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Just bought Canon 500mm f4L and need Support (1 Viewer)


Well-known member

I know there’s already a few similar-ish questions on here about support for lenses and bullheads and gimbals but I wanted some advice specific to my lens and situation if possible so started this new thread.

I’m awaiting delivery of a Canon 500mm f4L IS II lens which I believe weighs in around 3200g. I want to use this for bird photography.

I am old and feeble and so I’m looking for a lightweight, safe way to mount this which will take the strain from me and keep my lens safe. I would sacrifice some functionality for security and weight - saving. I would go up to around a £500/$600 budget. Less is obviously nice.

Some options I have thought of are:

Wimberley gimbal Seems good but heavy.

Gitzo fluid head. Seems good and cheap but also heavy

Jobu Jr3 is lightweight and cheap but max load is only around 4kg which worries me.

Wimberley sidekick seems to tick the boxes. I’d put it on my Z1, but I can’t shake the idea that it looks precarious and also I fear lenses might fall out or over. It looks like it might need a fair bit of care attaching and setting up and the law of averages suggest accidents could happen. Am I worrying too much I hope so because it looks like a good option.

While looking I also saw this


This guy likes it

I’m new to this so can someone tell me what the big deal is ? Apart from some enhanced panning/levelling is it so much different from my Arca Z1? Would it be a better albeit more costly option than the sidekick?

Anyway these are my thoughts and I’d appreciate any advice you can give me.

Thank you for your help.


Active member
I do have a Wimberley head for my 500. Even though in the specs it's heavy, I have to admit I don't find it that heavy at all. There are carbon fiber gimbal heads but I'm not sure if they are in you budget.
I have used ball head, fluid head and after using a gimbal, I won't use anything else for long telephoto.


Well-known member
Thank you. I noticed a Katana Junior Gimbal which I don't believe is CF bit it is light and goes for £530 here in the UK so I am tempted to look further into that.


Active member
Sirui has a CB Gimbal head for 399.90 dollars. Benro has the GH5C for 409.95.
All of them are lighter than the Wimberley.

Back to the topic, I found my self being able to more "proactive" as the lens moves more smoothly than on a ball head and you don't have to worry about the knobs.

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