Tripods, Monopods, Ball Heads, Brackets, and other Support Rigs will be covered on this page, and can vary greatly in price due to a number of factors. Material Costs (Carbon Fiber vs Aluminum), Size, Weight, Build Quality, and more all can effect the cost.
For the sake of simplicity and organization, I created a few categories below to help narrow down what you might need for a support accessory. I also have more detailed information at the top of each Tab Category to help you further.
Pods w/ Head
Below is a great informative illustration courtesy of the reallyrightstuff.com showing you all the parts to a tri-pod pieced out and labeled. The Quick-Release Plate (#4) comes in all different styles depending on manufacturer and features. L-Plates are the really nice versions as shown here.
Below are a few tripods with heads included that I have some experience with and a few others that are worth looking into if your in the market and have no idea where to start 😉
Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom Flexible Mini Tripod w/ BH1-01EN Ballhead
What is interesting and different about Gorillapod solution is the very small size, light weight, and incredible versatility when it comes to setting it up for shots. The Sony Nex style Cameras in particular being so light weight and small in size, are perfect candidates for the Gorillapod style solution. Basically, because this tri-pod is so flexible, the legs can wrap around stuff and grab hold firmly. I’m talking railings, spindles, tree branches, chairs, you name it!!I used it in all sorts of situations so far and it blows away a regular tr-pod in both speed and position options. Normally a tripod needs to be in a pretty decent spot so it doesn’t fall over etc.. The Joby Gorillapod actually wraps around stuff, making it virtually impossible to fall or get knocked over.
Joby Gorillapod Flexible Mini-Tripod for Point & Shoot Cameras – Red/Black
The Joby Gorillapod is an ultra-versatile mini-tripod that can be used with lightweight compact cameras. Its three multi-segmented flexible legs can be formed to grip almost any protrusion, be it a branch, doorknob, rock, or uneven surface.
Each of the joints can bend and rotate 360°, to wrap around objects. The bottom rubber segment on the legs are larger to allow it to be used in the traditional way.
A mini quick release system allows for fast set-up and removal.
The Vista by Davis & Sanford Voyager Lite with BHQ8 Ball Head is an aluminum tripod that weighs only 3 lb (1.36 kg) and folds down to 21″ (53.34cm). It features 3-position independent leg adjustments, a quick lift 2-section center column, and the BHQ8 multi-directional ball head. This tripod will hold point & shoots, SLRs and DSLRs, and camcorders weighing up to 8 lb (3.62 kg). This versatile tripod is equipped with a directional compass, bubble levels, rubber spiked feet and comes with a high-quality padded carrying bag.
- Compact extra light aluminum grounder tripod
- 3-position independent leg adjustments
- Tripod and head have bubble levels for accurate leveling
- Directional compass set in tripod base
- Adjustable 3-section snap leg locks
- Rubber spike feet add extra stability
- Quick lift 2-section 0.94″ (24mm) center post
- Bottom center post hook allows for hanging equipment or adding weight to increase stability
- All-way BHQ8 Ball head
- High-quality, padded carrying bag included
The Oben AC-1300 3-Section Aluminum Tripod w/ BA-00 Ball Head I just recently purchased and I was amazed at the quality!!I’m working on a full review of this as weel, so look out for that!
It provides a sturdy base of support for any DSLR, point-and-shoot camera, or a compact camcorder. The head/tripod combination weighs less than 3 lb and bears more than 6 lb, to support DSLR cameras even as they’re equipped with long zoom lenses.
The AC-1300’s three-section aluminum legs are composed of high-tensile-strength, extremely lightweight extruded aluminum. With the center column fully extend this tripod reaches a maximum height of 57″. When folded, the entire system contracts to a compact 23″. Two flip locks on each leg enable extremely fast deployment and retraction of leg stages. Three leg angles are possible, and pull-out/press-in locks secure the legs in their notches. The legs’ angles are independently adjustable to accommodate shooting on uneven terrain. At the widest leg angle, the tripod sits extremely close to the ground to facilitate low-angle shooting.
The AC-1300’s rapid center column extends with a twist of the butterfly knob. For protection when it’s retracted quickly, there’s a rubber damper that protects the center-post collar. Locking screws underneath the collar enable you to fasten the head securely to the center-post collar. By twisting the spring-loaded hook at the bottom end, the center column becomes removable and reversible, for a second method of achieving extremely low-angle shots. The center column’s hook holds a counterweight, in case you need additional system stability in windy conditions.
The included quick-release plate attaches to your camera via its standard 1/4″-20 screw. A retractable, removable video pin provides additional stability for camcorders. The quick-release plate easily snaps and locks into place on the BA-00 head. The safety lock on the quick-release mechanism prevents the camera from loosening inadvertently.
Price: $89.95 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)
Here’s two more Oben models that both offer a higher load capacity and one is a 4-section style so you can see how the prices change.
Oben AC-1310 3-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-0 Ball Head – 11lb Load Capacity – Price: $99.95 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)
Oben AC-1420 4-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-1 Ball Head – 17.6 Load Capacity – Price: $179.95 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)
Oben AC-2320L 3-Section Aluminum Lateral Tripod with BB-0 Ball Head Kit
The Oben AC-2320L 3-Section Aluminum Lateral Tripod with BB-0 Ball Head Kit from B&H pairs the versatile aluminum AC-2320L lateral tripod with a sturdy ball head that pans 360° and tilts 90° to portrait orientation. The combined system weighs 7.2 lb and supports point & shoot, DSLR cameras, and compact camcorders that weigh up to 16.8 lb.
The tripod & head combination reaches a maximum height of 71.8″ and enables positioning from just about any angle. When the center column is extended past the chassis, it can be tilted smoothly across a 180° arc and firmly locked into position at any point along the way. The tilting column also swivels, so the camera has a virtually full sphere of position points from which it can shoot.
The BB-0 ball head features an Arca Swiss-style quick-release clamp for the included camera plate, and it offers three separate knobs for pan lock, tilt lock, and tension control. This “division of labor” allows you to perform tasks such as panoramic photography, which requires fine adjustments to the head’s pan while the tilt remains locked. The included carry bag has plenty of room to hold the folded tripod with the head attached.
Price: $264.95 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)
This 293 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod W/QR Ballhead from Manfrotto is the intermediate size in the 293 tripod line, and provides a lightweight, solid camera support. A maximum height of 5.17′ (1.57 m), load capacity of 8.81 lb (4 kg), anti-shock collar, minimum height of 1.48′ (45.3 cm), and weight of just 3.85 lb (1.75 kg) make this an excellent choice for a mobile photographer needing maximum support with minimum weight.
- 3-section aluminum tripod with a ballhead
- Anti-shock collar protects your camera from accidental impact
- Maximum height of 5.17′ (1.57 m)
- Minimum height of 1.48′ (45.3 cm)
- Maximum load capacity of 8.81 lb (4 kg)
- Weighs 3.85 lb (1.75 kg)
Sunpak 423PX2 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with Compact Pistol Grip Head
The Sunpak 423PX2 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with Compact Pistol Grip Head features a ball head with a trigger-action pistol grip that instantly unlocks the head and locks it in place: Just squeeze, position, and release. Nothing could be simpler for changing setups quickly. The 15.4 lb load capacity makes the tripod suitable for DSLRs even with long lenses, or for compact video cameras.
The action of the head makes the camera support better suited for shooting stills, but video projects such as sit-down interviews should be well-served by the 423PX2. The 423PX2’s quick-release platform allows 360° of rotation to facilitate panning for video shooting, or small adjustments when shooting stills. The ball head features a bubble level and a rubber gripping surface.
The tripod’s three-section sticks are ultra-rigid and light, constructed of seven-layer carbon fiber. The legs’ flip-lever locks make it a simple matter to adjust their extension, whether or not it’s glove weather.
- Platform allows 360° of rotation – perfect for video, panning, or small adjustments
- Pistol-grip ball head also rotates 360° and incorporates a cut-out skirt to limit movement
- Magnesium chassis incorporates center-column tensioning adjustment, chassis spirit level, and three position leg angle adjusters for providing mid- and low-angle grounder adjustment
- Includes a second short, anti-rotation carbon fiber center column for low-angle photography
- Reversible 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 mounting screw
- Neoprene leg warmers
Sirui T-025 5-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10 Ball Head
The Sirui T-025 5-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10 Ball Head is an excellent camera support for travelers who need a compact, lightweight, and stylish tripod & head combo. With upward-folding legs, it collapses to just 11.8″ with the head attached and weighs just 1.8 lb. Supporting loads up to 12.8 lb, the head & tripod are plenty capable of supporting any DSLR camera with most lenses, as well as any point & shoot or compact camcorder. It’s also extremely well-suited for mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera models.
Constructed of 8x carbon fiber, the T-025 features silicone twist locks for easy setup, and with all four leg stages and the center column fully extended, the tripod reaches a maximum height of 54.6″ with the head attached. The C-10 is an extremely capable ball head – its separate knobs for pan and tilt adjustments enable you to perform tasks such as panoramic photography while keeping the tilt locked.
With an Arca-style quick release platform, the head accepts plates from many manufacturers, including Sirui itself, Acratech, Foba, Graff, and Wimberley (quick-release plate included).
- Forged aluminum results in stronger components than the traditional casting process that’s often used for tripod chassis. Forging leads to more compacted metal and enhances the integrity of metal grains so they remain consistent and continuous. This leads to a longer product life and better performance
- Anodized surface treatment on the tripod’s metal parts makes the T-025 tripod highly resistant to wear & tear, scratches, and corrosion, thus increasing its durability
- Three leg-angle positions (23°, 52° & 80°) – each leg can be set independently for use on uneven terrain
- Center column can be inverted for ultra-low-angle shots & macro photography
- C-10 ball head has a roundness tolerance within 0.01mm of a perfect sphere
- Center column hook allows you to add a ballast for a sturdier setup in windy conditions
- Well-designed padded traveling bag with shoulder strap for carrying
Manfrotto 055XPROB 3-Section Tripod w/ 322RC2 Ballhead & MBAG80 Padded Case
The Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod is their most fully featured medium weight class aluminum legset, delivered in this configuration with their very popular 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead and a well-made MBAG80 padded case. Manfrotto makes a great aluminum tripod, and they’re continually improving a basic design frameset that’s survived for over two decades now. This latest-generation 055XPROB model features improved flip-lever leg locks and a center column which doubles as a lateral arm and does so at just a moment’s notice. Rated for 11 lbs (5kg) and with 29.4mm diameter upper leg segments, this tripod’s appropriate for use with SLR cameras and any lens smaller than a 300mm f/2.8 (the legs can support a 300mm f/2.8 by exchanging the ballhead).
This particular kit (with the 322RC2 head) is an ideal choice for working professionals and advanced enthusiasts wanting the fastest possible unlocking/repositioning/locking speed for the tripod head. It is perfect for wedding applications. As delivered, it will place the camera’s viewfinder at or above the eye level for the majority of people when the legs are extended and the column is fully retracted (the ‘working height’).
- Manfrotto’s standard-size professional class aluminum tripod, with an action grip ballhead and a durable ballistic nylon case
- Taking your hand away from the 322RC2 Ballhead locks it into place (squeeze the action trigger handle to unlock and gain control of head)
- Adjustable ball tension
- Unique tri-faceted center column will not rotate accidentally and also becomes a lateral arm immediately upon demand
- Detachable center column fitting, along with multiple/independent leg deployment angles, allows impressively-low 8″ minimum operating height
- Improved lever locks ‘snap’ open or shut and require just ~45° of motion
- 4-Position leg locks (23, 45, 65, or 88°) allows use on uneven or angled terrain
- Rounded rubber leg tips permit carriage upon commercial aircraft
- Two foam-covered upper leg sections ease handling in extreme weather
- Accepts any Manfrotto RC2 quick release plate, including the 341 Junior Elbow Bracket (permits horizontal/vertical exchange w/o moving head0
- Maximum upper leg diameter of 29.4mm
- Made in Italy
Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod and MH054MO-Q2 Ball Head Kit
The Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod and MH054MO-Q2 Ball Head Kit – Bronze is a lightweight support system for DSLR cameras with a maximum height of 61.8″ and a load capacity of 11 lb. Innovative production techniques allowed engineers to devise a tripod as light and tall as this one with a higher load capacity than was before possible.
The four-section legs are composed of 100% carbon, as is the center column. When it’s extended to its highest vertical position, the center column can be swung over to a horizontal orientation without removing the head or disassembling the column itself.
The 190CXPRO4 tripod features leg locks that were redesigned for better ergonomics. Four leg-angle positions are selectable, and leg-adjustment levers were also redesigned for this model.
Designed for the 190 line of tripods, the lightweight magnesium MH054MO-Q2 head embodies state-of-the-art technology and materials that make it extremely precise, allowing extra-smooth movements. The ball head features independent control over tilt and panning, which allows finer control over adjustments to the framing. Portrait orientation range for the MH054MO-Q2 is 90-105°. Degree markings aid in panoramic photography. The head’s tension control can be adjusted to accommodate different payloads and the operator’s preference.
The MH054MO-Q2 features a redesigned magnesium Q2 quick-release system that’s compatible with RC2 standard plates. A 200PL-14 camera plate is included.
- Magnesium die castings and magnesium top plate
- Leveling bubbles on tripod chassis and on head
- 100% carbon-fiber center column is three-sided, which totally eliminates column rotation
- Redesigned, more ergonomic flip locks
- Built-in low-angle adapter in the center column for ground-level shots
- Four leg-angle settings (25, 46, 66 & 88°)
Manfrotto 679B Three Section Monopod
Reaching a height of 61.8″ (157 cm), the Manfrotto 679B Three Section Monopod is ideal for sports, action photography and videography, especially when using long zoom lenses. This monopod weighs only 1.4 lb (0.7kg) and folds down to 24.6″ (62.5 cm) for easy transport. The 679B features a sure rubber grip, wrist carrying strap, quick action lever leg lock system with 45 degree run, a large 60mm camera/head platform with plastic cover and a dual 1/4″-20 & 3/8″-16 camera fixing screw.
- Supports up to 22 lb (10kg)
- Extends to 61.8″ (157 cm)
- Folds Down to 24.6″ (62.5 cm)
- Weighs 1.4 lb (0.7kg)
- Three Leg Sections
- Quick Action Flip Lever Leg Locks
- Hand Strap Attached
- Rubber Grip
Gitzo Series 2 GM2541 6X Carbon Monopod
The Gitzo Series 2 GM2541 6X Carbon Monopod is 4 leg-section model that weighs approximately one pound, but can still support cameras up to 26.4 lb (12 kg). This monopod also incorporates Gitzo’s revolutionary 6X technology tube, which reduces overall monopods weight up to 25% without sacrificing strength or stability.
The G-Lock mechanism has been completely redesigned in order to achieve a 20% increase in rigidity, faster operation and stronger, safer locking. G-Lock’s special design also provides a “gravity lock” effect: the higher the load applied vertically to the leg, the stronger the lock.
- 1mm Gitzo 6X Carbon Fiber Tube
Gitzo was able to develop a six-crossed multilayer carbon fiber 30% lighter than the previous 1.5mm generation that features the same exceptional performance of stability and vibration absorption and unbeatable quality.
- Anti-Rotation Leg (ALR) System
The Anti-Rotation Leg (ALR) system makes it quick and easy to open and close the monopod. Simply turn all of the locking rings at once and the whole leg can be pulled out in seconds.
- Wrist Strap with Belt Clip
Connected to the top plate is a wrist strap, with a handy wide belt clip incorporated. This makes it possible to hang the monopod directly from a belt, strap, or pocket.
So many legs, so little time!! Seriously their are a ton to choose from and I’m just going to cover few, but what you need to know is basically the same for all tri-pod legs. Their are a few in particular that add to the cost of the tripods legs, and you really need to pay attention to them.
Maximum Load Weight Capacity, Maximum and Minimum Height, and Actual Size and Weight. On top of those three elements, you have pure engineering quality to deal with meaning carbon fiber, 4- section legs for a smaller more compact size, buttons for releasing the legs and locking them, swivel center column for super low to the ground work, and more..
Based on all these factors, the prices can vary drastically depending on your needs. I highly recommend you make sure to study the specs so your certain that your getting what you actually want/ need!! Ask me if you have any questions and I’ll try my best to help if I can.
Manfrotto 209 Tabletop Tripod
Made of rugged, heavy-duty aluminum, the Manfrotto 209 Tabletop Tripod folds down small enough to slip into your camera bag or coat pocket, and is ready to give quick support to a lightweight camera. It features sturdy legs with sure-grip tips for stability. The optional 259B column can be added to give an extra 10″ extension.
|Maximum Height||1.8″ (4.5cm)|
|Minimum Height||Opens to one position only (same as Max. Height)|
|Folded Length||5.1″ (13cm)|
|Load Capacity||4.4 lbs (2kg)|
|Male Thread Size||3/8″|
|Weight||3 oz (90g)|
Note! Does not include a head.
The Manfrotto 055XPROB Aluminum Tripod Legs builds on the success of the 3011/3021 series. It features the Manfrotto-patented horizontal center column feature, which allows the center column to flip quickly and easily from vertical to horizontal. By extending the column to its highest vertical position, it can be swung over to horizontal without removing the head or disassembling the column itself. The ergonomics of the leg-angle release mechanism and the quick action leg locks have also been improved.
The 055XB provides speedy set-up coupled with added security with quick action, lever-type leg locks. It is ideal for use with 35mm and light medium-format photographic cameras, and digital or conventional type video camcorders.
- Center column can be quickly and easily swung from vertical to horizontal without any disassembly
- Horizontal column feature allows the tripod to reach extremely low positions
- 3-faceted center column which totally eliminates column rotation
- Redesigned more ergonomic flip locks, with only 45° of movement
- Leg warmers on 2 legs ease handling in extreme weather conditions, and help to protect the legs
- Four leg-angle settings (25, 46, 66 & 88°)
- Bubble level included
The Manfrotto 190XPROB Aluminum Tripod Legs builds on the success of the 3001 series and replaces the 3001PRO model. Its horizontal center column feature has been redesigned to make it even easier to flip from vertical to horizontal. Now, by extending the column to its highest vertical position, it can be swung over to horizontal without removing the head or disassembling the column itself. The ergonomics of the leg-angle release mechanism and the quick action leg locks have also been improved.
While it can reach a maximum working height of 57.5″ (146 cm), it can also be used as low as 3.3″ (8.5). Ideal for use with cameras up to SLR size with medium pro zoom lens attached.
- Center column can be quickly and easily swung from vertical to horizontal without any disassemble
- Horizontal column feature allows the tripod to reach extremely low positions
- 3-faceted center column which totally eliminates column rotation
- Redesigned more ergonomic flip locks, with only 45° of movement
- Leg warmers on 2 legs ease handling in extreme weather conditions, and help to protect the legs
- Four leg-angle settings (25,46,66 & 88°)
Induro Carbon 8X CT014 Tripod
This INDURO Carbon 8X CT014 Tripod features carbon-fiber legs and a wide-stance, cross-braced magnesium alloy spider–the strongest, most stable tripod configuration available. An oversized center column lock, enhanced leg angle locks, a reversible locking center column, interchangeable rubber feet and stainless steel spikes, and a bubble level add up to a sturdy, versatile tripod for rock-solid support. Includes a tool kit and deluxe carrying bag with strap. Tripod head not included.
- Wide-stance cross-braced magnesium alloy spider provides ultimate core system stability
- Extra-long grooved center column provides extended camera positioning without unwanted column rotation
- Full-width leg locks for maximum support at any angle
- Dust- and moisture-resistant ergonomic rubber grip leg locks ensure an easy, positive 1/2 turn all-weather lock
- Interchangeable rubber feet and stainless-steel spikes in a carbon-fiber mount provide the right contact on any surface or terrain
- Slip-resistant top plate with reversible tripod head mounting screw assures compatibility with virtually any tripod head
- Spring-loaded weight hook allows additional weight for mounting stability during windy conditions
- Oversized center column lock adds vibration-reducing structural support
- Non-rotating carbon-fiber leg sections offer quick and easy setup
- Reversible locking center column allows low-angle shooting (optional ballhead not included)
- Adjustable leg angles with lock accommodates uneven surfaces and awkward shooting situations
- Integral bubble level allows adjustment to prevent uneven pans and tripod head movements
- Triple closed-cell comfort grip provides comfortable handling during cold or hot outdoor conditions
- Double-threaded accessory mount fits wide range of accessories (optional PocketWizard and bracket not included)
3 Legged Thing X4 Eric 4-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod
The 3 Legged Thing X4 Eric 4-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod is a supremely versatile camera support that folds tight, bends low, and stretches high. One leg detaches from the rest of the tripod to become a monopod, and the tall center column can be removed and changed out for the included 3.9″ “stubby” center column for low-angle shooting. With its 4-section legs and 2-section center column fully extended, the X4 Eric reaches a generous maximum height of 81.1″.
Constructed of lightweight yet rigid 8x carbon fiber, the tripod offers remarkable strength for its light weight (3.0 lb). The X4 Eric supports loads up to 17.6 lb, and you can attach just about any head to the collar via the included reversible 1/4″-20 & 3/8″-16 screw.
Leg angles can be set at three different positions; at their widest and with the column removed, the top of the tripod chassis sits only 5.3″ from the ground. The leg angles can be set independently to support stable shooting on uneven surfaces. When it’s time to transport or store the X4 Eric, the legs fold upward 180° so that if a head (sold separately) is attached, the feet will reach to the top of the head to form a tight little package (19.6″ long).
- Constructed of eight-core Stealth Carbon Fiber, the 26mm (upper section diameter) legs offer excellent lateral and torsional strength
- Magnesium alloy chassis for lightweight strength
- Grub screw in the wide mounting plate enables extremely steadfast connection with a head
- Spirit level on tripod chassis
- Smooth-glide leg catches
- Leg angles can be set independently at 23°, 55°, and 80°
- Spring hook for hanging a ballast for extra stability in windy conditions
- Double-section rapid center column is removable and reversible. Also included is a short center column (3.9″), which facilitates shooting from extremely low angles (minimum height is 5.3″)
- Feet can be unscrewed and interchanged (extra feet not included)
Gitzo GT1542T Series 1 Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod w/ G-Lock
The Gitzo GT1542T Series 1 Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod w/ G-Lock combines compactness and light weight with strength and stability to support up to 15.4 lb with absolute rigidity. The Traveler series tripod features the stability and size of a Mountaineer Series 1 tripod, to serve the high-end photographer, bird watcher, or videographer who needs an easily portable support with no compromise in performance.
The GT1542T is composed of advanced 6x carbon fiber, a material that guarantees structural strength and flexion rigidity as it absorbs vibration. This last function is crucial for keeping long telephoto lenses, video lenses, and spotting scopes absolutely stable, and so the 2.2 lb tripod is the perfect support for long-distance nature shots for which the smallest shake means the difference between capturing a bird or other flighty creature centered within the frame and missing the shot entirely.
The redesigned G-Lock leg-locking mechanism also contributes to the tripod’s rigidity, achieving a 20% increase over previous-generation technology. Moreover, as the tripod’s load approaches its 15.4 lb maximum, the locking mechanism actually increases in strength. With G-Lock, leg locking is stronger, safer, and faster.
- Rapid Center Column
- The center-column locking collar above the tripod chassis makes it easier to adjust the column quickly. A grooved design prevents rotation of the column and improves system stability
- Ground Level Set
- The center column is removable so that you can shoot closer to the ground. Without using any tools, you can remove the center column and secure the upper disc directly to the upper casting using the center column hook
- Reversible Center Column
- For even lower-level shooting or for macro work, the center column is also reversible for easy inversion
- Counterweight Hook
- The built-in hook at the bottom of the center column allows you to hang a weight (such as a sandbag or full camera bag) in order to provide additional stability when you’re operating with heavy loads, on uneven ground, or in windy conditions
- Anti Leg Rotation
- A redesigned Anti Leg Rotation system means the tripod can be opened in less than 15 seconds. With a single twist of your wrist, you can loosen all three twist locks on a leg at the same time, then pull the leg down and tighten the locks individually
- Gitzo 6x Carbon Fiber
- Gitzo 6x guarantees structural strength, flexion rigidity, and great vibration absorption properties. The performance of this multilayer design is unique and inimitable thanks to the advanced aerospace production technology and the exclusive inner structure. It is the highest-density tube that’s 100% made of top-quality ultra-thin (7?m) carbon fibers – a 28mm tube contains 1.5 million carbon fibers
Similar to Tripod legs, Ball heads have a Maximum Load Weight Capacity, Maximum and Minimum Height, and Actual Size and Weight. You then have the build quality and engineering which will usually get you to decide on something.
Giottos MH 1004 Mini Ball Head
The smallest in the Giottos Ball Head line, the MH 1004 Mini Ball Head features an independent pan bed and offers weight support to accommodate most 35mm or Digital cameras. The Giotto MH 1004 is a solid performer in the entry-level ballhead segment.
- Supports 5lbs
Giottos MH-1304 Pro Series II Mini Ballhead with MH-110C Camera Platform
The Giottos MH-1304 Pro Series II Mini Ballhead with MH-110C Camera Platform is a mini “socket & ball” head that has been carefully designed and manufactured to precisely position the camera easily and securely. Measuring slightly over 1″ (27mm) in diameter, this head is rates to support up to 7 lbs (3 kg).
In order to cut back on its weight, this head features a hollowed out heavily anodized aluminum ball. The body shell (socket) follows a slimmer and lighter structure design, yet offers increased hardness. One large control knob locks down all movement of the ball.
- Hollowed out ball
- Supports 7lbs
Giottos MH-1002 Compact Ballhead with Independent Panning Lock – Supports 6.6 lbs (3 kg)
Similar in design to the MH1003 but with a larger diameter ball and higher weight rating, the MH1002 can easily hold 35mm and some medium format gear with smoothness and precision.
|Maximum Camera Supported||35mm SLR|
|Load Capacity||6.6 lbs (3 kg)|
|Height||3.0″ (7.6 cm)|
|Tripod Mount Thread Size||3/8″-16 (1/4″-20 reducer bushing is provided)|
|Weight||0.54 lb (0.24 kg)|
Davis & Sanford BHQ8 Standard Ballhead
This affordable Davis & Sanford BHQ8 Standard Ballhead is suitable for compact-sized cameras like point-and-shoot cameras, compact SLRs and camcorders. An included quick-release plate makes mounting and remounting a breeze. A single control knob facilitates all platform positioning.
- Ultra-smooth all-position ball rotation
- Quick release safety lock
- Quick release plate with non-skid cork mat
- Supports 7lbs
Giottos MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release System
The Giottos MH-1301 Pro Series II Medium Ballhead with MH-656 Quick Release System is a medium-sized “socket & ball” head that has been carefully designed and manufactured to precisely position the camera easily and securely.
In order to cut back on its weight, this head features a hollowed out heavily anodized aluminum ball. The body shell (socket) follows a slimmer and lighter structure design, yet offers increased hardness. Three separate knobs provide optimal security and convenience. In addition to the main locking knob, it also features a friction control knob, and a separate locking knob for pan control.
The attached MH-656 is a clamp style quick release system that is compatible with plates that fit the Arca Swiss standard. It comes with horizontal and vertical bubble levels, and anti-twist reversible tabs on the plate to prevent slippage when using the head in a vertical position.
- Features an independent calibrated pan bed
- Hollowed out ball
- Sliding calibrated quick release plate
- Supports 20 lbs (9 kg)
Smith-Victor BH5 1.76mm Ball Head
The Smith-Victor BH5 1.76mm Ball Head is a rugged and well-designed ball head. It is rated to support up to 26 lbs, and is ideal for use with pro SLR cameras with long pro zoom lenses attached. All knobs feature a comfortable knurled rubber gripping surface. In addition to the large single-action locking knob, the BH5 also features two smaller knobs. One controls the 360° panning control, and the other the amount of ball friction.
- Maximum tilt range of 90°
- Head pan marked in 5° increments
Gitzo GH1780QR Center Ballhead with Quick Release – I Own This Guy
If you want rock solid and light weight, this is a great choice! I purchased mine about 2 years ago and even with my heaviest gear mounted it’s rock solid. Super high quality precision adjustment know as well that has a lot of turns to it for fine tuning depending on your load. This model is also very light weight.
The Gitzo GH1780QR Center Ballhead with Quick Release is a lightweight magnesium ballhead that incorporates many innovative and state-of-the-art features. It is designed to match the range of high performance tripods available from Gitzo. Not only does it guarantee a high maximum support load, but it also offers many other improved features, such as: smoothness, minimized drift angle, low gravity center, greater tilt angles, compactness, ergonomics and safety.
Exceptionally smooth rotation, positive locking and rapid camera mounting are all features common to the Gitzo designed range of ballheads. The graduated base, with independent locking facilities permits perfect panoramic photography. The design of the panoramic base permits the ballhead to be used for table top or near ground level work with or without the use of a tripod.
- Safe Lock Disc
- Spring Lock
- Double Quick Release Safety System
- Bubble Ball
- Leveling Bubbles
- Extended Tilt Range
- Supports 22lbs
Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head RC2 Quick Release with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate
The Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head RC2 Quick Release with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate is constructed of die-cast aluminum, strong enough to support SLR or DSLR cameras with a medium lens, and light medium format cameras. It has a single repositionable locking lever for 360° panoramic rotation, ±90° tilt movement, plus a friction control for precise positioning. Cameras are attached to the ball head with the 200PL-14 Plate with 1/4” male threads. The head to tripod attachment has 3/8” female threads. Additionally, the Quick Release has a safety system to prevent an accidental detaching from the head.
- 13.23 lb (6.0 kg) Load Capacity
- Die Cast Aluminum
- 3.94″ (100.07mm) Tall
- Lightweight 0,93 lb (0.42 kg)
Manfrotto 498RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release and 200PL-14 QR Plate
The Manfrotto 498RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release and 200PL-14 QR Plate is constructed of die-cast aluminum, strong enough to support an SLR camera with a medium lens, and light medium format cameras. It has a single repositionable locking lever for 360° panoramic rotation and ±90° tilt movements, plus a friction control for precise positioning. Cameras are attached to the ball head with the 200PL-14 Plate and RC2 Quick Release with 1/4” male threads. The head to tripod attachment has 3/8” female threads. Additionally, the Quick Release has a safety system to prevent an accidental detaching from the head.
- 17.64 lb (8 kg) Load Capacity
- Die Cast Aluminum
- 4.92″ (124.96mm) Tall
- Lightweight 1.34 lb (0.61 kg)
The Manfrotto 468MGRC2 is designed to meet the demands of professional photographers who require a light weight head but at the same time want to support heavy camera loads up to 22 lb.
The 468MG series uses a hydraulic system to lock the ball mechanism in place. Using hydraulics instead of a mechanical system produces a super-tight lock from a minimal turn of the locking knob, without sacrificing the smoothness of the ball’s movement when unblocked. To keep weight low, the head is made of magnesium; and to provide smooth movements the 2″ aluminum ball is Teflon coated. The oversized ball locking knob allows for easy control even when using gloves.
This head further offers a range of handy features: independent pan and tilt locks with a 360° pan movement; +90/-90° tilt movement; a graduated engraved panoramic base; and a calibrated adjustable friction control on the main knob.
The 468MGRC2 version uses the popular RC2 (3157N) quick release system, which is small and light enough to leave permanently attached to your compact or SLR camera even when not using a tripod.
- Magnesium cast head, with 2″ aluminum ball, Teflon coated
- Independent pan lock, with calibrated 360° panning bed
- Oversized ball locking knob
Acratech GP Ballhead
The Acratech GP Ballhead is not only a first-class ballhead, it can also function as a gimbal head for shooting with telephoto lenses, and even be used upside down as a leveling base for stitched panoramic images. The GP Ballhead makes it possible for you to pan parallel to the horizon, even on very rough terrain, so there’s no need for a separate leveling base for accurate panoramic images. All of this, and it only weighs 1 lb. It also includes a quick release clamp with bullseye level, double-speed knob and detent pin (which prevents the plate and anything attached to it from sliding out of the quick-release clamp when it’s partially loosened).
- Works as a gimbal head with lenses up to 400 f4.0
- Weighs less than 1 lb (0.45 kg) with quick-release clamp
- Easily holds over 25 lbs (11.4 kg) at any angle
- Full movements allow any camera position
- Precision machined aluminum
- Compatible with Kirk, Arca, R.R.S., and many other QR plates
- Fits all standard tripods (1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threads)
- Laser-engraved dual degree markings
- Beautiful satin black-anodized finish
- Long-lasting stainless-steel hardware
- All knobs are secured so they cannot vibrate loose and fall off
- Oilless and greaseless ball will not attract or hold dirt and debris
- Made in U.S.A.
Manfrotto 222 Joystick Head
The Manfrotto 222 Joystick Head is fast to set up and an easy to use tripod head. The very act of taking your hand away from the grip locks the head into position, which eliminates the extra step of having to tighten a knob or lever before being ready to shoot. You have immediate access to half of a sphere in which to position your camera. The tension of the ball can be adjusted to accommodate the load weight.
It is not for continuous tracking of moving subjects, because you must always grip the lever to release the ball and thus your hand would tire after prolonged use. In the vertical mode of horizontal-format cameras, it is limited to only 5.5 pounds. But for 6X6cm format shooters or 35mm up to an 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, it exceeds all others in expedience. An ideal head for wedding or portrait photographers. Replaces part number 3265.
- Fast, one-handed positioning
- Built-in bubble level
- Tension adjustment
- Secondary security lock
Manfrotto 327RC2 Joystick Head
The Manfrotto 327RC2 Joystick Head is constructed of magnesium, providing superior performance and durability, making it the best choice for advanced users with high-end and full frame cameras. The joystick design offers a uniquely ergonomic way of quickly unlocking, moving and blocking your camera. You can frame and reposition the head freely and frequently to get the perfect photo: grip the head to move the camera and as soon as you release, it locks securely in place.
The Joystick Head has a single locking lever, making control of all movements fast. The head features 360° panoramic rotation, -3°/ +90° lateral, and -90°/ +90° front tilt. Cameras are attached to the ball head with the 200PL-14 Plate with 1/4” male threads. The head to tripod attachment has 3/8” female threads. This 1.4 lbs (0.62kg) lightweight head has a 12.13 lbs (5.5kg) load capacity.
- Friction control permits fine framing adjustment and improved camera safety
- Stainless steel ball made using a “deep drawing” process which produces a strong, thin-walled, hollow sphere, reducing weight and increasing locking power
- Ergonomic design guarantees comfort and precision
Manfrotto 393 Heavy Duty Telephoto Lens Support
The most economical option among Gimbal heads, the Manfrotto 393 Heavy Duty Telephoto Lens Support puts the tilt axis (up/down) in line with the midpoint of the lens’ weight. This makes movement with a large telephoto lens easy enough to be done with one finger. Point the rig where you want, let go and it stays where you left it. Height of the lens is adjustable and there is a built-in pan base.
The built-in 357 quick release assembly allows fore/aft movement within the mount for perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The 357PL quick release plate includes two 1/4″-20 screws (many large tripod collared lenses have two sockets in their collars) and one 3/8″-16 screw. The 393 is appropriate for all telephoto lenses with a tripod collar.
Replaces old part number 3421.
Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II with Quick Release Base
The Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II with Quick Release Base is a gimbal-type tripod head that incorporates an elevated tilt mechanism and adjustable platform to make the camera/lens’ center of gravity and tilt axis of the head be perfectly aligned.
Things once thought of as impossible with a ballhead are nothing short of mundane with a Wimberley, because a weightless camera/lens combo (even a 600mm f/4 w/ large body) can literally be controlled with one finger. Point the rig where you want and take the hand away, and it stays exactly where you put it.
The Version II head is more compact and lightweight, features a redesigned panning base, “soft-touch” knobs, and includes a built-in Arca-type quick release base. Visit lens chart for a chart of compatible lens plates and cameras.
- The built-in industry-standard Arca-Swiss style quick release clamp makes it compatible with the many different plates available from Arca-Swiss, Acratech , Kirk, Wimberly, Really Right Stuff, Foba, etc.
- The head does not have separate controls for tension and locking, but the locking controls deliver smooth resistance with diminished “stick-slip”.
- The overall height of the head is 9.25″ (23.5cm), with the lens platform adjustable from 3.5″ to 7.1″ (8.9 x 18cm). The centerline of a balanced lens will be approximately 8.4″ (21.3cm) above the bottom of the head.
Distance from the mounting surface of the platform to the tilt axis: Adjustable from 1.1″ to 4.8″ (2.8 to 12.2cm).
- The head’s redesigned panning base has zero play and the pan locking knob has been moved to the side of the head; this allows the user to easily operate both knobs with the same hand.
- Lobed “soft-touch” knobs provide a more comfortable grip and perform better when using gloves.
- Powder coated/anodized finish
- Made in the U.S.A.
L-Brackets are used as a way to attach your camera to other mounts, such as a tri-bod for example. Similar to the Quick Release plates, except it has a L shape which allows you to quickly and simple roll the camera to the vertical position without adjusting the tr-pod ballhead. this also keeps the center of gravity in the center which is ideal.
When it comes to quality L-Brackets, the ReallyRightStuff.com folks have some of the best hardware on the market!! Their hard to find though unless you buy directly from them or Ebay etc.. Jtec is another company I found that makes a few brackets for the Nex cameras, but they don’t look like the same standard of quality as The Really Right Stuff.
BNEX7-L Set: Includes Base + L-Plate
L-Plate Set for Sony NEX-7. This modular L-Plate mates beautifully with the new NEX-7 camera. This custom L-plate was designed to fit Sony NEX7’s ultra-thin body as snugly as possible, but still make room for opening and positioning its LCD panel. The gap below the LCD screen provides clearance for the screen to be tilted up or down; with L-plate installed, you can still hold the camera over your head and swivel the screen so that it can be seen from below.
NOTE: Images at left show protype plate. Actual plate will have laser engraved centering index marks.
Price: ~$120 @ TheReallyRightStuff
BNEX5N-L Set: Includes Base + L-Plate
L-Plate Set for Sony NEX-5N. This modular L-Plate mates beautifully with the new NEX-5N camera. The gap below the LCD screen provides clearance for the screen to be tilted up or down; with L-plate installed, you can still hold the camera over your head and swivel the screen so that it can be seen from below.
Price: ~$120 @ TheReallyRightStuff
BEA2-L: L-Plate for NEX Mount Adapter
L-plate for Sony LA-EA2 NEX Camera Mount Adapter. This Sony Alpha A-mount adapter for Alpha E-mount camera bodies has a detachable tripod attachment. Add this L-plate to the tripod attachment and get the L-plate advantage for all of your Sony Alpha E-mount camera bodies.
Note that when this L-plate is used simultaneously with our NEX-7 L-plate, there is not sufficient clearance to have both L-plates mounted. You must remove one of the L-plates.
Price: ~$88 @ TheReallyRightStuff
L-Plate for Sony A77 without optional Sony C77 battery grip. Optional Battery Grip Bracket Here >>
L-Plate Set for Sony A77. Use the base plate alone, or use the L-component to create a rigid and robust L-plate. The L-component has two mounting positions, one in-line with the base dovetail to facilitate easy panorama mounting and access to HDMI. The more forward position has an offset 10mm to allow access to the remote cable port and DC in. See the animated image at the left to view the two positions. This patent-pending modular approach is only available from Really Right Stuff.
Price: ~$130 @ TheReallyRightStuff
Jtec Sony NEX-5 L-Bracket Tripod Mount (Black or Silver)
The Sony NEX-5 L-Bracket Tripod Mount (Black) allows the Sony NEX-5 camera to be securely mounted on an Arca-Swiss style tripod head in both landscape and portrait positions. A quick release mechanism makes it easy to switch the bracket from portrait to landscape positions.
By providing a firm grip on the camera, this bracket prevents any movement between the plate and the camera, an important consideration when capturing detailed landscapes, architectural shots, or panoramic views using the camera’s Sweep Panorama mode.
This lightweight, aluminum constructed bracket is designed to complement the camera in style and color and accommodates a strap loop for easy carrying.
Jtec Nex-5N L-Bracket Tri-pod Mount
Price: ~$115.00 @ Jtec.com
Jtec Nex-7 L-Bracket Tri-pod Mount
Price: ~$120.00 @ Jtec.com
Flash brackets are designed to increase the distance between the flash head and the lens in order to minimize the occurrence of red eye and to also reduce flash-shadows behind the subject. Great for Weddings in particular. Whether you need a flash bracket is a personal decision as your choice should be based on your needs specifically. Our needs were pretty specific and I’m going to show you what we ended settling on and why. After that I’ll go over some of the other flash brackets we considered.
I used this guy for about 2 years, and although a bit heavy when fully loaded, it makes lief as a wedding shooter much easier!!
The Custom Bracket QRS-H2 Camera Rotation Bracket is an ideal choice for use with Digital and 35mm SLR cameras. It has a built-in textured adjustable handle. The bracket is held comfortably in your left hand, leaving your right hand free to operate the camera functions. The unique rotation system-which rotates around the center of the lens-allows for locking not just at the vertical or horizontal axis, but anywhere in between as well.
This model has been improved by using roller bearings for the camera rotation mechanism. This means it is now virtually maintenance free. The bracket now also includes a swivel leg for better balance.
Note: Requires the optional #CMP Universal Camera Mounting Plate. Also requires an optional flash mounting plate (except Metz 45/50/60/70/76 series flashes).
- Camera mounting plates
- Can be used with or without vertical grips/add-on battery boosters.
- Flash quick-release
- The flash arm features adjustable height and allows tilting.
- Bracket base
- Ready for optional tripod quick-release.
- System stands upright
- System stands upright, protecting camera and flash.
- System interchangeability
- Switch camera/flash from system to system.
- Accepts optional bracket accessory adapters
- Radio slaves, TTL modules, Focusing lights, etc.
- Aluminum construction
- Computer-controlled six-sided machining.
Opteka X-Grip Pro Video Stabilizing Handle
The Opteka X-Grip Pro Video Stabilizing Handle adds an extra level of convenience and control to your video production by providing a comfortable top handgrip–and a stable base–to your camcorder or DSLR. This not only allows for easier transport, but gives you the freedom to shoot smoother, more stable video from below the waist and even at ground level. So when you’re ready to pump up a scene’s action quotient, shooting from a skateboard, rollerblades or even a bike becomes far less challenging. A hot shoe adapter on the front of the handle allows for convenient mic or light placement, so that even quiet, handheld dialogue scenes will benefit from using Opteka’s X-Grip.
- Provides stabilization for action video shoots
- Fits most compact camcorders, digital cameras, and entry SLRs
- Hot shoe allows attachment of a flash or video light
- Foam padded handle alleviates the stress of lengthy filming
Opteka Video Shoulder Support System
The Opteka Video Shoulder Support System is ideal for use with small digital SLR cameras and prosumer camcorders, and can support payloads up to 20 lb (9kg). Integrating a fully flexible structure, the system can be adjusted for left or right shoulder operation, and for suiting different body types. All adjustments are possible via thumbscrews, and improved precision can be gained by using a wrench. You can detach the grip handle and use it as a standalone support.
With a compact design (18 x 8 x 4.5″ / 45.2 x 20.3 x 11.4 cm) and weight of 2.3 lb (1.04kg), the Video Shoulder Support System is suitable for amateur or professional filmmakers and videographers. It is constructed from aluminum and stainless steel.
- Ideal for use with small digital SLR cameras and prosumer camcorders
- Can support payloads up to 20 lb (9kg)
- Flexible structure – can be adjusted for left or right shoulder operation and for suiting body types
- Allows adjustments via thumbscrews, and improved precision can be gained by using a wrench
- Offers detachment of the grip handle and its use as a standalone support
- Integrates a compact design (18 x 8 x 4.5″ / 45.2 x 20.3 x 11.4 cm) and weight of 2.3 lb (1.04kg)
- Suitable for amateur or professional filmmakers and videographers
Redrock Micro microShoulderMount Deluxe Bundle
The Redrock Micro microShoulderMount Deluxe Bundle turns nearly any camera into a portable, shoulder-mounted production rig. Whether you’re shooting with a tiny consumer camcorder, a video DSLR, or an ENG-style camera and 35mm lens adapter, this kit not only increases the stability of handheld shooting, it provides new levels of flexibility to how you shoot.
The shoulder pad and two rubberized handgrips can be adjusted in nearly any configuration along the included handlebar rods and 18″ carbon fiber support rods. And with the addition of a Redrock microMount (not included), the rods can be used to support a host of accessories, from articulating arms to external monitors, batteries and portable hard drives.
- Virtually every element of the microShoulderMount can be adjusted to align and balance for your rig. Almost all adjustments are made using thumbscrews, and can be further tightened with wrenches for added confidence. The hand grips, camera, and shoulder pad can all be adjusted to fit your body and shooting style.
- Adaptable to a Range of Cameras & Styles
- The microShoulderMount can be adapted to just about any style of shooting or camera. The handgrips and shoulder pad can be integrated onto your existing 15mm rod system for a compact setup. For maximum flexibility, the microShoulderMount can be run on a separate set of rods (not included) beneath your rig for quick attachment or removal of the shoulder mount support. For ENG style cameras with an integrated shoulder pad, the handlebar, grips, and rod clamp can be attached directly to the camera while using the camera’s own shoulder pad. And for setups requiring precise balancing, use a separate rod clamp (not included) from the one that’s connected to the shoulder pad, so the camera and shoulder pad can be moved independently on the rods.
- Expandable with Other Redrock Accessories
- You can enhance the microShoulderMount with other Redrock accessories. You can personalize your rig to exactly meet your needs today, or grow your rig as your needs and camera configurations change.
- Rubberized handgrips and padded shoulder mount for maximum comfort
- Standard 15mm lightweight (60mm center to center) rod configuration
- Optional microMount connector with 1/4″-20 male/female tap can be used to mount on-camera LCD monitor, articulating arm, or other accessories. The microMount can also be positioned on any 15mm rod anywhere on your rig for added flexibility.
- Machined aluminum and stainless steel construction for maximum durability and rigidity