Vanguard has made a name for itself with professional photographers since coming onto the scene in 1986. Much of the credit for Vanguard’s rise in popularity goes to the innovative designs, use of quality materials, and excellent value-for-the-money of its products. When we started using Vanguard gear (bags, tripods, etc) a few years ago we became immediate converts.
In our tripod collection is the Alta Pro 263AT. It is a great tripod for macro-photography and special wide-angle shots. We have been looking to pair it with a head which is just as flexible and versatile. After looking around, we decided to go with the Vanguard BHH-300 Ball Head.
The Vanguard BBH-300 ball head has the following specs:
- Magnesium construction – lightweight and durable
- Anodized surface on ball for smooth movement
- 360-degree panning with lock
- 90°portrait angle option
- Two bubble levels
- Arca-compatible 38mm quick shoe plate with locking knob
- Open body design
- ¼” to 1/8” attachment adapter screw
- Repositionable oversized locking knob
- Maximum Loading Weight: 66.1 lbs.
- Height: 4.5 inches, Weight: 23.28 oz.
The BBH-300 ball head has a universal 38mm quick-release clamp system with a large locking knob. Included is the QS-60 slide-on mounting plate. This design is 100% compatible with the Arca-Swiss Quick Release System (ASQR). The ASQR design was first made popular by super telephoto lenses shooters. Today, because of its ease of use and stability, the ASQR design is pretty much the unofficial standard. As a result, many are now converting to this system for all of their tripod mounting needs.
One of the unique designs of the Vanguard BBH ball head is its Rapid Level System (RLS). The feature enables the user to quickly position the camera level relative to the base. When engaged, an internal guide allows the ball to be clicked into place so that a parallel position of the mounting plate relative to the base is guaranteed. This makes switching from portrait orientation to landscape very simple and quick to do. Used in combination with BBH’s two bubble levels, this system ensures a precisely level platform for panoramic shooting. Once fixed, the ball is securely locked into place with its oversized locking knob – which is also handy for panning.
We are eager to take this head/tripod pair into the field for its FirstUse test. Our hope is that the combo will make macro shot setup (especially in the RainyDayGarden) quicker and easier than our current procedure. We will report back on how it performed for those interested. Look for it by the end of Summer.