Gear Photography

The Best Ball head: Really Right Stuff BH40

rrsbh40ballhead

My Really Right Stuff BH55 ball head (left) got a new friend today. The new BH40 LR II with AS II clamp (right) ball head is much lighter and sleeker than the BH55 which I’ve been using for about a year.

I will be using this ball head for longer hikes when weight matters. Any distance over 8k, especially when most of that is uphill, the weight of your pack can literally drag you down or potentially off a cliff. Something I nearly experienced on a slippery seaside in Iceland. Thankfully my cat-like reflexes saved me.

bh55bh40rrs

If you are serious about landscape photography, moving to a solid ball head that will support your camera and heavier lenses in windy conditions is well worth the monitory investment. My first tripod cost $15 and was worth even less because all my long exposure shots came out blurry. I went through four different tripods and cheaper ball heads before taking the plunge with the Really Right Stuff BH55. It seemed crazy to spend $600 on a tripod head, but having a solid base in all weather conditions and for extreme long exposures has taken my photography up a notch.

 

I would love to hear your experiences with tripod heads. Which ones do you love and dislike?

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    bala
    April 3, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    Thanks for the quick review. I had seen the BH-40 LR II in the RRS store; but can now only see BH-40. Are they the same?

    • Reply
      Mostly Lisa
      April 3, 2016 at 7:53 PM

      Looks like they changed the name since I bought the ball head. Yes the BH40 is the one I have. :)

      • Reply
        bala
        April 3, 2016 at 8:02 PM

        thanks. thats what I thought…

  • Reply
    How to Photograph the Northern Lights like a Boss – Mostly Lisa | Photography tips & inspiration
    April 13, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    […] photographer’s squat has been known to tone and strengthen one’s posterior ;) A stable ball head also […]

  • Reply
    Brian Holberg
    May 12, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    Lisa – I use the BH-40 LR II on a Gitzo 2531 tripod. No complaints on either. I wouldn’t mind a tripod that would pack smaller so I could take it on a plane but for now this one works. My largest lens is also a 70-200 so well within the ranger the BH-40 can handle.

    • Reply
      Mostly Lisa
      May 12, 2016 at 9:26 AM

      I love the Gitzo GT-1541T for travel. Very light and convenient. :)

      • Reply
        Brian Holberg
        May 13, 2016 at 4:29 AM

        I will have to take a look at that one. Next year I hope to travel more via plane so I need to find items I can easily pack. Do you take it as a carry on or packed in your luggage?

  • Reply
    Michael Goh
    May 13, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    I’m using a cheap ebay one that is supposed to hold 12kg – I think the grease is now bleeding out the bottom of it and it doesn’t pan smoothly – so have been looking at replacements. I used to use a heavy manfrotto 055probx plus 498rc2 head, but now I’m using an arca swiss style head with a levelling base and a nodal rail to do panoramas. Very tempted by the acratech heads at the moment – just because I’ve had dirt in my manfrotto head. I’m thinking about less chance for it to have problems in the future and also weight considerations since I seem to be bringing a kitchen sink with me wherever I go. I’ve changed my tripod to a feisol ct3442 due to travel to Norway last year and future overseas travel planned (going to Chile and New Zealand in July). Due to a lake eating one of my feet, I now have retractable spiked feet too.

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