View Full Version : Accessories Acratech V2 Ballhead

08-01-2006, 04:26 PM
Weight: less than a pound ~ 15.5 oz.
max weight capacity: over 25 lbs,
Height 10.3 CM
Clamp: Quick Release clamp & Detent Pin
Tension control nob: Yes - Very, Very Good.
Price: $329 - W/ clamp. $269.95 - w/out clamp.

Manufacture's site. (http://acratech.net/miva/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AOS&Product_Code=V2ballhead)

The V2 ball head, is the latest advancement from Acratech. This new ball head has many advantages over the ultimate ballhead. It is built as good as the ultimate ball head, has the basic simplicity of design, and it also has some new features. Instead of the 2 arms which cross the ball at a 45 degree angle, the new ballhead allows for much more movement and flexibility. In addition to the grove on the side which allows for the head to slide down 90 degrees or more.
Its side piece which allows for the head to to rotate down into the vertical position, is a beautiful piece of work the groves really give this head its own character, and yet it is still simply designed.
All the knobs are the same well designed rubber handles that are on ultimate ballhead. In addition to a new one which controls the tension of the head. The knobs have a maximum open point, so you cannot lossen them to much and mess up the tension knob. It makes it so that it is idiot proof. A very good feature for someone like me :D
This head is a huge improvement over the ultimate ball head. It has full movement around the axis unlike the ultimate ball head. In addition, you have all the advantages of weight, quality, and simplicity. But then you have more advantages such as tension control, and full movement around the axis. If you can afford an extra $50, this would be a very good choice for you.

04-18-2008, 07:08 AM
I have just acquired one of these and echo the above review.

For many years I have used an Arca Swiss B1 QR ballhead for long lens nature photography, especiallly with a Wimberley Sidekick Gimbal mount. but had two issue with it - (i) weight, (ii) poor panning lock mechanism

The Acratch V2 is much lighter than the Arca Swiss head, locks down just as positively although does not have the eliptical ball shape that is supposed to reduce 'ball flop' ie the tendancy of heavy camera and ultra telephoto lenses to flip sidewise when the locking mechanism is slackened off - (not that I found this worked particularly well on the B1).

For my purposes the new side slot on the Acratech V2 ballhead enables the Sidekick gimbal to be mounted quickly and easily and the bigger panning knob and type of mechanism is much more superior than that found on the Arca Swiss B1 ballhead, the panning function lock is much more secure when used with big heavy telephoto lenses.

One minor point is that collar height from ball to clamp on the Acratech V2 ballhead is slightly longer than either the Arca Swiss B1 or RRS 40 ballheads I own, so the lens/camera centre of gravity does sit slightly higher than either of the two aforementioned ballheads when used as a regular ballhead - ie there is potential for increased 'ball flop'.

For people considering a gimbal type operation and have very heavy lenses (ie heavier than the E-Zuiko 150mm) then this combination of Acratech V2 ballhead and Wimberley Sidekick is a particulalrly effective combination as the Sidekick brings the lens centre of gravity back over the centre of the tripod rather than hanging out sideways.

I use this set up with an E-3 and E-Zuiko 300mm F2.8 and it performs very well indeed

04-18-2008, 07:17 AM
Thank you once again, Tony; you too, Mike. Lots of meat on those comments. A guy like me with experience only in cheap stuff needs to hear these kinds of things.

04-19-2008, 09:18 AM
Thanks for the wildlife photography-related comments Mike (also on the levelling base).

I was considering this ball head to use with a sidekick just as you but since the side slot seems to allow for the stem to be tilted a bit more than 90 I think the two axes will not be perpendicular unless one fiddle with it to align. I have only an ordinary right-angled 2-axes gimbal head and that works really fine once horizontally panning axis is aligned with the bubble level. I wonder what effect (if any) there will be on the operation if the second axis is not at right angle. Will one just have to make a small adjustment of the rotation of the lens in the lens collar - and then everything is fine?

Cheers, Jens.