The Really Right Stuff BH-55 (on the right in the comparison pictures) is another excellent ballhead that is often compared to the Arca-Swiss ballheads. I’ve used both (BH-55 and B1) about equally for the last year and can say that I’d be very happy with either. The RRS BH-55 is shorter (3.65″/85.4mm vs 4″/101.6mm) but wider and about 7 oz (198g) heavier at 1.96 lb (889g). The BH-55 main friction knob is most notably larger but the entire head is beefier (see the top-view photo above for a comparison that shows this best). The BH-55’s load capacity is rated at a much lower but seemingly far more conservatively at 50 lbs (23kg). I still would not want to handle this much load on a ballhead. ? ?RRS does not cut corners in manufacturing and insures their products look great as well as work great, but the price is a differentiator that shows this. The RRS BH-55 design (appearance) including laser engraved index markings and classy-looking knobs is a notch above the Z1 (which is nice). Really Right Stuff’s Lever Lock quick release plate is nicer than the Arc Swiss equivalent but requires Wimberley or RRS brand plates (though these are the best anyway in my opinion). The Z1 uses an elliptical ball whereas the BH-55 uses a spherical ball. The BH-55’s knobs are a higher grade than the Z1’s. The Z1 knobs are all near the same location on the same side while the RRS head places them on opposite sides. The BH-55 sports a more-matte finish but also shows marks (fingernails, sticks …) more easily. The BH-55 has two drop notches giving you a choice of two positions for the knobs when using a notch. The location of the drop notches are different as well – I think the BH-55 has a small advantage – especially when shooting downward. ? ?In real use, I find the RRS BH-55 to slip/stick when making fine adjustments at a tight friction setting while the Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead remains smooth. The BH-55 is otherwise very consistent and repeatable. I also find the Z1 to lock tight with very little effort while the BH-55’s main knob gets consistently tighter as the ball locks. My personal preference on this point is for the Z1, but you could just as easily prefer the additional pressure feedback provided by the BH-55. As I said before, I could be very happy with either ballhead. READ FULL REVIEW AT DigitalPicture.com
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