Gitzo’s new Ball Head Series 4 can handle a payload of up to 30kg

Apr 20, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Gitzo’s new Ball Head Series 4 can handle a payload of up to 30kg

Apr 20, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Sometimes, you need to stick a big heavy load on your tripod. Perhaps you’re out shooting sports or wildlife with that big 500mm f/4 lens, or maybe you just want to be really sure that it can handle pretty much anything you might ever want to throw on it. Well, Gitzo has responded to this need with their new Ball Head Series 4, capable of handling payloads up to a whopping 30kg.

Designed primarily to work with Gitzo’s Systematic Series 3, 4 and 5 tripods, and despite its hefty load capacity, Gitzo’s new heavy-duty ball head weighs in at just 0.9kg and takes a standard Arca Swiss compatible tripod plate. It offers friction control for precise movement and operates in extreme conditions as low as -30°C or as high as 70°C.

Safety payload weight30kg
Quick release plateGS5370DR (Arca-Swiss compatible)
Bubble spirit levelYes, 1
Head typeBall Head
Ball lockingYes
Independent tilt lockYes
Front tilt-90° / +40°
Lateral Tilt-90° / +40°
Friction controlYes
Pan dragFluid cartridge with fixed drag
Panoramic rotation360°
Working temperature range-30°C to 70°C
MaterialAluminium
Base diameter60mm
Weight0.9kg

While the high payload capacity of this ball head is clearly its main selling point, it doesn’t skimp on the other features one expects from a company like Gitzo. It features a thermo-stable fluid cartridge-based pan system to ensure smooth movement when tracking moving subjects whether for stills or video as well as friction control for the ball head movement itself with an independent tilt locking dial.

 

Naturally, there’s also a bubble level to help make sure that your horizons stay… well, horizontal. The smooth-coated hollow-sphere ball allows you to shoot with smooth adjustments in pretty much any weather conditions your camera can handle. That ball is larger than in previous Gitzo ball heads to help hold that large load capacity rock-solid on top of your tripod (which is kind of important with a 600mm lens in a bit of a breeze). But the short rotation requirements of the locking knob mean it’s loose again in an instant when you need to react quickly.

I can’t remember when I’ve ever shot with a rig that required this much load capacity, but if I were looking for something that could handle a lot of weight, this would definitely be on my shortlist. What kind of rig do you use that might need something like this?

The Gitzo Ball Head Series 4 is available to pre-order now for $449.99 (or £459.95 in the UK). No word yet on exactly when they’ll start shipping, but I expect it’ll be within the next month or two.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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