Monday, May 4, 2015

Gadgets & Gizmos

Like many I’m attracted to technology and gadgets, although, also like others I try not to buy everything. However, the time comes when my bank account gives way and I use St Amazon or St MasterCard to get some ‘bright shiny thing’.

This post is about one of my recent purchases.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have bought more bags, tripods and tripod heads, than I really need. It seems every photographer must go through the process of first buying cheap things, then more expensive but still imperfect things, until finally buying the right thing.

The story in this post is about ballheads and my latest purchase.

My first ballhead was a very cheap and poor quality one that came with my first (aluminium) tripod. That was several years ago.

My first real ballhead, and one I still use, was my AcraTech GPS: AcraTech GPS

Like its bigger brother, the GP, the GPS was designed to be used upside down, which allows the ball to be used as a levelling base when taking pano images. This eliminates any need to carry a separate leveling base in order to create accurate stitched panoramas, as you'll be able to pan parallel to the horizon even when using your tripod on rocky or uneven terrain. The GPS is well engineered, but I still find there is some minor movement when it is attached between by 5D3 and my trusty Feisol CT-3372 carbon fibre tripod: CT-3372

The movement has nothing to do with bad design or bad craftsmanship: but more on the ‘small’ size of the GPS: especially the base. For this reason I convinced myself I needed something with a larger base than the GPS and a larger ball.

Last week, after much reading of reviews, my new Feisol CB-70D arrived: CB-70D

The CB-70D has a massive 70mm diameter, hollowed out, ball from which you could support an elephant: in fact on its 90 mm base, I could support a 38Kg elephant! The controls are silky smooth and with my 5D3 attached and mounted on the CT-3372, I know I’m good to survive an earthquake!

From my personal experience the Feisol brand represent one of the best value-for-money suppliers of high end ‘bright shiny things’.

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