GV2, and who would expect it to be, the 1301 operates smoothly and locks tight. Thee have been some complaints about the Giottos mounting plate loosening. All of my cameras have Arca Tech plates attached which fit perfectly and lock tight on the 1301. At a weight of a little over 1#, the 1301 plus camera and lens on the Gitzo monopod come out a little top heavy. This however, was no surprise and would hardly be a problem on a tripod. One negative: The 1301 instructions warn that over loosening the friction control can cause a head failure, which will be something to think about when switching from the 1301 to the GV2 and back, as over loosening is not possible on latter. This issue alone, which I view as a design flaw gives the 1301 a 4-star instead of a 5-star.
    Date published: 2010-05-17
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very smooth action, but... I use this on a Giotto monopod. Attachment is was simple enough. The rotational and tilt functions are excellent. They work very smoothly. My only complaint is the quick release plate. It's hard to lock to the camera. It won't grip the bottom of the camera. As a result, the camera starts to rotate relative to the base plate and wiggle. Of course, this defeats the purpose of having a ball head and monopod in the first place.
    Date published: 2009-12-25
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Product I really like the build quality of this product and how the little details make this product fantastic for my purposes. 1. The quick release plate has a flip up screw on the bottom, so no coin is needed to tighten on to the camera bottom. 2. The safety catch is a nice feature, but can be removed if wanted. 3. When paired with a good tripod, the angles of use are limitless.
    Date published: 2009-02-20
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Revised review I haven't used this head much and the rubber grips wrapped around the knobs are splitting and falling off. 8 months old. Surprising due to the lack of use and gentle care. Wrote to Giottos about it. We'll see what they say. Good Head. It's strong and holds my 70-200 f/4 and my 7D no problem.
    Date published: 2011-09-06
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