So yesterday I had a client for the day and we went out to a location I really like to cover the basics of exposure. I'd brought my tripod and Arca Swiss B1 ball head - which I might stress, has been sitting on a shelf for the past 6 years because I found it too heavy for traveling with.
It worked in the house; I was able to demonstrate how it worked, got in the car, got to the location and found that the tensioning dial on it was completely locked, while the ball is completely free.
I've tried everything in my power to unlock the dial, but I'm still left with a ball that flops around and is now completely useless.
Why I'm writing this post, is because I don't rate reviewers or review sites. If you look through the web, all you'll find is site after site saying how terrific this ball head is, and then go on to say that it has a problem with locking up, as if it's a tiny, inconsequential issue. Stinking reviews, where clearly the author hasn't done his homework, has copied stuff from other reviews and has probably only lived with the item in question for a few days (if that).
I met someone once who wrote for gardening journals. He told me he wrote reviews to which I asked him "Do you ever write a bad review?". His answer was "no", because I'd never get anything else to review ever again.
It's like critics of plays, books, music..... why listen to some complete stranger about their view point, when you don't even know if they've written any books, music or plays. Same with reviewers of camera gear.... if they don't show you some stellar images to back up their reputation, I wouldn't listen to them.
This Arca Swiss Ball Head has a major flaw, and it's not something I would be prepared to live with if I were away from home. A locked up ball head in the middle of Bolivia, or even after a 4 hour car journey into the Highlands of Scotland is unacceptable.