Actually Proper Stuff Pan-Tilt Head Assessment: Actually Costly, Actually Good

Really Right Stuff

Actually Proper Stuff is an organization that’s well-known for producing a number of the highest-quality tripod and equipment for creatives, and the not too long ago up to date PG-02 MK II Pan-Tilt Tripod Head is not any exception.

Whereas pan-tilt tripod heads will not be as generally seen as they as soon as had been because of developments in each digital camera and post-processing expertise, for many who care about “getting it proper” in digital camera, Actually Proper Stuff’s up to date head is a really thrilling improvement because it provides a variety of options supreme for full-frame, medium, and enormous format programs utilizing super-telephoto lenses. The Actually Proper Stuff PG-02 MK II Pano-Gimbal Head, which prices wherever between $750 to $950, is designed for photographers who want to have the ability to rapidly and simply regulate the pan and tilt of their digital camera whereas taking giant batches of pictures, and the system greater than delivers.

I had the pleasure of utilizing the PG-02 MK II pan-tilt head (paired with the Versa mk2 Tripod and TA-3-LB Series 3 tripod leveling base) for just a few weeks (in between storms) and I used to be truthfully very impressed with its construct and efficiency. As soon as assembled, the top is insanely clean and straightforward to make use of and is ready to deal with {most professional} photographers’ gear with none points. Throughout my testing, I used the system with each my wide-angle and telephoto setup (70-200mm sadly, I positively want I had a bigger zoom lens to have messed with whereas testing this head), and whatever the lens mixture, the pan head was in a position to preserve a superbly secure stability each time.

Throughout my testing with I used the PG-02 MK II Pano-Gimbal head with the Versa MK2 Tripod and TA-3-LB Series 3 Tripod Leveling base together with my Nikon Z6ii and a wide range of lenses together with the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 F-mount lens and FTZ adapter and the Nikkor Z 17-28mm f/2.8 Broad Angle lens.

RRS PG-02 MK II: Design And Construct High quality

Manufactured from CNC-machined aluminum and brass parts which are each manufactured and assembled in the USA, the pan-tilt head options quite a few revolutionary design parts that make it simple to make use of and journey with. This features a single-hand simultaneous pan and tilt lock, an built-in dovetail within the horizontal base, and a bubble stage that has been repositioned for higher visibility.

The pan head has (successfully) 4 predominant parts: a horizontal arm, a vertical arm with drop rail, a cradle clamp, and a management arm which may all match neatly within the included softshell case for simple journey and transport. The entire system assembles and comes aside in simply seconds, making it impressively simple to arrange and tear down for those who’re in a rush.

The machine itself is constructed to carry a most load capability of fifty kilos and can be utilized with virtually any digital camera system and mounts together with Arca-Swiss, Gitzo, and Manfrotto. The pinnacle’s pan and tilt locks are designed to allow virtually any drag stage desired with an extremely easy-to-identify “no parallax level” permitting for good alignments.

The small silver lever on the top of the arm permits for about 90 levels of motion from the locked to the unlocked place to permit for fully clean panning movement or fully static and safe (unmoving) positions.

The vertical arm, which clamps onto the horizontal arm utilizing a screw-lock Arca-Swiss appropriate clamp, options one other set of laser-etched measurements for place monitoring, in addition to a collection of 1/4-inch holes that can be utilized for a wide range of further digital camera equipment, like mounting a monitor and microphones for video manufacturing, and even an extra digital camera.

The vertical arm’s tilt lock knob was changed by a lever, which is supposed to make it simpler to regulate the lean rigidity with one hand. The pan-tilt head additionally consists of an built-in dovetail within the horizontal base that enables for direct mounting to a clamp in addition to a 3/9-inch socket for mounting to conventional tripods.

Along with these modifications and enhancements, the bubble stage (discovered on the horizontal arm) has been repositioned from the primary technology of the top for simpler visibility and is supposed to behave as a nodal level index. This arm will be mounted on to a tripod or clamped into the quick-release clamp of a ball or leveling head. What makes this explicit system fulfilling is the locking and unlocking of the pan and tilt are separate gadgets/levers, that means it’s successfully a two-step course of the place you regulate one axis at a time.

In keeping with Actually Proper Stuff, one of many predominant objectives of this Mk II redesign was to cut back the general dimension and weight of the System which they’ve performed by about 10 to 12% in comparison with the Mk I and Mark 1.5 Pan heads. The newest model weighs about 1.45 kilograms or 3.25 kilos. This discount in dimension and weight will not be large, however it’s nonetheless price sufficient to make it match a bit of higher in most digital camera luggage and will assist when decision-making about how a lot gear to pack with you on a selected journey.

RRS PG-02 MK II: Efficiency and Usability

Combining all these options offers customers a surprisingly easy-to-assemble and navigate system (even with out following the directions) that enables for extremely exact image-stitching for panoramic photographs, making the perimeters virtually invisible. You possibly can see within the two examples under — aside from me not being correctly “stage” the perimeters and conventional bowing you’d count on from making a panoramic from a number of frames — the perimeters are virtually good.

Principally, once you set the pan-tilt head up correctly and stability your lens correctly within the system, there needs to be no edge distortion when creating panoramics because the digital camera will probably be pivoted on the lens. This leaves you with a superbly parallel, straight sew to your pictures when capturing giant panoramics, hopefully leaving you with no wasted pixels that must be cropped away.

As you possibly can see within the picture under, when making a panoramic utilizing a standard tripod, the shot will usually depart you with a big crescent or warped form the place the perimeters curve in relation to the middle of the picture, leaving you with lots of wasted pixels even after you align them or stretch the picture in submit.

Panoramic created with out utilizing the RRS PG-02 MK II Pan-Tilt Head

Under is the assembled pano, cropped to keep away from the curved edges:

And right here it’s once more, captured utilizing the Actually Proper Stuff PG-O2 pan head:

As you possibly can see, you possibly can match much more element right into a stage shot with out a lot Photoshop having to be concerned.

One thing I actually did take pleasure in utilizing was the Management Arm that inserts into the drop-rail of the system. The arm, most ceaselessly used for video shooters, will assist customers make a lot smoother pan and tilt actions throughout video shoots, in addition to make extra exact micro-adjustments for nonetheless work.

Listed here are just a few extra panoramic shot utilizing the Actually Proper Stuff PG-02 MK II Pan-Tilt Gimbal Head:

Under is a panoramic assembled from almost 300 particular person photographs, simply because going extreme was extremely simple with this setup:

A Necessity For Lengthy-Lens Video, Panoramas, and Motion Photographs

The Actually Proper Stuff PG-02 MK II Pan-Tilt Gimbal head is certainly one of the costly gimbal heads in the marketplace, however, it’s also one of the top-quality and performing programs as nicely, arguably making it definitely worth the funding.

The PG-02 MK2 Pano-Gimbal Head ($750 to $950), Versa mk2 Tripod ($1,100 to $1,245), and Series 3 TA-3-LB tripod leveling base ($220 to $340) will run you a complete of about $2,070 to $2,535. That positions this setup at what I’d name the “Rolls-Royce” stage of tripod and gimbal heads.

However that value isn’t for nothing. The setup is extra light-weight and simpler to journey with than its predecessor and comes with extra equipment and extra options for a wider array of makes use of.

It has been almost six years for the reason that final time I used a gimbal head like this and this beast re-inspired me to get again out and shoot extra panorama and journey pictures because of its ease of use and comparatively small dimension and weight. For professionals the place getting it proper in digital camera is critically vital, the PG-02 MK II is an extremely well-built piece of substances that’s meant to final a really very long time, and each severe wildlife, panorama, and motion photographer ought to give it some severe consideration.

Are There Options?

Whereas not precisely a scorching merchandise to seek out on the present market, there are some very stable, and far more inexpensive contenders within the Pan-Tilt tripod head recreation. Granted, the cheaper variations supply much less weight capability, and most have far fewer choices and options. On the opposite facet, there are costlier choices that usher in some attention-grabbing perks.

On the costlier facet now we have the $1,970 Arca Swiss C1 Cube Geared Tripod head which is extra suited in the direction of structure images and is taken into account by many to be best choice out there. Subsequent, the $1,225 Proaim Spin-3 Motorized Pan-Tilt head can help 33 kilos of substances, which is spectacular. Moreover, now we have the $1,971 Foba ASMIA Q Dual Tilting Head that may help as much as 44 kilos of substances, or the $829 Manfrotto VR & Pan Pro Head that may help about 11 kilos of substances.

Diving into the extra inexpensive facet of issues now we have the $499 Sirui PH-30 Gimbal Head, the $434 Benro GH5C Carbon Fiber Gimbal Head, the $180 Movo Photo GH800 Gimbal Head, or the $99 Neewer Gimbal Tripod Head. Keep in mind, the cheaper you go, the extra concessions you’ll must make.

Ought to You Purchase It?

Sure, in case you are an expert Panorama, Wildlife, Architectural, or Journey photographer. The RRS PG-02 MK II Pan-Tilt Gimbal head is certainly definitely worth the funding, however for those who’re a hobbyist and even semi-professional, I’d must say it is a “in all probability not” possibility since the price of the setup could be very a lot on the excessive facet.