Tripod head type?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mikey, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Guest

    I just moved up to a digital SLR from a P&S and I found out yesterday that
    my $30 tripod is way out of it's league trying to support the camera and a
    nice long tele lens. It was actually comical, though a little frightening
    when I realized how close I came to an upset more than once. Obviously I
    need a better tripod, I think I can pick out a pretty good one myself except
    for one thing, the head.

    I have always used tripods with what I guess is called a tilt and pan? head,
    but now I see a lot of the better tripods have a ball type head instead.
    Some offer a choice of heads.
    Which type of head is better for which purposes, and why?
    Which do you use?

    I intend to do a mix of types of photography with this tripod, so I would
    need something versatile.

    --

    Mikey
    http://www.mike721.com
     
    Mikey, Dec 17, 2003
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Mikey

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    On 17-Dec-2003, "Mikey" <> wrote:

    > I just moved up to a digital SLR from a P&S and I found out yesterday that
    > my $30 tripod is way out of it's league trying to support the camera and a
    > nice long tele lens. It was actually comical, though a little frightening
    > when I realized how close I came to an upset more than once. Obviously I
    > need a better tripod, I think I can pick out a pretty good one myself
    > except
    > for one thing, the head.
    >
    > I have always used tripods with what I guess is called a tilt and pan?
    > head,
    > but now I see a lot of the better tripods have a ball type head instead.
    > Some offer a choice of heads.
    > Which type of head is better for which purposes, and why?
    > Which do you use?
    >
    > I intend to do a mix of types of photography with this tripod, so I would
    > need something versatile.


    Pan Head - Movie camera
    Ball Head - Small still camera
    Geared Head - Large format camera

    For small still cameras I think a ball head is best. I prefer the ball head
    with a friction adjustment, but the 'locked/unlocked' type work well, too.
    The pan heads work but they are slower to adjust because you usually have 3
    knobs to move. The ball head has one or sometimes two. Pan heads might be an
    advantage if you do a lot of 'action tracking' shots because they pan
    smoothly. Geared heads are great if you need precise movements, like
    shooting products in a studio and never do tracking. They are very slow to
    adjust.


    --
    Tom Thackrey
    www.creative-light.com
    tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
    do NOT send email to (it's reserved for spammers)
     
    Tom Thackrey, Dec 17, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. "Mikey" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I just moved up to a digital SLR from a P&S and I found out yesterday that
    > my $30 tripod is way out of it's league trying to support the camera and a
    > nice long tele lens. It was actually comical, though a little frightening
    > when I realized how close I came to an upset more than once. Obviously I
    > need a better tripod, I think I can pick out a pretty good one myself

    except
    > for one thing, the head.
    >
    > I have always used tripods with what I guess is called a tilt and pan?

    head,
    > but now I see a lot of the better tripods have a ball type head instead.
    > Some offer a choice of heads.
    > Which type of head is better for which purposes, and why?
    > Which do you use?
    >
    > I intend to do a mix of types of photography with this tripod, so I would
    > need something versatile.
    >
    > --



    Heads and tripods are tough. There is a huge variety of each. The ball head
    is very versatile and I have found it to be perfect for me after years of
    using tilt/pan heads. I was prompted to do this as I moved into dSLR and
    started getting some really big lenses. I found that my old Velbon just
    wouldn't support my 70-200VR lens well. Additionally, I found that the
    proprietary camera and lens mounting plates were problematic and cumbersom.

    I have really become a fan of the Arca style mounting plates. They are
    simple and solid, and there are a large number of manufacturers that make
    accessory or aftermarket custom mounting plates for both lenses and camera
    bodies. These plates tend to be lower profile and don't catch on things or
    otherwise get in the way.

    I like the monoball heads in the style of the Arca Swiss B1. I bought a Kirk
    BH1. It's a big heavy head, but really locks up the camera and big heavy
    lens combo well, yet moves smoothly in all axes by releasing just one knob,
    also independantly pans. They make a smaller/lighter version, the BH3 which
    is the same style and works well for lighter lenses (less than a typical
    300mm zoom, for example). Look at http://www.kirkphoto.com/ballheads.html .
    Beautiful piece of machinery. Also looks at their line of custom camera and
    lens mounting plates. Also very nice stuff.

    An alternative is the Arca Swiss B1 ( http://tinyurl.com/znwb ) or the
    Acratech Ultimate ( http://tinyurl.com/znwg ).

    As to tripods, I finally decided on a Gitzo 2220 Explorer. I love gitzo
    Explorer line because of the the independant articulating center post, which
    works great for macro and other specialized shooting situations without
    sacrificing any flexibility and use as a conventional extendable center
    post. Look at http://tinyurl.com/znya .

    HMc
     
    Howard McCollister, Dec 17, 2003
    #3
  4. Mikey

    Faolan Guest

    In the writings of Mikey, the <>
    scrolls contained these prophetic words:

    > I intend to do a mix of types of photography with this tripod, so I would
    > need something versatile.
    >

    I do a lot of landscape photography and documentary type photography. As
    I am often in the hills or lugging kit around I chose the Manfrotto
    tripod and a 488 RCO ball head. The ball head is also used sometimes for
    portrait work and both are worth the money. The Tripod is a 190 Pro,
    this has a spirit level built in and combining the that with the 2
    Spirit levels in the ball head gives me the option of doing panoramic's
    (the ball head has also got degrees etched into it).
    --
    Nice Wheels. Dirty Deals. And One Mean Mother In A Kilt.
     
    Faolan, Dec 17, 2003
    #4
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Guest

    Thanks, sounds like a ball head on a good tripod is what I want then.

    --

    Mikey
    http://www.mike721.com


    "Tom Thackrey" <> wrote in message
    news:0I0Eb.41031$...
    >
    >
    > For small still cameras I think a ball head is best. I prefer the ball

    head
    > with a friction adjustment, but the 'locked/unlocked' type work well, too.
    > The pan heads work but they are slower to adjust because you usually have

    3
    > knobs to move. The ball head has one or sometimes two. Pan heads might be

    an
    > advantage if you do a lot of 'action tracking' shots because they pan
    > smoothly. Geared heads are great if you need precise movements, like
    > shooting products in a studio and never do tracking. They are very slow to
    > adjust.
    >
     
    Mikey, Dec 18, 2003
    #5
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Guest

    Thanks for the detailed reply, those links were helpful. I was thinking the
    ball head was a good idea, it's nice to know that I wasn't totally off base
    before I spend the money..they sure aren't cheap are they?..oh well, nothing
    good ever is .

    --

    Mikey
    http://www.mike721.com


    "Howard McCollister" <> wrote in message
    news:3fe097cf$0$45699$...
    >
    > Heads and tripods are tough. There is a huge variety of each. The ball

    head
    > is very versatile and I have found it to be perfect for me after years of
    > using tilt/pan heads.
     
    Mikey, Dec 18, 2003
    #6
  7. Mikey

    Mikey Guest

    Thanks..I think a ball head is what I'm getting, now to find the right
    tripod..I think I want to actually play with a few and not buy online for a
    change, maybe a field trip to B&H is in order, I've never been there but
    it's only an hour away, probably worth the trip.

    --

    Mikey
    http://www.mike721.com


    "Faolan" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >

    > I do a lot of landscape photography and documentary type photography. As
    > I am often in the hills or lugging kit around I chose the Manfrotto
    > tripod and a 488 RCO ball head. The ball head is also used sometimes for
    > portrait work and both are worth the money. The Tripod is a 190 Pro,
    > this has a spirit level built in and combining the that with the 2
    > Spirit levels in the ball head gives me the option of doing panoramic's
    > (the ball head has also got degrees etched into it).
    > --
    > Nice Wheels. Dirty Deals. And One Mean Mother In A Kilt.
     
    Mikey, Dec 18, 2003
    #7
  8. On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 11:23:22 -0500, Mikey wrote:

    > I have always used tripods with what I guess is called a tilt and pan?
    > head, but now I see a lot of the better tripods have a ball type head
    > instead. Some offer a choice of heads. Which type of head is better for
    > which purposes, and why? Which do you use?
    >
    > I intend to do a mix of types of photography with this tripod, so I
    > would need something versatile.


    You don't say if cost is a major factor in your choice. I would recommend
    a carbon-fibre Gitzo tripod. I prefer a three section leg, but others
    prefer a four section leg since it makes the tripod more compact.

    As for heads, a ball type is definitely the all around best choice for a
    small format SLR. But don't overlook the mounting system. Most people,
    including me, prefer an Arca style mounting system. There are a large
    number of manufacturers of Arca compatible gear. My two favorites are
    Really Right Stuff at

    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/

    and Wimberley at

    http://www.tripodhead.com/

    The quick-release clamps from RRS are fantastic. The gimbal heads from
    Wimberley make using a 400mm or longer lens a real joy (I've got the large
    Wimberley head that I use with my 600mm/f4).

    You'll find some good advice on ball heads at this RRS page:

    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/tutorials/tripods/index.html

    I would also recommend a good monopod with an Arca style clamp mounted to
    a simple tilt head such as the Bogen #3232. A lot of the time I don't want
    to carry my carbon-fibre tripod but do need a little more stability than a
    handheld shot provides. A monopod is perfect. I've also found that I can
    use a monopod in locations that normally do not permit tripods (e.g., a
    museum).
     
    Kurtis D. Rader, Dec 20, 2003
    #8
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Silverstrand

    GeForce 7800 GTX Head-to-Head @ TrustedReviews

    Silverstrand, Sep 13, 2005, in forum: Front Page News
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    786
    Silverstrand
    Sep 13, 2005
  2. Silverstrand
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    838
    Silverstrand
    Jan 3, 2006
  3. Richard Alexander

    Looking for a Multi-Head, Detachable-Head Camera

    Richard Alexander, Apr 26, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    618
    Richard Alexander
    May 26, 2004
  4. measekite

    Is This a True Head to Head Comparison

    measekite, Jul 12, 2005, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    347
  5. Mark²

    Epson P-2000/P-5000 head-to-head test results:

    Mark², Oct 30, 2006, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    17
    Views:
    762
    Bill Hilton
    Nov 6, 2006
Loading...

Share This Page