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Old Tuesday 18th October 2016, 10:04   #1
Malcolm Stewart
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milton Keynes
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Low cost gimbal head (ebay) LF623

For many years I've owned and used a Manfrotto Long Lens Monopod Bracket, model 393.
https://www.manfrotto.co.uk/long-lens-monopod-bracket

It's supported several of Canon's big white lenses for me, and the only drawback I've encountered is its bulk, and that when using my EF 500 F/4 L IS, I have the lens-bracket as shown in Manfrotto's publicity, but when using my EF 300 F/2.8L IS the balance is better with the lens-bracket hanging down. The lens plate is quite long, and I've never had a problem adequately balancing the set-up using light-weight camera bodies (Eos 600D), nor when using a 7D MkII or 1D MkIV, with or without lens extenders. On the 393 it's easy to control the bearing tightness. However, what isn't provided on the 393 is fine vertical adjustment to allow more precise positioning of the CoG on the rotation axis.

So, I've now ordered one of the cheaper ebay gimbal offerings and I've wondered if there are points other members would like me to address when it arrives in the next day or two. I shall be carrying out some basic tests before allowing it to support any long lens and body. I'm fully aware from comments on Amazon that some examples of the type have been poorly finished, lacking lubrication, poor bearings etc.
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2016, 10:21   #2
nikonmike
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Looks like the same one but different label as i bought,will be interesting to hear your conclusions,i am over the moon with mine and upto 150-600 use but i dont use it much,i have my doubts it would stand constant use.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_fr...BK-45&_sacat=0
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Old Tuesday 18th October 2016, 11:57   #3
hampers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Stewart View Post
For many years I've owned and used a Manfrotto Long Lens Monopod Bracket, model 393.
https://www.manfrotto.co.uk/long-lens-monopod-bracket

It's supported several of Canon's big white lenses for me, and the only drawback I've encountered is its bulk, and that when using my EF 500 F/4 L IS, I have the lens-bracket as shown in Manfrotto's publicity, but when using my EF 300 F/2.8L IS the balance is better with the lens-bracket hanging down. The lens plate is quite long, and I've never had a problem adequately balancing the set-up using light-weight camera bodies (Eos 600D), nor when using a 7D MkII or 1D MkIV, with or without lens extenders. On the 393 it's easy to control the bearing tightness. However, what isn't provided on the 393 is fine vertical adjustment to allow more precise positioning of the CoG on the rotation axis.

So, I've now ordered one of the cheaper ebay gimbal offerings and I've wondered if there are points other members would like me to address when it arrives in the next day or two. I shall be carrying out some basic tests before allowing it to support any long lens and body. I'm fully aware from comments on Amazon that some examples of the type have been poorly finished, lacking lubrication, poor bearings etc.
I bought one and am very pleased with it. It works well and locks well with all nuts (or whatever term!). For the money I am really pleased with it, does the job and 10% of the cost of the best one. Cannot fault the way it works and is smooth in operation and have no issues with it at all. May not work for someone using all day every day but for me is 100% good. Looks like there are a number all the same with different names.

Phil
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2016, 20:42   #4
chrisj123
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: bridgend south wales
Posts: 50
hi
i have had mine for about 2 years and use a canon1d mk4 and a sigma 150-600 sport so not a light weight set up
i use it most weekends on a tripod and its very smooth to use the knobs lock up tight and im very pleased with it
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Old Thursday 20th October 2016, 09:11   #5
Malcolm Stewart
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Location: Milton Keynes
Posts: 601
My gimbal head arrived yesterday, on time and nicely packaged, but I now have other priorities (funeral today, car purchase, etc.) before I can sensibly spend some time with it.
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Old Wednesday 26th October 2016, 14:11   #6
Malcolm Stewart
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milton Keynes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Stewart View Post
My gimbal head arrived yesterday, on time and nicely packaged, but I now have other priorities (funeral today, car purchase, etc.) before I can sensibly spend some time with it.
...and now another funeral (4th. this year for me to attend), and then a family visit next week.
My very initial impressions are that the Manfrotto lens plate on my 393 is far easier, and more reliable to use than the smaller Arca Swiss style on the gimbal head. I found it quite fiddly to get it into the grooves before locking it in place. Probably a familiarity issue, but I'll see when I've more time.

Doing some research on gimbal heads generally before writing a critique, I discovered that one of my snaps has been "nicked" by a blogger from the Northampton area, and without any acknowledgement. Perhaps I should feel flattered...
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Old Saturday 3rd December 2016, 18:56   #7
johnf3f
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Location: South Wales UK
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Just my 2p!

If you are using a moderately serious lens then get a moderately serious head! For my 100-400 Mk2 and 300 F2.8 (+ extenders) I normally use the Lensmaster RH1 - it is lighter than my larger gimbal and does a very good job with these lenses. Oh yes it is well built and cheap too + it is made in the UK and Rob (the proprietor) is VERY helpful and knowledgeable.

For the big stuff (600 F4 +) i like the Wimberley 2 - but it is pricey!
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