Monday, June 21, 2010
Geared Tripod Heads
I like geared tripod heads. And it seems I'm one of the few. Every time I talk to other photographers about tripod preferences, they seem to like other setups – be it ballheads or twist and lock handles. In fact, a photographer friend recently borrowed my tripod and said he didn’t like the gears, proving my theory incorrect: I’d long thought most folks didn’t love geared tripod heads just because they’d never tried geared tripod heads. Guess not.
Which brings me to my point: there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to photo gear and personal preference. We like what we like, just because we like it. And that’s perfectly fine.
So let’s discuss why we like what we like. I want to know what kind of tripod heads you prefer. And why. And while we’re at it, what other gear do you feel like you just can’t live without?
I’ll start: I like geared tripod heads so much that when I work with other heads – ballheads or twist operated handles, for example – I'm frustrated when I can't simply and efficiently make the subtle movements that I can with a geared head. Sure, geared heads are heavier, but for me that weight premium is a worthwhile sacrifice for the increased performance and precision.
So tell me: what gear do you love to love? What tools can’t you live without? What little slice of equipment heaven makes you wonder why every other photographer doesn’t use it too, just like I wonder how anybody gets by without a geared head?