The GH1282TQD is from Gitzo’s most recent line of ball heads and is designed to pair with their traveler series of tripods. Gitzo has a history of creative head designs and this one is somewhat of an exception, being a more traditional ball with and Arca compatible clamp.
|Stiffness About Vertical Axis||1295 +/- 1 Nm/rad|
|Stiffness About Radial Axis||982 +/- 4 Nm/rad|
|Weight||0.76 lbs (0.346 kgs)|
|Manufacturer weight rating||24 lbs (0.16kgs)|
|Maximum Height||3.8 in (9.7 cm)|
|Base Diameter||1.4 in (3.6 cm)|
|Ball Diameter||32 mm|
|Quick Release||Arca Clamp|
There is not getting around the poor stiffness of the GH1382TQD. The weight is also low, but we have seen plenty of much better performing heads at this weight, all at lower cost. The stiffness in the pitch direction (about the radial axis) is less than the stiffness seen from the Gitzo Traveler tripod, and so the head would seriously compromise the stiffness of the system. This should never be the case. It is much easier to make stiff heads than tripods and so to minimize the total weight of the system, the head should be significantly stiffer than the legs. Given the excellent performance seen from the Gitzo traveler tripod series, it is incredibly frustrating that they choose to pair the tripod with this head.
The only obvious culprit I see to account for this lack of stiffness is the relatively long and narrow neck between the ball and the clamp.
I have no qualms with the build quality. The GH1382TQD has the signature Gitzo mottled finished. The basic design with a bottom panning lock and a side mounted main lock knob are fairly standard. The main ball lock applies pressure from the bottom of the ball, also standard. The exact construction of the head is different than most though with a separate top plate to secure the ball in the head. This is clearly to allow the head’s base to be narrow and compact.
The features of the GH1382TQD are pretty basic. It has a panning lock separate from the main ball lock. There is not tension control on the main ball lock, but this omission is fairly standard from compact ball heads. The head includes an Arca compatible clamp. Normally this isn’t called out as a feature, but Gitzo has a long history of including creative quick release mechanisms on their heads. Its good to see them finally using the standard release of the photographic industry. The primary feature of the GH1382TQD is the ability to fit snugly between the folded up legs of a Gitzo traveler tripod, and it does this much better than traditional designs.
There really is only one reason to buy the GH1382TQD, and that’s if you want a head fits well between a set of folded legs and matches Gitzo’s aesthetic. If you care about stiffness though, which if you are reading this site, I assume you do, then look elsewhere.
- Design fits nicely in reverse folded Gitzo traveler tripods
- Arca compatible clamp
- Poor Stiffness