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 10.7-ounce Sirui G-10 ballhead ($94.95, www.siruicanada.com) can support up to 39 pounds. It features aluminum-alloy construction, an Arca-type quick-release and separate knobs for main lock, pan lock and friction control.
Featuring anodized aluminum construction and single-knob operation, the SLIK SBH-550 Pro Ball Head ($189.95, www.thkphoto.com) weighs 20.8 ounces and can support up to 22 pounds. It features a panning base with degree markings.
The economy-priced Smith-Victor BH2 ballhead ($44.95, www.smithvictor.com) weighs 14.4 ounces and can support 18 pounds. It features separate knobs for ball lock, pan lock and tension adjustment, and a quick-release system.
The 3LT AH1 AirHed from 3 Legged Thing ($132, www.3leggedthing.com) doesn't quite meet our 18-pound weight-bearing requirement (the 14.1-ounce magnesium head can support 17.6 pounds), but it's available in sharp blue with a copper-colored quick-release plate (also magnesium), as well as in basic black. It features a dual-control knob, separate pan lock and double bubble levels.
The Vanguard BBH-100 ($169.95, www.vanguardworld.com) weighs under one pound and can support 22 pounds. It features a rapid-leveling system and two bubble levels.
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