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Gimbal head

ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 2:59PM
Hi all just wondered if i could get some advise on weather a gimbal head for my sigma 120-300mm f2.8 os lens would be good for wild life instead of the mono pod i use now and what benefits i would see.
Also if i use a gimbal head with that lens and the canon 7d with 1.4 x converter do you think i would still need to use the os on the lens or would i be better off not using it?

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bagman 7 65 United States
29 Feb 2012 3:31PM
The gimbal head carries the weight of it all. Beautiful freedom of movement .every thing just sits there waiting for to use on the spare moments need. easy to use on tripod.
Yes os. off. wonderful for wildlife and sports.
I use a The Manfrotto 393 gimbal head
definately a lot cheaper to purchase than the Wimberley Gimbal Head

Had no problems so far ,easy to use fair enough its not the lightest of accesories but definately one i would recommend . I use mine on a tripod but you could use this with a monopod.
hope this is of some help

also i have the os off.

MikeRC Plus
13 3.6k United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 3:37PM
Hi Ian....my experience with this type of head only runs to the cheap model and on the few occasions I've used it, I have found it to be excellent.
....steady as a rock, quick and precise movement and one handed operation...certainly no need for the VR
loweskid 16 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 6:21PM
I've just bought a Lensmaster gimbal head. Only got it yesterday so I haven't taken a photograph with it yet, only played about with it in the house. First impressions - it's certainly a well made bit of kit, built like the proverbial brick outhouse. Seems to work well with a D300 + 80-400 lens mounted on it so I can't see any problems with it. A lot cheaper than the Wimberley - 147.95 (for the RH-2 version) including postage, and it's made in the UK. Review here .
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
29 Feb 2012 6:31PM
A gimbal head would be aimed at being used on a tripod rather than a monopod and due to the freedom of motion that those heads give I don't think it would work that well on a monpod (might be a bit too free and have the thing likely to topple over).

For tripod work with big lenses I think they are the best option - that said with the 120-300mm f2.8 you could also consider:
One of these
That gives you a regular ball head, but which also has a gimbal effect when you use its cradle on the ball - you've still got your up down and left to right smooth motion and the same type of connection plate - whilst also having the freedom of a normal ball head for the tripod for other lenses (I've even heard that this ball head will do well for supporting even heavy medium format gear).

As for OS I'd twitch it off if using the head normally - whilst using it in mode 2 if panning shots. OS might detect its on a tripod, but I'd far rather cut out the question of if it detects (And the time loss as it spins up and then spins down) and just keep it off. I've also found that IS (at least) fails to detect if its on a longer exposure.
bagman 7 65 United States
29 Feb 2012 6:39PM
A little extra comment. Mine is a flash point head and built like a tank. I have used it for 4 years every where and any in any weather . No trouble what so ever. It,s the only thing i use with camera and all my lens with the two plates for it.
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 7:22PM
I have the Manfrotto one - bought it at Focus last year and have used it... once.
loweskid 16 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 7:50PM

Quote:I have the Manfrotto one - bought it at Focus last year and have used it... once.

You need to get out more Brian.....Wink
29 Feb 2012 8:02PM
Hi Ian,
I, too, have the Manfrotto one and have really only started to use it this year (it was in the cupboard still wrapped up for a year before that!! Tongue). Use it with a tripod but haven't tried it with a monopod although from other accounts it works well with one. Now I don't go out for a walk without tripod or head!!! Really pleased with it! No way that funds would've stretched to a Wimberley! Lou
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 8:55PM

Quote:You need to get out more Brian

Tell me about it!

Or better still, I need to remember the damn gimbal head! Smile
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 8:58PM
Sorry guys i have 2 tripods as well as a mono pod, i just meant that i use a mono pod at the moment not that i want to use it for the gimbal head.
I realise i need a tripod for the gimbal head not a mono pod so sorry for the confusion in my write up.
Thanks for the info chaps very well worth thinking about before i actually buy.
I was thinking of the benro gh2 i think it's called any idea of what thats like?
tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 9:12PM
The 309 see here , is the one I use all of the time.

Don't be put off by the image in the link, as we use it with the top bit swung down to the bottom, if that makes sense.

Once you have set up the friction for the panning and the swing of the arms it is near on perfect
I control mine with the left hand and keep the right hand free for the cable release
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
29 Feb 2012 9:20PM
I honestly think the guy that did the product pic for the 309 and the guy that put it on the website didn't have a clue how the item was to be used. Quite why manfrotto hasn't changed the photo boggles the mind unless they know something the rest of us don't Wink
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
1 Mar 2012 9:41AM
Any good tripod is better than a monopod - but costs and weighs more.
For best stability a good head, firmly locked down, gives best results but restricts following moving subjects.
Gimbals, including the 393, strike a balance between stability and following moving subjects - and with good technique easily beat a monopod.
I also use the 393 - which I rate at around 90% as convenient as the Wimberley at about 25% of the price. There are now many Chinese Gimbals, some very good, a few priced similar to a 393, but I have not tried any.
Any Gimbal is huge and heavy compared to ordinary heads.
On IS Nikon make the point VR can help acquire good initial focus, though at fast shutter speeds it has little or no camera shake benefit. If you get a Gimbal my advice is try some shots with and some without IS to learn which combinations get you the best results in what shooting conditions.
As to the 393 photo being "upside down" the illustration shows the set up for maximum height. The other way round (lower tripod height) gives the easiest access to lens controls forward of the tripod foot.

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