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Tri-Pod Head for Telephoto Lens


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15 replies to this topic

#1
Daniel

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I am wanting to buy a new tri-pod head for my telephoto lenses. I saw some guys with them last year while photographing wildlife. There tri-pod heads enabled them to pivot the lens and camera around quite easily without have to tighten and loosen any dials on there tri-pods. As well when they released or let go of there their cameras, the camera and lens would level itself out automatically. Any suggestions for such a device? I am planning on shooting some of my wild life shots with a tripod this spring.



#2
Adam

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Gimbal heads are fairly common for telephoto use.  They're not cheap, though!

 

I have this model and it's worked fairly well for me out in the field.

 

http://www.bhphotovi...=5981



#3
Daniel

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Thanks for the info Adam. I don't want to cut corners on price for a good tri-pod head so that price looks ok to me.



#4
nbanjogal

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Gimbal heads are fairly common for telephoto use.  They're not cheap, though!

 

I have this model and it's worked fairly well for me out in the field.

 

http://www.bhphotovi...=5981

 

I'm drooling…I need a new tripod head too--my current Manfrotto ball head can't hold up under the weight of my D600 and a 14-24mm. This gimbal head looks amazing.



#5
Long Exposure

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And this is what I use.  The "leg" slided into my ballhead and the foot attaches to the lens foot.  I like it because it is : a) more inexpensive than a full gimbal, B) it weighs less than a full gimbal (when throwing it in a pack, for example) and c) it is smaller and therefore easier to stow.

 

http://www.bhphotovi...ck_Ball_to.html

 

Alternately, I use the RRS 55 ballhead.  It has a ton of friction yet you can swing around the camera/lens combo.  I have "held up" meadium format gear with this beast.

 

It is big and expensive, you might want to sit down.

 

http://www.reallyrig...ory.567/it.C/.f

 

Edit:  Oh, and FWIW, I have had a D3 w/ a 2.8, 300m w/ a 1.4TC on the ballhead.  No issues.  None.



#6
Daniel

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I'm using the Nikon 80-400mm and Sigma 150-500mm and the D800e is kind of heavy so I need something that could take the weight.

#7
Merco_61

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I'm drooling…I need a new tripod head too--my current Manfrotto ball head can't hold up under the weight of my D600 and a 14-24mm. This gimbal head looks amazing.

The trouble with a Wimberley for non-collared lenses is that the quick-release is oriented the wrong way, so you will need a $85 accessory to mount a body to the head. For a heavy wide-angle zoom a good ballhead like a RRS BH-55 or a Markins M-20 works better.

 

I agree with Long Exposure that a good, sturdy ballhead and a sidekick is the best way if you are not a birder and use the long lenses exclusively.



#8
Long Exposure

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Merco, I agree.  Both of the ballheads you call out are great.



#9
Daniel

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I got myself a MILANO M-GHPRO gimbal head. I will post some pics later with this setup. I already have a good carbon fibre tripod for it but think maybe I should get an even bigger one. I was looking around for a filter at the camera store when I noticed this tripod head was 50% off. So I bought it on the spot and saved 200$. It seemed like a good head when displayed at the store but I haven't actually trided it yet. So no reviews yet.  



#10
Merco_61

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Full gimbal heads come into their own on Sachtler ENG-2 and Gitzo series 5 systematic tripods. You will need a base that is even sturdier than the head.



#11
Daniel

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My tripod is already on the big side but I bought a smaller head last year when I purchased it. I'm thinking it might be on the smaller side for this head though. I never knew there was bigger heads like this last year when I bought it. Until I set out and at one place in Bella Coolla where people were waiting for grizzly's a guy had one and was panning around with it. 



#12
PrettyCranium

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Does the Wimberley Sidekick work with Manfrotto ball heads?



#13
Daniel

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I don't new? Maybe somebody does here. 



#14
Merco_61

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I have never seen a Sidekick that was made for other than Arca-Swiss dovetails. You could probably adapt one, but it might be easier and even cheaper to get an Induro, Cullmann or other relatively cheap ballhead made for the Arca system.



#15
Long Exposure

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Induro ballheads are crap.  The legs are fine, but I once traded out the ballhead from an Induro unit to a different maker as soon as I could.



#16
Merco_61

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I have only seen two Induro heads up-close but they seemed to work about as well as a Manfrotto 168. Perhaps the quality is inconsistent? I would definitely recommend a Cullman over the other cheap heads if one just cannot find the money for a good ballhead.