The Platyball – First Look

On this month’s podcast, I interviewed my pal, Skip Cohen. Skip is working with Platypod on the Platyball project. This is a new, revolutionary, ball head that actually takes the conventional thinking about ball heads and turns it upside down. Literally.

Since not everyone who visits this site listens to the podcast, I wanted to create a post about the Platyball because I really do think it’s something every photographer may want to look at.

The Platyball is available in two versions — the Ergo and Elite. The difference? The Elite comes with an electronic leveling indicator — the first of its kind. Both models support up to 22 pounds, meaning it’ll work with just about any interchangeable lens camera on the market.

There are many things that make the Platyball unique. First off, there is the upside down nature of the thing. Look at the pictures and videos (linked below in this post) and you’ll start to get what that is all about.

Next there is the unique way in which you lock the head in position. Instead of fiddling with some knobs after you have your head pointed where you want it, the Platyball uses a pumping action. You just pump a trigger on the front of the head. You do this to lock or unlock the head for repositioning.

If you go for the Platyball Elite, you’ll also see yet another unique feature of this ball head. According to Platypod founder, Larry Tiefenbrunn, when you’ve got a camera on a ball head [with a bubble level], you can’t see it. Platyball Elite fixes that, and instead offers the world’s first electronic level. The level has three brightness levels. There are four lights on [the Platyball], and it’s easy to make it perfectly level. The level is also able to be calibrated so you can match a certain angle with ease.

Both versions also come with a carabiner hole — perfect for climbers and hikers — as well as a neoprene jacket. The Elite ships with an extra A23 battery. The head is Arca-Swiss compatible.

The Platyball Kickstarter ends March 15, 2020. Early backers can save real money by pre-ordering and can also get early access to the product.

You can see many more pictures of the Platyball and some cool videos too, over at the Kickstarter page.

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 10.40.55 AM

Please note: This is not an affiliate link nor am I being paid a dime to promote this product. I am doing this because I believe in Larry and I believe in his company. I have, in the past, been compensated by Larry to help him with some of his early projects. Those were very successfully funded on Kickstarter and were so successful, those products are now in the retail chain at places like B&H. This one is a freebie. I am not being paid a dime.

I was able to give Larry feedback early in the design stage of this new ball head. I am honored that he sought, and listened to my advice, so in some ways, this is the ball head I would have designed, had I been as smart as Larry.

Also note, I very, very, rarely promote Kickstarter campaigns because I always worry that I will be held accountable by my readers if the owners of the campaign don’t deliver. Larry’s track record is perfect. He’s delivered on every single Kickstarter campaign he has ever launched and I am certain he will deliver on this one, which has already blown past its goal.

P.S. I have mine on order!


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