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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Carbon tripod and head for heavy lens. (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Looking to buy a tripod and gimbal head for a 500mm f4 lens and wondered about people’s experiences with their setups.
Budget will be about £600 for head and tripod.


Well-known member
Carbon Fiber. Leofoto offers best value/quality right now...they have a deal that includes the head. Go for a three section tripod if possible - the extra fourth section (though makes the tripod smaller for packing) gets to be annoying to extend time after time (x three legs). If you can buy used look for Gitzo...or even Benro (but high end three section carbon fiber capable of supporting 35 pounds or more).

Skip the center column - no need for it (makes your set up less stable)

If you want to get a gimbal type head look to buy used..these type heads can be better for wildlife BUT the extra cost...Anyway, good recent discussion of different gimbal heads and why people selected the one they did: Gimbal Head

Finally, have you considered primarily hand-holding your set up? A 500 F4 version II or III Canon - that is very doable
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Bill Atwood

Registered User
United States
Is the Flexshooter a good option with a big spotting scope - like Kowa 883 for example?
Maybe, if you are someone that likes using ballheads for scopes. I do not. I prefer light pan & tilt video heads for scopes. The Gitzo GHF2W is what I settled on for an ATX95 and would probably use for an 883.


Well-known member
For big spotting scopes, as Bill Atwood recommends, get a pan/tilt video head. Why? You need something (a handle!) to pan/turn the scope with...you don't want to use the ocular (eyepiece) of the scope to do that - which you would have to do if you got a ballhead (eg Flexshooter). I like this one because it is small, lightweight, supports a lot of scope (weight!) and one can take the handle off...reverse the handle: Video Ball-Head By Acratech


Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hi, I used a Manfrotto 055 with a Slik SGH-700 Gimbal with my Nikon D7500 and Sigma 150-600C and it has greatly improved both my keeper rate and image quality. Manfrotto do a MT190 Carbon Fibre version which some of my fellow wildlife photographers use. Both should be within your budget if you shop around and Manfrotto have a sale on currently. Movo GH800 is carbon fibre Gimbal, looks good but I have no experience of this one.
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