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GIMBAL RH-1

Manufacturer
LENSMASTER

Item details

The Lensmaster RH-1 made from a lightweight alloy has surprised me a hell of a lot. First of all it is the single arm gimbal, something I ignored for some reason, imagining that the 'normal' double arm gimbal must somehow be better. I have no idea why this single arm (I call it a sidekick) is so much more user friendly but it just is.
I got mine in June this year and liked it so much it was the only tripod support I took with my on a wildlife trip to Crete in July. B****Y H**L it was hot !! That's why I am wearing the white shirt in the pic.
This gimbal is soooo smooth, I don't think there is anything smoother on the market no matter how much you spend. I tested it a fair bit before I bought it. It all worked perfectly well but the acid test for gimbals is HOW SMOOTH IS IT? You find this out when you are doing a slow pan. If the gimbal is not well made there will be little 'drags' but no, this is spot on. I put my Canon 500mm f4 on a Gitzo and spun it round, if it is going to drag it will not come to a smooth stop. It glides to a smooth stop. It is terrific. No fancy bells and whistles, no overpriced name-tags, this product is the bizzo.
It is robust, simple, and does what it says on the tin. I suppose the only thing it doesn't do is lock solid in a position, I'm not fussed about that anyway, I never lock it and I'm certainly not going to spend 600 on a gimbal that does lock, what for?
Save yourself some big bucks, take another look at this single arm Gimbal, I reckon this will last a lifetime.

Latest reviews

Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Simple, elegant design. Light and compact.
Cons
  • see below
I bought one directly from Rob, who is very nice and very helpful. I use it with a 90/600mm (f:6.5) triplet ED astro-scope with a DSLR attached, about 4kg in weight. I use it for bird photography.
There were a couple of things that bothered me personally, so I modified it to better suit my needs. Basically, I just replaced the plastic bushings on both the tilt and pan axis with ball bearings to reduce resistance and slop. I replaced the large "teflon" washer on the tilt with a harder one (Formica) to be able to lock the tilt down tight when need be. 1/8 turn of the knob and the tilt is smooth, 1/4 turn and it is resistance free. I made a large polished brass washer to go between the arm and the base to reduce resistance and broaden the support. I drilled a new hole in the base of the arm to center my scope on the tripod and reduce leverage, and I drilled a second hole very close to the vertical for reversing the arm for transporting the tripod.
I am now extremely happy with it and as I said, my goal was to modify it to suit my needs. I wanted free movement, no slop, and to be able to lock it down tight in an instant for moving around. I feel I was able to turn a very good product into an excellent one.
See:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=194800&page=10 post#241 and 248,
page 11, post #275, and page 18 #440.

Thanks to Rob who was very friendly and open to my ideas. As a manufacturer he has to find the best possible balance between quality and cost. I don't have those restrictions, and although my costs were minimal,(14 for the bearings), it did take a lot of puttering.
Recommended
Yes
Price
0$
Pros
  • Really good value for money, super smooth and easy to use
Cons
  • Finish is not as good as some of the competition (mind you they are 3 or 4 times more expensive)
Got the Lensmaster RH-1 a few weeks ago, it really is as good as the previous review says it is, with a super smooth action making it very easy to track birds in flight. It is also exceptionally easy to set up, after a bit of practice I can now mount the lens and camera in about 10-15 seconds.

Rob offers a really quick service and is a pleasure to deal with... why spend more?

Item information

Category
Tripods & Heads
Added by
Colin Smale
Views
31,673
Reviews
2
Last update
Rating
5.00 star(s) 2 ratings

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