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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

Labels: Gadget BagGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom
The Benbo BEN306 Professional Ball & Socket Head ($109.99, www.patersonphotographic.com/benbo-tripods.htm) weighs 11.6 ounces and can support up to 27 pounds. It has three control knobs, a large lock knob, a smaller knob to adjust tension and a third to lock the revolving base.

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.

Acratech Ultimate

Acra-Swiss Monoball P0

Benro B1

Culllmann MB8.3

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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