For years, I’ve been using the Really Right Stuff ballhead and have always been happy with it. But, I’ve recently discovered the Acratech GP Ballhead and have been blown away. Engineered and manufactured in the U.S., Scott at Acratech has come up with an incredibly designed and aesthetically beautiful ballhead.
Weighing in at only 454 grams, this lightweight ballhead doubles as a gimbal head. It can also be used upside-down as a leveling head for panos. I haven’t tried it for panos yet, but with the Acratech pano bracket, I plan to. The ballhead also has a quick release clamp that’s adjustable to any Arca-Swiss compatible plate. The movements are silky smooth and I like the double speed nobs much more than the tightening lever on my RRS. Once tightened down, even heavy combos such as my D800 with grip and 70-200 f/2.8 lens doesn’t move a bit.
Functionality is essential and this ballhead scores on every level, but as a gearhead, I have to say that this is one sexy piece of equipment. The black anodized finish is great to look at. I love the built in bubble level as well as the laser engraved degree markings. The ballhead itself is fully exposed so there’s no way for dirt or moisture to get into the inner workings making this very easy to clean.
At $400, it’s not an investment to take lightly but I have to say that you get what you pay for and with the Acratech GP Ballhead, you are getting a piece of art as well as a highly functional tool that will last a lifetime.
By the way, they also make the Swift Clamp which provides a quick and easy way to connect your camera’s Arca-Swiss plate to your Black Rapid strap!