Gear Review: RRS BH-55 Ballhead

In Gear Review by Patrick

A good quality ball head is a must for taking tack sharp photos. With many different options on the market how to go about choosing the right one. Everyone has opinions on this and has to answer that questions based on their own photography needs and goals. For me it was and easy decision to choose the Really Right Stuff BH-55 with the quick release plate. I have had other ball heads in the past, but this one is by far the smoothest, most durable, easy to maintain, low profile and consistent ball head I have owned. These are the features that I love the most:

Screw-knob quick-release clamp for fast & easy mounting
Ergonomic design gives superior handling and unsurpassed reliability
Low height profile
Large main locking knob
Dual drop-notches allowing for maximum flexibility for positioning the camera for portrait-orientation or extreme angle shots
Micrometer drag tension adjustment
Panning base is laser-engraved at 2.5 degree intervals
Effortless locking
High-visibility bulls-eye spirit level embedded in clamp for accurate leveling, even in low light
Machined from solid aircraft aluminum or stainless steel for maximum durability and minimum weight

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When paired with my RRS TC-24L Tripod, this combination is a rock solid platform for mid-range zoom lenses and large telephoto alike. The controls are smooth and have yet to bind in any climate. I really like how the locking lever and the controls are low profile not getting in the way or running the risk of getting caught on anything.

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I have had the conversation with many fellow photographers about the fact that this is not for the budget conscious, but I argue the opposite. Buying something that you know will last is an investment and like any investment, if you take care of it, it will last a lifetime and will more than cover the initial sticker shock. I cannot recommend this enough if you are serious about a professional level ball head. Made in the USA, it is worth a look.

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