The American tripod manufacturer Colorado Tripod Company has launched a funding campaign for a tripod system with a titanium ball head using Kickstarter. Due to the special properties of titanium, the hollow ball head of the Highline model is particularly stable and yet lightweight. For example, the Highline ball head weighs only 340 grams with a load capacity of 24.5 kg - the aluminum version, which is also available, is much heavier with 510 grams. The ball head is milled from a single piece of titanium (or aluminium) and is therefore supposed to be even more solid than the ball heads otherwise produced by casting.
The Colorado Tripod Company claims to produce the world&s first tripod system with a titanium ball head, but Petapixel recalls that Gitzo had a special anniversary version of its GT90TT ball head made in titanium in 2008, but not in the form of a hollow head.
The use of titanium is not the only innovative feature of the Highline ball head. The special design allows the ball head to be operated with the left hand so that the user has the right hand free to operate the camera. In addition, the Highline ball head offers the possibility to tilt the camera by more than 90°.
The Colorado Tripod Company offers with the aluminum milled model Aspen another ball head, which is specially designed for lighter mirrorless cameras, can be tilted more than 90° and has a load capacity of about 11kg.
Also part of the Kickstarter campaign are matching tripod legs for the aluminium and titanium versions. In order to keep the weight of the whole system low, they are made of carbon fibres.
But the weight saved has its price - the titanium version of the Highline ball head is many times more expensive than the aluminum version: it costs around 350 euros compared to the only 70 euros of the aluminum model. Whether the weight reduction of less than 200g is worth this surcharge has to be decided by everyone.
The financing goal of the campaign of 50,000 dollars was already reached after a few days and is now almost double that amount - with a remaining term of 24 days. So the campaign is successful - but as with every crowdfunding project, there is no guarantee that the paid model will actually be delivered - but at least the Colorado Tripod Company is an established company with experience in the production of tripods.
The Centennial tripod made of carbon fiber costs about 220 Euro in the 1.6 kg aluminum version and about 700 Euro in the 1.3 kg titanium version. The ball heads and tripods are to be delivered from March 2019.