Z Flex Tilt Tripod Head



One the last few weeks I have been using a Z Flex Tilt Tripod Head with my pinhole camera.

This has led to many questions from people interested as the what it is and why. So I have put this short post together on why I am currently using it and the pros and cons.


What is it?

A Z flex tripod head allows for quick adjustments and different shooting angles. you can adjust height, 180 degree tilt movement and 360 degree pan rotary.


Why am I using it?

One issue I find with my Zero Image 4x5 pinhole camera is its so incredibly wide with a field of view of 148.35°, a lot of the time if I either have my tripod low and the legs spread out, or the camera pointing even slightly down, the tripod legs were often getting captured in the image. You can get adjustable tripod centre columns which extend out, I had one on my Manfrotto tripod, but always found them fiddly, I ended up cutting the centre column down so I could make the tripod lower, also my small carbon travel tripod doesn't have an adjustable centre column, so the Z plate can be used on multiple supports.  
The Z plate allows me to quickly push the camera away from the tripod and eliminating the problem of getting the tripod legs in the picture. Also I can flip it over to get some very low angle shots.

When I first started using this one of the issues I found was I need to make sure the tripod legs were completely level so the Z plate was flat, this was fine with lots of little adjustments with the legs but got frustrating when on very uneven ground. So I brought a Tripod Leveling Base Ball Camera Leveller which allows quick and easy adjustment to level the z plate off.





The Z plate which I brought is sold under a few different names, but I went for the style I did for a few reasons.
  1. It extends more than most, a lot only have 2 extensions, this has 3.
  2. Rotation, a lot will have a 3/8 thread on the bottom and no adjustment, this has a 360 degree pan rotary, which makes it more convenient.
  3. Feet, you can use this with out a tripod and just place on the ground, it has little adjustable feet which can screw in and out.




Pros
  1. Easy to use
  2. quick adjustments
  3. light weight
  4. Versatile
Cons
  1. This particular brand can bear up to 3kg, but, the screws will need to be tight to stop it slowly falling back down, tightening the screw to much makes it very hard to adjust.
  2. After a while the Allen keys screw need tightening, so keep the Allen key with you.
Would I recommend them?

Yes, but it may not necessarily benefit you, I brought this to eliminate an issue I was having and have found it really useful and now use it most the time, Its perfect with my pinhole camera and even my GoPro, but wont be needing it with my other cameras, if you have no issues with your normal tripod head then there is no point changing it. But this does offer a lot of versatility with the quick height, tilt and pan adjustments, also being also to sit it straight onto the ground for some low level shots is a bonus.

You can see this Z flex head in action.
I have using it loads in recent YouTube videos




















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