...photographers have not only been beating down his door, but they have encouraged him to expand his line. Today, a dozen or so master machinists at Acratech—many of whom are avid photographers—produce products with such precision and care that the company has become known as the “go-to” for lightweight, fail-proof gear.
For the past decade Acratech has built a solid reputation for building strong, lightweight and innovative products. Their latest ball head, the GP, takes the innovation part beyond just about any other ball head on the market today. Like other ball heads in its price range it is fully featured, complete with independent locking, panning and friction controls. It weighs less than 1 lb, yet easily holds 25lbs at any angle according to the manufacturer.
With so many ballheads on the market, it’s hard to know which one to choose. Specs are usually minimal (load-bearing capabilities, weight, lens mounting plate) and, of course, price. The attributes that are equally, if not more, important though are the smoothness with which the ballhead moves and the ability of the device to lock into position and not “creep.”
Some ballheads, like the Acratech GP Ballhead, have attributes that go above and beyond many of its competitors, including the ability to be mounted upside down and used as a leveling base for panoramas.
The Acratech GP Ballhead looks like a very precise and futuristic device. This is the ideal ballhead for telephoto lenses as it supports up to 25 lbs. Because of it's unique ballhead mechanism the Acratech GP is ideal for panoramic photos as it allows you to pan the camera parallel to the horizon. This head has all the features that our other top choices have, but this one is the most precise of the bunch.
"Ballheads are a luxurious landscape essential. Acratech's new Ultimate Ballhead weighs less than a pound and can support more than 25 pounds. The unique design features an exposed ball that's locked down with an angled clamp. It may look unorthodox but it works like a charm. And if you are concerned about dust, sand, grit or other contaminants, the open structure alleviates any potential problems. The head is compatible with quick release plates from several manufacturers."
"Since weight is always a problem when working in the field , every once saved is a benefit. But he has sacrificed nothing it the process of reducing weight. The head is very sturdy and exceptionally smooth in its operation."
I've had this ballhead for 10-11 years. I don't baby my gear as my end goal is the photos and if the gear has to take a hit to get them, so be it. This ballhead has been on 6 continents, strapped to a snow machine for 6 months in Antarctica, tossed around for a month in the back of a Russian jeep in Asia. And, it worked then and now, the same as when I bought it!
"I am not sponsored by Acratech. I had to pay for this ball head the same as anyone else. And if I give up my hard earned money, I want the product to work. I can say without reservation that this is some of the best money I have ever spent. I exclusively use the Acratech head in the field and am very glad I tried it." Scott Bourne
"This is a terrific piece of equipment" T.P.
"Remarkable: beautifully crafted and rock steady and incredibly light" B.W.
"It is everything it is reputed to be- silky smooth, light, rock solid and a work of art" N.S.
"Thanks for the great support. It's the way to do business, and I appreciate it!" J.L.
"I truly prefer your ballhead to any I have used including the Arca B1 which seems to be the standard to compare against" B.W.S.
"It is here. It is beautiful. It just feels so good in hand, rather like my Leica" E.H.
"I showed this to a few guys at work they were staggered. This really is impressive." B.H.
"The rubberized knob I just received makes a great product even better. I currently have several other ballheads and am I selling them all. They do not compare to the Ultimate Ballhead. The more I use it the more it exceeds my expectations." S.C.