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Choice Of Tripod Head

Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:49 am

I'm looking to replace my tripod and I'm considering a Manfrotto with a separate head. My question is: is a ball or a 3-way head best for aviation photography? The particular situation I have in mind is where you need to pan left to right and tilt up and down to get different subjects from the same spot, while remaining level with the horizon. Ball heads are cheaper and seem to offer greater ease of movement, but would it mean having to realign with the horizon every time you tilt or pan? Or is this something that sounds more of a problem in theory than in practice? Grateful for advice.
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 12:49 am

RE: Choice Of Tripod Head

Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:22 am

If you require one of the three axles to remain fixed, you can't use a ball head. If you release the ball head, it will go all around the axles. In this instance you can use a 141 or 029 Manfrotto head, lock the axles apart from the rotating (horizontal axle) and you have a horizontal panning device.

Wietse de Graaf
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RE: Choice Of Tripod Head

Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:58 am

Some ball heads allow from swiveling the entire unit without relasing the ball head. The Kirk ball head does that, but it's not cheap...$300+. But with any tripod head, the tripod itself has to be level, otherwise panning won't be level with the ground. Some tripods have levels in them, or you can get a small plastic spirit level that fits into the camera's flash hot shoe. Or just set a small string level on the tripod.

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