Arca Swiss B1
The PERFECT BALLHEAD
The most popular and best ball head you can get for your photography equipment. A good camera, good lens, good tripod but without a good ball head will still produce a crappy images, especially frustrated if you missed good opportunity due to unsteady ballhead or spending too much time locking/unlocking your tripod head.
When I first start out photography in Year 2000, I have never thought that a USD400 ball head would give so much difference or pleasure in photography. My first try of the ARCA SWISS Monoball was at Cathay Photo in Singapore, while testing/shopping for my first ball head. The feel and immediate difference of the AS ballhead really strikes me. It is so perfectly smooth yet you won't find any grease or oil on the ball surface. Manfrotto or many other types of "consumer" ballhead simply apply oil on the surface to smoothen the movement of the ball. Not in the case with the AS ballhead, which use Teflon coating on the surface and very precise and high quality fabrication.
On the ballhead, there are just two simple knobs. The smaller knob is to adjust the tension for panning on the base. The larger knobs has a friction control (note the number 1-2-3-4...and is control by the small button at the white area in the picture) and turning the big knob will tighten or loosen the ball. When use with big/heavy equipment, one should adjust the tension control so that the ball doesn't move/flip over easily, and tighten/loosen further with the main knob.