Giottos MH-1302 Pro Series II Socket & Ball Head with MH-655 Quick Release System - Max Load: 18 Lbs.

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About Giottos MH-1302

Giotto's Pro II ball head series features a light ball with a hollowed structure designed and manufactured to precisely position the camera both easily and securely.

Each has a stable and smooth base allowing fluid effect pans. Pro II features a slim and light body structure yet it is hardness strengthened, with heavily anodized aluminum strong enough to support heavyloads

Each head features 3 separate safety knobs which provide optimal security as well as convenience. A friction control knob, and a separate locking knob for pan control are provided in addition to the main locking knob.

Giotto's has designed various camera mounts and sliding plates to fit these socket bases.

All of the plates feature safety locks with an "auto lock" retaining system and flanged edges to prevent camera slippage when shooting vertically. It is reversible when not needed.

The MH-655 is an ultra-compact clamp style quick release system that is compatible with plates that fit the Arca Swiss standard. It features both a horizontal as well as a vertical bubble level.

The Giottos MH-1302 is commonly used for Portraits and more.The Giottos MH-1302 is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Giottos MH-1302: Attaches firmly, Large range of motion, Stable and Strong clamp

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Stable (7),Attaches firmly (6),Large range of motion (5),Strong clamp (5)
Best Uses:
Long exposures (4),Reducing noise (ISO reduction) (4),Stabilization (4),Portraits (4)
Reviewer Profile:
Photo enthusiast (6),Semi-pro photographer (4)

Giottos MH-1302 Features

  • Light & Extra Large Hollow ball
  • Slim & Light Design, Hardened for Strength
  • Locking Knob for Ball, Prevents Ball from Accidental Movement
  • Locking Knob for Tension Control with Precision Scale, Prevents Ball from Accidental Movement
  • Stable & Smooth Base with Fluid Effect Pans
  • MH-655 Ultra-compact Clamp style Quick Release System (Arca Swiss style)
  • Horizontal / Vertical Bubble Level

Giottos MH-1302 Specifications

Ball Head Height
Ball Head Diameter
Ball Head Load
18 lbs.
Ball Head Weight
0.82 lbs.
Tension Control
Safety Auto Lock
Separate Panning Lock
Tripod Mount Thread Size
Spirit Level
Yes, Horizontal/Vertical
Giotto's One Year Warranty

Giottos MH-1302 Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 10 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


This is real PROFESSIONAL product!

Many product use name professional but is not. This is real PROFESSIONAL product! You do NOT lose money!


Most Liked Negative Review


Nice but!

I wanted a tripod and head that was very lite weight and this head ( rated to hold 18lbs )with the Benro C-058n6 did the trick. I found that hand tightening the quick release screw is not enough to lock and stabilize my D700 with a Nikon 105mm in the vertical position (together weigh approx. 4lbs). I need to use a pair of pliers or the camera in the vertical position will creep. Very annoying and I'm afraid eventually I will break the screw.

Reviewed by 10 customers


Camera plate failed


from Northern California, CA  -  Photo Enthusiast

I mounted a Wimberely Quick release plate to the camera mount, and attached a Nikon D7000 with a nikon 400mm f2.8 lens. On a tripod, the first time I used it, the 1/2 x 20 fastener on the camera plate sheared off where within the camera plate, where the side increases to 3/8 (the camera plate attaches to the bullhead with a 3/8 x 16 bolt. My rig weight is well within the rating of the unit, which is 18 pounds. The bolt failure dumped the rig on the ground, tearing the F mount out of the camera, which is irreversibly damaged. Luckily, the camera took the beating and the lens is fine. I looked at my other support rigs (monopods x 2, tripods x3 all with quick release plates on bullheads. I have a Gitzo bullhead rated at 44 pounds, and it also has a 1/4 x 20 bolt that is meant to attach it to a quick release plate. Many other support items use the same fastener. This suggests to me that the fastener should be able to support the load, but the fastener in my case failed. I have subsequently replaced all 1/4 x 20 bolts in my support systems with 3/8 x 16, which in some cases required drilling out the smaller fastener and taping threads for the larger.




from Atlanta  -  Photo Enthusiast

Great alternative to my large Gimbal. Lightweight and easily packed.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)




from Michigan  -  Photo Enthusiast

I bought this to use with my Giottos MT-8340 tripod. I intended to put a 1.75" Kirk clamp on it, but I had to really screw the knobs tight to avoid lens droop. I [...] got a Photo Clam PC-36. The Photo Clam is more expensive, but well worth the money, as it's more nicely machined and holds tight without my having to really crank down the knobs.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Great Ballhead


from Texas  -  Photo Enthusiast

Great ballhead. The machining quality is fantastic, even the Gitzos and other far more expensive brands don't seem to have better quality to me. There is a wide range of adjustability of friction in movement, anywhere from fully locked with a heavy camera and lens to easily movable with a compact P&S. Easy and secure mounting of the camera also, it's not the quickest I have used but it's definitely secure and just about impossible to accidentally drop off the head (but be careful when new, the release button took a little time to "break in" and move freely). Buy it, you won't be disappointed.

(4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


Nice but!


from Long Island, NY  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I wanted a tripod and head that was very lite weight and this head ( rated to hold 18lbs )with the Benro C-058n6 did the trick. I found that hand tightening the quick release screw is not enough to lock and stabilize my D700 with a Nikon 105mm in the vertical position (together weigh approx. 4lbs). I need to use a pair of pliers or the camera in the vertical position will creep. Very annoying and I'm afraid eventually I will break the screw.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Quality craftsmanship


from central Jersey  -  Photo Enthusiast

This is my first Giottos tripod. I love it. I'm very satisfied with the value of the head. I use it with MT-9251. The head is very stable and well-machined, offering fluid motion and tight tolerances. I find that this leg/head combo offers a great value between stability, craftsmanship, price, and weight.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Solid performance.


from Portsmouth, UK  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I'm just getting into still photography, I'm a professional video cameraman during the day. This means I probably spend more money than I should on quality equipment, as I don't like cheap plasticy gear. This ball head fitted to my Manfrotto 190CXPRO4, but only just. If Manfrotto move the locking screws another 16th of an inch out, they will fail to connect with the base of the head. You'll have to find another way of locking the head in place once screwed onto the main spigot. I had hoped connecting to the camera would be easy with the circular thing on the top. This can be done quickly, but between the cork on the widget, and the rubber on the bottom of my D300, the connection never tightens to a point when you think "that's tight and snug," This is further evidenced by the way the lens droops when I move the camera to the portrait orientation. I'm now looking for a QR plate of some sort. the lock and friction controls are too similar but they do roughly the same thing. The friction that can be added is very controllable and reminds me far more of the fluid damped system in my £4K video tripod head than most friction systems. Rotational lock is great for panoramics you intend to stitch. Tightening the control does turn the head very slightly. This can be corrected by bedding in the control. lightly tighten the control and the main body around against the resistance. make additional quarter turns. the control beds in and does not rotate. If my tripod and head were stolen, I would buy the same head again. I would also buy the unit with the QR plate though. I feel this item is generally well made and offers robust functionality. I would like a better unit, but I don't feel I would get that for much less than three times the cost of this one.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


A Precision Ball Head


from Arlington, VA  -  Photo Enthusiast

I purchased the MH-1302 to go along with the Giottos MT-8361 tripod legs. The ball head looks a little small atop this tripod, but it is rated to hold almost as much weight as the tripod legs, so I decided that it would be large enough. My camera is fairly light, so I can't comment on the capacity of the head. What I can say is that this is a precision machine. Fit and finish are exceptional. The ball and all of the controls operate very smoothly. The three knobs give control over ball position, panning, and the 'tightness' of the ball, which helps the head adjust easily with a camera/lens of any weight. I replaced the MH-210C camera platform with the Giottos MH-652 Quick Release platform for added flexibility; it's also a very good product. Overall, I'm very pleased with the 1302. It equals or betters the quality of competing ball heads at a much lower price. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of 5 is that when the panning control is tightened, the head tends to rotate ever so slightly to the right. Just a small quibble with an otherwise outstanding product.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


Great Ball Head


from San Jose, CA  -  Semi-pro Photographer

This head works great. Very smooth. It can hold my 30D with the 400mm and 1.4 extender solid even when the head is mounted to the camera. I do not shoot like this but, I had to try it. I really like the ball tension. If you are shooting anything moving it can be adjusted to give just the right resistance to insure the camera stays in control. Being able to level out the camera, lock the ball, then pan using the degree scale is great too. My only criticism is that when the panning knob is not tight there is a slight wobble in the head.

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


This is real PROFESSIONAL product!


from Florida  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Many product use name professional but is not. This is real PROFESSIONAL product! You do NOT lose money!

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