There was a problem. The main function of any tripod head … It can cope extremely well with most types of shoot and I’ve reviewed that particular head elsewhere on this site here. The separate fore-aft tilt motion also adds a degree of stability not present on a typical ball head, and though the tilt knob releases both the tilt mechanism and the ball, you can tilt without releasing the ball as the locking knob disengages the tilt element first. Vanguard’s chunky, rubber covered locking knobs are all very easy to grip, though the conventional friction adjustment dial isn’t quite as tactile as Manfrotto’s clicky design. A geared tripod head is a really precision piece of engineering designed for studio work, but also sometimes used outdoors for landscape or architectural photography. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ESTImportant message about Covid-19​​​​​​​, © 1996-2020 Vitec Imaging Solutions SpaVitec Imaging Distribution Inc120 East Main Street, Box # 379, Ramsey, NJ 07446 USA, Get in touch with the latest news from Manfrotto, Photography Studio setup: how to do it professionally, How to set up your studio for portrait photography, Heads Up: Tripod Heads and Which to Choose, Food photography: Buying backdrops and surfaces, Stylish Camera Bags and Backpacks for Shutterbugs, Urban Photography: How to Choose the Right iPhone Accessories, Interior design photography tips about lighting and more, How to take professional photos at home | Manfrotto, What is still life photography? Pan and tilt heads come in various types, then there are ball heads, pistol grip heads, panoramic heads, fluid heads, video pan heads, geared heads and not forgetting the wildlife photographer’s favourite- the gimbal head. The longer you hold the camera by hand, the more shake becomes a problem too with video, (and stills for that matter). There are no such niggles with the silky pan base, and we like the well-positioned bubble level alongside the Arca-compatible mounting plate. Try one and you will immediately see how much easier they are for getting really smooth pans and camera movements. 1/4'' attachment type Attachment (top) 1/4'' attachment type Color black color Material aluminum + steel Safety payload 6.61 lbs. It’s to be expected though, as the head comes from Gitzo’s pro-orientated Series 5 range, and is rated to support 12kg. These specialised heads are really intended for photographers using big, heavy and unwieldy long lenses. If you team up the right head with some suitable legs, it will be a pleasure to use and produce great results for many years to come. A great tripod head to start with is something like my favourite- a ball head. I have a relatively good tripod (secure enough for me), but the friction knob is very weird. Peak Design Travel Tripod. Up top is Manfrotto’s excellent Top Lock camera mounting plate that maintains Arca-Swiss compatibility and uses a simple yet secure release method. Our only niggle is the ball's locking lever becomes increasingly difficult to engage when additional friction is applied. Two heads are better than one, but when it comes to tripod heads there are so many different types to choose from. Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod MKBFRLA4BK-BH Befree Travel Tripod. To adjust drag, first clamp the ball, then loosen the friction dial on the end of the locking knob to gradually release the ball and set optimal friction. This tripod is kitted out with Manfrotto’s advanced 496 aluminium Centre ball head (MH496-BH), a portable yet powerful and intuitive head that allows smooth and precise camera movement. SIRUI K-X Series Ball Head - SIRUI's unique locking mechanism for guaranteed precision and safety. The AirHed Pro is the firm's flagship ballhead, able to handle a whopping 40kg of kit (really more than you're ever likely to need) without issue. A tripod head shouldn’t be considered in isolation. It is the same knob that allows you to remove the head from the bottom of the base. There is absolutely no point putting a big heavy video head for instance on a flimsy set of tripod legs. Size aside, this head operates very smoothly, and it sports Manfrotto’s lever-style locking knobs that are easier to tighten than most round knob designs. The head feels strong for the price - far from the kind of plasticky rubbish you might expect. While you may well be aware that you need a decent tripod in your kit bag, you may not have realised just how much you can improve your shooting with the addition of a high-quality ball head. That's not necessarily bad, but you need to know the difference when you're shopping for … A pistol grip head gunning for your attention, Max load: 6kg | Weight: 790g | QR plate: Arca-compatible. This wheel enables you to match the weight of your camera or lens. Before we get to the list, though, a little background would probably be helpful fo… The amount of value you get with this shoestring-budget ball head is seriously impressive. The best ball heads offer great stability and smoothness, are super-simple to use, and are easily portable, • Best pan and tilt tripod heads Price: $130. Benro B2. Fancy ball heads also tend to offer smoother panning movement, and will likely also have better quick-release mechanisms on their tops, often based on the universal Arca-Swiss mount standard. This makes it easy to get smooth moving shots when recording video. 10% coupon applied at checkout Save 10% with coupon. The 057 Magnesium Ball Head is built around a whopping 65mm-diameter ball, though unsurprisingly this does come with a penalty, as at 1.3kg the 057 head is easily twice as heavy as even a high-spec ball head of more conventional proportions. 0.45kg. - Thursday. This results in … Kaiser Professional Ball-and-Socket Head: With a load capacity of 17.6 lbs, this head features a lever screw to clamp the ball, along with adjustable friction brake to preset friction and a rotating pan base with fluid system; 3⁄8” tripod thread with 1⁄4” adapter; weight: 1 Ib, 4 oz. A quality ball coating and socket lining should alleviate this. If you have set it up right then it should be easy to stitch together the results into a seamless panorama. You can vary the friction so that it’s easier to achieve very slow pans with it damped right down, or backed off for a faster whip pan. The handle helps your counterbalance the weight of a heavier lens that doesn't have its own tripod mounting foot, and it can be useful when panning video, or shooting stills for stitched panoramas. • Best gimbal heads for tripods The oversized quick release mounting plate and release lever offer unmatched ease of use, as do the large diameter pan and tilt locking knobs, both of which exude luxury. Since there is no friction resistance, I assume the friction knob is stuck in the open position and should be movable in the "increase friction" direction. But what you lose in portability, you gain in usability. The 303SPH is a superbly engineered head and although it does look complicated, it’s really quite quick and simple to set up once you get used to it. Such a hefty payload capacity does mean this isn’t the most portable option, tipping the scales at 600g and measuring 119mm tall, but the overall shape is slim and should sit comfortably within a tripod with flip-up legs. A beginner's guide, Food Photography: Guide to Buying the Best Products, Camera Bags for Women: The Perfect Gift Idea for Her, Travel Pictures, 4 Accessories to Take the Best Ones, The importance of lighting in product photography: The setup, Summer is Here! And the general build of the tripod and the head are beautiful. Ball tripod heads have a rotating ball that lets you set your camera in almost all imaginable positions, giving you the most flexibility. Manfrotto MHXPRO3W X-PRO 3-Way Tripod Head with Retractable Levers. At 14.2cm tall and weighing in at a hefty 1kg, the Gitzo Series 5 Off Centre Ball Head is quite a beast. $89.99 Used. If you are not interested in the multiple angle option and you want to restrict your camera movement to two axes, then… Build quality also feels reassuringly robust, although on close inspection we did spot they grey finish wearing slightly thin around the friction knob of our test sample. Technical Specifications: Arm length 5.91 in Attaches by. Travel tripods that close with their legs flipped back to surround the head will require a slimline ball housing and top plate, otherwise legs could get splayed…. While you can lock or unlock the pan and tilt, the fluid head also features “drag” which controls how much friction there is when panning or tilting. One lever controls the movement in each of the axes and therefore offers more individual control of up and down tilt, and side to side tilt. Benro’s B2 is one of the best value for money … Integrated heads are built directly onto the tripod legs, reducing the cost of the tripod system. The panorama head is a unique feature where you unscrew the head from the legs, also unscrewing the camera mounting plate from the top of the tripod. © At the base of the handle is a 2.5mm socket, which can link the trigger to your camera's remote shutter input (Nikon N1 and Canon N3 cables are supplied). This head disassembles and also folds to make it easier to transport. The Gitzo 2 Way Fluid Head is an extremely compact fluid head with an essential, ergonomic design comprehensive of many technical … The unusual off-centre ball positioning allows for a much greater range of movement than a conventional ball head, especially if you want to shoot straight up or down. This head is essentially a sturdy platform that rests on top of your tripod legs with a screw on top to hold your camera. $32.90 $ 32. It's an extraordinary piece of kit that does everything you need from a ball head and more, and while it is definitely more expensive than other contenders on this list, we'd add that the AirHed 360 represents absolutely fantastic value for money. I’ve known professional photographers use pistol grip heads to support cameras fitted with big heavy lenses, but generally speaking they are not meant for such heavy duty uses. Cheaper ball heads can present other problems too, they may have fiddly or unreliable controls and mechanisms that slow you down or represent a hazard to your gear. (See the video above which fully explains all these features.) Whilst I sometimes use a video fluid head for stills, these and the fluid-effect heads are really meant for video use. It does, however, work extremely well on a sturdy tripod and that is where you will find most people using this system. Built to a very high quality and with rubber hand grips, perfect for working the mount in all weathers, the 393 Gimbal head comes complete with a quick release plate which locks in place to prevent accidental movement. The size of the tilt knob also helps you to dial in just the right amount of friction. Another unusual feature is the red selector that switches the amount of portrait angle from 90° to 105° for extra framing versatility. Then whenever the ball is clamped, this degree of drag is maintained. Many photographers unknowingly use heads that are really "fluid-like" and actually are friction heads that use a series of plastic washers to smooth the movements. 201.818.9500 Monday. The VEO 2 BH-50 head that comes in the kit is also much better than you’ll find on most other lightweight tripods. Material: Aluminum. This ensures the camera is in the right place for perfect overlaps with no parallax errors. Are they actually better, and which one is best? A winning tripod ball head that nails the basics, Max load: 10kg | Weight: 520g | QR plate: Arca-compatible. At its heart is a fairly large ball for good stability, and its grease-free polymer housing enables exceptionally smooth movement, even with a lot of friction applied. Because they employ clever engineering and are designed to last for years and years of constant use without any problems. The trouble with applying friction is some balls can start to stick, resulting in jerky movement and framing frustration. There is absolutely no point putting a big heavy video head for instance on a flimsy set of tripod legs. • Best panoramic tripod heads A friction arm mounted on a tripod with a dedicated port can off-load some of that weight from the ball head to the hip of the tripod. - Rugged metal To get realty serious support for long lens wildlife and sports photography, it’s best to move to a gimbal head. Manfrotto 057 Magnesium Ball Head with Top Lock plate, Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head with Top Lock plate, Benro Low-Profile Triple Action Ball Head (G2), Gitzo GH5750QR Series 5 Magnesium Off Centre Head with Quick Release, Manfrotto MH057M0-Q6 057 Magnesium Ball Head with Top Lock Quick Release, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, More film is dead – Fujifilm discontinues Pro 400H color negative 35mm and 120, $49,900 Fujinon Premista 19-45mm T/2.9 lens available from 28 January, Best ever SIM only deal for Instagram! Manfrotto legs have easy attachment to the heads and locking screws to stop the head shifting around- make sure you tighten these properly! These use a plate locking device to firmly hold the camera in place or at the touch of a button and/or a lever, release it fast for hand holding the camera or switching to another lens or camera. Variable head friction caters for all loads. Fold away handles, fine adjustment and control for the ultimate in exact framing. A tripod head is the part of a tripod system that attaches the supported device to the tripod legs, and allows the orientation of the device to be manipulated or locked down. By adding a handle you get significantly more leverage and control when adjusting your camera, compared to holding it directly. The friction control part is just the first few degrees of the turn. What follows is a rundown of tripod head options. Regulate the power of the blocking mechanism with the friction control wheel. Manfrotto make the X-Pro ball head which is one of the most compact types of head available. Added to the mix is also the type or types of uses and also a very important consideration- personal preference. I used the Manfrotto 303SPH on a set of 058B legs for the header photo on this article which shows Harringworth viaduct, the longest masonry viaduct in Britain. I have used the 393 with the Manfrotto 190 Tripod and have found this setup a good and stable mount for my Canon 1D Mk1v and 500mm f/4 L IS lens and it has rewarded me with many wildlife images in low light situations where I wouldn’t have been able to get as sharp and well tracked shots without such a stable system. The best camera for beginners in 2021: perfect cameras for learning photography. Legs matter. 3. Camera & phone accessories for today’s content creators, High performance camera bags for every climate and condition, Carbon fibre tripods and high quality photo supports, Innovative video gear for independent filmmakers, Professional microphone windshields and shock mounts, Reliable grip gear for on-set, studio or location photos, Backgrounds and lighting control for studio and on location, Photography background and products for professionals, Camera bags and backpacks to embrace nature and culture, Carbon compound cleaning pens to remove fingerprints & dust, High-tech video stabilization for cameras & mobile phones. The main attraction with the Benro G2 is its compactness, being just 88mm from base to mounting plate, and the head’s 530g mass maintains this portability. Be warned they can be very expensive. This works well when there is more time and is probably more geared to studio use than for outdoors where I personally prefer a ball head. The Manfrotto 393 heavy telephoto lens support was produced as an ideal support for long lenses on a Monopod. Mount a hefty full-frame body fronted by a long lens and you’ll want a ball head to be stiffer than if it was loaded with a featherweight mirrorless set-up. The reason is the very precise control they allow. You can mount your friction arm to a tripods, bars or other tools using a Clamp and configure it as per your needs attaching a flash, LED light or LCD monitor. Should you be rocking a huge DSLR and telephoto lens, such a stout head does feel more stable than a typical ball head, but the difference isn’t obvious enough to compensate for carrying such a hefty lump. Sometimes I use a video head for a specialist still photo- an upwards pan during a slow exposure for instance like this one. Peak Design’s Travel Tripod is their latest Kickstarter backed project. The reduced height of this tripod head keeps its weight close to the centre of gravity. A ball so gargantuan it practically has its own gravity field, Max load: 1kg | Weight: 1300g | QR plate: Arca-compatible. On the latter subject, it is possible to spend well over a thousand pounds just on one heavy duty professional head. So you need to bear in mind that the tripod legs should be a good match for the head.A panoramic head for instance is going to be pretty useless without a heavy duty and solid platform to attach it too. My Tripods and Tripod HEads Whether your tripod is perched atop a steep sand dune, or partially submerged in a flowing river, it is important to have full confidence in your tripod and head combo. A pistol grip head works similarly to ball heads; however, instead of a knob to loosen the ball, it has a pistol grip. Thank you for signing up to Digital Camera World. There is absolutely no point putting a big heavy video head for instance on a flimsy set of tripod legs. How to shoot cinematic videos: secrets from the best in-class, How to shoot food videos: pro tips for food commercials | Manfrotto, How to make a stop motion video like a pro | Manfrotto, Manfrotto 393 heavy telephoto lens support. They are very easy to use and quickly lock the camera into position. Best value for money tripod head. Induro DM01 Ball head with Really Right Stuff 60MM LEVER RELEASE CLAMP The Induro DM-01 Ballhead is a professional-level ball head that offers a maximum range of control. While a tripod will generally come with a head bundled in as standard, these tend to be rather basic, and you can get a lot more performance and value from a ball head by shopping around. Digital Camera World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Rubber knob coatings and lever designs can really help. So what to look for in a ball head? Benro B2. Manfrotto Tripods & Monopods for Manfrotto Cameras. Well, while compactness and lightweight build may be key considerations for those concerned with how much they'll be carrying around all day, if you're planning to support a DSLR or CSC mirrorless camera with a sizeable lens attached, using a ball head that's too small can be risky. Great for maximum movement, and a biceps workout, Max load: 12kg | Weight: 1000g | QR plate: proprietary. Modular or stand-alone tripod heads can be used on a wide range of tripods, allowing the user to choose which type of head best suits their needs. A Travel Photography Buying Guide, Spectra LED Lights: Your Portable Sun Everywhere, Photography studio equipment for beginners: the definitive list, Photography for Beginners: A Camera Bag Buying Guide, 5 Tips to Help You Buy the Right Camera Lens Filters, Gifts for Photographers: The Definitive Guide. Lock in Your Camera with Precision and Security. GuruShots: winning photographs from the Your Magazine Shot competition, The best camera for streaming on Twitch, Mixer and Facebook Live, The best dash cam in 2021: constant protection for you and your vehicle. Moman Tripod Fluid Drag Pan Head with Handle and 1/4 Quick Release, Lightweight 3-Ways Panning Ball Head with 22 lb Payload for Tripod Monopod, Slider, DSLR Cameras and Light Stands. I use a manfrotto 498rc2 ball head and the 322 and I also screw the HOG/PIG direct onto the tripod on occasion, it depends on what I am doing, room in my ruck and if I need pan/tilt options. Special version of the Befree Advanced Lever dedicated to all Sony α camera users who want maximum performance and stability in all shooting positions. The two knobs that turn are amazingly silky--silkier than even most lenses. While the 410 junior geared head is reasonably priced and can support a camera and lens combo up to 5kg, a heavier duty head like the Manfrotto 405 will be close to £500. Although the ball at the heart of the the GH-300T isn't particularly large, the extra leverage offered by the handle easily compensates, and helps keep subtle movements smooth, even when lots of friction is applied. SIRUI L-20s Monopod Head With Panning Base 180 Degree Tilt Sul20s W/ 4.8 out of 5 stars (13) Total Ratings 13, With low friction, the relatively large, polished blue ball moves very smoothly, but up the friction and the ball’s glossy surface can cause it to stick slightly when attempting to make small compositional adjustments. … Remember the longer the lens, the more chance of shake and I’d almost always use the tripod with it’s fluid head or a monopod to support my camera for shots on a lens longer than 100mm. So it's time to upgrade, but to be intelligent about your choice. Here I’m going to talk to about the pro, cons and differences between pan & tilt and ball heads on tripods. Build quality also feels reassuringly robust, although on close inspection we did spot they grey finish wearing slightly thin around the … They come with a locking screw that sets the camera in place. The dual tension adjustment knobs clamp up to a 600mm lens and camera setup very well and with a panning friction base, the photographer is able to pan and follow subjects with ease. The relatively compact quick release top plate helps with this, yet it still sports two useful, easily visible bubble levels, and maintains Arca compatibility. It’s not the strongest head on this list, nor the most sophisticated, but in terms of sheer value for money, the Neewer Metal Tripod Head is pretty much unbeaten. Perfect alignment of the camera and exact composition can be achieved much more easily with a geared head, like the new Manfrotto XPRO Geard head. The magnesium construction is rated to support 10kg: enough for almost any full-frame set-up, yet the head tips the scales at a reasonable 520g. Vanguard Alta BH-300 Ball Head – Best Professional Tripod Head. A tripod head shouldn’t be considered in isolation. Another budget-friendly option, this head offers smooth movement and generous capacity, Max load: 8kg | Weight: 445g | QR plate: 1/4-inch. It's well-constructed and able to handle a payload of up to 8kg, which is more than enough for most serious setups. A quick release on these tripod heads is pretty much a necessity when I shoot with them. We'd say the trick is to pick a head with a larger ball diameter: around 40-50mm is a sweet spot for providing extra stability while maintaining portability. Any fluid cartridge, whether it's used in a tripod or a monopod head, or even at the base of a monopod for its feet, will dampen the effects of camera movement. Almost gone. You will receive a verification email shortly. 90 $35.90 $35.90. Depending on the type or types of photography you do, it will affect your choices. Friction knob is conveniently located on the main locking knob. Although they tend not to come as cheap as other options, 3 Legged Thing's ball heads and tripods have a reputation for exceptional carrying capacity and stability. You then screw the camera mounting plate on the bottom of the head and screw the reassembled head back onto the tripod legs. It's well-deserved. If you're not careful, your whole setup could come tumbling down and risk breaking your camera or lens! Friction system could be more finessed It's inexpensive for a big-brand tripod head, but the Alta BH-300 is still rated to support a whopping 30kg of kit. 3 … Precision engineered for maximum capacity and flexibility, Max load: 40kg | Weight: 323g | QR plate: Arca-compatible. To make that decision a little easier, we've picked seven of our favorites across a range of prices. Clamping your ball and pan movement with locking knobs that aren’t grippy enough can result in unwanted camera movement. Tripod heads come in a bewildering selection of sizes, shapes and costs. The three way heads have another disadvantage for me when using them out and about in the countryside. When you let go of the trigger it locks the ball joint at that position. You’ve got three adjustment knobs, a quick-release plate (though not Arca-compatible) and vertical/horizontal spirit levels for accurate setup an shooting. Weight 0.49 lbs. You want something with decent reliability and functionality, but also not to be weighed down too much. Visit our corporate site. It comes with an integrated 360-degree clamp that allows for smooth panning even on bumpy terrain, and its quick-release plate is Arca-Swiss compatible. Gitzo Series 5 Off Center Ball Head GH5750QR, 7. • Best geared tripod heads 5 out of 5 stars (23) Total Ratings 23, 100% agree - Would recommend. A panoramic head for instance is going to be pretty useless without a heavy duty and solid platform to attach it too. Bath Base Diameter: 2.2 … Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head with Top Lock plate, 5. Two product options are available: the standard AirHed Pro which has a knob to release the QR plate from the head, and there's the AirHed Pro Lever which, you;ve guessed it, uses a lever release instead. The top plate is surrounded by three individual bubble levels for precision camera levelling, and they’re all viewable with your camera mounted. There is some crossover in the capabilities of many tripod heads. The Arca-Swiss quick-release mounting standard is great for maintaining interchangeable compatibility with other tripod heads, but some manufacturers still stick to proprietary designs. Advanced photographers and videographers may find themselves surprised by how well this head works for the money. Click For Latest Price. $109.95. With literally hundreds of models on the market, though, choosing the best ball head for your budget and needs can be a confusing process. 4.4 out of 5 stars 75. 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