Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Gadget Bag: Ballheads Deconstructed
See how this staple of nature photography works, plus how to choose the right one for youwww.indurogear.com) weighs 12.8 ounces and can support 18.7 pounds. The ballhead features single-lever operation, a built-in bubble level and a secure dual quick-release locking system.
The Kirk BH-1 ballhead ($375, www.kirkphoto.com) weighs 30 ounces, can support 50 pounds and comes with an Arca-style quick-release plate. External parts are made of 6061-T aircraft aluminum, and internal parts are made from brass and stainless steel to avoid corrosion.
The heavy-duty Linhof Profi-III 1 ($807, www.hpmarketingcorp.com) weighs 2.8 pounds and can support 22 pounds. It features separate ball and pan locks, and a 360° panning scale.
The Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head ($224.99, www.manfrotto.us) weighs 24 ounces and can support 22 pounds. It features a 90º-105° Portrait Angle Selector, a QS quick-release system and three bubble levels.
The Novoflex MagicBall ($539, www.hpmarketingcorp.com) features a unique design in which it can be positioned up to 120° in virtually any plane, then locked there with the same large handle. The MagicBall weighs 2 pounds and can support up to 22 pounds.
The Really Right Stuff BH-40 LR ($375, reallyrightstuff.com) weighs 16.9 ounces and can support 18 pounds. The low-profile unit features a compact release-lever clamp (requires a Really Right Stuff quick-release plate) and separate knobs for locking/unlocking the ball, tension adjustment and panning.
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