Which type of tripod head for product photography ?

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890
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Jay
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I am doing more product photography. I have not looked at heads for 15 years or so, so I am totally out of touch with developments with styles of head and with mounting plates. I have no loyalty to any brand.

I have been using a pan and tilt. Should I bother to consider a ball head (that can take heavy loads to reduce slippage risk), or perhaps a pistol grip - or is it most effective to stick with a pan and tilt?

Are there any helpful features I should look out for in a modern head and mounting plate system, or anything I should avoid?

Thanks for any ideas on this.
 

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French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
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anything I should avoid?

Product photography means, most of the time,
tabletop work. With this in mind, my only recom-
mendation goes for the geared head.

There are many makers offering similar features
but not with similar precision, go for the later.
 
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2,439
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Jonathan
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I do a bit of tabletop work and have switched from ball head to three-way as it gives much more control. If I did more I'd go for a geared head such as the Manfrotto 410 Junior for absolute control. This is still the best approach even if your product is as large as a car as you have the time to adjust the head exactly as required.
 
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Jonathan
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As already mentioned, for precision control use a geared head.

The Manfrotto 410 is the cheapest (I'm ignoring their XPro geared head, as the plastic used allows for a bit of 'flex' in the head, which defeats the purpose of having a geared head), though you can spend more if you've got excess cash you are determined to spend...
 
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Jay
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Looking for low or medium pricing, def not high end goods, sadly, not got the cash to spare!
 
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Paul
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It all depends on the product photography you are doing. I use geared heads, but I also use a pistol grip ball head. They both have their own advantages.
 
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Richard
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A geared head is the way for product photography, and the Manfrotto 410 is good and popular because of the affordable cost (but heavy). Then convert to the Arca-Swiss quick-release system by simply bolting an A-S clamp to the Manfrotto plate - £10 from Amazon/ebay (y)

Edit: then get an L-bracket for vertical framing.
 
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