Two Tripod Heads Rolled Into One
Review by Erik Vlietinck
The UniqBall is a unique ballhead and TIPA Award winner. The head is made of CNC aluminum and one version holds 10 Kg while the bigger one holds up to 40 Kg. Both have a rotating base with which you can set the head’s drop-notch where you want it. The head has a freely moving outer bowl and an inner pan/tilt ball. The whole is a 3-axis per-axis controllable tripod head and a traditional ballhead rolled into one.
The UniqBall’s finish is brilliant and smooth. The balls fit perfectly into one another, without any free play, yet the whole system moves buttery smooth. You can control the friction for the inner ball easily and in such fine increments that you can always achieve a good balance and fluid movement.
The inner ball has markers that allow you to use the head as a basic panorama base using the outer ball’s degree marks as guides. Because the outer ball is hollow and can independently move from the inner one, you can set it to level with the horizon—no matter how your tripod is positioned—and have the inner one pan and tilt while keeping the camera horizon-leveled.
The controls of both balls enable a smooth “glide” of the camera in real time. As a basic panoramic head, you fix the outer with the horizon leveled and only use the inner pan/tilt ball. Other instances when this offered a superior shooting experience included architectural photography and follow-focus shooting.
The UniqBall does have some slight locking drift, but nothing to complain about. The UniqBall UBH 45XC I tested comes with an X-cross clamp, which allows the plate to be inline with the optical axis but also perpendicular to it. ■