How to Choose the Right Tripod Head
Tripod heads need to be chosen with as much care and consideration as the rest of the equipment they will be used with. When shopping for a tripod head there are several important things to consider. Knowing what type of support and movement is needed will help to make the right choice.
Gears and Levers
Tripod heads are available with manual lever locks or more precise gear based locking systems. Manual lever locks are less cumbersome and the most cost effective option. Gear based systems solutions provide a more secure and adjustable locking of the tripods. It is best to choose a tripod head with a combination of both for a best of both worlds solution.
Weight Capacity and Size
The size and weight of the tripod head should match the type of equipment it will be used with. A bigger and heavier tripod head will provide more support to a heavier lens or camera whereas a smaller and lighter one is ideal for lightweight equipment. When shopping for a tripod head it is important to be aware of its exact weight and size specifications.
Smooth and fluid movement from tripod head to camera is essential for professional results. The tripod’s design should be simple and there must be sufficient control in the locking knobs and levers. Checking for any stickiness, jerking or resistance while adjusting the tripod head is a good idea before making a purchase.
Purchasing a tripod head that offers extras such as plate attachments for different cameras and bubble levels is very useful. Having additional controls such as panning and tilt handles is also desirable when shooting in complex situations. It is also important to check that the tripod head is well built and reliable.