Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Gadget Bag: Ballheads Deconstructed
See how this staple of nature photography works, plus how to choose the right one for you
The Benro B1 ($166, www.benrousa.com) weighs about 13 ounces and can support more than 26 pounds. It provides separate knobs for locking, drag, panning and the Arca-Swiss type quick-release plate.
The heavy-duty Cullmann MB8.3 Ball Head ($199.95, www.rtsphoto.com) weighs 28.5 ounces and can support 66 pounds. It features two bubble levels, a quick-release system and separate pan lock.
The Feisol Ball Head CB-50DC ($169, www.feisol.net) features an outer layer of carbon fiber, which is strong, light and feels pleasant even in cold weather. It weighs 20.1 ounces and can support 41 pounds.
The Flashpoint F-9 Compact Tripod Ball Head ($69.95, www.adorama.com) is economically priced, yet the 14-ounce, magnesium-alloy unit can support up to 40 pounds. It features a quick-release plate and a quick-lock knob.
The Foba Mini-Superball Plus ($447.95, )www.foba.ch/eng/kopf/kopf.htm weighs 28.8 ounces and can support 26.5 pounds. It includes an Arca-type quick-release unit and has a long-handled locking knob for easy operation.
The Giottos MH1000-300 ($85.99, www.hpmarketingcorp.com) weighs 18.8 ounces and can hold 22 pounds. It features a calibrated base and tension controls.
The stylish Gitzo GH1780FQR Series 1 Safari ballhead ($279.99, www.gitzo.us) weighs 12.3 ounces and can support 22 pounds. It features magnesium construction, a big and solid locking knob, a quick-release system and three bubble levels.
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