Monday, December 7, 2009

Use Your Head

Maybe the most important part of your tripod is the head. That’s why many tripod makers give you options, and most tripod designs have removable heads so you can switch them out or upgrade.
By Jon Canfield Published in Tripods
Use Your Head

Really Right Stuff

With three ballheads designed for different loads and needs, Really Right Stuff is a popular choice for anyone interested in the Arca-Swiss quick-release system. The BH-25 (starting at $100) weights 3.7 ounces and supports up to 8.8 pounds, making it perfect for travel or other occasions when size and weight are factors. The BH-40 ($345 and up) is a midsized ballhead that weighs less than one pound and will support lenses like a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 or 300mm ƒ/4. The BH-55 ($415 and up) is the ideal head for all uses up to 50 pounds.

All Really Right Stuff heads are available with knob or lever releases for the mounting plates, or you can add a panning mount for panoramic photography. Really Right Stuff also offers a full range of camera and lens-mounting plates, flash mounts and macro systems for their ballheads.


If you're looking for something to support your camera and give you ease of motion, a tripod-mounted system isn't on your list. VariZoom offers a number of mobile support systems, most using your shoulder as the brace, to give you a stable shooting platform while on the move. While they will mainly appeal to those of you shooting video, as that becomes more common, this type of support system will have a wider appeal.

The VZ 1Shooter ($130) gives you shoulder support with a handle that's surprisingly versatile for still shooters. The camera can be positioned forward and backward, as well as vertically, and both the grip and shoulder supports can be shaped to fit you.

For more serious weight and support, the Zero Gravity Rig provides shock absorption and distributes the weight of the system over your shoulder and waist. With two handles, you have full control over movement, and the system can be placed on the ground as a tripod support system. At $1,199, though, this one is probably only for you if you're really getting serious about your camera's HD video capabilities.


(909) 394-1802

(773) 248-2513

Custom Brackets
(800) 530-2289

Flashpoint (Adorama)
(800) 223-2500
(HP Marketing Corp.)

(800) 735-4373

Gitzo (Bogen Imaging)
(201) 818-9500

(888) 321-5628

Kirk Enterprises
(800) 626-5074
(Bogen Imaging)

(201) 818-9500

Novoflex (HP Marketing Corp.)
(800) 735-4373

Really Right Stuff
(888) 777-5557

(888) 826-3399

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