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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Tripod and wimberley style head (1 Viewer)

monoglypha

Well-known member
Hi, I have just bought a Nikon 500 f4 lens and am now looking for a suitable head and tripod has anyone heard of or used this tripod with a big lens?
http://www.redsnapperuk.com/camera-accessories/RS-324_Carbon_4_Section_Tripod.html

Also does anyone know of a Wimberley style head, I really cannot afford 300-500 pounds after all I have just spent. I do not want something cheap that is not going to be any good or not safe for my lens and if there are no real alternatives I will just have to wait.

Cheers
Steve
 

Plankwing

Member
There are three on Amazon that should be suitable.

Flashpoint Gimbal Head for $209.00
Manfrotto 393 Heavy Telephoto Lens Support for $174.00
Jobu Design BWG-J3K Junior 3 for $329.00

We have two of the Manfrotto Gimbals (my wife and I both photograph birds) that I have modified from "U" to "L" shape, photo attached. I've also attached a photo of me in a blind with the modified Manfrotto gimbal on Manfrotto tripod. In that photo I'm using Canon 7D with battery pack and 100-400 IS USM. I've since gotten a Sigma 50-500 HS OSM for the 7D and my wife now uses the 100-400 and Canon 60D with battery pack.

The reason I modified the Manfrotto was that the left arm of the "U" got in the way of zoom and, if needed, manual focus. Note that my "first iteration" of the modification was not sufficient to bear the camera/lens weight properly. I have since installed larger bearings and bolts which have proved sufficient. That having been said, I cannot recommend the Manfrotto gimbal unless you have tools to do the modification.
 

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johnf3f

johnf3f
Please see my post on your Tripod thread about not compromising on support. However if cash is really strapped the the Manfrotto 393 (mentioned above) is pretty good. I used to use one with a 6.1 Kilo 400mm F2.8 and thought it was the BIZ, till I tried the Wimberley (Doh!). Another one to have a look at is the Lensmaster Gimbal - gets good write ups, but I didn't know if it would be up to my 600, the Manfrotto certainly is. The Manfrotto 393 is a compromise but I can confidently state that it does work with heavier lenses than yours.
Both the Lensmaster and Manfrotto 393 are under £140 - so well wort a look.
 

GYRob

Well-known member
Info
The RH-1 & RH-2 max is 10kg -22lbs The RH-1 has been tested up to 22kg -50lbs the RH-2 up to 45kg 100lbs aprox ( nothing broke )
Rob.
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
I had the same dilemma, some might find it strange that if you can afford the lens you are quibbling about spending what is relatively little on a tripod and head. However, it takes time to get over the shock of buying the lens before you spend more, especially if you have an understanding partner, makes you feel a bit guilty !
My advice is do without and wait rather than spend now on something cheaper only to regret it later. Wimberley's do appear on the used section sometimes as do good tripods.The Manfrotto 393 would be an expensive mistake IMO.
cheers Dave
 

monoglypha

Well-known member
This is my first big lens so i am a little unsure, do I need a lensplate to use with Wimberley, Jobu black widow, lensmaster etc? or does the head fit directly to the lens collar? Also if it is needed what is its purpose, sorry to sound so thick!!!

Steve
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
This is my first big lens so i am a little unsure, do I need a lensplate to use with Wimberley, Jobu black widow, lensmaster etc? or does the head fit directly to the lens collar? Also if it is needed what is its purpose, sorry to sound so thick!!!

Steve

Certainly for Wimberley you need a Arca-Swiss plate, I'm pretty sure you do for the Jobu too. Several companies make them. It's crazy but the lens feet the 500mm comes with are either too high or too short so most people seem to change the foot for one that incorporates the Arca Swiss fitting but reduces the hight too instead of attaching a plate to the existing foot.
I bought the Kirk version.
http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-kirk-quick-release-lens-plate-nikon-200-400mm-f4-a/p1006454
With this one it's just the right size to be able to use as a carry handle. Irritating that it's another £80 to spend though.
cheers Dave
 

monoglypha

Well-known member
Certainly for Wimberley you need a Arca-Swiss plate, I'm pretty sure you do for the Jobu too. Several companies make them. It's crazy but the lens feet the 500mm comes with are either too high or too short so most people seem to change the foot for one that incorporates the Arca Swiss fitting but reduces the hight too instead of attaching a plate to the existing foot.
I bought the Kirk version.
http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-kirk-quick-release-lens-plate-nikon-200-400mm-f4-a/p1006454
With this one it's just the right size to be able to use as a carry handle. Irritating that it's another £80 to spend though.
cheers Dave

Thanks Dave, so I change the foot of the existing lens collar instead of buying a lens plate?
Like this one?http://www.jobu-design.co.uk/Accessories/Replacement-Lens-Feet/LF-N504
 

johnf3f

johnf3f
Thanks Dave, so I change the foot of the existing lens collar instead of buying a lens plate?
Like this one?http://www.jobu-design.co.uk/Accessories/Replacement-Lens-Feet/LF-N504

You may not necessarily need to change the Lens Foot. The problem is that with a Gimbal Head you need to balance the lens both horizontally AND vertically. Luckily for me the Canon lenses do not need the foot replaced for my Wimberley 2, however I read the Nikons do benefit from a foot replacement.
Have a word with GY ROB about the Lensmaster Gimbal with your lens - I am sure he can advise. With the Manfrotto 393 the supporting bracket can be underneath (neater) or over the top of the lens which may negate the need to buy a replacement foot.
Food for thought?
 

Malcolm Stewart

Well-known member
... With the Manfrotto 393 the supporting bracket can be underneath (neater) or over the top of the lens ...

I've had a Manfrotto 393 for some years, and use it very successfully with both my EF 300 F2.8L IS (bracket under the lens) and EF 500 F4L IS (bracket above the lens). I find this gives the best balance. I use either lens with a 1D III or 50D body. There's enough adjustment for the balance to be maintained with or without an extender in use. My tripod is a Benbo Classic No 1 which gives a very firm mount with no vibration problems whatsoever, but it is heavy.

When mounting the 500 F4L it has to be inserted through the 393's bracket, and doing this, there's a possibility of scratching the lens on the bracket's edges, so I've got the lens covered in a neoprene coat.
 

pe'rigin

Well-known member
Buy the best you can afford. Certainly agree with Rioja about not rushing in at the moment. If in a hide you can get away with bean bags placed on the rucksack for the moment. Heavy for carriage but do-able.

You want the lens as near the plate as possible, which along with the head must be able to support the weight. The lens/camera set-up has to be balanced, a remote is a handy little gadget.

I have the Wimberley/plate and short foot, excellent, but I also have an old studio head for plate camera's which is as solid as anything, a bit of a fuss mounting the lens, but I don't move about with this lot, its just too heavy.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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