Light & Shadow

Tip: “Re-positionable” T-Lever Knobs

In order to get adequate torque on the smaller diameter ball sizes we needed to design a locking mechanism that provides enough leverage to securely lock your mid-sized camera equipment into place. This high pressure locking mechanism is what gives our mid-sized and ultra-lightweight ballheads exceptionally high load capacities. Therefore, the main-lock knobs of our BH-40, BH-30 and BH-25 ballheads are “T-Lever” style knobs rather than the round shape found on our BH-55 ballheads.

A common issue you might face during normal use is the T-Lever coming into contact with the tripod platform or quick release clamp. This problem is easily solved by utilizing an often-overlooked feature of the T-Lever: The lever is spring-loaded and can be re-positioned without tightening or loosening the ball itself.

Simply pull the T-Lever.



Once it’s been pulled out (or disengaged) you will notice it can still be turned, but as it’s in this disengaged position turning it clockwise or counter clockwise is doing nothing to affect tension on the ball.

Set the T-Lever to the position you find appropriate, let it spring back to re-engage the T-Lever and then you can go back to standard procedure for tightening or loosening the ball. The operation is essentially very similar to using a socket wrench, where the re-positioning of the handle—in this case the long side of the T-Lever style knob—allows for better leverage and a clear path to rotate. By utilizing the ratcheting knob you will be able to apply tension to your ball head even in the most restricting situations.

It may even be possible to select a position for the knob that minimizes the occurrence of such movement restrictions or interference, since there are 6 different positions available and the operation of the knob will usually require less than 1/2-turn.

(NOTE: It is important to ensure the T-Lever knob springs back to a fully-engaged position before tension is applied to continue with a locking or unlocking motion. Partial or improper engagement of the internal parts can result in damage or unintended wear.)

Let’s recap.

  1. Pull the T-Lever knob out away from the ballhead body.
  2. While holding the knob out, rotate to a new position (in either direction).
  3. Let the T-Lever knob spring back. (You may need to wiggle the T-Lever slightly to allow full re-engagement.)
  4. Continue the tightening or loosening motion.