When looking for a suitable tripod head for your camera, one of the most important aspects to consider is counterbalancing capability. The counterbalancing function provides a counterforce to keep the balance between the tripod head and the camera that is mounted on it. If the right counterbalance is maintained, the camera remains stationary at any angle of tilt. You do not need to worry about holding the camera by hand and yet are able to maintain precise control of the camera.

RS/RS PLUS/QD is equipped with an excellent counterbalancing system that provides a perfect counterforce that corresponds to the weight and angle of the camera. A special innerspring mechanism is used for this system. When the strength of a spring is insufficient, the head cannot bear the weight of the camera. If a spring is too strong, the camera will tilt upward. RS/RS PLUS/QD "variable counterbalance system" enables users to adjust the strength of the innerspring within a certain range using the counterbalance knob located on the outside of the head. Different cameras can be used and a perfect counterbalance can be set for each individual camera.

The definitive way to find the most accurate counterbalance between camera/accessories and a tripod head is to actually mount the camera on the head. However, you can use this counterbalance chart to get a rough idea of the correct counterbalance. The vertical axis of the chart depicts the height of the gravitational center and the horizontal axis is load weight (total weight of the camera and accessories). Based on the combination of these two elements, you can find a suitable tripod head for your camera. The area between the two curved lines represents the range of counterbalance that you can set with the counterbalance adjustment knob. When a standard lens, microphone and battery are used, the normal height of the gravitational center is approximately 200mm/7.9"(box lens), 125mm/4.9"(shoulder type camera) and 75mm/3"(hand-held camera) The height of the gravitational center will not shift much even when a different lens or a different battery is used on the back of the camera. Please be aware that attaching a light or a monitor on top of the camera will shift the center of gravity.

Fine-tunable counterbalance knob

The height of the center of gravity is the distance from the center of the camera to the top of the head (or the camera plate). The shorter this distance, the higher the weight point becomes.

QH1 Counterbalance chart
*When the innerspring is set to maximum strength, the tilt angle is limited to +/-40 degrees.
QH3 Counterbalance chart
*When the innerspring is set to maximum strength, the tilt angle is limited to +/-40 degrees.

Attach the camera on the tripod head. Turn the tilting knob to the neutral (zero) position. Slide the plate to a position where the camera is well balanced and lock the slide plate.
* Keep holding the camera by hand when adjusting its position and balance.

Adjust the innerspring strength using the counterbalance adjustment knob. If the camera tilts forward, tighten the counterbalance. If the camera tilts backwards, loosen the counterbalance.

Tweak the slide plate to fine tune the counterbalance. Make sure the camera stays still at any tilt angle and set the pan & tilt switch knob to the desired position.