Guide to Tripod Heads
Even if your Tripod head comes as part of your tripod kit, you'll soon realize that you may need to supplement or replace it with specialized tripod heads. Different types of heads have specific designs to meet certain camera-shooting needs. To know which tripod head works best, you need to know the different types available.
Types of Tripod Heads
Ball tripod heads have a rotating ball that lets you set your camera in almost all imaginable positions, giving you the most flexibility. They come with a locking screw that sets the camera in place. A pistol grip head works similarly to ball heads; however, instead of a knob to loosen the ball, it has a pistol grip. This gives you a quick and easy way to reposition the camera. Pan and tilt heads allow a two-way movement of your camera—side to side and back and forth. You can also tilt the camera left and right. To control and lock the camera in position, use the tripod handle. If you're using a heavy camera with a lens barrel of 40cm or 60cm, then gimbal tripod heads are your most suitable choice. These use the tripod legs and the camera's center of gravity to balance the whole system, making them efficient for maintaining focus when taking long exposure shots.
Important Features and Accessories
Geared tripod heads have micrometric knobs to make small, precise adjustments of the camera, making them perfect for macrophotography. Heads with camera quick release plates and L-brackets allow you to quickly attach and detach your camera from the tripod unit, saving you a significant amount of time. Most motorized tripod heads feature both auto-pan mode and remote control mode. The auto-pan mode of these tripod pan heads allows continuous horizontal panning motion that you can set by a selector. The remote operation mode is made possible by a detachable remote control unit that comes with the head. If you'll be frequently traveling with your tripod kit, shop for durable cases for tripod heads to protect your gear from possible damage.
Check out B&H Photo and Video's wide selection of tripod heads to find the most suitable type for your needs. Choose from a range of brands including Leica, Vello, Oben, and Manfrotto tripod heads.