The best Manfrotto pro ball head, dedicated to 190 carbon fiber tripods. An extremely precise ball head, providing extra smooth movements thanks to state of the art materials and technology. Innovative and unique features like the exclusive 90-105deg. portrait angle selector allows for better camera control for advanced precise settings. Innovative, compact, ergonomic, powerful and made of lightweight magnesium- it is the ideal tool for durability, high performance and accuracy. The new magnesium Q2 quick release system is compatible with RC2 standard plates and offers increased ergonomics, speed and reduced weight.
Manfrotto ball head review:
This is my first ball head. Well that’s not entirely true. I actually bought the Manfrotto 496RC2 before this one. The 496 was nice for the price. It didn’t impress me though. The ball itself seemed kind of small. Maybe it was just me but it seemed a little overpowered when my Canon 7D was mounted with a large lens. The safety release on the 496 appeared to be an afterthought on Manfrotto’s part. The whole unit just seemed kind of “no frills”. I think this made worse by the fact that I had it mounted on the 190CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod. Please don’t take this as bad review of the 496 — it’s not. The 496 is great for it price range.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the 054! Literally a few days after I received my 496, Amazon offered me 5% off the Manfrotto MH054M0-Q2 054 magnesium ball head. At $185 it was a lot more expensive that the 496 and I wasn’t sure if it’d be worth the extra $$. I went ahead and tried it though. I’m glad I did. It is awesome!
The first thing I noticed about the MH054M0-Q2 is, well — everything! Hahah The 054 is a BIG upgrade from the 496; better by almost every metric. It’s got two bubble levels, built-in panning control with degrees dial, 90 – 105 degree portrait angle selector. The ball is super smooooth! It feels so much nicer and precise than the 496. And the ergonomics are great. The levers are larger, the magnesium head itself has a nice textured surface. And it looks sexy…if a ball head can look sexy lol. I’m referring to the red lining around the ball and the red portrait select lever and the fact that all pieces and knobs are finished in textured matte black (unlike some bare aluminum pieces on the 496). Also, it was made specifically for the 190CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod so they look good together.
Most important of all, it holds my full-sized 7D body with any lens — no drooping — rock solid. This includes portrait position. The 054 is happy to hold the camera in portrait with no fuss.
So yes, I’m very pleased with the MH054M0-Q2 054. It is more than twice the cost of the 496 but worth it in my opinion. Search my name on Flickr if you’d like to see more photos.
* 100% magnesium
* Built-in low-angle adapter in the center column for ground-level shots
* Dual levels
* Independent pan lock
* Redesigned, more ergonomic flip locks
* Portrait orientation range of 90-105°.
* Load capacity 22.05 lbs
* Weight 21.47 oz
* Working height 4.61 in
Manfrotto ball head related products:
Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 488RC2
Manfrotto MH054M0-Q5 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release
Manfrotto 732CY M-Y Carbon Tripod (Black)
561BHDV Video Monopod with Fluid Head (Black)
Manfrotto 391RC2 Junior Head – Replaces 390RC2
Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2