What is the difference between the Acratech Ultimate ballhead and your other models?

All of our ballhead models share many features including: they all weigh less than 1lb. (.45 kg), they all have an open structure, etc. The main difference between our Ultimate ballhead and our other models is the range of motion. Our Ultimate ballhead has most of its range of motion on the front side of the ballhead, this is desirable for close-up photography and other types of photography where the camera is pointing down and forward, but to be able to tip your camera up and back will require that you first rotate the Ultimate Ballhead 180 degrees. Our GP and GV2 models allow a range of motion similar to, but greater than most conventional ballheads and will be instantly familiar to most photographers.

The GP and GV2 ballheads also have a fully adjustable, separate friction control whereas with the Ultimate ballhead, the friction is controlled by how far the main control knob is loosened.

Another difference between our ballhead models is what additional features they include. Our Ultimate ballhead is a basic ballhead, our GV2 ballhead also adds the functionality of a Gimbal head and our GP ballheaed not only works as a ballhead and a Gimbal head but also works as a leveling head for stiched panoramics. Our GP-s ballhead is identical to our GP ballhead but it has a smaller diameter base so it can be used with smaller travel tripods.

You can see more about our different models and features in our video here www.youtube.com

How much weight can your Ballhead hold?

Many manufactures of ball heads rate their products in very unreal ways. Just because you can set a very large weight straight down on a ball head, that doesn't mean that the ball head is able to secure that weight firmly in any position. Our Acratech ballheads will hold more weight more securely than ball heads rated to hold many times more. Our ballheads have been designed to hold 35mm, medium format and smaller large format cameras securely in any position, and has been tested to hold 25 lbs in any position. Although with very heavy cameras over 15 lbs (even the big Mamiya RZ 67 with a 500mm lens only weighs about 10 lbs.) or with long lenses, we don't recommend using any type of ball head, it is much safer and easier to use a geared head or Long Lens head.

Your ballheads are so light, are they flimsy?

No, our ballheads are precision C.N.C. (computer numerically controlled) machined. All components are machined from solid stock and all structural components are machined from aircraft quality 6061-T6 aluminum. All threaded fasteners are machined from stainless steels and all bearing surfaces are machined from a special copolymer similar to Teflon. Our ballheads have a very solid and substantial feel.

1/4-20 or 3/8-16 Threads?

The Ultimate Ball Head tripod connection thread is available with 3/8" threads and at no additional charge comes with a reducer bushing so it will also fit 1/4" threads and will fit all standard camera tripods.

Right side or left side controls?

Our Ultimate ballhead can be special ordered with the control knobs on the right side, all of our other models can simply be rotated to put the knobs on the right or left side. First of all the Ultimate Ballhead body rotates on the panoramic base and the knobs rotate with the ballhead body. Secondly in a similar way to how the slot is used in a conventional ballhead the front of the Ultimate Ballhead acts as a very wide slot. The ballhead is rotated (on the panoramic base), to position this "slot" where desired to provide additional camera movements.

Most photographers prefer our left side control ballheads. This allows the right hand to stay on the camera and the left hand to tighten the ballhead. When shooting you can rotate the ballhead so the main adjustment knob points either to the front of back instead or left or right and this can be done with both the right or left sided models. Some customers have traded in their right side ballheads for lefts. So far nobody has traded their left for a right.

What makes your quick release plates better than the less expensive ones offered by the tripod manufacturers?

Our type of plate (camera specific, "Arca" dovetail) offers several advantages. First of all the plates have a lip that corresponds to the edge of the camera, it is designed to prevent the camera from rotating on the plate. The next advantage is in most instances the plates are contoured to allow access to battery doors, etc without removing the plates. The camera specific plates also provide more area of contact with the camera this adds stability especially with today's plastic camera bodies. Another advantage with the plate designed specifically for the camera, is the plates can be designed to position the cameras weight directly over the tripod this is especially important on cameras where the tripod thread is offset to one side and equally important with telephoto lenses where with our plates you are able to slide the lens front to back on the quick release clamp to balance the weight.

What thread size is my tripod?

If the threaded stud sticking out of your tripod is slightly smaller than a common wood pencil it is 1/4" thread, If it is slightly larger than a common wood pencil then it is 3/8". All of our tripod heads include a reducer bushing and at no additional charge, so all of our tripod heads will fit all standard camera tripods. For additional information you can see our ¼-20 or 3/8-16 video here www.youtube.com

Why do you offer rubber knobs separately?

We offer them separately for the customers who originally purchased one of our ballheads with a metal knob and want to upgrade to the rubber knob. Our knobs will not fall off or wear out so you will not need a spare.

Do you have any dealers?

Yes we are in the process of setting up distribution to camera stores and photo workshops. If you know of a dealer that you would like to see selling our products, please let us know.

What if I don't like it?

If you purchased your Acratech product thru Acratech then just return any Acratech product as new within 30 days for your choice of a refund or exchange (less shipping costs). If you purchased your Acratech Product through one of our dealers, our individual dealers have their own return policies.

What kind of warranty do you offer?

All Acratech products are fully guaranteed for 10 years to the original purchaser. This covers all manufacturing and material defects.

How do I order Acratech products?

Through one of our dealers or directly from us by using the order now button on our web pages or by phone, fax, e-mail or regular mail. You can download a printable order form by clicking on the printable order form link on the products page.

What type of payment methods do you accept?

Visa, Master Card, Discover, Amex, money orders, certified checks, personal checks and Paypal. Orders paid for by personal check will be held for approx. 5 days to verify check clearance.

Do you ship to..?

We ship to all countries and places serviced by UPS, Fed-Ex or the U.S. Postal Service. If you have a preference please indicate when ordering.

On the Long Lens Head what is the difference between the indexable and non-indexable clamp?

The indexable clamp allows you to rotate the clamp in 90 degree increments and rotate the clamp in the radiused slot simply by loosening a rubberized knob. This allows cameras without lenses that have tripod collars to be used easily in this head. The non-indexable clamp is fastened with an Allen screw and can only be rotated by loosening the screw with an Allen wrench. The non-indexable clamp provides a more rigid connection and is slightly lighter but, it is less convenient to use if you are using it with anything other than a long lens with a tripod collar.

What is the difference between the V2 and the GV2?

Our GV2 and our V2 are almost identical except the GV2 has an additional step on the stem of the ball and a pin on the opposite side of the ball that work together to provide a smooth rotational axis for the ball to pivot on giving the GV2 Gimbal like capabilities.

Both the GV2 and the V2 function identically when used as a regular ballhead except when using the side notch the GV2 will stop at exactly 90 degrees and the V2 will go a few degrees further.

What is the height, base diameter and ball diameter of your ballheads?

The height is 4 3/16” (106 mm).
The base diameter is 2 3/8” (60 mm). 
The GP-s base diameter is 2 1/16” (53mm). 
The ball diameter is 1 1/2” (38mm).

Why can I not remove the quick release clamp from my Acratech ballhead?

We have found through testing that using the proper torque on the screw that connects the ball to the clamp provides a much more rigid connection and minimizes flex. We use a special vice with the jaws shaped like a ball and a wrench shaped like the quick release clamp to properly torque the screw. We also add a drop of Locktite to make sure they stay together. If you want to order your ballhead with the clamp loose, please send us an e-mail after placing your order and let us know.

Our GP ballhead has been designed to have a removable quick release clamp. We use a large flanged stem on the ball to increase the mounting area with the quick release clamp to provide a rigid connection to the ball that can still be easily removed.

What thread is the ball?

We use a 3/8-16 thread because it is much stronger and makes a more rigid connection than ¼-20 or M6 threads. All of the major manufactures of quick release clamps offer them with 3/8-16 threads or with a hole and countersink for a 3/8 flat head screw.