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Author Topic: Tripod head  (Read 726 times)

WanderingKiwi

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Tripod head
« on: February 13, 2022, 02:49:34 am »

I'd like to invest in a quality tripod head that can be used for photography AND glassing (with binoculars and a spotting scope).

I'm after something top quality that'll last many years. The head must have a butter smooth pan/tilt feature so that I can make small adjustments to the binos/scope without the image 'jumping'. It must also have a rock-solid locking feature (for camera/stills use).

A fluid head might be the best bet, but most of the cheaper fluid heads aren't built as well as the higher end video varieties - and the higher end ones are far too heavy (2kg's +).

Any ideas on what would work?

Would a quality ball-head with a pan feature, such as the RSS BH-55/BH-40 or Arca Swiss D4/Z1 work? Can these heads be set up in a way so that the friction controls on both the pan and tilt can be adjusted independently, and both be left unlocked at the same time? That way I can freely pan the binoculars/spotter on BOTH the vertical and horizontal axis without having to mess with any knobs?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 02:53:25 am by WanderingKiwi »
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Robert DeCandido PhD

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Re: Tripod head
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2022, 01:50:12 pm »

Ballheads are terrible to use with binoculars/scopes because one has to use the eyepiece on the bins/scope to pan to one side or the other...it is not easy or comfortable to do. So yes I think a Pan/Tilt head would be better for you.

I use an Acratech video head that has recently been discontinued...probably because a new model (with a higher price) will replace it: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1158916-REG/acratech_7112_video_ballhead_with_knob.html

It is the lightest weight model - and supports a lot of weight - most pan/tilt heads weigh more and support way less...

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Peter McLennan

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Re: Tripod head
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2022, 11:12:10 pm »

A proper video head will cost you. I once paid $10K for one.  A Sachtler Studio 7.  It was superb.

Manfrotto makes one that I see a lot on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPc0qfed7bU

Only issue is that it's not Arca.  Fairly easy to get adapt, though.

Make sure you get a bowl head (not a ball head).  A 75mm bowl mount makes levelling the head effortless instead of a PITA.

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WanderingKiwi

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Re: Tripod head
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2022, 11:18:44 pm »

So it sounds like it's best to pony up the extra cash and get used to the extra weight of a quality fluid head (Sachtler, Miller etc)?

I'm not keen on cutting corners re: quality, as I generally hate replacing gear.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Tripod head
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2022, 12:38:12 am »

B&H e-image GH 06
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John R

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Re: Tripod head
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2022, 11:49:18 pm »

Look on this guy's channel. He has a number of videos showing why he uses fluid video heads and tripods for still photography. Rather than spend a lot of money on unnecessary heavy and expensive professional equipment for videography, this may fit your needs. He has about four videos on the subject, check them out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei8XYK5Cz-k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THlG5jtUuoE
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