Ballhead maintenance : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

My two ballheads (Linhof Profi I, Arca-Swiss B1) have been great for six/four years, but I must say that I have neglected maintenance. Do these ballheads require lubrication? Anything else, except exterior cleaning and tension adjustment? Regards, Åke

(And while on the subject of ballheads, why don't Arca-Swiss make a 30% smaller/50% lighter B1? Would have been the perfect head for backpacking/travel or lighter cameras.)

-- Åke Vinberg (, February 04, 2002



You will damage the head according to Arca-Swis. Occassionally clean the ball with a cloth dampened with alcohol.

Great idea about the smaller head. Why don't you pass it on to Martin Vogt at Arca-Swiss. Here is his e-mail address

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, February 04, 2002.

I don't want to (re)ignite any Kirk vs. Arca debates but I got an email recently from Kirk notifying me that they had downsized their ballhead as suggested below. I have no affiliation with Kirk but I believe they sell a quality product and wanted to pass the link along for those interested.

-- Tom Keenan (, February 04, 2002.

The main operational problem I've encountered (once) with the B1 is the head locking up. Really Right Stuff suggests this problem can be minimized by storing it with the head loose (i.e. flopping around rather than tightened). I have no idea whether this is a good idea or not, but the Really Right Stuff guy is supposed to be knowledgeable.

-- Brian Ellis (, February 05, 2002.

Never lubricate any head without contacting factory service first. The wrong lubricant will simply gum up the head and then you will require factory service.

-- Bob Salomon (, February 05, 2002.

Thanks for all advice, I'm looking forward to enjoying these ballheads for many years to come.

-- Åke Vinberg (, February 06, 2002.

On the topic of a 30% smaller/50% lighter ball head... I just received my new Kirk BH-3 in the mail. I am very impressed. It has the same smooth, precise movements as their BH-1 and it is almost half the weight. It is a very nice match for my Gitzo MK 1228 and completes a very nice lightweight backpacking tripod. It is exactly what I had been looking for.

-- Scott Bacon (, February 07, 2002.

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