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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Gadget Bag: Have A Ballhead!


Prized for solid construction and ease of use, ballheads are the choice of professional landscape photographers the world over.

Have A Ballhead!

There are as many ways to shoot a landscape photograph as there are landscape photographers. The very best of these images all have one thing in common, however: when the exposure was made, the camera was on a tripod. We just can't overemphasize the simple fact that using a tripod results in better images. Okay, so you get that. But between the tripod and the camera, there's a critical component that's every bit as important as the tripod: the tripod head.

Heads come in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations. Almost to a person, the masters of landscape photography employ ballheads. What is it that makes a ballhead so special? It's a combination of solid support, ease of use and speed. While specific designs vary, all ballheads have some common properties. Essentially, the head consists of a cuff that has a spherical "ball" trapped within it. By cranking a tension knob, you adjust the amount of pressure on the ball, allowing it to move or lock into place. When loosened, the ball can move freely in any dimension, making adjustments in camera position and image composition extremely fast and convenient.









 


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