head Tag

Flat, but not down in the dumps - in fact quite elated. Manfrotto have made a winner. Sometimes we need to have a stable platform that is exactly horizontal. We might be launching V-2's or looking at the stars or making panoramic photographs - possibly all three on a busy week. Manfrotto have come up with an accessory that makes this easy. The 438 Camera Ball Leveler does the job. It is meant to go between a Manfrotto tripod with a 3/8" stud and another device with a 3/8" socket. The size of the leveller and these two connections tell you that it is intended for professional gear - this is not something you take as a backpacker tourist, unless you are a Royal Marine on workdays. It's heavy. It's also precise and locks with a positive lever action. Both top and bottom can be lock-screwed to their respective mates. Uses? a. Put a video head on it, level it, and you can be sure that when you pan with the race car or surfer, you will not be getting a tilted or rising/falling...

We sold Manfrotto joystick heads - both the 322 lay-down and the 222 upright - for as long as I worked behind the counter and it looks as though there is still a call for them - fresh stock in the storeroom. I was always interested to see who bought them, and to ask why they chose the design. Some of the answers were surprising. Many wanted them for action shooting - thinking to follow some moving object and then freeze the head at the moment of release. I could never actually see this working - I always envisaged someone tracking a bird or animal with a pan and tilt head or a gimbal and then shooting on the move as they were able to lock on the track. But perhaps some subjects move, then freeze briefly and this is the interval when the joystick head locks. I was a little more convinced when I met someone who did not have the chance to use two hands to position the camera. The fact that the 322 joystick can be configured to a right,...

A great deal of photographic equipment is novel - at least it is the first time you see it. And some items are frivolous - mere mechanical bagatelles. Not so today's featured device. The box said Manfrotto 405 New Geared Head. I'm glad it was on a low shelf because I would not have liked to lift it down - it was a heavy box. The camera head inside turns out to be the closest thing to a naval cannon mount that you can buy commercially...

I was a little taken aback when I saw the label for the Manfrotto 410* - it says " Junior Geared Head ". But it is actually quite large. I would say that this device would be capable of managing nearly all modern cameras. Certainly the specifications say it'll hold 5 Kg. But 5 Kg of what? What photographic equipment needs a geared tripod head - and when should you employ it? Well, the first thought that came to mind was the Little Studio studio stand - normally sporting a large Gitzo pan and tilt head, it was perfect for this one as well. the gearing is quite slow and means that you are not fighting to tap the camera assembly into a horizontal position - you can just wind it slowly into registry. Thank goodness the Fujifilm cameras all seem to have a green artificial horizon line that comes on as this happens. If you need to get close enough quickly the larger flanges seen on the control wheels are release mechanisms - twist them and the whole thing becomes loose -...