|Bogen / Manfrotto 484RC2 Mini Ballhead with Rapid Connect 2 (Quick Release) Review
When I'm out in the field with my Digital Rebel XT, I've been carrying
along my Velbon UP-40 4-section monopod. It's light, compact and
quick to set up. Unfortunately it lacks the one feature that a
tripod has, tilt. I've been doing a lot of research and found many
options to add the tilt feature to my monopod so, since I already
own a Bogen/Manfrotto 728B tripod with RC2 quick release, I opted
for Bogen / Manfrotto 484RC2 Mini Ballhead which uses the same/similar
quick release mechanism...
at more than double the cost of my monopod.
||1 - Bogen / Manfrotto 484RC2 Mini Ballhead with Rapid Connect 2 (Quick Release)
1 - 3157N Quick Release Plate
1 - Instructions guide
1 - General Instructions and Warning guide
1 - 2-Year Warranty + Additional 3-Years after Registering Online
or by Mail
|Bogen / Manfrotto 484RC2 Mini Ballhead Specifications
| Maximum Camera Supported
| Load Capacity
||8.80 lb (4 kg)
||3.75" (9.5 cm)
||1.33" (3.3 cm)
| Quick Release
| Spirit Level
| Tension Control
| Tripod Mount Thread Size
||11 oz (317 g)
|A close up view of Bogen / Manfrotto's 484RC2 Mini Ballhead
with Rapid Connect 2 (Quick Release)
Bogen / Manfrotto's 484RC2 Mini Ballhead is not as mini is I expected.
From the base to the surface of the mounting plate, it stands just
short of 4" which will add that much more to the height of
the monopod, transforming the compact monopod into one that is
not so compact.
Except for the plastic (hard phenolic
resin) ball and the plastic ball release lever the rest of the
construction is metal. The ball housing is die cast aluminum with
the die marks and imperfections left intact (kinda' crude). It has
a durable matte black finish. The interior of the housing is precision
machined. The base is milled aluminum and it doesn't appear to have
any finish on it. The center of the base is tapped for 3/8"-16
die cast aluminum Rapid Connect (RC2), same finish as the housing,
is mounted to the ball with 3/8"-16 threads and locked in place
with an allen screw. The 3157N quick release plate is die cast anodized
aluminum with a non-slip rubber pad and even though it has holes
for a VHS (camcorder locator/positioning) pin, the pin is not included.
Probably because this product is targeted towards camera users.
| Using Bogen / Manfrotto's 484RC2 Mini Ballhead with Rapid
Connect 2 (Quick Release)
When I received the 484RC2 Mini Ballhead I didn't realize that
I would also need a 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 tripod reducer
bushing to make it work on the monopod... bummer. This item was
not available at the local hardware stores, so I had to order it
from the same place where I purchased the ballhead (B&H). While
I was there, I ordered some other stuff to defray the cost of shipping.
The 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 tripod reducer bushing was installed using
a compact, convenient, inexpensive tool... a coin.
To open the quick release lever, you'll need to rotate the safety
lever away from the plate. Once you pull out the quick release
lever fully, a pin pops up, lifting the quick release plate and
locking the release lever open. The use of this pop-up pin is a
nice feature and, unfortunately, is not incorporated in Bogen/Manfrotto's
Replacing the 3157N quick release plate by engaging the front, then
pushing down the back, will lower the pin and close the release
The safety lever is an important feature of the RC2 mechanism because
it will prevent accidental opening of the release lever.
The 3157N quick release plate is solid and fairly light.
It weighs just under an ounce, or about 4 quarters (US). There's
a slight recess (or indentation) on one side indicating the front
of the plate and there are two sets of recessed marks on the bottom
pointing to the direction of the lens. Number 1 is for cameras
and number 2 for camcorders.
What I like about the 3157N quick release plate is the thumb
screw. The thumb screw is steel with black chrome finish.
The head of the screw has a flip out D-ring, so you don't have
to worry about carrying around a screw driver, or making sure you
have coins in your camera bag.
Handling Bogen / Manfrotto's 484RC2 Mini Ballhead for the first
time, I discovered that my hands were covered in dark gray grease
and realized that the ball was thickly coated with that stuff.
I immediately washed my hands and, with a clean rag, wiped off
all the grease that covered the Mini Ballhead, although residue
remains on the ball.
Releasing the ball lever, you can swing/tilt the
camera 30 degrees left or right. There are slots on opposite
sides of the ball housing allowing you to tilt the camera 90 degrees
straight up or down, and shoot in vertical format. The action of
the ball, when there is slight tension, is fairly smooth but feels
as though the ball is a tad bit out-of-round. I'm not certain,
but maybe the action could have been smoother had I left the grease
on the ball? Just for comfort of mind, I covered the ball in ball
bearing grease, but the ball still feels out-of-round. Of course,
releasing the ball lever fully (less that 1/4 turn), the ball is
totally free. So the grease is out, again.
If you're not satisfied with the position of the ball lever, you
can rotate it to any position by pulling it slightly out, until
it is free. The pictures on the left shows the lever, in the locked
position, pointing up. Personally I like to have it locked in the
Adding a ballhead to a monopod greatly increases the versatility
of the monopod. Prior to the ballhead I was pretty much limited
to landscape photography although in some instances I have rotated
the camera with monopod attached, nearly causing injury and/or
The quality of Bogen / Manfrotto's 484RC2 Mini Ballhead is pretty
good and my one complaint is that the ball still feels slightly
out-of-round but, with the weight of the camera, you don't notice
it. The other minor complaint was the over abundance of grease that
The 484RC2 Mini Ballhead is small and light, but it does reduce the
compactness of my Velbon UP-40 monopod, but that's a sacrifice I'm
more than happy to make.
The quick release
definitely adds to the joy of using the monopod
because it's the same/similar mechanism on my
tripod and makes setting up the monopod that
much quicker. Now I can leave the 3157N quick release plate on the