Designed to cover all your travel needs, no matter where the journey takes you. Manfrotto 244MINI 244 Mini Friction Arm with 1/4” attachments & 3/8’’ adapter. 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. A great tripod head to start with is something like my favourite- a ball head. This ensures the camera is in the right place for perfect overlaps with no parallax errors. 4.4 out of 5 stars 75. Why use one? I need the versatility to quickly get the video camera off the tripod for hand-held following shots, etc. Depending on the type or types of photography you do, it will affect your choices. Gitzo Series 5 Off Center Ball Head GH5750QR, 7. Vanguard Alta BH-300 Ball Head – Best Professional Tripod Head. But what you lose in portability, you gain in usability. Build quality also feels reassuringly robust, although on close inspection we did spot they grey finish wearing slightly thin around the … So what are the options? They come with a locking screw that sets the camera in place. So how do you match a tripod head to your photographic needs? This head is essentially a sturdy platform that rests on top of your tripod legs with a screw on top to hold your camera. It does, however, work extremely well on a sturdy tripod and that is where you will find most people using this system. 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. Find the entrance pupil of whichever lens you are using, match it up with the two axes of this spherical head and then enjoy another one of it’s features- adjustable notched settings as you rotate the camera. Be warned they can be very expensive. Make an Offer. As a result if I’m doing an interview I much prefer to work from the stable platform of the tripod and fluid head. Before we get to the list, though, a little background would probably be helpful fo… 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. Special version of the Befree Advanced Lever dedicated to all Sony α camera users who want maximum performance and stability in all shooting positions. Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head with Top Lock plate, 5. 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. It’s a facility I personally wouldn’t want to be without as there is nothing worse for me than the time wasted unscrewing a camera from a tripod and then having to laboriously re-thread it on again later. We went for the Top Lock system which is Arca-Swiss compatible, with the QR plate released using a simple but effective button. $119.99 New. 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…. Thank you for signing up to Digital Camera World. 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. The head feels strong for the price - far from the kind of plasticky rubbish you might expect. Even the much cheaper heads are designed to give years of use if looked after properly. And the general build of the tripod and the head are beautiful. Well, of course there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this and it may be that, like me, you need several different types of head for specific requirements. 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. 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. The Gitzo 2 Way Fluid Head is an extremely compact fluid head with an essential, ergonomic design comprehensive of many technical … 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. 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. The reason is the very precise control they allow. But it simply won't move. A tripod head shouldn’t be considered in isolation. The VEO 2 BH-50 head that comes in the kit is also much better than you’ll find on most other lightweight tripods. I used one of these for many years when I worked on local papers. 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. I have a relatively good tripod (secure enough for me), but the friction knob is very weird. $32.90 $ 32. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, • Best panoramic tripod heads If you're not careful, your whole setup could come tumbling down and risk breaking your camera or lens! The relatively compact quick release top plate helps with this, yet it still sports two useful, easily visible bubble levels, and maintains Arca compatibility. 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. Fold away handles, fine adjustment and control for the ultimate in exact framing. 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. Whilst I’ve tried them, I haven’t used these extensively-so I asked my friend, wildlife photographer Stuart Shore, why he uses one. Digital Camera World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. 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. 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. 90 $35.90 $35.90. This is the one to go for! Vanguard's collection of heads include ball heads, pan heads and grip heads. For me the XPro ball head is a great general purpose choice, but I also use other types as and when needed. SIRUI K-X Series Ball Head - SIRUI's unique locking mechanism for guaranteed precision and safety. The reduced height of this tripod head keeps its weight close to the centre of gravity. It’s to be expected though, as the head comes from Gitzo’s pro-orientated Series 5 range, and is rated to support 12kg. By adding a handle you get significantly more leverage and control when adjusting your camera, compared to holding it directly. 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. Two heads are better than one, but when it comes to tripod heads there are so many different types to choose from. Variable head friction caters for all loads. The pull and twist quick release system also strikes a good balance between speed and safety. Manfrotto MHXPRO3W X-PRO 3-Way Tripod Head with Retractable Levers. 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. 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. 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. You then screw the camera mounting plate on the bottom of the head and screw the reassembled head back onto the tripod legs. Price: $130. Peak Design Travel Tripod. A tripod head shouldn’t be considered in isolation. Among Gitzo's tripod heads, the Gitzo 2 Way Fluid Head provides the highest performance for birdwatchers and digiscopers with medium-size scopes, or for wildlife photographers and videographers using premium CSC or DSLR cameras with lenses up to 200mm. Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod MKBFRLA4BK-BH Befree Travel Tripod. Completing the pistol illusion is a small yellow trigger button. A pistol grip head gunning for your attention, Max load: 6kg | Weight: 790g | QR plate: Arca-compatible. Not only are they not quite as quick to set up, but also with three separate locking levers they are easier to snag on things when you are carrying them around without a case! 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? It is milled from aircraft-grade magnesium alloy, meaning it's not only strong but also lightweight, weighing just 323g. 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. To get realty serious support for long lens wildlife and sports photography, it’s best to move to a gimbal head. It is the perfect solution for all kinds of mirrorless cameras with zoom lenses and even medium-format DSLRs. 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. It's inexpensive for a big-brand tripod head, but the Alta BH-300 is still rated to support a whopping 30kg of kit. There are no such niggles with the silky pan base, and we like the well-positioned bubble level alongside the Arca-compatible mounting plate. If bigger is better when it comes to ball head stability, then this supersized giant should be the ultimate ball head. Get the best camera deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable photography news and more! Peak Design’s Travel Tripod is their latest Kickstarter backed project. Are they actually better, and which one is best? 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. The friction control part is just the first few degrees of the turn. Benro B2. So it's time to upgrade, but to be intelligent about your choice. 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. Manfrotto Tripods & Monopods for Manfrotto Cameras. 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. $109.95. 10% coupon applied at checkout Save 10% with coupon. If you are not interested in the multiple angle option and you want to restrict your camera movement to two axes, then… 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. 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. 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. 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