Carbon fibre is very light and very strong, so it’s popular in the tripod market, where balancing weight and rigidity is especially important. Carbon fibre is expensive, however, so many tripod makers offer both aluminium (cheaper but heavier) and carbon fibre versions of their tripods. Usually the carbon fibre is used only in the legs. Even on carbon fibre tripods, the ‘spiders’ (the plate where the legs are joined at the top) are usually cast from metal alloys, as are tripod heads.
A three way tripod head has separate adjustments for horizontal movement (pan), fore and aft movement (tilt) and camera orientation (vertical or horizontal). This makes a three way head heavier and more bulky than a ball head, but it’s easier to make precise, fine adjustments in one direction only. [Read more…] about Three way head