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Photography Meetup Group Message Board The Photography Meet Up Group Discussion Forum › What are your thoughts on Tripod Head options?

What are your thoughts on Tripod Head options?

user 24541252
Horicon, WI
Post #: 11
Hi everyone, I was asked about tripod heads & have mainly used them for portrait type photos & like using a pistol grip or joystick type head for portraits and a video head on a second tripod for video (Here is a link for one similar to my Manfrotto/Bogen 3265 pistol grip head:­/joystick-head. After the conversation I thought about the fact that although it might be very good for changing from portrait to group shots, but would not be very good for panning or if you want to also use it for video. Since I managed to get a 2nd set of tripod legs really cheap I purchased a video head (Manfrotto 701RC2,­). for when I do video. I thought I would ask the group their thoughts on what is a good all around head for photos or what everyone thinks is a good all around head? The weight of the head is a concern, since they will be backpacking. The 2 heads I have are around 1.7lbs. I am curious of what everyone thinks.


Ryan E.
user 23023011
Madison, WI
Post #: 67
I depends on what type of shooting one does & how much control I guess they like. For me, I have never used a video head so can't comment on that. I have a pan tilt & a ball had currently. I find I use the ballhead(manfrotto 498RC2) more for quicker use outdoors, but one has to be aware of inadvertent camera tilt when trying to make single plane adjustments. Weight for me is not a factor(yet) but everyones circumstances are different. Now that I have used the ballhead, I do wish it had a bit smoother motion since it kind of jerks from position to position no matter how I set the tension knob. Not a huge issue & maybe just my particular head, but worth mentioning if people are looking for a smooth movement. Maybe that's where a video head prevails. In a nutshell, I think there is no one best all around head.
A former member
Post #: 75
Although the weight of the head is a concern for backpacking reasons, the weight of the gear somewhat dictates what tripod and head are used also. The tripod manufacturers as well as the head manufacturers list a maximum weight limit on their gear. You wouldn't want a ball head rated for 5 pounds when you have 6 pounds of gear. However, you may not want to backpack with that much camera weight either.
user 24541252
Horicon, WI
Post #: 12
Hi Bill good point about the weight that it can hold, I was only thinking about the weight of the head, not what it could hold. I know when I bought the video head I also made sure that it used the same mounting plate as my pistol grip, so you may want to see if it uses a common mounting plate for future purchases. I ended up getting a couple of extra mounting plates, for quick changes. Thanks for the comments
A former member
Post #: 3
A good ball head with panning base is your best bet. They're easy to level in both directions rapidly. Look for one with a large diameter ball with friction control. Also test how smoothly they operate. Avoid anything that feels like it has a grain of sand stuck in it—as many cheap ball heads do.
I have two:
Both are very well made, accurate and solid. Worth every dollar. Yeah it's a lot of money, but you won't be cursing yourself for saving money on a poorly designed/operating head.


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