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Gimbal Heads Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Mike Rowe Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:31 AM

I need to buy a gimbal head to better manage a long lens.

Probably the classic is the Wimberley but it is horribly expensive. The Manfrotto 393 looks a much more economic proposition, but what are the drawbacks?

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks
Mike
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#2 User is offline   Peter W Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:51 AM

Mike
I use the 393 and although a different design to the Wimberley I really get on well with it. All my EF500 images are taken using it. Weight wise about the same

not sure of any drawbacks others may say different maybe...


OK have you seen the Calumet Gimbal a lot cheaper than the Wimberley at £279 (still £150 above the 393) I looked at this at Focus on Imaging and looks a good bit of kit if you want Wimberley style Gimbal

http://www.calumetph...bal_head/ck7075
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#3 User is offline   Mike Young Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:54 AM

I have seen copies of the wimberly made in India, for sale on ebay at a much better price, I've seen them being used and they look to be very sturdy and well made. I didn't go for it because I didn't fancy buying from such a long distance so I went for the Manfrotto 393, its very well made, sturdy and does the job. I use it for my thirty year old heavy Nikon 600mm manual focus lens. Without any trouble
Kind regards

Mike



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#4 User is offline   Mike Rowe Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:17 AM

Peter

Thanks for the tip regarding Calumet, and your observations regarding the 393. My inclination is to try the Calumet - having spent so much on the lens, the difference over the 393 isn't much, and from the purely aesthetic point of view, it looks nicer. The Wimberley just seems overpriced.

Mike
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#5 User is offline   Derek B Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:03 PM

I have done quite a bit of research lately regarding Gimbal Heads, as I'm looking to buy one myself.

Their are a few Wimberley copies at about a quarter of the price, which seemed very good initially, but I've heard they do not last well. Link Here.

Then their is a company called Benro, who offer them much cheaper and the quality seems better. Link Here.

A British company, Jobo make them. Link Here.

Another company, Induro. Link Here.

As for the Calumet, read the following thread regarding it's major design flaw: Calumet Design Flaw.

I haven't made up my mind yet, but I can't find anyone saying anything bad about the Benro unit.

Please let's keep this thread going with others thoughts and if you already own a Gimbal Head, chip in and give us your review/thoughts. It's a lot of money to splash out, so it would be good to get some advice.

Derek

This post has been edited by Derek B: 17 March 2012 - 12:07 PM

"There is no such a thing as artistic photography.
In photography, like in all things, there are people who can see and others who cannot even look."

#6 User is offline   Peter W Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:59 PM

Here is another that was pointed out to me today

http://www.ukphotodi...mbal-heads.html
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#7 User is offline   Peter W Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:30 PM

View PostDerek B, on 17 March 2012 - 12:03 PM, said:

I have done quite a bit of research lately regarding Gimbal Heads, as I'm looking to buy one myself.


As for the Calumet, read the following thread regarding it's major design flaw: Calumet Design Flaw.



Derek


Derek not sure about major design flaw, as one person's view and without knowledge of how other products are built......
All the best
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#8 User is offline   Derek B Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 03:27 PM

Peter, I agree it's just one review, but I've seen lot's of other posts regarding the cheap copies and I suppose you have to decide for yourself.

I can't find it now, but one guy who was initially happy said the nylon bush got some grit down beside it after rain and he couldn't get the thing apart to clean it. He went on to buy a Wimberley.

Derek
"There is no such a thing as artistic photography.
In photography, like in all things, there are people who can see and others who cannot even look."

#9 User is offline   Mike Rowe Icon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:27 PM

Thanks for all your input. Quite a variety available isn't there - and price range too. I guess to a large extent you get what you pay for. On the one hand I'm thinking it's only a bracket, isn't it. On the other, when you've spent what you have on the lens, it's not a huge percentage even if you go for something expensive.

Mike
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#10 User is offline   Phil G Icon

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:21 AM

View PostMike Rowe, on 17 March 2012 - 08:31 AM, said:

I need to buy a gimbal head to better manage a long lens.

Probably the classic is the Wimberley but it is horribly expensive. The Manfrotto 393 looks a much more economic proposition, but what are the drawbacks?

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks
Mike


Hi Mike

Self and a colleague both have the Manfrotto's which apart from being the cheapest are easy to mod (and repair/replace)

He is an Ecologist and uses set up in photo when hunting smaller closer subjects
We were able to attach a couple of flash brackets to the forks and you can still use it for long shots
Hope this helps
Phil

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#11 User is offline   Mike Rowe Icon

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:59 AM

So in summary, Peter, Mike, Phil (and his colleague) all use the Manfrotto. Nobody who acutually uses a gimbal head has responded to say they use something different.

Derek, is this telling us something? It may look clunky, but it is cheap, seems to work, and is easy to repair/modify if desired.

Mike
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#12 User is offline   Derek B Icon

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:05 PM

Mike, I'll try and get my hands on one to see if it's what I need. They look more use with a monopod than a tripod, but I'll decide once I've actually seen them.

Derek
"There is no such a thing as artistic photography.
In photography, like in all things, there are people who can see and others who cannot even look."

#13 User is offline   Phil G Icon

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:25 AM

View PostDerek B, on 19 March 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

Mike, I'll try and get my hands on one to see if it's what I need. They look more use with a monopod than a tripod, but I'll decide once I've actually seen them.

Derek



Think you wil find it's t'other way as you need one on tripod for balanced vertical swings without
tipping tripod or tripping over the legs.
You can use monopod without gimbal especially if using Autopole that allows you to adjust vertically
from standing position, a smple pivot head and enough slack to allow lens to rotate is the simplest
and cheapest set up.

It's easy to get carried away if you have plenty of cash to spare.

I have even considered a machine gun turret mount on a dolly or ...fitted in sun roof!!!
Or a flat surface and an office swivel chair (old studio trick)
And even considered a Steady Cam+ Zimmer Frame (still am as decrepitude accelerates)

But KISS + knowing your subject and planning often show greater returns than equipment purchase

All the best

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#14 User is offline   Mike Rowe Icon

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:03 PM

Phil

I think where Derek's coming from is that the Manfrotto is marketed as a monopod accessory, not a tripod accessory.

I don't understand it either. Too many degrees of freedom on a monopod and I can see it all collapsing in a heap of articulated joints.

Mike
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#15 User is offline   Mike Young Icon

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:11 AM

View PostMike Rowe, on 20 March 2012 - 02:03 PM, said:

Phil

I think where Derek's coming from is that the Manfrotto is marketed as a monopod accessory, not a tripod accessory.

I don't understand it either. Too many degrees of freedom on a monopod and I can see it all collapsing in a heap of articulated joints.

Mike



I don't understand why Manfrotto say that in their marketing, doesn't make sense to me to have such a chunky/sturdy bit of kit perched on top of a mono pod.

It just occurred to me Mike, as you live fairly close to me, I would be more than happy to meet and for you to try mine with your kit. Nothing better than a hands on test . Let me know if you are interested and we'll arrange something
Kind regards

Mike



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#16 User is offline   Martin Russell Icon

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:46 PM

Hi Mike
I use the Wimberly Sidekick Gimble head adapter for ball heads.
you do need a lens plate to suit the lens in use, these plates are not cheap I have 1 for the 500mm and 300mm.

Also you will require a top quality Ball Head. I use a " Acratech GV2 ballhead" It's easy to get perfect balance and fine tune the tension to allow finger tip control in all directions, all mounted on a carbon fibre tripod.
I purchased the gear from Bob Rigby photographic.

I think the sidekick works well and is quite compact.

http://www.tripodhea...dekick-main.cfm

Cheers
Martin
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#17 User is offline   Mike Rowe Icon

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:40 PM

View PostMike Young, on 22 March 2012 - 12:11 PM, said:

It just occurred to me Mike, as you live fairly close to me, I would be more than happy to meet and for you to try mine with your kit. Nothing better than a hands on test . Let me know if you are interested and we'll arrange something


Mike, good idea, thanks. I did send a PM but maybe it didn't get through?


View PostMartin Russell, on 22 March 2012 - 10:46 PM, said:

Hi Mike
I use the Wimberly Sidekick Gimble head adapter for ball heads.
you do need a lens plate to suit the lens in use, these plates are not cheap I have 1 for the 500mm and 300mm.

Also you will require a top quality Ball Head. I use a " Acratech GV2 ballhead" It's easy to get perfect balance and fine tune the tension to allow finger tip control in all directions, all mounted on a carbon fibre tripod.
I purchased the gear from Bob Rigby photographic.

I think the sidekick works well and is quite compact.

http://www.tripodhea...dekick-main.cfm

Cheers
Martin


Hi Martin

Thanks for the info. Looks very neat.

Mike
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#18 User is offline   Peter W Icon

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:29 PM

Mike
Have you seen these ones
http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/rh1.htm
http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/rh2.htm

and here is a full independent review
http://www.wildphoto...-1-full-review/
All the best
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#19 User is offline   Mike Rowe Icon

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:41 PM

Thanks Peter. Definitely look interesting, and a fair bit lighter than the Manfrotto 393 which can't be bad.

Mike
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#20 User is offline   Derek B Icon

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:37 AM

Thanks Peter, I'm going to speak with Rob today and order one. I like the idea of supporting a local British business and it seems nobody has anything bad to say about the RH2.

I'll post how I get on, if I get it in time I'll use it in the field Friday and over the weekend.

Derek

Edit: For just £2 extra it is arriving before 1:00 pm tomorrow - now that's good service!

This post has been edited by Derek B: 28 March 2012 - 10:40 AM

"There is no such a thing as artistic photography.
In photography, like in all things, there are people who can see and others who cannot even look."

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