Really Right Stuff Ballhead


Compact, lightweight tripod head

What got me started on the Really Right Stuff products was just the idea of committing to a system that would work with everything. Their tripod head consists of three components: an L-bracket custom made for your camera model; a standardized Arca-Swiss-style quick-release clamping plate; and the ballhead base, itself. Committing to this system is a big expense. The fact that each new piece continually adds more value makes it easier to justify. This system’s advantages over something such as a simpler Manfrotto ballhead with a quick-release plate are increased stability and quicker changes from portrait to landscape mode.

RRS is big on system synergy. They are top-notch, beautifully made, perfect products. I have a BH-40 Ballhead on a Gitzo tripod as my main rig and a BH-25 on a Gitzo Traveler for an ultralight rig, perfect for backpacking. Each of my cameras — Nikon D200 and Canon G9 — has an RRS L-plate, which makes for a quick and solid connection atop both tripods, either in landscape or portrait mode.

Of the two ballheads, the BH-25 is my favorite for its super compactness. When I’m traveling or backpacking, I need a lightweight, minimal setup. The BH-25 paired with Gitzo’s Traveler is it.

I’ve been using the RRS products for about five years now, and I have to admit that part of the appeal is simply the joy of using perfectly made gear. Sometimes the tools can inspire us.

-- John Breitinger 10/30/09