I have had two of these Slik Pistol Grip heads for many years – at least 15 years. Simply, they are excellent. I have often had my Canon EOS 7D with the Canon 100mm-400mm lens attached, sitting on one of these atop a tripod when shooting hummers remotely. This is probably one of the oldest tripod ballheads in production. Not difficult to see why…..
So simple to use – grip the handle, squeeze the trigger and adjust. Letting go of the trigger locks (and I mean really locks) the head in the new position. Virtually no latent ‘sag’ at all.
Now, this isn’t a head to use if you are tracking moving objects – or panning. No, this AF-2100 is a head that functions in much the same as a standard ballhead. Just a whole lot more conveniently.
Slik provide quick release plates to attach to the bottom of your camera, and again, convenience is designed into the product. Rather than having to find a coin, screwdriver or Allen wrench, you simply tighten the QR plate with the fold-up tabbed screw. Awesome. Plates are readily available too.
The last, and possibly best feature, is how simple it is to change camera orientation from landscape to vertical. Again, squeeze, rotate, release. I am not sure it would hold a Canon EOS 1D Mk IV and a big telephoto in vertical position, but pretty much everything else would not be a problem.
This is a close up of the quick release plate, showing the rubber base that grips very well indeed. Notice the alignment spot on the notched rim of the plate – this makes it ridiculously simple to attach to the head.
The process of attaching the plate/camera to the head is simple but very secure: The grey triangular button at the top of the handle needs to be set in the unlocked position. The plate is then lowered onto the head with the white dot on the plate aligned with a corresponding white dot on the top of the action grip head. There is a small grey button on the head, just under the plate at the front (you can just see it top right of the top image) which needs to be depressed to let the plate mate to the head. The plate is then free to rotate 360 degrees within its fitting. Once you have the camera pointing forward relative to the pistol grip, you set the grey triangular button to ‘Locked’, and that plate/camera assembly are not falling off for love nor money….
Squeeze the trigger, and move the head/plate/camera to where you want, and release. I must have done that routine a thousand times with each of these heads – they still hold absolutely rock solid. One of my heads has a 3/8th tripod thread, the other a standard 1/4-20, so I can put them on heavier or lighter tripods as necessary.
I recommend these for sure.
OK, there are a couple of minor complaints ……
The head is very tall. When doing low-level or ground work, it raises the camera off the tripod a good few inches. Not always welcome for closeup work.
I was lying – that is my only complaint…..!