Acratech Video Ballhead with Knob Clamp Quick-Release

Acratech Video Ballhead with Knob Clamp Quick-Release

Acratech Video Ballhead with Knob Clamp Quick-Release

B&H # ACVBHK MFR # 7112
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Product Highlights

  • Payload: 25 Pounds
  • 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 Compatible Flat Base
  • Adjustable Pan and Tilt Drag
  • Full Ball Head Adjustment
  • Arca-Swiss Compatible Camera Platform
  • Adjustable Pan Handle
  • Dual Bull's Eye Bubble Levels
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Quick-Release Type: Knob Clamp

Knob Clamp Lever Clamp
$0.00 Tax Collected Outside NY and NJ

You Pay: $599.95

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  • 1Description

Acratech's Video Ballhead is a hybrid between a still photography ball head and a fluid, dampened, pan-and-tilt, video head that can hold camera and lens combinations weighing up to 25 pounds. This version features a knob clamp style quick-release for securing heavy cameras and lenses. Despite its load capacity, the Video Ballhead only weighs 1.5 pounds, so it can be easily incorporated into an existing still photographer's setup, especially if they want to start shooting video with their camera as well. The head has a flat base that can be screwed onto a still photo tripod with a 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16 attachment.

Because it combines stills and video head technologies, it can be configured for either purpose. With the fluid, pan-and-tilt dampening engaged, the camera can be moved deliberately and precisely for smooth cinematic shots. With the damping disengaged and the ball unlocked, the camera can be tilted freely in any direction to compose photographs. Using the laser etched markings, the head can also be used with traditional panoramic photography techniques for stitching in post-production. The adjustable Arca-Swiss compatible camera platform can secure camera plates, lens supports, and nodal slides from Acratech and other manufacturers as well, so your existing equipment will still retain compatibility.

Features

Works as a video head, still photography ball head, long lens head, and a panoramic head
Fully adjustable ball tension control
Fits standard tripods with 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16 mounting screws
Compatible with Arca-Swiss type quick-release plates
Removable pan handle
Laser engraved dual degree markings
Dual large 15mm bull's eye bubble levels
CNC machined from 6061 T-6 aluminum and stainless steel
In the Box
Acratech Video Ballhead with Knob Clamp Quick-Release
  • Limited 10-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description
    Load Capacity 25 lb / 11.3 kg
    Weight 1.5 lb / 680 g
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 2.3 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 12.9 x 6.4 x 4.3"
    Video Ballhead with Knob Clamp Quick-Release is rated 2.0 out of 5 by 1.
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great quality tool, but has one major flaw for video I was waiting for this video ball head for a while, as there actually aren't many products of this type on the market that will provide decent video shooting capabilities while suiting photographers needs. The only attempt I remember was one of Manfrotto. That surprised me as with video being so popular feature now in DSLR I expected more hybrid heads will be introduced. Not so. That's why I was so happy to see such a quality brand as Acratech to release VBH. Recently used it for 10-day trip and the overall impression is great - the product is very durable, precise and smooth, joy to use. Dampening works good enough, especially for panning, a bit less smooth for tilting. For it's features the head is relatively compact and lightweight. Materials are exceptional. However I've discovered one major flaw that could probably prevent serious videographers from using it for video shooting. If you want to use pan and tilt with the handle you need to do 2 steps. First is well known for anybody who had ever shoot video - to level the head's base (I have a leveling base on a tripod so it's easy). With any regular video head that's enough as the QR-mechnism of the head is fixed and can't be moved. But here you have a clamp on a ball that can be rotated in any direction. Essentially this head is like setting a ballhead over regular video pan and tilt head. That's why for video you need a second step - to level QR-clamp. Otherwise you obviously can have some very odd trajectory when panning and tilting. And here comes the problem. Leveling the clamp horizontally is easy cause it has a bull's eye. It's enough for horizontal panning, but it's not enough for tilting. To have a precise vertical tilting you also need to position the lens axis perpendicular to the tilting rotation axis. Again, you never think about it in a regular head, but here with the ball QR-part moves freely. To achieve this position you need to rotate the clamp around the vertical axis. But while precise leveling of the clamp horizontally is easy because of the bull's eye, precise postioning of the lens to make it perpendicular to the tilting axis is not possible due to lack of any indicators. You can only do it relying on your vision. Doing so I can reach acceptable results for wide-angle lens, but for long lens it's more difficult. Any smallest positioning error makes the lens moving not only up and down, but also adds some circular lens movement, shifting it left and right when tilting. In other words if you try to follow straight line tilting up and down you'll not be able to keep it vertical in the frame. And that's for me is essentially what tilting is supposed to do - to move the frame across vertical line. This bug disappoints, cause in every other aspect this head looks like a high precision tool and it's quite expensive, so it was odd to do something so essential relying on your feeling, not indicators. It's the same that trying to level the base visually. Nobody does so, right? The solution seems pretty easy to me. Acratech just needs to put markers or indicators on the ball and the ring that fixes the ball, so that users can easily align the QR-clamp axis with the tilting axis. The head is brilliant when shooting photo. Just a bit less comfortable for portrait mode than most ball heads cause it hasn't drop notch. To position the camera you need to tilt first the ball's base and then the ball itself. So it's 2-step operation and you need to work with 2 knobs instead of one. But it's acceptable trade-off for having video capabilities. Unfortunately, having precise tilting is vital for me so for now have to send the head back. Hope so much they can fix this small but very essential issue cause I loved the head and would be happy to buy it back if the issue is fixed. But for now I would refrain from recommending it. For photo you'd better go with regular ballhead - it will be more compact and affordable. For video - just if you haven't very high requirements and shooting mostly with wide lens or don't use tilting a lot.
    Date published: 2015-08-18
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