Kirk BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release - Supports 15 lb (6.8kg)

Kirk BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release - Supports 15 lb (6.8kg)

Kirk BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release - Supports 15 lb (6.8kg)

B&H # KIBH3 MFR # BH-3
Kirk BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release - Supports 15 lb (6.8kg)

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Product Highlights

  • Incl. Universal Q.R. Plate
  • Arca-Type Quick Release System
  • Separate Pan & Friction Control Knobs
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Kirk BH-3 Overview

  • 1Description

The Kirk BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release features the same efficiency of design and rugged construction as its bigger BH-1 brother, but only weighs in at 19 oz. It is rated to support up to 15 lb, and is ideal for use with pro SLR cameras with pro zoom lenses attached. In addition to the large single-action locking knob, the BH-3 also features two smaller knobs. One controls the 360° panning control, and the other the amount of ball friction.

The BH-3 ball head comes with a universal quick release clamp that is compatible with all Arca-type plates. All external components are crafted from tough 6061-T aircraft aluminum including the solid, captive-design knobs, and the internal metal parts are stainless steel and brass to avoid corrosion. The ball cup is produced from self-lubricating Delrin composite.

Large 1.65" (42mm) ball diameter
Base diameter of 2.4" (61mm)
Quick release clamp features safety stop grooves and built-in spirit level
In the Box
Kirk BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release - Supports 15 lb (6.8kg)
  • Universal Quick Release Plate
  • Limited 5-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Kirk BH-3 Specs

    Head Type Ball Head
    Base Mount 3/8"-16 Thread
    Load Capacity 15 lb / 6.8 kg
    Number of Bubble Levels 1
    Friction Control Yes
    Pan & Tilt Range
    Panning Range 360
    Ball Sphere Diameter 1.69" / 43 mm
    Base Diameter 2.4" / 6.1 cm
    Dimensions H: 4.0" / H: 10.2 cm
    Weight 1.2 lb / 540.0 g
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.78 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 6.1 x 5.9 x 5.15"

    Kirk BH-3 Reviews

    BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release - Supports 15 lb (6.8kg) is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 97.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from High Quality at a Great Price I won't lie to you -- this isn't the best ballhead out there. But for the price, you can't beat the quality and performance of the BH-3. I think it's far better constructed than the Manfrotto 468RC2 Hydrostatic at the same price, and it's nearly the equal of the RRS BH-40 that is over $100 more expensive. In addition, this ballhead includes a QR plate, which is a $50 value if you don't own any Arca-Swiss-style plates already. My only complaint is the relative placement of the lock, friction, and panning knobs, which I personally find awkward. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product!
    Date published: 2008-12-25
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Holds weight very steady. BH-3 head came highly praised. It is well made and smooth to use. However I have found a couple things I am not happy with. It won't rotate to a full vertical shot, I have to adjust one leg to get the vertical needed. Also the screw adjustment knob for the quick release plate isn't as easy to use as the lever release style. Because of the screw type of release plate I have loosened it a copule times and almost droped my camera thinking I had turned the knob to the ball instead. There is a learning curve with this ball head. I would recommend this to a friend with caution of making sure you know which knob you are truning.
    Date published: 2010-09-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from BH-3 DOES work in portrait orientation Most of the positives regarding this ballhead have already been mentioned in other reviews. I want to reply to some negative views that suggest the ballhead cannot be fully rotated 90 degrees for use with your camera in portrait (vertical) orientation. In fact, this CAN be done: to use the ballhead in portrait orientation, just screw in the quick release plate so that the longer axis of the plate runs parallel with the longer axis of your camera (in other words, mount the quick release plate onto the quick release clamp from left-right instead of forward-backward). Done this way, you can rotate the ballhead into the slot at a full ninety degrees without the knob from the quick release clamp getting in the way.
    Date published: 2011-10-14
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stable and smooth I have just started to use this ballhead with a pro D-SLR (D3). It is well worth the money in that it is very stable. Once the drag control is set (which needs to be done for each lens combination as expected) the ballhead does not move after positioning. Then when the ballhead is locked there is still no movement. This makes framing and shooting a delight. I was initially surprized that the drag control would need to be adjusted when significant angles off horizontal are applied. Then my engineering background kicked in and I realized this has to be the case as the rotational torques increases significantly with the angle. One downside is the lack of a quick release for the bracket.
    Date published: 2008-12-28
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Smooth and Silky The build quality lets you know you have some serious real estate. I graduated to this after many years with my pistol grip manfrotto 222 ballhead. Took a little while to get used to but now I'm hooked. The adjustment knobs are perfectly sized and positioned and motion is very very fluid. I still marvel at how the ball locks and holds big glass even in crazyangles. My only gripe would be that when you using long lens/heavy glass (70-200 f2.8) you position your focus spot through the lens and lock the ballhead only to find that it does drift down a few millimetres (I have slowly learnt that you have to factor this when determining your critical focus spot)
    Date published: 2010-12-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A second Kirk Ball Head Ten years ago I purchased a Kirk Ball Head. I don't know what designation they gave it then, but I think it must identical to the BH-3 that I purchased just recently. My old ball head resides on a lighter weight Gitzo tripod, and has been a positive workhorse- with never a problem. I recently purchased a very heavy duty Gitzo, and decided that another Kirk ball head was in order, so I ordered the BH-3. I shoot with Nikon D800, D810, and D810A. Lenses are Nikon f/2.8 zooms, as well as a few fast primes. The BH-3 handles all just beautifully.
    Date published: 2016-07-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very good head and a great value This is an extremely good ball head. I'm using it on a feisol 3402 tripod and it is a great combination. The head is really solid yet doesn't weigh too much. When you are using it, the head exudes quality. The tension system works really well as does the panning base. The fact that it comes with a plate makes the initial investment much cheaper although I might think about upgrading to a lighter and lower profile plate later on. For people looking for a good quality head at a lower price, this is an awesome alternative to RRS and Arca-Swiss. I also prefered this over Acra-tech ultimate head as for ease getting into the vertical position. Seriously... if you are going to buy a head, buy this one!
    Date published: 2008-11-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent choice I am sorry I waited to long to invest in a professional quality ball head to use on a professional quality tripod.The controls are smooth, the adjustments are easy, and it will easily support the equipment I use. Be sure to learn what control each of the knobs is used for and practice before you go on location the first time- it makes the experience so much more enjoyable. A suggestion- I bought a nice padded lens case to hold the tripod head while I am traveling. It cushions the head nicely, it has a small mesh pocket (probably for a lens cap) that holds the camera body plate and allen wrench, it zips tightly and has a strong velcro strap. Hint- I measured the dimensions of the head , then rotated it so it would fit properly. It kept it clean and safe
    Date published: 2016-07-17
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    Does the Kirk BH-3 Ball Head with Quick Release come with a Camera Plate please?
    Asked by: Anonymous
    Yes, it comes with a plate for your camera
    Answered by: Jose G.
    Date published: 2018-08-28


    does this have bearings or smooth movement? Trying to justify the cost over Sunwayfoto FB-28i Ball Head or Vanguard TBH-300
    Asked by: Ciscokid
    This ball head does not have bearings but the precision ball and tension knobs are wonderful. I mount my MarkIV Canon, a canon 400mm zoom lens with a 2X adapter and even with all that weight it still moves smoothly and effortlessly. Once I got used to adjusting the knobs with the various cameras and lens I use for outdoor wildlife photos I am now able to move quickly and smoothly to the evasive movements of wildlife.I am glad I purchased this ball head and I am extremely happy with it.
    Answered by: RAY B.
    Date published: 2019-02-14


    The reviewers disagree a o whether it is possible to take vertical photos with the head. Who is right?
    Asked by: Keith J.
    It is possible. However, the better solution for vertical images is an L-plate for your camera body. This way the weight and stability of your camera and lens is centered over the tripod and not to the side.
    Answered by: Miguel
    Date published: 2018-11-17


    I'm a begginer and I don't quite understand how it attaches to the tripod. I have a SLK tripod. Thank you
    Asked by: Anonymous
    There will be a screw (bolt) coming out of the top of your tripod that the ball head will screw onto.
    Answered by: KEN V.
    Date published: 2018-08-27


    Will the plate that comes with this fit a Canon 70D body?
    Asked by: Anonymous
    No, that plate is designed for the Canon EOS Elan II/IIE with BP-50.This plate is a universal plate that will work on the 70D.Kirk UP-2 Universal 2 1/8 Camera PlateB&H # KIUP2 ? Mfr # UP-2 this link is for two plates by Kirk that are specifically made for the 70D. One is for the 70D without a battery grip and the other is with the BG-E14 grip
    Answered by: Robert K.
    Date published: 2018-08-27


    In what country is this ball head manufactured?
    Asked by: Michael P.
    I do not know, but you could contact Kirk Enterprises. They were extremely helpful when I was trying to decide which ball head to purchase. I hope this helps. I love this piece of equipment.
    Answered by: LUANN P.
    Date published: 2018-08-27
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