Vuepoint Max Review

Head Choice

Contents

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 in theory there should be optimal ball heads for the Vuepoint Max in the 1000 Nm/rad range.  It is also telling us that I haven’t tested any really good ball heads in that stiffness range and so one would need to step up to a head that is probably a little overkill for these legs.  There are a number of small lightweight ballheads in the 2000 Nm/rad range that should do nicely. 

Typically when searching for a head matching the stiffness to the tripod is more important than the weight.  Here we are in the opposite situation where the tripod legs are lighter than most available heads.  It is most important therefore simply to choose a lightweight head with reasonable stability.  The data in the above graph is repeated below, but instead indexed by the weight of the head as opposed to the stiffness:

We can now see that ideally we want a good head in the 100g range.  Again, this optimum appears not to exist in the heads I have tested.  Fortunately however there are several good options in the 200g range that will work well such as the Really Right Stuff BH-25 or the Colorado Tripod Company Highline Mini.  There are many similar models out there, and any one of them should work well so choose based on your budget and needs.

We can see that the miniature head included with the Vuepoint Max is not quite as stiff as desired in order to maximize the stiffness/weight ratio for this setup.  Its certainly not bad and certainly minimizes the overall weight, but for usability purposes I recommend upgrading to something slightly more rigid.

The Vuepoint Max is not an appropriate platform for using any sort of pan/tilt, geared, or gimbal head.  Stick with the small ball heads.