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lightweight ballhead?


New member
OK, this is probably a silly question but I'm looking for a lightweight ballhead which will support at least 7 lbs for a new travel setup. Yeah I've read all the bs reviews, etc. but I'm looking for real-life experiences here. As I, ahem (cough, cough), get a bit older I find that weight is really becoming a problem on longer hikes. That I have a herniated disc only exacerbates the problem. So, how about a little love for an older fart?


I have and use a couple of cheap Manfrotto ones for light stuff and they work great. I swear by a couple of Acra Swiss B1 heads for most stuff but those are a pound.

What I would *not* recommend is the slick looking and very expensive Acratech GP head. It is light, loosens well in the cold and is a thing of engineering beauty but man, it just does NOT lock down! No matter how I set the tension knob and then crank down on the ball, it slips, often crushing my hand in the process. It's the worst tripod head I have ever used.


Subscriber and Workshop Member
Lots of P0 fans around here. I'm one of them. It's the only non-geared head I use. Come to think of it, I have 3 RRS ballheads gathering dust and should sell them. They're great, but I really prefer the way the P0 and other "upside-down" heads make you hold the weight while you loosen them. They never flop! Novoflex makes a variety of upside-down heads, but I haven't tried them.




Well-known member
A-S P0 or P0 Hybrid. The latter is heavier but gives precision movement with the goniometers, if you need that.

(I have both an Acratech Ultimate Ball Head and Acratech GP as well ... both are nice and light. The UBH is compact but a little off-putting due to its asymmetrical shape. The GP I find to work well, but it's a bit trickier to use as it has a lot of options and it's bulky.)



Well-known member
+1 on the Arca Swiss p0. It can take more weight than I put on it--a Pentax 645D with focal lengths up to 300mm. But one of the nice things about ball heads is they can actually take lots of weight. So, I have used ball heads smaller than the p0 with medium format cameras, but not necessarily smoother. I have used ball heads from both Manfrotto and Velbon. Those are not bad, but they have their quirks, like slightly shifting as they tighten, in the case of the split Velbon design or just heavier for the same size, Manfrotto. And maybe more than most here, weight and size are really important in my choices (I even went into the mountains with a mini ball head to support a Mamiya 6, it worked, but not coolest looking device).

My p0

The other thing I like about the p0 is there are no protrusions except for the locking screw for the panning top. I wish they had a better solution for the screw to keep the profile tighter, but it is what it is. BYW, I do not use quick release systems (because of the weight) and so I have an adapter plate on the top of my p0 that lets me screw in the camera. I bought that plate a long time ago (for the mini ball head mentioned above, in fact). I was just lucky it had the same diameter.
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Don Libby

Active member
Shameless plug for a P0 with RRS QR I just posted for sale. The P0 is great however I feel the new "mini-cube" better suits what I shoot.



New member
Looks like the PO is it. Don, I'd buy yours but I hate the QR and I have one! Tried to swap it for the screw-type a while ago but had no takers.