Pistol grip ball head.

DSC_0001 by p_d_t
DSC_0001, a photo by p_d_t on Flickr.

Last weekend I was at the park for some casual bird photography. I have a couple of small ball heads that I use on my monopod due to their light weight but each has its own drawbacks. For straight line images a monopod by itself is great however when trying to photograph birds at steep angles the ability to tilt the camera up is mandatory for sharp shots. Once again Amazon comes to the rescue with this small inexpensive pistol grip ball head. The manufacturer rates it to hold 6.6lbs and while I have not yet tested that much weight it did hold my camera and heaviest lens without any problems (about 2 lbs). Because I do so much walk-around photography at the park and John F. Burke Nature Preserve (among many destinations) I really believe this is going to come in very handy. Also, I discovered carrying the camera/monopod combination by the handle of the ball head seems to put less stress on the camera than carrying the combination by the camera. Only time will tell but this is a good way to see if this is something I would want for the long term without spending too much money.

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