Around the Studio - The Koolertron Pan and Tilt Head

I do a lot of product shots, close ups, and "need to shoot it quick" photography at my studio. The Koolertron Folding Pan & Tilt head ($49) has proven to be a terrific accessory.


This "Z-folding" aluminum alloy stand can be used independently or mounted on a tripod. I tend to use it by itself. I've added a Manfrotto 323 RC2 Quick Release Adapter ($29) to make it easier to attach and remove my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera.

What's interesting, however, is that I rarely remove the Koolertron from the camera. When I'm handholding the E-M5, I simply fold up the stand and use it as a bottom grip. When I need a quick product shot or long exposure, I fold out the stand, position the camera, and take the shot. It's amazingly handy.

The device comes with an hex wrench for quick adjusting of the tension joints. I've done so once, when I first unpacked the device, and that's been it. Mount the camera so the lens is facing the back of the "Z" shape (or facing the "K" in Koolertron). If the lens is pointed upward, lower the "Z" for proper balance. When shooting downward, as with macro shots, expand the "Z" upward. You'll get the knack of the device quickly, and it's remarkably stable in use.

Because of its weight (1 lb), I don't recommend the Koolertron for field work. I think it's a bit heavy for a portable device, although fine if you're carrying a large tripod. But for around the house or studio, it's a terrific and clever aid for stabilizing your camera.

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