Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: Gimbal Head Advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Kenosha, WI
    Posts
    3,863

    Gimbal Head Advice

    I've never used one and have no idea what to look for. I know they are pricey so I would probably have to try and snag one on the used market. I still have my same tripod (Induro CT213) and ballhead (Induro BHD2). Am I correct in thinking a gimbal head would be better to use now that I have the 7d II and the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary or should I just stick with what I currently have? I know I am pushing the weight limit on the legs but I can't afford a new tripod and my Induro is still in really good shape.

    So, what should I be looking at for + and - on gimbal heads? I don't know one from another. Do you think I could find a decent used one for maybe around $300 tops?

    I want to be ready when the weather breaks and the birds are singing!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Big Mouse Florida
    Posts
    1,036
    I use a gimbal for the panoramas and alignment of the axis is an imperative. Must be able to adjust the horizontal and vertical axis w/ the centers and nodal points of the lens/camera combo. That is the only reason why I returned the cheaper gimbals that I ordered and tried. IF IF you are not likely to use the gimbal for lots of panos then some of the less expensive gimbals will work just fine.

    Using a gimbal with a big lens is a joy compared to a ball head - soooooo much easier. Yea they are heavy but oh so much worth it.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    2,985
    The only one I have ever used is the Wimberly. It is a very nice piece of gear, extremely well made and functions flawlessly. You can move a camera and big lens around with 1 finger. I can recommend it without reservation.

    I have heard good things about the Mongoose Gimbal which weighs less than the Wimberly and the Really Right Stuff gimbal as well but I suspect it is more expensive.

    Induro also makes a gimbal, I have not heard anything about it but their products are generally good and priced more affordably

    I would say your tripod should be fine.

    http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/cano...b2-gimbal-head


    http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/cano...ii-gimbal-head


    http://www.adorama.com/INDGHB2.html
    Last edited by Joel Eade; 02-12-2016 at 12:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,156
    Ask around (i.e. in other forums) to determine if your camera/lens combo can be balanced on a gimbal head. If it can't, you'll still have smooth operation, but not as effortless as if you could balance it. I find that my Canon 100-400 II (with RRS replacement foot/plate) can only balance if zoomed to 400 when it's paired with any of our 1-series bodies or a gripped 5-series body, and that's with the camera almost slammed up against the Wimberley clamp (making it challenging or impossible to rotate to portrait). I've contemplated going back to the Canon foot and using a Wimberley P-40 or P-50 plate so I can clamp something (anything!) out front to gain back some balance options. This brings up another point: zoom lenses will most likely require continuous rebalance if zooming, or perhaps compromise and lower the rig down so it has a little more tendency to just hang low/flat-ish.

    Like Joel, I have a Wimberley. Picked it up in July for our Alaska cruise. Absolutely love it. It goes atop a set of RRS legs with a leveling base, which I'd also recommend when you're ready; it simplifies getting the panning axis level, which can be a big factor with a relatively tall gimbal head. My only complaints on the Wimberley are ever so minor: it needs a little use to really soften up (it's a "stiff smooth" initially), and I find that the pan axis is tough to truly LOCK down. I discovered this when I tried to carry a 600/4 and 1Dx on the gimbal on a monopod, with the camera and back of lens resting on my shoulder, and a hand on the monopod. It kept twisting, slightly, but meant I'd have to reposition my hand regularly, or compensate in other ways to keep the lens from falling.
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Kenosha, WI
    Posts
    3,863
    Peety3, sounds like it is a lot more complicated than I realized for usage with a zoom lens. Joel, the GHB2 is only for up to 400mm. So, what I'm kind of getting out of this is my choices are real slim to nil.

    Maybe I should just try getting used to using it on the ballhead that I have. I didn't really like using it for BIF because I just felt to constricted so I always ended up hand holding. Definitely, not an option anymore with the 150-600mm and my extremely bad back!

    Also, I am still using the Wimberley Quick Release Plate that I used on the 100-400mm which I think now, I should be using a longer one. Another thing to add to the never ending list!

    Thank you for all the suggestions ...giving me much to consider and look into. Renting one is looking pretty good, Joel!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    308
    I have a more basic question. I'm concerned about the situation where the subject frequently moves then pauses , so that you can't take your hands off the camera while on the tripod. My first attempts (ball head on a travel tripod) seemed 1-2 stops better than handheld. Should I expect more?

    For this case how many stops of stabilization should one expect from a gimbal? Any different for a ball head?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,899
    The lens properly balanced the Wimberly is more solid than any ball head I have ever used.
    Properly balanced it will not fall forward or back and damage your lens.
    The smooth movement of a gimbal makes it ideal for tracking moving birds.
    Ball heads are dangerous if your hand loose control you run the chance the lens will drop forward.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    2,899
    Quote Originally Posted by peety3 View Post
    My only complaints on the Wimberley are ever so minor: it needs a little use to really soften up (it's a "stiff smooth" initially), and I find that the pan axis is tough to truly LOCK down. I discovered this when I tried to carry a 600/4 and 1Dx on the gimbal on a monopod, with the camera and back of lens resting on my shoulder, and a hand on the monopod. It kept twisting, slightly, but meant I'd have to reposition my hand regularly, or compensate in other ways to keep the lens from falling.
    I have never had this problem. Mine locks solid. I wonder if there is a screw that needs adjusting.
    I have thrown mine over the shoulder and carried it everywhere. I have never had a problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    2,985
    Quote Originally Posted by ddt0725 View Post
    Peety3, sounds like it is a lot more complicated than I realized for usage with a zoom lens. Joel, the GHB2 is only for up to 400mm. So, what I'm kind of getting out of this is my choices are real slim to nil.

    Maybe I should just try getting used to using it on the ballhead that I have. I didn't really like using it for BIF because I just felt to constricted so I always ended up hand holding. Definitely, not an option anymore with the 150-600mm and my extremely bad back!

    Also, I am still using the Wimberley Quick Release Plate that I used on the 100-400mm which I think now, I should be using a longer one. Another thing to add to the never ending list!

    Thank you for all the suggestions ...giving me much to consider and look into. Renting one is looking pretty good, Joel!
    I think the advantage of using a gimbal is proportionate to the lens size. In other words for a relatively small and light lens like the 100-400 a gimbal is probably not needed but if you are using the 500mm and up it makes a world of difference. My Wimberly locks solid for carrying with no problem, it has been perfectly smooth from day 1 and I have never had a malfunction in 6 years so far. Of course it isn't cheap, but it will never need replacement so actually the cost over time is low.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bill W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Haverhill, MA
    Posts
    662
    Morning D....good to see you back in action.

    IMO, shooting BIFs and static birds with a big lens.....a gimbal is paramount.

    My Wimberley gimbal is on my big tripod 100% of the time and pretty much exclusively used w/my 500.

    Using a gimbal isn't complicated D......'"perfectly balanced" is a relative term. People simply say removing your hands from the equipment and the combo doesn't flop forward or backward. But they don't mention if they've left any resistance on the pitch setting. I know when I was looking into a gimbal, I interpreted "perfectly balanced" as totally friction free. I have since learned, for me, perfectly balanced includes pitch friction on the gimbal.....this may have been obvious to some of the more experienced photogs, but it wasn't for me.

    My setup is quick, set the tripod for height, place foot in the gimbal's tray tighten....after using your combo of the gimbal and camera/lens you will discover, approximately, where to place the foot in the gimbal's tray.......in the down moments of shooting my subjects, I will fine tune the foot's placement and resistance.

    I like pitch resistance for 2 reasons; obviously decreases the chance of the equipment from flopping when you remove your hands and I like a bit of pitch resistance while in the act of shooting and tracking a BIF. BTW.....I use zero friction for rotation.

    Zooming; Peety has a valid point, but I think you'll find that you will be at max zoom the majority of times for shooting birds. One of my cohorts, he shoots w/a 7D2 and the version one 100-400, is nearly 100% on full zoom while shooting and that includes photographing HBs in my backyard. Obviously, you will have to maintain awareness for this possible balance discrepancy.

    Leveling; for me, this is a low priority, don't misunderstand, I try to set up closely to level. But when I'm shooting BIFs and birds perched, I'm seldom able to fill the frame and my pix need cropping in post processing.....this is where I straighten any line issues. E. G. yesterday I was photographing bald eagles and I was able to approach one eagle as close as I've ever been able to get w/out causing the bird some anxiety w/my presence. The photo still needed a lot of cropping.

    Gimbal suggestion....I haven't use one, but another of my photog cohorts has one and hasn't expressed any concerns; http://www.tripodhead.com/products/s...patibility.cfm

    A nice benefit of this, not just expense wise, but it will eliminate the need for mounting and dismounting your ball head when the user only has one tripod.

    Good luck w/your decision D

    Bill

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •