As you can imagine, we love tripod ball heads. Is your Ball Head Compatible?
If your ball head has a locking knob that extends past the bottom as it rotates, hitting the Platypod, try pulling the knob, like a watch, to lock it using a lever motion. If you aren’t sure, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know if your equipment is compatible.
Platypods work well with almost any head but here are a few ball heads that we own, have tested and highly recommend.
Giottos MH1304-110c Mini Ballhead
Although the Platypod® Ultra is designed and built for heavy-duty use, that doesn't mean that it can't be used with lightweight or compact equipment. This is an extremely compact, inexpensive and lightweight solution that can support up to 7 lbs. Attaches directly to a camera's 1/4"–20 standard tripod socket. Great for compact point-and-shoot cameras and with smartphones and tablets when combined with tripod mounts from Square Jellyfish. Can also be purchased separately at Amazon and many fine camera stores.
BENRO IN00 SINGLE ACTION BALL HEAD
What is so special about this ball head? To put it simply, compact size, build quality and price. The single lever type ratcheting locking knob packs flat in your camera bag alongside the Platypod Ultra. Comes with a nice Arca style QR plate as well as the safety system in the clamp locking knob. One pull on the knob after a single detente prevents accidental release. Just point the locking lever vertically and this good ol’ boy will spin on and off the Platypod Ultra with all spikes in place. Beautifully crafted & rated to support 11 pounds. Best bang for the buck!
Oben BE-117 Ball Head
Good knob controlled Arca-style clamp and ball head with separate panning knob. Fits well in Platypod Pro™ case. Works well with Ultra or Max. This unit should be mounted to the Platypod® Ultra plate prior to insertion of spike-screws but can mount on Max with all spikes already in place. Like the Benro, this ball head comes with its own Arca-style plate, and while the head can be swung over to 90 degrees, we still recommend an L bracket (see below) for vertical shots. Generously rated by Oben for 17.6-pound load capacity, but for really heavy loads we would recommend one of the more expensive units. Excellent value.
Really Right Stuff. BH-30 LR: Compact ballhead with B2-40 LR clamp
Compact yet extremely sturdy and fits well in our case with plenty of room to spare. The company claims a 15-pound load capacity, but it can probably handle more than that in our humble opinion. Very smooth three-position lever-operated Arca-type clamp. Finely crafted. Does not include a quick-release base plate, which must be purchased separately (see below regarding L plates). Again, this unit should be mounted to the Platypod®Ultra plate prior to insertion of spike-screws but can mount on Max with all spikes already in place. Large ratcheting control lever/knob clears the plate and locks the ball head very well without the need for any tension control.
Somewhat expensive but well worth the price and seems to hold its value reasonably well at resale.
For the most versatile use of your Platypod, we do recommend using an Arca-type L-bracket to allow vertical camera positioning. You might want to check out ReallyRightStuff.com for some heavy-duty L-plates, Sunwayfoto or 3-Legged Thing for some excellent yet less-expensive options or ProMediaGear.com for other alternatives. These companies make camera-specific models for the more popular professional models, as well as a few universal and adjustable plates. Again, you might want to read reviews and try before you buy with these products.
Arca makes its own clamps but we recommend using this together with the really Right Stuff Check B2-LR-II Clamp ($120) as shown. You will also need an Arca-type L bracket (see below). All told, this Cadillac setup will run about $450-$500. There are much more economical ways to achieve similar goals.
Square Jellyfish Metal Spring Tripod Mount
The Square Jellyfish Metal Spring Tripod Mount is a sleek, metal version of Square Jellyfish's Spring Tripod Mount. It's well-suited for smartphone users on the go and can be mounted to any tripod with a universal screw mount - including the Square Jellyfish Pocket Tripod or Jelly Long Legs Tripod.