Gitzo Safari GH2780FQR ball-head

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Rock-solid construction
  • Allows for speedy adjustments
  • Locking mechanism provides precision control

Cons

  • Not ideal for milimetre-perfect framing
  • Camera-plate tensioner a bit fiddly

Key Features

  • Review Price: £309.95
  • 14kg load capacity
  • 360-degree panoramic rotation
  • 95-degree lateral tilt
  • PTFE treatment for smooth operation
  • Spring Assisted Double Locking mechanism

Unless you’re in the market for a cheap all-in-one from the bargain rack at your local Jessops, chances are you’ll need to mix and match your choice of tripod and head.

All of the various tripod head designs have their advantages and disadvantages: geared three-way heads are exceptionally precise if a little fiddly, regular three-way pan and tilt heads are quick albeit unwieldy, and two-way heads are exceptionally smooth but lack the flexibility of being able to flip from landscape to portrait. Ball-head attachments, meanwhile, can be adjusted and locked exceptionally quickly, although they do also lack the precision of their peers.
Gitzo 4
The Gitzo GH2780FQR is a precision-engineered magnesium ball-head from

Gitzo’s outdoors-orientated Safari range. Being a Series 2 (which,

ultimately, just means it’s more robust than the Series 1 model) model

it’s an ideal match for the GT2540FT tripod we’ve also reviewed. In

fact, it’s the very same head we had attached while we were out and

about testing that particular tripod.

Weighing in at 518 grams

the ball-head element of the GH2780FQR offers a 360-degree panoramic

rotation, alongside 95-degrees of lateral tilt. This is allied to a

separate 360-degree panoramic movement at the base of the unit that acts

independently of the ball-head part and which can also be locked

independently.

Gitzo 1

Having this independent control over panoramic

movement is really helpful because it enables you to use a mounted

camera in either landscape or portrait orientation with complete freedom

of movement. In addition, three built-in spirit levels can be used to

ensure level horizons before you start shooting.