Nest NT-530H MK II £300, $467

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

Pros: Top qual­ity; easy to use; wide lens com­pat­i­bil­ity Cons: Ex­pen­sive com­pared to equally well-made heads We say: Aside from the cost, this is a great gim­bal Tripods are of­ten made from car­bon fi­bre, so why not gim­bal heads? This is the ma­te­rial of choice for the NT-530H MK II, which has a load-car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of 25 kilo­grams. At 1.16 kilo­grams it’s not sub­stan­tially lighter than sim­i­larly-sized alu­minium op­tions, but this is still one of the light­est gim­bals you can buy.

Light­weight doesn’t mean no-frills, though, as there’s good ver­ti­cal ad­just­ment and a long Arca-Swiss lens plate is in­cluded, giv­ing plenty of bal­anc­ing ad­just­ment. How­ever, while the tilt­ing ro­ta­tion is smooth and pre­cise, some bear­ing slack is ap­par­ent when loos­en­ing the pan­ning clamp. The clamps them­selves are wrapped in fairly smooth, leather-like ma­te­rial that isn’t grippy enough for easy ad­just­ment in the wet or cold.

Bal­anc­ing act

Ad­just­ing your cam­era and lens’s po­si­tion on the mount­ing plate en­ables you to bal­ance heavy kit com­bi­na­tions for max­i­mum sta­bil­ity

Ups and downs

Lock stock

The larger the lock­ing knobs, the eas­ier they are to use when it’s cold and wet

Not all gim­bal heads al­low ver­ti­cal ad­just­ment, as it’s not es­sen­tial to over­all per­for­mance – though it is what will give you the per­fect ‘weight­less’ feel

Ten lay­ers of car­bon fi­bre are used in the Nest head’s con­struc­tion

This is a great all-rounder, not too large but very ad­justable

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