A ball and socket joint allows movement on all axes at the same time with a single locking mechanism, ideal for faster framing changes. Some heads in our range have double 90° grooves for portrait-landscape orientation on either side of the head. Friction can be applied to larger ball heads to help balance heavier cameras.
The Manfrotto 498RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release and 200PL-14 QR Plate is constructed of die-cast aluminum, strong enough to support an SLR camera with a medium lens, and light medium format cameras. It has a single repositionable locking lever for 360° panoramic rotation and ±90° tilt movements, plus a friction control for precise positioning. Cameras are attached to the ball head with the 200PL-14 Plate and RC2 Quick Release with 1/4” male threads. The head to tripod attachment has 3/8” female threads. Additionally, the Quick Release has a safety system to prevent an accidental detaching from the head.
A new design friction control knob allows the photographer to achieve superior control when handling the camera and making micro movements without having to totally lock and unlock the ball head. The knobs have been redesigned to be more ergonomic, easier to handle and more user-friendly. The ergonomic shape allows the user to better lock the ball securely. A repositionable Locking lever allows the user to place it in a comfortable position in order to use it in the most convenient way. Just pull it outwards, put it in the best working position and then release it. This model features a RC2 quick release plate including an additional safety system that prevents the accidental detaching of the camera from the head. The locking lever securely locks the head both in the +90° -90° ball positioning and in the 360° pan movements. With solid aluminum construction, manfrotto quick release plate is nice .this head is the ideal support for all traditional or digital small or medium format cameras weighing up to 17 pounds. This replaces the Manfrotto 488RC2.
customer review of Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head
Four rather than five stars because the $400 plus ball heads are smoother. Also own the 322RC2 Joystick which costs a few dollars more. This 498 is smoother and sags less BUT since there is no handle like the Joystick you need to push/pull on your camera and or lens to point the camera. My Joystick tended to stick when I tried to pivot in the wrist turning direction and sags a little when I release the handlever. You can compensate by aiming a little high so it sags to where you want but it can be frustrating.
This new model 498RC2 requires some fine adjustment which is provided. A heavier lens will take more friction on the smaller knob. Aim and give a slight tighten on the larger adjustable level for solid no slip positioning. This new head is only a little lighter than the Joystick but I like it better for the no slip and smoother positioning. Separate lower lever for pivot is nice for multiple horizontal shots not on the Joystick.
The RC2 quick connect/disconnect camera mount works well even if it looks less finely machined than the rest of the ballhead. And Nice little safety locking lever so you are less likely to drop your camera when mounting or removing.
Over all I prefer this 498RC2 to the Joystick because it is smoother with little or no slip. Using the camera and lens to pivot and aim is easy once you get used to it after using the Joystick. For the money I prefer this ballhead to the MUCH More Expensive “Right Stuff” ballheads. Pros will disagree. Perhaps if you need to use a ballhead for hours everyday then you need to pay for the Right Stuff. I am pleased with this new Manfrotto 498RC2 and will sell my Joystick.
Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head releate products:
Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2
Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 488RC2
Manfrotto 682B Self Standing Monopod (Black)
Manfrotto 234RC Monopod Head Quick Release – Replaces 3229
Manfrotto 494RC2 Mini Ball Head with RC2
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