Really Right Stuff BH-40
I’ll be the first to admit that when I began researching monopods and ballheads I had no idea what I was doing. Until now my photography was predominately handheld. On those occasions when I needed a tripod I relied upon an aluminum model that I purchased at K-Mart in the early 1980’s. This was definitely not what you would call state of the art.
I have to admit; when I bought the monopod I inaccurately assumed it came with some type of head to mount the camera to it. When the monopod arrived you can imagine my surprise when I found that all it had was a threaded bolt at the top.
Of course I had procrastinated and waited until just before a soccer tournament before buying the monopod leaving myself relatively no time to get something that would work in time to cover the event. Even if I had all the time in the world I had no idea what I was looking for.
I began searching the Internet for information on heads that could be used with tripods and monopods. One manufacturer continued to be talked about with several positive reviews. That company was Really Right Stuff.
I went to their web site and after reading about all of their products I was still very confused as to what it was I actually needed. Fortunately they had a way to contact them. I immediately called and talked to one of their sales people.
The company was extremely helpful and after a brief conversation we determined that what I needed was a Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ballhead with a quick release lever. The BH-40 is their midrange ballhead and allows loads up to 18 pounds, which is perfect for what I was looking for to use with the monopod.
Although the product was currently out of stock they were expecting more in any day. As I hung up the phone I was feeling depressed that I had waited until the last minute and would not be able to get what I needed.
That depression was short lived though. About an hour later I received a call from Really Right Stuff and they were able to get the ballhead I needed and configured it with the appropriate clamps. They shipped the item priority and it arrived the day before the soccer tournament began.
Armed with the Gitzo GM3551 and the Really Right Stuff BH-40 I headed out to cover the soccer tournament with equipment I had never used before. That is normally a recipe for disaster but these two products were so intuitive that by the end of the first quarter of the first game I felt as though I had been using these products forever.
The ballhead worked flawlessly holding my Nikon D300 with the 80-400 lens securely to allow me to get the shots without fighting with hand holding the equipment. At the end of the two days of shooting I covered roughly eight games and yet my arm didn’t feel the strain I had experienced at previous events.
The BH-40 securely held the camera and lens leaving me free to worry about the creative process instead of the mechanical issues of camera shake. Perhaps the best endorsement I can give is the fact that I didn’t have to think about the ballhead. It blended into the background of my mind while I was shooting.
The quality of workmanship on this device is first rate. It will no doubt outlast all of the cameras and lenses that I have. It has found a place in my camera bag and is one of the few devices I won’t leave home without on the day of a shoot.
A big thanks to Really Right Stuff for not only providing a great product but awesome customer service. This is a company I plan on endorsing for a very long time. They are definitely near the top of my list for photography accessories.