When it comes to selecting the best type of tripod head for your photography needs there are a lot of different options to choose from. A tripod head should not only provide support and stability to your camera equipment, but it should also help to complement the style of photography you do and assist you in capturing images in the simplest and most streamlined way possible.
Some tripod heads like ball heads, tilt heads and 4 way heads are designed to lock your camera body and lens into position and allow for very accurate adjustments when supporting your camera equipment. Panoramic heads and gimbal heads are perfect for shooting multiple images in a sequence for stitching in post processing by allowing your camera to rotate smoothly around the nodal point. Video fluid heads are designed for videographers and limit camera shake, vibrations and jerkiness when making adjustments to the position of cameras.
No matter what style of photography you do, there is a Sirui tripod head to suit your needs. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of tripod heads and the functionality they offer.
Ball heads are one of the most popular styles of tripod heads, particularly for landscape photographers. A ball head consists of a rotating ball housed within a body containing a tightening knob, generally with a second knob that allows for a 360˚ swivel rotation at the bast of the tripod head. The control knobs of Sirui tripods have friction controls allowing for more precise control when aligning the position of the head. Ball heads allow for very quick and precise adjustment to the position of the camera mounted to it and are able to support load capacities between 20kg for the Sirui K-10II Ball Head up to 35kg in our largest Sirui K-40II model, with varying sizes and model options in between.
Tilt heads are typically designed to be used with a monopod, with a 90˚ rotation allowing for easy levelling, and a 360˚ rotating base to assist with alignment when looking through the viewfinder or the rear screen of the camera. Tilt heads can be used to capture panoramic images and are great for wildlife photography, portraits and other shooting styles that require mobility. Sirui tilt heads come in two models – the Sirui L-10 Monopod Tilt Head with a weight of 330g and a load capacity of 15kg – and the Sirui L-20S Monopod Tilt Head weighing 440g with a load capacity of 25kg. As with all of our tripod or monopod heads, Sirui tilt heads are compatible with Arca-Swiss mounts and safety locks that prevent slipping of the quick release plates when they are attached.
4 Way Heads
For vey precise control of the positioning of cameras on a tripod, the Sirui FD-01 Four Way Head has multiple adjustment arms and swivelling bases that allow for movement across four axis and a 360˚ panning and swivel motion at the base. 4 way heads are larger and take up more space than a ball head, but make it very easy and fast to make minor adjustments to the position of the camera. The Sirui FD-01 Four Way head weighs 770g and can support load capacities of 10kg, with foldable handles for easy transportation and storage.
Fluid Video Heads
Just as their name says, fluid video heads are designed for use with videography and provide the ultimate in smooth motion to allow for panning, tilting and camera movement while minimising camera shake, vibrations and jerkiness when making adjustments. Video fluid heads house a hydraulic fluid to assist in the steady motion required when capturing video. The Sirui range of fluid video heads have in built spirit levels to assist with alignment, sliding quick release plates adjustable handle lengths, friction control and have load capacities from 3kg for the Sirui VA-5 Ultra-compact Video Head through to 18kg for our Sirui BCH-30 Video Head.
Panoramic heads are designed allow for shooting a sequence of panorama images for stitching in post processing through precise rotation around the nodal point of a camera body and lens combinations. The heads can be rotated horizontally on the base axis, or through the vertical axis of the adjustable arms or rails for shooting vertical panoramas. Panoramic heads can be used with lenses of all focal lengths but are particular good when used in combination with telephoto lenses. Our range of Sirui panoramic heads have multiple adjustment knobs for precise control of the positioning of the arms and rails, and guides to assist in the angles of rotation when capturing individual images for stitching. Our Sirui PB-10 Panorama Head supports a load capacity of 3kg for smaller mirrorless and DSLR camera and lens combinations, and 15 ̊ click stops to help with accuracy when rotating and aligning the horizontal and vertical arms.
Gimbal heads are perfect for wildlife, sports photography and other situations where there are moving subjects, but can also be used for panoramic images and alignment through the nodal point. Gimbal heads are typically designed to support larger cameras and lens combinations while allowing for easy and fluid movement of your camera equipment. Although they can lock into position, gimbal heads are commonly used assist in using your camera as if you were shooting hand held while providing the support and stability required to get sharp images. The Sirui PH-30 Gimbal Head is manufactured from carbon fibre for reduced weight and absorption of vibrations, weighs just 1.4kg and supports a load capacity of up to 25kg.