I was asked by Vanguard UK to test out one of their ball heads: the SBH-100. I’ve got to say I was very impressed with it. I’ve been using it for about a month now and it has been brilliant, especially while out doing landscape photography. What I was most surprised about was how much it could handle my Canon 300mm f/2.8 lens which weighs 2550g when I was out photographing wildlife! Here’s what Vanguard have to say about this ball head:
“SBH-100 precision-cut ball head moves swiftly and steadily so you won’t miss the action. Constructed of solid, strong magnesium alloy, it\’s durable and yet lighter in weight than the industry standard. Unlike other ball heads, SBH ball heads are designed with molded body parts, not assembled cut parts, like the competition. Its smooth locking knobs allow you to move the ball head swiftly and securely into the perfect position, even with the heaviest lenses and cameras. It includes two bubble levels, 360-degree scale, fine-tuning knob and a safety lock for extra stability. A special universal VANGUARD quick shoe for body/lens is also included so you can upgrade your system to quick-release immediately.”
When most people pick up a product we tend to compare it to a product we’re familiar with or have ourselves. When I first saw this ball head it reminded me a lot of the BH-50 made by Really Right Stuff which I’ve heard is supposed to be a really good ball head. Anyway, after giving the ball head a really good test I can say it’s definitely worth the money! I really like how fluid the movements are as some ball heads tend to move quite stiffly or don’t move very smooth. Even when I had the 300mm f/2.8 lens on it, the movement was very smooth which meant I could pan with flying birds which worked really well where in the past I have struggled to this on a ball head. Due to the movement while having a large lens on it being so well I’ve been using it nearly 100% of the time on the ball head and I’m barely shooting free-hand anymore!
After testing this ball head for over a month I have seen that this tripod head can take anything! I’ve used it for work on the beach, up on mountains and it hasn’t failed me once. At first I did think it was a little heavy but after a couple days I got used to weight and it never bothered me. The two knobs on the outside of the head are really easy to use and nice to the touch as some are just horrible and when I make them tight they are really tight on! It’s a great addition to any photographer and I wouldn’t tell anybody not to get one.
If you would like any more information on this ball head then please feel free to follow the link below. If you would like to ask me any questions about the SBH-100 then please leave a comment below or send me a email.