The Profligate Ball Head

on June 08, 2017
It is rare that you encounter a piece of photographic equipment that is arrogant. But look at the featured image of the Joby Ballhead X. If that isn't throwing the head back, holding the sides, and laughing at haven't been watching enough Pixar animation... It is rare these days that I will admit to being wrong, or pursue a new idea unbidden. But when I noticed that I was always having to take the Gitzo pan and tilt head off my studio stand to put it onto my tripod for a different part of the studio, I decided it was time to get a second head. Not having access to the Oak Island treasure, I knew that I needed a less expensive alternative to Gitzo. But I also needed rock solid performance - some of my composite images depend upon multiple exposures that do not shift by so much as a pixel. Now Joby is not a company that you thnk of in connection with many studio items. They make a great range of camera supports for mobile use but you get fixated on the little GorillaPods and forget that they also make larger items. Thus I was delighted when I came across the Ballhead X that was intended for the GorillaPod Focus. Available separately, it has proved just the answer. All metal, save the grip bands around the control knobs. Captive camera screw with folding key. safety stud in the Arca-Swiss working slot to keep the plate from departing unexpectedly. 360º revolving base, and a unique X-shaped camera plate that provides a wide splay of rubber for the base of the camera body but removes a great deal of metal and weight at the four edges. Just as simple as that - no fussy bits. No extraneous scales or levels or flip locks.It almost tempts me to replace the pan/tilt Gitzo that held a large format camera for decades. This one will hold 5 Kg and I doubt I will be slinging more weight than that in the studio.