Friday, 18 May 2012

Manfrotto 498rc4 - Not quite like a 486

Manfrotto's ballheads are reasonably priced items that will last a lifetime. I had a 486rc2 compact ballhead that served me well but wanted something that was a little bigger.

Step in the 498rc4 midi ballhead.

The Manfrotto options for upgrade were relatively simple - the 498 is the model up and comes in two flavours: rc2 and rc4. The RC2 is a small QR plate whilst the RC4 has a much larger QR plate and is more suitable for heavier load/longer lenses. Furthermore, the RC4 provides a much more secure connection to the ballhead: the RC2's release latch is secured via a short metal stop, preventing the release latch opening but this can be mistakenly knocked and available for release - there is no fear that the RC4 QR plate will be accidentally released by user error it requires a simultaneous grip and pull to release.

486rc2 QR plate

The 498 provides independent locking for pan (side-side) and ballhead tilt - an improvement over the old compact ballheads which only has one locking mechanism. However one area that was disappointing was the build quality of the new style locking mechanisms.

498rc4 QR plate

Whilst the 498 ballhead is still of metal construction, the older versions of the midi ballhead - up to and including the 488 - all have metal locking handles. With the cost cutting on materials it feels that they have cheapened this model irrespective of the features.

No comments:

Post a Comment