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Thread: Tripod head help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    New Zealand

    Tripod head help

    I am doing a photography class at a local community center and I need to get a head for my tripod. Because it is a class we are doing all types of photography, inside and outside, on the flat and on hills, landscape and closeup.
    I'm not sure in the future where my needs will lay, but probably for landscapes, macro, and night work.
    The tutor swears by a 'three way head' with levers, while just about all the books and forums, etc I have looked at recommend a 'ball and socket' system.
    I went for the ball and socket and I spent last night out in the drizzle, on a hill, fighting to get the camera repositioned every time we moved to a new spot! The tutor and other students with their three way heads had no problems at all!
    I am able to keep the ball and socket to try it out for a bit longer, and the store is happy to swap it for the three way if I want, but I can't get a chance to try a three way before I need to make a decision.

    I have totally over thought this already . What experience do any of you have with tripod heads? What do you like or don't like? What would you recommend? Do you think I'm just inexperienced with the ball and socket and need to give it time, or does it seem obvious that it's not the one for me and my needs?

    Thanks for your thoughts .

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  2. #2
    Hard to say, Donna. I have had a tripod since my film days, but I truly do not use it all that often. I find that I still need to feel my way through using it and often have "oops" (or worse...) moments, especially with my heavier camera. You were probably under a lot of pressure...learning and everyone else watching. Also that they could follow his instructions and that you had to adapt them. Can you play with the other type is a store? Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    I love my ball head tripod but don't have experience with the other kind. Sorry can't be more useful. I don't have problem with quick changes, just takes practice.

    Blog: House of Amson

    My Camera: Nikon D300
    Lenses Include: Nikon 18-200, Nikon 50 mm 1.8 and 1.4, Tokina Macro 100mm 2.8, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 (newest indulgence)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I have the ball head tripod and find it very hard to adjust. It's a good one too but I wish I had not invested the money in it. Not that I use a tripod all that much... mine has a handle you squeeze and that's really the part I don't like. Too finicky for my taste...

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Westchester, NY
    I have a ball head with a handle and I love this way more than the three way. the three way might be easier to make minor adjustments as it can only move in one direction. that being said, the new Gitzo ball head with handle is supposed to be great - a friend of mine has the newer version of what I have and she says it is so much easier to adjust. They also have a friction control which allows you to tighten or loosen how tight the grip is on the ball so if you have this too tight, it makes it more difficult to adjust the ball head.
    Simone aka

    My Camera: Canon 50D
    My Lenses: Canon 35mm, 60mm, 24-105, 70-200 & 100-400 plus Sigma fisheye
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