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Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp

B&H # ACGPLC MFR # 1157
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $429.95
Product Highlights
  • Functions as a Gimbal Head
  • Functions as a Leveling Base
  • Lever Quick Release for Arca Style
  • Dual Laser-Engraved Degree Markings
  • Supports Over 25 lb
  • Lightweight - Weighs Just 1 lb

The Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp is an updated version of the existing GP head. Rather than a rubber knob, this model features a locking lever for securing the Arca Swiss-style clamp that constitutes the quick-release element.

Featuring first-class construction, the GP Ballhead also functions as a gimbal head for lenses up to 400mm f/4.0, and it can be positioned upside-down to function as a leveling base for panoramic photography. Even if you're operating on rocky or otherwise uneven terrain, you can pan absolutely parallel to the horizon, so you won't need to carry a separate leveling base to create accurate stitched panoramic imagery.

The ballhead also features a bull's-eye level on the quick-release clamp and a detent pin, which prevents the plate and anything attached to it from sliding out of the quick-release clamp when it's partially loosened. Lightweight at only 1 lb, the GP Ballhead supports loads over 25 lb from any position, including tilted 90° and mounted upside-down.

Works as a gimbal head with lenses up to 400mm f/4.0
Weighs less than 1 lb (0.45 kg) with quick-release clamp
Easily holds over 25 lb (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 the USA
Load Capacity Greater than 25 lb (11.4 kg)
Ball Sphere Diameter 1.5" (38mm)
Quick Release Yes, lever-lock clamp
Compatibility Arca Swiss-style plates (Kirk, Acratech & many others)
Spirit Level Yes
Tension Control Yes
Separate Panning Lock Yes
Gimbal Yes
Tripod Mount Thread Size 3/8"-16 female thread (1/4"-20 reducer bushing included)
Height 4.1" (104mm)
Width 3.15" (80mm)
Base Diameter 2.37" (60mm)
Weight 0.99 lb (0.45 kg)
Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp
  • 10 Year Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    AcratechGP Ballhead with Lever Clamp
     
    4.7

    (based on 10 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (3)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (5)
    • Attaches firmly (4)
    • Large range of motion (4)
    • Strong clamp (4)
    • Compact (3)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/scenery (6)
      • Travel (6)
      • Night shots (4)
      • Weddings (3)
      • Wildlife (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Photo enthusiast (6)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (9)

      Reviewed by 10 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      5.0

      Expensive, but still a great value!

      By Mark

      from NYC

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Durable
      • Easy to Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

          I am always buying all sorts of gear, and very often I have to bite the bullet and spend more money than the item is obviously worth (lens hoods, straps, bags, accessories, etc.) $500 for a tripod head and a couple quick release plates is quite a hefty price, but I can't help but feeling that it's worth every penny.

          I bought this head in-store with the assistance of a helpful B&H employee. I decided on the Gitzo 3542L tripod and wanted to get a good head to go with it. I personally love pan/tilt heads, but they tend to be big, bulky and a bit too cumbersome for many uses, so I opted for a ballhead. I had done some research and wanted to try out the ArcaSwiss Z1 head as well as a couple models of Acratech heads.

          Seeing the Acratech heads next to the ArcaSwiss Z1, the first thing you notice is the massive difference in size and weight. Adding the Z1 to a carbon fiber tripod will negate a lot of the weight savings you will get from using lightweight carbon fiber legs. The Acratech heads all seem appropriately sized/weighted for use with a robust, but lightweight tripod system. It does not add too much length to the tripod, which for me is great because my tripod is already more than tall enough.

          The Acratech heads are also works of art when you look at them. They are simultaneously very futuristic looking but also timeless and classic in appearance, which is aided by the beautiful laser etched numbers. The GP is by far the coolest looking tripod head I have ever seen, and many would agree. You can tell that they put an awful lot of effort into designing a head that is functional first and beautiful second.

          Let's move onto the next topic as I would just have happily purchased this head even if it weren't so good looking. The one thing you will notice when comparing this head to the ArcaSwiss Z1, Really Right Stuff ballheads, Markins, etc. is its open design. I shoot professionally and wind up in all sorts of bizarre and unpredictable locations. A big fear of mine with using traditional closed-design ballheads is the ability for dust, sand, water, etc. to find its way into the inaccessible chamber, in which case the head could become damaged or locked up and have to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair.

          The Acratech GP's open design really looks and feels weather proof. If anything were to find its way into the ball, I could remove it myself without worrying about particles becoming jammed up in an area of the head that I am unable to access. This, for me, is a huge plus of the design.

          The GP has some functionality that I do not require at the moment, but it's nice to see that it is included. Although I do not require an auto-level pan head, I tried it out and it is fast and easy to use. It requires the included allen key, but the whole thing can be done in about 30 seconds, maybe even faster. It pans smoothly and evenly and will certainly be of use to some photographers. Similarly, the gimbal head functionality is a great plus. While I am sure a dedicated gimbal head will be even better at performing this function than the GP, it seems to work quite well. For work with the Canon 70-200mm, I attach to the tripod at the lens collar and think it is great to be able to work with this setup in the gimbal head mode. I can loosen the collar to rapidly switch from portrait to landscape mode. I can also switch from gimbal mode to regular ballhead mode in a second.

          I have tested for creep with my lightest (50mm) and heaviest (70-200) lenses and it functions perfectly. I have the utmost confidence in this head. I do not ever shoot with lenses larger than the 70-200mm f/2.8L II so I cannot comment on using this head with larger lenses.

          In the store I had to make a tough choice between the knob quick release and the lever. The model with the knob has many more reviews than the one with the lever, and I was slightly concerned when looking at the lever that it could allow my camera to fall of the tripod. I bit the bullet and decided to go for the lever model since it is very quick to mount and remove the camera from the head. To date I have not had any issues with the camera falling, but will report back if this ever becomes an issue. My rationale for putting my fears aside and choosing the lever system was that a company like Acratech would almost certainly not release a quick release system that is not secure.

          The knobs are all comfortable, secure and easy to use.

          This head will be coming with me to Alaska next month where I will put it through its paces in a new and demanding environment. I truly believe that this ballhead will be with me forever. When spending this sort of money on a head, you not only want it to perform as advertised, but also to last for a very long time, and I really think it will!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Great ball head

          By Hardy

          from Australia

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Easy to Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel

            Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

            I also have an ultimate ball head which I use with a Nikon d7000 and Gitzo tripod, which makes a great light weight and very sturdy combination for all my lenses. Have not taken the GP into the field yet, but it seems to have the same weight and size pro's of the ultimate and I expect will be a little easier to tilt up/down because it does not have the angled grip, and has the advantage of being like a leveling base for pano's if set up that way. It's a very well made product.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Excellent build quality

            By Scooter

            from Carmel, CA

            Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

            This ballhead is worth every penny! The machining and build quality is second to none. A well thought out open ball design that is rugged and yet easy to use. And all this... at 1lb, fantastic.

            Share this review

            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Compact and solid

            By The Rude Photographer

            from New York

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Easy to Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

                Looks like good build quality. Haven't used it much to put it through its paces yet.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Solid and wonderfully constructed

                By Steady in Texas

                from San Antonio, TX

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

                      I didn't understand how this ballhead was used for the gimbal action that was described in the product literature. It seems that by adjusting the tension on the ball - not with the release knob but with the tension knob - that you can dial in just enough tension to allow some movement with sufficient force. You can get off a shot like this but you'd have to lock it down if you really want the maximum benefit of the ballhead.

                      The locking mechanism on the lever is wonderful - better than I was anticipating.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Small, Light, Functional

                      By Dry and Dusty

                      from Calexico, CA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Home
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Shots
                        • Sports/Action
                        • Travel
                        • Weddings/Events
                        • Wildlife

                        Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

                        I have owned this head for a few weeks now and have had the opportunity to use it for landscape photography in the local desert. I am glad I chose the lever clamp rather than the standard screw clamp because the lever feels distinct from the other adjusting knobs; thereby enhancing camera security and preventing accidents. If you are like me, when working you don't always look at the knobs when adjusting the head and composing the shot. In getting used to the head it is easy to confuse the knobs. The lever prevents you from loosening the camera by mistake.The GP Ballhead is fine quality, sturdy, and provides great range of motion. (So far, I have used it only for a camera with a standard lens, not with a telephoto lens.) The tripod I am using allows the central post to be placed horizontally for low-down shots close to the ground. Such configurations in which you shoot horizontally with a horizontal post require the tripod head to have a wide latitude in positional adjustment, which this head does.I discovered that I must be careful when mounting the GP head to my tripod, which has 3 setscrews to prevent the head assembly from rotating and loosening on the tripod. If I tighten those setscrews too much, the base of the GP head is distorted, causing the GP adjustment in azimuth to bind. Therefore, only minor tightening of the setscrews is permissible.Acratech warns against carrying the camera while still mounted to the tripod head. This is good advice, but it is not always practicable to remove the camera when moving a matter of feet. Be sure the knobs are very firmly tightened or you may have unexpected & uncontrolled camera movement as I did. This would probably happen with most heads, given the right circumstances; so I do not view this as a shortcoming of the GP Ballhead.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great Ballhead for medium weight

                        By Ron

                        from Texas

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attaches Firmly
                        • Good Stability
                        • Large Range of Motion
                        • Strong Clamp
                        • Value

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Travel
                          • Wildlife

                          Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

                          Nikon D7000 with Sigma 150-500.
                          Just the right combination for weight and stability

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          This really works

                          By Mort

                          from Indianapolis, IN

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Good Stability
                          • Strong Clamp

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots
                            • Travel
                            • Weddings/Events
                            • Wildlife

                            Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

                            It works as advertised. I used for the first time last weekend to photograph vintage cars. It worked great, easy to use, and it is nice to have the rubber knobs to control the head.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Natural ease of use

                            By decemberlight

                            from SE MN

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attaches Firmly
                            • Good Stability
                            • Large Range of Motion
                            • Strong Clamp

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Portraits
                              • Travel
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

                              Light weight, small in comparison to others, great feel - resistance - in the adjustment.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Solid and highly functional

                              By unclear

                              from San Francisco

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Night Shots
                                • Travel

                                Comments about Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp:

                                Like the previous acratech ballhead i used, this is a great piece of equipment. I like the security and quickness of the lever compared to the knob, major upgrade in my opinion.

                                Like the previous model also, my only wish would be that the leveling bubble would be visible once the camera is attached to the tripod - rather than hidden under the plate. It's a small thing really, but I find with the weight of my camera it's much easier to level the lightweight head than it is with nothing attached.

                                Flipping the head into panorama mode is simple, and there is a hex wrench included, but there is also a slot for standard screwdriver (or small coin) to loosen while on the go. I did notice there is some slight difficulty re-attaching the quick mount head to the ball going back from panorama mode, but I think this is just something to get used to - seems like there is one bracket that is larger than the others to help align the top, but it took the first few attempts to notice.

                                Very high quality overall, love the laser etching, and easily holds both my smaller and larger digital cameras (M9 / 5DmkII)

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                Quick Release Plates

                                Show more >

                                Required item: Plate is required.

                                Acratech -  Quick Release Plate for Telephoto Lenses (3")
                                • You Pay: $39.95
                                 

                                Levelling Bases

                                Acratech -  Leveling Base for Tripods with 1/4"-20 Thread Head Mount
                                • You Pay: $149.95
                                 
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