August 30, 2014

Sunwayfoto FB-Series Mk II Lightweight Ball Heads Preview

Sunwayfoto FB Series MK II Overview
Originally announced in the P&E Show, in Beijing last April but only recently released in the market, are the Mark II versions of the Sunwayfoto FB Series ball heads.
More specifically the Mark II label concerns only the two larger models of the FB Series at the time being, the FB-36 and FB-44 which were introduced and previewed (Sunwayfoto FB Series Lightweight Ball Heads) two years ago.

Furthermore the Mk II versions feature the also recently released Sunwayfoto DDC Series QR Clamps with Long Knob previewed last May, as standard.

FB Series Mk II VS Original FB Series
Besides the clamps, which as you may read in its preview offers a longer screw knob shaft and a different, more accurate, bubble level suspension method, there exist some more differences between the Mk II version bodies when compared with their predecessors.

Sunwayfoto FB-36II with DDC-42i Screw Knob clamp
While the new Sunwayfoto FB-36 Mk II body shell seems the same compared with its predecessor, design changes on the Main lock and Pan lock knobs are most evident. The grip on their perimeter follows the finer groove pattern of the new QR clamp screw knob.
Further, the laser engraved panning scale seems quite dimmer than the previous and is relocated on the panning base ring itself, instead of on the body shell  as with the original design. In this case the Panning scale index mark was also relocated on the body and its shape was changed from a Φ into an inverted Δ.
Sunwayfoto FB-36 with DDC-42 Screw Knob clamp
Obvious on the former model are the short screw knob clamp and the bubble level relocation holes on all sides of the clamp. The large grooves on the lock knobs and the panning base which were a Sunwayfoto standard have gone.
Nevertheless, in my opinion most of the changes concerning the ball head bodies are more cosmetic than functional, since all specs remain the same. On top of that there was no specific announcement or reasoning behind these design changes from Sunwayfoto's marketing department.

The FB-36 Mark II Ball Head

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:FB-36II    FB-36IIDDHiFB-36IIDL  
Ball Diameter :36 mm36 mm36 mm
Base Diameter :48 mm48 mm48 mm
Height:83 mm87 mm87 mm
Height:94 mm96 mm93 mm
Net Weight:310* gr323 gr328 gr
Max Load:18 kg18 kg18 kg
Mounting Thread:3/8"-163/8"-163/8"-16

*Original FB-36 was 325 gr

Each of the updated Mk II version comes in three flavors. :)

Sunwayfoto FB-36II with DDC-42i Screw Knob clamp
Starting with Sunwayfoto FB-36II combined with the DDC-42i Screw Knob clamp is the classic and most economic solution.
Sunwayfoto FB-36IIDDHi with DDH-02i Panning clamp
Next comes the Sunwayfoto FB-36IIDDHi combined with the improved DDH-02i Panning clamp (preview) offers a leveled panning solution.
Sunwayfoto FB-36IIDL with DLC-42 Duo Lever/Knob clamp
And last the Sunwayfoto FB-36IIDL combined with the DLC-42 Duo Lever/Knob clamp (review) offers a versatile solution for quick exchange of gear equipped with Arca style plates via the lever release but also easy regulation of clamp width for different makes of plates.

The FB-44 Mark II Ball Head

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:FB-44II    FB-44IIDDHi FB-44IIDL  
Ball Diameter :44 mm44 mm44 mm
Base Diameter :55 mm55 mm55 mm
Height:94 mm96 mm93 mm
Net Weight:450 gr450 gr454 gr
Max Load:30 kg30 kg30 kg
Mounting Thread:3/8"-163/8"-163/8"-16

There are no design specific differences between the FB-44 Mk II and the FB-36 Mk II besides size, weight and consequently strength. The FB-44II comes also in three flavors.

Sunwayfoto FB-44II with DDC-50i Screw Knob clamp
The basic model consists of the Sunwayfoto FB-44II ball head combined with the DDC-50i Screw Knob clamp forming once again the most economic solution.
Sunwayfoto FB-44IIDDHi with DDH-02i Panning clamp
Same as with the FB-36IIDDHi comes the Sunwayfoto FB-44IIDDHi combined with the improved DDH-02i Panning clamp (preview).
Sunwayfoto FB-44IIDL with DLC-50 Duo Lever/Knob clamp
And last but not least the Sunwayfoto FB-44IIDL combined with the larger capacity DLC-50 Duo Lever/Knob clamp able to accommodate larger camera/lens combos. 
As soon as I will have any hands on experience with the ball heads and/or any further information from Sunwayfoto headquarters, I shall update accordingly.

I hope you found the information useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos by courtesy of Sunwayfoto ©2014

Price & Availability:
All FB-Series Mark II  Ball Heads are now available from Amazon or from eBay worldwide.

Referenced Articles:

Sunwayfoto New DDC Series QR Clamps with Long Knob - Preview

New Improved Sunwayfoto DDH-02i & DDH-03i Panning Clamps Preview

New Sunwayfoto FB Series Lightweight Ball Heads (July 2012)

Relevant Articles:

Sunwayfoto FB-36DDH Lightweight Ball Head Review

Sunwayfoto DLC-42 Duo Lever/Knob Quick Release Clamp Review

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