Gitzo’s new Ball Head Series 4 can handle a payload of up to 30kg

Tips & Techniques

Sometimes, you need to stick a big heavy load on your tripod. Perhaps you’re out shooting sports or wildlife with that big 500mm f/4 lens, or maybe you just want to be really sure that it can handle pretty much anything you might ever want to throw on it. Well, Gitzo has responded to this need with their new Ball Head Series 4, capable of handling payloads up to a whopping 30kg.

Designed primarily to work with Gitzo’s Systematic Series 3, 4 and 5 tripods, and despite its hefty load capacity, Gitzo’s new heavy-duty ball head weighs in at just 0.9kg and takes a standard Arca Swiss compatible tripod plate. It offers friction control for precise movement and operates in extreme conditions as low as -30°C or as high as 70°C.

Safety payload weight 30kg
Quick release plate GS5370DR (Arca-Swiss compatible)
Bubble spirit level Yes, 1
Head type Ball Head
Ball locking Yes
Independent tilt lock Yes
Front tilt -90° / +40°
Lateral Tilt -90° / +40°
Friction control Yes
Pan drag Fluid cartridge with fixed drag
Panoramic rotation 360°
Working temperature range -30°C to 70°C
Material Aluminium
Base diameter 60mm
Weight 0.9kg

While the high payload capacity of this ball head is clearly its main selling point, it doesn’t skimp on the other features one expects from a company like Gitzo. It features a thermo-stable fluid cartridge-based pan system to ensure smooth movement when tracking moving subjects whether for stills or video as well as friction control for the ball head movement itself with an independent tilt locking dial.

Naturally, there’s also a bubble level to help make sure that your horizons stay… well, horizontal. The smooth-coated hollow-sphere ball allows you to shoot with smooth adjustments in pretty much any weather conditions your camera can handle. That ball is larger than in previous Gitzo ball heads to help hold that large load capacity rock-solid on top of your tripod (which is kind of important with a 600mm lens in a bit of a breeze). But the short rotation requirements of the locking knob mean it’s loose again in an instant when you need to react quickly.

I can’t remember when I’ve ever shot with a rig that required this much load capacity, but if I were looking for something that could handle a lot of weight, this would definitely be on my shortlist. What kind of rig do you use that might need something like this?

The Gitzo Ball Head Series 4 is available to pre-order now for $449.99 (or £459.95 in the UK). No word yet on exactly when they’ll start shipping, but I expect it’ll be within the next month or two.

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