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Review: FLM CB-48FTR Professional FT Series Ball Head



Overview : The FLM CB-48 FTR 1.8" Ball Head with Friction / Tilt has 3/8" bottom thread to attach to tripods or monopods and 1/4" & 3/8" connection thread for camera attachment or other specialist accessory. The FT (Friction / Tilt) series is based on the characteristics of the F series. The additional patented 'Neigen / Tilt' knob function isolates the Center ball so it can only be used in one vertical plane perpendicular to the Tilt knob.

The FTR is also fitted with the Rast-System PRS Pan click-lock knob for panorama shots. This allows you to obtain a perceptible and audible click-lock positioning every 15deg. in a horizontal plane for the shots being taken. It can be used with the FLM CP30 series tripods.

Features :
  • Maximum Load Capacity: 99.2 lb
  • Adjustable Friction
  • 360° Panning
  • Patented Tilt Function
  • PRS System for Panoramas
  • Made in Germany
Technical Specifications :
  • Type: Centerball
  • Ball diameter (mm): 48
  • Camera socket (inch): 1/4 = 0.64cm
  • Bottom thread (inch): 3/8 = 0.95cm
  • Dimensions (mm): 65 diameter x 99 height
  • Weight (g): 593
  • Max. Load (kg): 45

Quality/Usability : Finding a decent ball head can get overwhelming because there are just so many on the market. Sometimes, the ball heads that come with a tripod are OK but they can be better or if you buy a tripod that doesn't have a ball head, you'll want to pair it up with something that will do the job.

My old Manfrotto 494RC did its job but now that I've upgraded my gear, it can no longer support my gear. Having owned a friction ball head for quite sometime, I've become in love with them. Not only can it support my gear but the flexibility and control that it has is what I love about them.

When I saw FLM at PhotoPlus Expo, I saw their line of ball heads, I was intrigued and thought I would give it a try.


CB-48 FTR FLM Ball Head is a is a professional tripod head with adjustable friction lock, patented tilt function, panoramic base and PRS system for panoramic shots. It has 3/8“ bottom thread to attach to tripods or monopods and on the reverse side of the screw is a 1/4” connection thread for camera attachment or other specialist accessory.


The FTR is based on the characteristics of the F series with the Friction locking knob. In addition to this, the patented ‘Neigen / Tilt’ knob function isolates the Centerball so it can only be used in varying vertical planes as a 2-way tilt unit only. If this function is disabled, the ball can once again be adjusted in all directions.

The FTR is also fitted with the 'Pan Rast-System' - PRS knob - This Pan click-lock knob is ideal for panorama shots as it allows you to obtain a perceptible and audible click-lock positioning every 15° in a horizontal plane for the shots being taken.

If you are looking for a ball head with more features, such as: no friction lock, no panoramic base, tilt lock and panoramic audible click-lock positioning, then also available in the 24mm to 58mm ball diameter size:

E = non-friction lock (CB-38 E model)
F = Friction lock (CB-38 F model)
FT = Friction & Tilt lock (CB-38 FT model)


The SRB-60 quick release clamp shown above is sold separately but can be purchased with the clamp. This was already attached on our review unit.

For panorama shots, if you want a perceptible and audible click-lock positioning every 15° in a horizontal plane for the shots being taken, then the FTR ball head will be better suited for you as it is fitted with the 'Pan Rast-System' - PRS knob to facilitate this.


With all the knobs on the CB-48FT series, hopefully this video will help you understand the ball head and the functions of each knob even more.

The camera was attached to a FLM QRP-70 Quick Release Plate, mounted onto a FLM CP30-M4S Carbon Fiber Tripod.


Conclusion : Overall, the FLM CB-48FTR Professional FT Series Ball Head is a heavy durable ball head. Yes, there are so many knobs but each have a purpose and they do it well. I love friction lock ball heads. They're flexible in a way that you can adjust the how much to turn to tighten and how loose you want the ball head to move around. The panning is fluid and smooth. It's also very durable at holding a heavy gear in portrait mode (vertical). The price can be a bit pricey but I feel its worth every penny if you can afford it.




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