Need advice for a sturdy tripod and head


Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
Do you have any recommendations for geared heads? Brands/models? Links?

Thanks in advance!!

As far as geared heads go I have owned the Manfrotto 410, 405, used the 400 and XPRO, I also owned the Sunwayphoto GH-Pro and the Arca Swiss D4 and played with the Arca Swiss Cube. For me it depends entirely on camera load, how cumbersome the head is and the investment I am willing to make.

If I was using a crop camera or a mirrorless with a TS lens then the Sunwayphoto GH-Pro is good value and the 2017 model on is better engineered than the earlier version. For the 1DX MKII and 11-24 (or bigger and heavier) and the fact that I use geared heads a lot the Arca Swiss D4 is the one I have now and have had for the last few years and I am not looking to change it, but they are pricey. Arca Swiss now do an interesting head, the Monoball p0 Hybrid that is worth looking at too.

But I'd strongly suggest that a geared head is a very niche product that few people enjoy using, it very much suits deliberate and contemplative accurate composition. If you are the kind of person that arrives at a scene and walks around until you find your composition then sets up your tripod and camera and then uses a zoom to get the framing you want appreciating the difference between perspective and framing, then you might get on with a geared head!

For reference the only two heads I own and use for stills work are the Arca Swiss D4 and the Acratech GP.
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Jul 6, 2017
Davidson, NC
I think you may have just described something closer to my shooting style, at least sometimes, especially when I use a tripod. I might consider getting a geared head some day to use when the ball head is not as good a choice.
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Picture Taker - Image Maker
I have a couple Manfrotto 290's that take a beating and work great but the one I actually use the most and has been tossed from my truck to my van for years now is a cheap Targus I got at Walmart several years ago for 29 bucks and I put a Joby X ballhead on it....darn thing still works great. I've also got one of those Joby X ballheads on my 290 dual and it works alright. Best cheap ballhead on the market in my opinion....


I have and often use a Manfrotto 410 geared head, mainly for product shots.
It's very good, but as mentioned, very heavy and certainly not something I'd take on a hike.
Then I use my Acratech.

There are some lighter and cheaper geared heads from Benro and Manfrotto also have a cheaper and lighter version of the 410.


Apr 3, 2013
Isle of Wight
Hi Folks.
Another vote for the Manfrotto 410, I really like mine for the lack of sag associated with some ball heads with heavier loads. I think the 410 would be as small as I’d want to go, the safety payload is 5kg, the XPro is quite a lot lighter for the 4kg safety payload as it is made from Adapto (engineering plastic?) but I think it consumes a larger volume of storage!
A friend had the 410 and arthritic fingers and found the free positioning release knobs hard to use, he much prefers the XPro for the lever release system.
An issue I have seen with both of these (which may happen on others too) is the jump as the gear re-engages after being released for free positioning, much like a vice with a quick release, it clunks back in as you turn it, it is possible to finesse the quick release back in to gear without the jump, it just means slowing down a bit and feeling for the engagement.

Cheers, Graham.