Head Choice

  1. Introduction & Specifications
  2. Design & Operation
  3. Test Results
  4. Head Choice
  5. Comparison & Conclusion

When selecting a head, one wants to pair the legs with a head that will not compromise the stiffness of the system as a whole.  On the other hand, a head that is too big adds diminishing performance increases and just adds weight.

Below is the optimization result for selecting a ball head.  This chart plots the stiffness to weight ratio for this tripod and each ball head that I have tested in blue dots versus the stiffness of those heads.  The red line is a generalized model for a strong performing ball head. The higher up on the this graph the higher stiffness/weight performance of the system.  More information on this analysis can be found in the ball head choice optimization page.

This chart is telling us that we want to choose a ball head in the 2000-4000 Nm/rad stiffness range for the LS-284C.  Below that, the head will compromise the stiffness of the system, and above that, the weight of stiffer heads will compromise the size and portability of the system.  We can also see that 

The 284C is not a recommended platform for pan-tilt and geared heads.  These heads are way too heavy, way too flimsy, or some combination of the two for these legs.  This isn’t to say a quality pan tilt or geared head won’t work at all, but it ruins the whole point of paying for a lightweight, portable set of legs.

Recommended Heads

Note that these recommendations are limited to the tripod heads I have tested.  The more general discussion above should provide adequate guidance if your head of choice is not listed.

Sirui K-10X:  The K-10X is probably the best choice ball head for the 284C.  The head is incredibly stiff for its size and weight, and handles well.  The price of the head matches the value proposition of the legs as well.

RRS BH-25:  The BH-25 is the optimal head to use with the LS-284C in order to maximize stiffness/weight.  The only issue is that the head is so small that the ergonomics are poor.

RRS BH-30:  The stiffness of the BH-30 is similar to the stiffness of the BH-25, but it is larger with better ergonomics and a dedicated panning clamp.  Highly recommended, but the price is somewhat prohibitive in this case.