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Gimbal / Sidekick mounts on ebay

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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 12:36   #26
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Well if Wimberley is the Rolls Royce of Heads you bought a Yugo! Good luck with it but as several people have mentioned in other threads about very suspect quality with these heads I suspect you will have nagging doubts about your purchase.
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 12:50   #27
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I bow to your better intellectual debate, your words of wisdom and complete understanding of the motoring industry
PS if Henry Ford is the father of modern motoring does that make a Rolls Royce a knock off copy.......
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 17:12   #28
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Perhaps the quality of yours is better.

Indian Wimberley knock off
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Old Thursday 14th February 2008, 17:52   #29
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As I said I bow to your expert knowledge on all subjects...............
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 20:15   #30
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After a lot of dialogue with the uninformed I decided to put my mount where my money was.......
I have dissected my Asian Mount to look for signs of poor quality and am pleased to report that the unsubstantiated claims made by some who have never seem one of these devices in the flesh are inaccurate.
When I have nothing better to do I will happily supply photographs but I can report that without the aid of an x-ray machine the casting appears 1st class, no signs of porous surfaces and the machining is 1st rate, a mirror finish on all surfaces that have been machined, the nylon bearings are a perfect fit as are any spindles (is Nylon the best choice for bearings?), the powder coating is smooth and even with no signs of poor adhesion of finish. My head sits firmly on my tripod mount and comes with an alternative plug for smaller threaded heads (wouldn't wish to put this on anything less than 3/8" though), all nuts are nylock to keep them in place, backed up with self locking washers. I would say that in some areas it may be a little over engineered which may add to the weight.
My only criticism is the plate mount clamping screw which has a knob made of a hard plastic which is not pleasant to turn and may be too brittle to stand a hard hit which is strange because the axis clamping heads are absolutely fine and finished in a much better plastic the plate clamping screw is a common thread so replacing it would be very simple.
Looking at it in detail and looking on line at the original Wimberley Mk1 head (don't have one to hand) I wonder what the company did with the original copyright and castings, it wouldn't be the 1st time that Asian companies have purchased out dated designs, (Vauxhall and Deawoo spring to mind).
I'm sure that there is a world of difference between an Asian Gimbal Head and an original Mk1 Wimberley but whether or not it justifies the huge price difference is a matter of opinion.
If any one wishes to have any supporting photographs, please email / pm me and when I get time I will happily send some out although not sure if my macro photography will be up to it......
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Old Friday 15th February 2008, 20:20   #31
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So it fell apart on you did it?
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 01:00   #32
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Read this post if you would like to see the quality of the knock-off products:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/613316

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Old Wednesday 20th February 2008, 20:39   #33
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Hi Steve.

I've used the my 'sidekick' version for a couple of decent sessions now. It functions very well indeed although its casting, paintwork and so on are clearly not top notch. If I'd had the money to buy a new canon 500mm F4 I might have paid the extra and bought original Wimberley kit but on my budget I'm pleased with value for money. Enjoy using yours Steve.

Cheers, Tim
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2008, 22:33   #34
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Tim, thanks, its does appear that those people who have purchased one do accept that it will not be as a top dollar mount should be, but by no means does it mean its going to fail, if we all avoided buying goods that have a history of failure or recalls we would be hard pushed to find anything that can be classified as 100%, If you look at the motoring industry every manufacturer has had issues and recalls even Rolls Royce, why only recently did Canon put out a statement regarding focusing on their "top of the range" D-SLR, does this prevent people buying them...... I think not.......
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Old Thursday 21st February 2008, 15:40   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Leto View Post
Tim, thanks, its does appear that those people who have purchased one do accept that it will not be as a top dollar mount should be, but by no means does it mean its going to fail, if we all avoided buying goods that have a history of failure or recalls we would be hard pushed to find anything that can be classified as 100%, If you look at the motoring industry every manufacturer has had issues and recalls even Rolls Royce, why only recently did Canon put out a statement regarding focusing on their "top of the range" D-SLR, does this prevent people buying them...... I think not.......
True, but if a tripod head fails you could end up with thousands of pounds worth of gear falling to the ground. I think that for this reason alone people are willing to pay more for the tried and tested heads. I've never heard of a Wimberley, Kirk or Jobu gimbal failing but I have read horror stories about the copies.
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Old Thursday 21st February 2008, 17:16   #36
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I seem to recollect someone else saying the very same thing in post #16
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Old Thursday 21st February 2008, 21:01   #37
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Originally Posted by postcardcv View Post
True, but if a tripod head fails you could end up with thousands of pounds worth of gear falling to the ground. I think that for this reason alone people are willing to pay more for the tried and tested heads. I've never heard of a Wimberley, Kirk or Jobu gimbal failing but I have read horror stories about the copies.
yes I agree but every choice is a risk but it doesn't mean that people can't try alternative products with people ridiculing their choice, which is why I have persisted with this thread. I can name so many top company brands that have failed with massive consequences and yet the product stay in circulation and are continued to be used.
Okay I bought a cheap product, I have taken it apart and see no visual signs of the claims some people are making.
If it works so be it if it fails likewise, but its my choice.

If posh stuff never failed Jobu wouldn't need this on their website

Warranty Information:

On most of our items, we offer a 1 year "No questions asked, fix-it and send it back like-new" warranty. The only cost involved is shipping back and forth, which is generally paid by the customer (we will only pay at our discretion). For the next 2 years, we will strive to offer free repairs, or only charge our minimal replacement costs for broken items, plus shipping costs. We have the best warranty in the business and will strive to make you happy.
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Old Thursday 21st February 2008, 23:18   #38
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I've followed this thread with interest, though I'm not intersted in buying either a Wimberley, or the cheaper alternative. I do however think there is a general point to learn from what's been discussed.

If everyone only ever bought the expensive original item, newer and cheaper alternatives would never break into the market. Whilst some of them do turn out to be rubbish, just occasionally (often, even!) some of them do turn out to be almost as good, and at a fraction of the cost of the original.

I could site the examples of both Benro and Feisol tripods. There were large question marks over both brands when they first hit the western marketplace, yet I have genuinely never heard a bad review of either brand-and I've read quite a few! From my own personal experience of the latter, the company seem to be genuinely determined to offer good products at fair prices, and will go out of their way to satisfy their customers-even from the other side of the world (Taiwan).

A bit of healthy competition never did the marketplace any harm, and helps to keep the market leaders on their toes. It even, on occasion, prevents some of them from taking the p*@@ with ridiculously high prices for what are essentially quite simple products.

If the unthinkable should happen? Well isn't that what we pay insurance for? or am I missing something?
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Old Thursday 21st February 2008, 23:58   #39
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Quote:
I've followed this thread with interest, though I'm not intersted in buying either a Wimberley, or the cheaper alternative. I do however think there is a general point to learn from what's been discussed.

If everyone only ever bought the expensive original item, newer and cheaper alternatives would never break into the market. Whilst some of them do turn out to be rubbish, just occasionally (often, even!) some of them do turn out to be almost as good, and at a fraction of the cost of the original.

I could site the examples of both Benro and Feisol tripods. There were large question marks over both brands when they first hit the western marketplace, yet I have genuinely never heard a bad review of either brand-and I've read quite a few! From my own personal experience of the latter, the company seem to be genuinely determined to offer good products at fair prices, and will go out of their way to satisfy their customers-even from the other side of the world (Taiwan).

A bit of healthy competition never did the marketplace any harm, and helps to keep the market leaders on their toes. It even, on occasion, prevents some of them from taking the p*@@ with ridiculously high prices for what are essentially quite simple products.

If the unthinkable should happen? Well isn't that what we pay insurance for? or am I missing something?
Steve,
I couldn't have said it better than you. I too have been watching the post with interest. I bought a Feisol tripod over a year ago and it has performed superbly - even though many told me not to trust it.
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Old Friday 22nd February 2008, 11:36   #40
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Thanks for your kind words of encouragement Lisa. As with many things, popularity breeds popularity. I can still remember when Swarovski were the 'the kids on the block', but look at them now!
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 18:03   #41
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Lisa / Steve thanks that was exactly my point and I'm pleased at last people realised the message I was trying to get across, thanks for the sound of reason in your responses. I have put a annual reminder in my diary so each anniversary I will be able to offer an update and I am big enough to post a failure report if it ever does.
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 18:11   #42
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Help !!!!!

I have just taken the plunge and ordered a Nikon 300mm lens weighing 2.8 kg,
3.6kg with the D200 attached.
I only just bought a Manfrotto 055PRO and a 222 ball head to go with my other lens. It's a brilliant combination and I am disappointed that the maximum weight it is recommended it takes is 2.5kg.
I need another tripod head. Having spent a small fortune the budget is limited but I would like something as flexible as the 222, and something I can use to carry the camera/ lens combination around whilst in situ on the tripod... i.e. over my shoulder.
Suggestions would be appreciated
Thanks in anticipation
Dave

Posted this in the wrong place, I'll try again !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 21:14   #43
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Try the manfrotto 393. It's a rock solid support, the lens plate locks securely and it won't break the bank. All in all a great head without the cost of a wimberly
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 22:35   #44
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Try the manfrotto 393. It's a rock solid support, the lens plate locks securely and it won't break the bank. All in all a great head without the cost of a wimberly
I was at Focus-on-Imaging yesterday, and whilst pleasantly surprised to find the #393 head on display on the Manfrotto stand, I noted that it (possibly it alone) was without a label indicating type number etc. I spoke to a salesman and asked why Manfrotto seemed to be hiding this particular item from the market in that their catalogue didn't mention the magic word "gimbal" and that it was also shown in an upside down aspect when illustrated. (When I lift my head from viewing through my camera, I want to see over the lens and not <through> the gimbal head support.) It seems as though sales and marketing policy is decided by HO in Italy.

I pointed out that it was this forum which was responsible for my satisfactory purchase of the #393.

I liked the feel of their geared heads, but they're hardly any use for live bird photography. What is amazing is their extremely wide range of heads and support systems.
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 08:51   #45
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Thanks for that Malcolm. Someone else mentioned that model as an alternative so I searched Warehouse Express only to draw blank.
Morris Photography have an illustration, and at 105 plus free delivery it is certainly an economic alternative.
From the picture though, it doesn't look very flexible. I would like to see one in action.
I have also found the web site for Jobu, and they too are considerably less than Wimberley.
I agree with all the arguments about "spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar" but the Wimberley costs mega bucks, not a ha'p'orth. Having worked for a very large corporation I am more than aware of the power of the brands and advertising. You have to be the best, the cheapest or unique to be a brand leader.Wimberley ,it seems, are clearly the best.
http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/Product...oryid~158.html

Anybody else got an opinion on the 393 ?
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 09:08   #46
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Thanks for that Malcolm. Someone else mentioned that model as an alternative so I searched Warehouse Express only to draw blank.

Anybody else got an opinion on the 393 ?
On the Warehouse Express site, it's hidden away in the Manfrotto accessories section, described as 'Long Lens Monopod Bracket'.

Well worth buying IMO.

cheers
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 11:17   #47
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I'll give another vote to the 393 if the budget doesn't stretch to a wimberley.
Use mine with a Canon 500 f4 and before that the Sigma 500mm f4.5 and I really like it. I admit that if some spare cash comes my way I'll get a wimberley but until then its fine.
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 12:24   #48
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Well im still using this :) http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=58223
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 15:37   #49
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Originally Posted by rioja View Post
...
Morris Photography have an illustration, and at 105 plus free delivery it is certainly an economic alternative.
From the picture though, it doesn't look very flexible. I would like to see one in action.
...
http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/Product...oryid~158.html

...
As you'd expect the illustration on the Morris photo website is that supplied by Manfrotto (and as far as I'm concerned shows the unit in use upside down.).

What it doesn't show is that there are 3 holes on approx. 35mm centres in the vertical supports allowing different vertical mounting positions to suit different lens/camera combinations. I use the default (top) position for my large diameter EF 300 f2.8L, but a smaller diameter lens might balance better on a different hole. The horizontal axes have several washers, and are easily adjustable for play. The vertical axis is also adjustable, but (from memory) I think this needs an allen key, and hasn't needed adjustment so far.
The lens plate comes with both 3/8" and 1/4" screws, and has a spring-loaded safety catch as well as the clamp which locks the plate when balance has been achieved.

Where gimbal mounted lens/camera combinations fail is when used inside a hide with a relatively small vertical window height. They're fine for tracking wildfowl on the water's surface, but not so good when trying to snap the high flying hawk which has just disturbed the flock of lapwings or whatever.
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Old Wednesday 12th March 2008, 19:22   #50
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Any one seen, bought, heard about the Indian company selling mounts and plates at a fraction of the cost of the real macoy?
Had an email exchange with them and I could but a sidekick for my 500sigma and a PT-50 plate for 80.00 inc shipping.
Okay I'm not that naive but its might be worth a chance, gotta be better than my trusty old benbo ball head

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...MEWA:IT&ih=003


Comments anyone?
Followed this thread with interest. I've got the Manfrotto 393 and its a cumbersome beast - always banging me on the hips or shins depending how I sling it. I never carry my camera any distance on it as I'd rather carry it separately.

I invested in one of the Indian copies and was disappointed in the lack of a fail safe mounting plate. A bit of re-engineering involving drilling and tapping and I've now mounted the Manfrotto fail safe quick relase plate on to the gimbal head. Now I've got a head that doesn't bruise me everytime I carry the tripod slung over my shoulder. The rest of the quality is OK apart from the fact that the various turn-screws could easily get lost so I'm loking at ways of ensuring they can't!
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