We often get asked our recommendations for the best tripod head for wildlife photography.
This guide features 5 tripod heads we recommend you consider adding to your travel photography gear for taking pictures of wildlife.
A gimbal head is a must-have for any wildlife photographer using a long lens. Telephoto lenses are big, heavy, and not easy to move around. If you mount a heavy lens to a ball head, it will inevitably move even when the head is locked in place.
The design of a gimbal head balances the lens at its center of gravity. This allows you to freely move the lens and it stays locked in any position.
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When looking at tripods for wildlife photography, tripod size and weight are important to note if you’ll carry it while traveling or hiking. Also note the load capacity to be sure the tripod can hold your heaviest camera and lens combination.
Nikon 500mm f5.6 Lens Review
Looking for an affordable lens for wildlife? Check out our review and why we LOVE the Nikon 500mm f5.6 lens for nature photography!
The Gimbal is the best tripod head for Wildlife Photography. In our experience Gimbal Heads provide greater performance and versatility when photographing wildlife and birds. The Wimberly WH-200 is the head that we use and the best that we have experienced. It is easy to balance and sturdy enough to lock down the heaviest telephoto lenses. It is easily and quickly adjusted in the field providing a versatile and stable platform for photographing constantly changing subjects.
The Katana Pro is a lightweight gimbal head with an impressive load capacity that's perfect for wildlife photography. It is easier to store when traveling and to carry when hiking. It provides reliable and versatile performance in the field.
The Sirui PH-10 is a lighter, smaller Carbon Fiber Gimbal that delivers excellent performance. This tripod head is great for traveling and hiking and is easier on the budget. It's a budget-friendly tripod head for wildlife photography.
Peak Design Travel Tripod Review
We love our Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod. It is ideal for hiking due to a very compact fold-down design that allows it to fit nicely into our camera backpack. It’s strong and sturdy despite its lightweight structure, and will handle all but the heaviest telephoto lenses. This tripod stabilizes my Nikon D850 and Nikon 500mm F5.6 lens very well – it’s a terrific tripod for wildlife photography.
If you also enjoy landscape photography in addition to wildlife photography, check out the gear we use and recommend.