Denver-based startup named Colorado Tripod Company (CTC) recently introduced a new Kickstarter project which includes a number of interesting new products including what claims to be “the Highline – the world’s first titanium ballhead”, an open ball Aspen ballhead, and a 10 layer Carbon fiber tripod.
Making a titanium ballhead is extremely difficult to manufacture and hence fairly costly. The major advantage of the titanium Highline is how lightweight they can be – in this case, CTC was able to reduce the ball weight by 52% to less than 1oz (under 340 grams) but also how strong it is – the Highline is said to have 54 pounds (24kg) of locking force due in part to a re-design the locking mechanisms so even a heavy setup should be a good match for this head. Titanium is also highly corrosion resistant which will help shooters keep working in any wheater condition for a long time.
Another video on the manufacturing of the new ballheads
The Highline has a few other interesting and innovative features including a patent-pending wide window that allows the head to be tilted 90 degrees and move somewhat right or left (in contrast to most existing ballheads with fixed 90-degree angle drop). It was designed for left-handed operation (not necessarily for left-handed shooters but for the user to use his or her right hand for composition).
CTC also claims the Highline has 50% fewer parts (so fewer things that can break and less manufacturing cost – in theory), the ballhead itself is 48mm but is hollow inside (hence the title “titanium hollowball”). The Highline is currently promoted on Kickstarter in two versions – the aforementioned Titanium and an aluminum version that has the same design but is somewhat heavier and not as strong (but cost about 1/5 the price).
The second ballhead designed by CTC is called Aspen and is a far less “conventional” ballhead with what is known as an open ballhead (reminiscent of the Novoflex MagicBall but with a built-in Arca Swiss quick release). This unit is made of aluminum and weighs around 16 ounces or about 450 grams (just like the aluminum Highline head).
The Aspen head (3) and how it came to be
Finally, CTC also introduced advanced lightweight tripods alongside the new ballheads. The two tripods are basically identical apart from the materials of the frame – one is made from Aluminium and the other from Titanium – both use 10 layer carbon fiber for the legs themselves.
Both tripods have a max height: 62″ or 157 cm (with the center column – if you remove it you get 50 inches or 127cm), spring-loaded leg locks and 60lbs / 22kg of payload.
Not just ballheads – Titanium tripods as well
As for pricing, it really depends on the materials used. Over on Kickstarter The Aluminium versions are relatively affordable with $79 for the Highline Aluminium and $179 for the Aspen Ballhead. The Aluminium tripod goes for $249. The Titanium models are much more expensive as you might have expected to go for $400 for the Highline Titanium and $800 for the Titanium tripod (a set will set you back $1100).
The Project already passed its goal and we are hoping to bring you a closer look at some of these interesting products in 2019.
If you don’t want to miss any new photography product be sure to check out our product photography section. Make sure you won’t miss any Kickstarter photography projects on our dedicated Kickstarter page here on LensVid.
Update: We now have a whole new subsection dedicated to tripods for you to check out with new releases and reviews plus lots of info and videos.