SCV Flip Kit.
Flip your head to resemble Arca-Swiss P0.
Will convert most heads where the clamp is attached via
5mm, 6mm , 1/4" or 3/8" screw
& has a 3/8" threaded hole.
8 piece kit:
Aluminum base: 50mm diameter.
Stainless steel 5mm screw.
Stainless steel 1/4" screw.
Stainless steel 6mm screw.
Stainless steel 3/8" bushing.
Stainless steel 3/8" male / male adapter: 40mm diameter
2 x Stainless steel Allen wrenches
Works with all Sunwayfoto heads Including:
DB-44, DB-44DL, DB-44DDH3, DB-52, DB-52DL, DB-52LR,
FB-44, FB-44DL, FB-44DDH2, FB-44DDHI,
XB-44, XB-44DL, XB-44DDH2, XB-52, XB-52DL, XB-52DDHI
Designed by Sotiris Vlachos. Visit him at: scvphotoideas dot com
Please note. No head or clamp is included. They are shown for illustration only.
4.2 x 2.6 x 0.8 inches
Item model number
The kit allows a normal double action ball head tripod mount to be inverted. Why? The ball head has a damped rotator at the bottom for panning, with the ball mounted above it. For panoramic shots, a rotator that can be leveled is required. By inverting the ball head, the ball can be used to quickly level the rotator above it. A "nodal slide" is clamped to the ball head so a panorama with no parallax can be generated by panning. This is a very light weight panorama kit, only a couple of ounces more than the tripod itself. It might also be useful for panning video shots, where a leveled pan is desired. This kit is a true bargain at the price. For me, it replaces a quick leveling head and damped rotating clamp that together cost many times the kit price, did not work as well and is heavier.
The kit should work for many different ball heads. Mine is a Benro B0, sold as part of a travel tripod kit, and the Flip Kit works fine with it. For this Benro B0, the two adapter plates are not needed. The narrow screw that attaches the base to the ballhead was a bit of a tight fit into the base, but worked OK. Assembly took well under 1/2 hour. There were no instructions with the kit, but the correct assembly is pretty clear. Be careful to match thread types for your ball head--this is why there are different bolts. The result is solid, although the base in the kit is a bit wider than optimal for the Benro B0. With the ballhead inverted, the tripod still fits (a bit snugly) into its carrying case. The ballhead still works fine as a ballhead in addition to its new capabilities as a quick leveler for a panorama mount.
I use this rig with an Olympus OMD EM-1 MFT camera, with a 7.5 mm Rokinon fisheye or a Olympus 12-40 F2.8 lens and a RRS ARCA L bracket for the camera. With the "L" bracket, portrait orientation panoramas with the fisheye cover all but the tripod legs and a small patch of sky. I use 2 different nodal clamps, one of 120 mm and another that started out as a 100mm nodal clamp, but was cut down to keep the end of the clamp out of the panorama when using the 7.5mm lens. The Nodal slides were purchased from Amazon/OEC Camera Accessories--a seller I recommend highly.
The stability of the rig appears to be great, and test panoramas are clean and stitch perfectly. The Flip Kit Invert adapter is about 55mm (2.25") wide, so should fit larger base tripods and more robust ballheads well, and support larger and heavier cameras and lenses easily.
Unfortunately,this doesn't work on a Dolica ball head. I gave it five stars because it's a valiant attempt, and not really Desmond's fault it doesn't fit Dolica's gear. I don't expect them to test it with every manufacturer out there, although would be nice if they had at least a partial list of confirmed successes and fails...although more reviews would serve tha purpose as well.
Once you remove the Dolica quick release mount, you have the extension from the ball head it fits on. These have two prongs, which fit into the black plastic piece in the kit (or another quick release plate). The prongs on the Dolica, however, are too long for this kit: once you use the screw included in the kit to fasten down the black disk, the screw head will contact the prongs instead of the base of the black plastic disk, and therefore the connection remains floppy and unstable and unusable.
Not Desmond's fault, and they do include a bunch of screws in an attempt to fit most ball heads. And Dolica's ball heads already have an Arca-type head that isn't Arca compatible. Also, the product picture shows a small disk that looks like rubber; that wasn't included in my kit, although it may not be necessary anyway.
If you're willing to, you might be able to grind down the prongs on the ball head, but I didn't, and don't know if that would make it more unstable when used with another quick release. I'm keeping the kit because I may be able to use it with another ball head, or may try the modification, or repurpose the hardware. There aren't any standards for tripod hardware, so perhaps the best bet is to pair this with one of Desmond's ball heads (or SunwayPhotos, as pictured), which are highly regarded, or use it as a basis for some DIY work.
This little kit works perfectly for what it was designed for. I'd really like to give it 4.5 stars or a 90%. Amazon says 4 stars means "I like it" and I do like it and will happily use it. I was going to just give it 4 stars, but for the price, I think that bumps it up closer to 5.
The only complaint is that I don't like to leave my ball head set up that way permanently, and that was a surprise. The inverted ball head is not very pleasant to use as a regular ball head with this kit installed, because the friction knob is now on the upper part of the head rather than the lower part. The head then becomes less stable and it can be harder to lock exactly where you want it.
That said, it's far and away the least expensive way to get a solid panoramic head, and the only thing you're really compromising on is a little convenience. Bravo. If you don't mind taking your tripod head apart and reconfiguring it (~5-10 minutes) to go back and forth, or if you can dedicate one of Desmond's inexpensive but VERY nice ball heads for use taking panoramas (and they also have some really nice-looking nodal rails that will help for relatively little money) then this is a great kit for you.
And to be fair, if like me, panoramas are something you only do quite rarely, there's nothing that can do better than this kit without spending many times the cost of this kit.
I've exchanged some support messages with OEC and Desmond, the distributor and manufacturer, regarding other products. They're friendly and responsive. I sort of think they may be the same company, but I have no problem with that.
I have no intentions of buying a Sunwayfoto ball head. But I will use some of the components to temporarily invert my big Markins ball head. The double stud adapter will come in handy for some other uses.