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Old 06-01-2011   #11
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Default Re: why a gimbal

Hi, Would a gimbal be usable on a monopod for shooting sports. I am in a wheelchair and I'm always looking for ways to make it easier. If a gimbal will do this I will get one but I would appreciate some advice from those of you that have used this equipment. Thanks, Mike
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Old 06-01-2011   #12
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Hey Mike, while I don't have an answer to your gimbal question I have a couple of ideas to throw at you. I use Manfrotto super clamps for several things. I have a couple of pipe clamps with super clamps on them for mounting flash units in arenas. A couple super clamps and a length of pipe or your mono pod might give you a stable mounting option. A gimbal might free up the range of motion for your camera in following action. I don't know about your hand strength but a ball head with a grip release might be cool too.

I like rigging things. I'd think the frame of your chair would offer a lot of options for mounting off camera flash and such. Hope you find some accessories that make photography more enjoyable.

Steve
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Old 06-02-2011   #13
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Default Re: why a gimbal

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Originally Posted by olcoach10 View Post
Hi, Would a gimbal be usable on a monopod for shooting sports. I am in a wheelchair and I'm always looking for ways to make it easier. If a gimbal will do this I will get one but I would appreciate some advice from those of you that have used this equipment. Thanks, Mike
Indeed this is exactly the sales point of the Manfrotto Gimbal. They list it under monopod accessories.

If you can somehow steady the monopod securely, perhaps by the means of those clamps Steve mentioned in his post, it should work nicely.

The real benefit of a Gimbal is, that you can finely balance the lens/camera combo to allow for a effortless motion. At the same time the camera will stay put in place, independently of the angle, if you let go. I can imagine, it would be useful in your situation, though I lack the wheelchair experience.

Ben
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Old 06-02-2011   #14
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Default Re: why a gimbal

Hi, Flyf4rfun I didn't mean to hijack your question. I do appreciate the replies though and I'm going to give one a try. Thanks all for your help. Mike
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Old 06-02-2011   #15
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Hi, Steve I need to know a bit about those Manfrotto clamps. I'm not really sure how you're using them but they sound like something I could really use. Thanks, Mike
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Old 06-02-2011   #16
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Hi, Steve I need to know a bit about those Manfrotto clamps. I'm not really sure how you're using them but they sound like something I could really use. Thanks, Mike
They are handy as a pocket on a shirt. B&H has two pages of them. Have a peek. There are a couple made specifically for mounting cameras. Here's the link:
Super clamps
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Old 06-03-2011   #17
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When you have a really large lens, there's really only two practical choices IMO - a gimbal or an Arca-Swiss B2/Z2 three-way head, and in either case preferably with a leveling base.

The reason a gimbal head is so great for big glass is how easy it makes the handling, since it provides control via balance as opposed to brute clamping force. Fingertip control of a huge lens doesn't come any other way.

The Arca-Swiss B2/Z2 is an unusual 3-way head that allows separate control of all three movements, and once the head is leveled (on a leveling base), you can lock the side-to-side leveling and (as long as you lock it down when letting go of the camera/lens) it can then be used pretty quickly/smoothly as well. Plus, with the B2/Z2, you have no problem using lenses without a tripod collar, since it is (albeit with massive load capacity and more convenient controls) basically a 3-way head.

Ball heads, on the other hand, I detest, as their propensity for off-axis movement provides endless frustration in setting the camera the way you want it.
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Old 06-04-2011   #18
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When you have a really large lens, there's really only two practical choices IMO - a gimbal or an Arca-Swiss B2/Z2 three-way head, and in either case preferably with a leveling base.

The reason a gimbal head is so great for big glass is how easy it makes the handling, since it provides control via balance as opposed to brute clamping force. Fingertip control of a huge lens doesn't come any other way.

The Arca-Swiss B2/Z2 is an unusual 3-way head that allows separate control of all three movements, and once the head is leveled (on a leveling base), you can lock the side-to-side leveling and (as long as you lock it down when letting go of the camera/lens) it can then be used pretty quickly/smoothly as well. Plus, with the B2/Z2, you have no problem using lenses without a tripod collar, since it is (albeit with massive load capacity and more convenient controls) basically a 3-way head.

Ball heads, on the other hand, I detest, as their propensity for off-axis movement provides endless frustration in setting the camera the way you want it.
Though I'ld agree with most of what you wrote, I wholeheartedly disagree with your negative notion on ball heads. WIth a simple Arca Swiss Monoball or even the old Manfrotto Pro ball head, it is quite easy to use long and heavy glass, as long as you don't let the lens completely go. The adjustable tension of a competent ball head, will balance the setup quite nicely.

Ball heads - or for that case - any other head, that will lock down solidly, are the preferred choice for static shots, in my opinion. And I prefer ball heads over 3-way-heads for there swift and smooth action.

Ben
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Old 06-04-2011   #19
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Originally Posted by Ben_V View Post
Though I'ld agree with most of what you wrote, I wholeheartedly disagree with your negative notion on ball heads. WIth a simple Arca Swiss Monoball or even the old Manfrotto Pro ball head, it is quite easy to use long and heavy glass, as long as you don't let the lens completely go. The adjustable tension of a competent ball head, will balance the setup quite nicely.

Ball heads - or for that case - any other head, that will lock down solidly, are the preferred choice for static shots, in my opinion. And I prefer ball heads over 3-way-heads for there swift and smooth action.

Ben
You're free to disagree, of course.

I would submit, however, that the Arca-Swiss B2/Z2 heads locks down every bit as solidly as the best ball head, and due to the ease of leveling it (and being able to do so independent of other movement) the Arca-Swiss B2/Z2 actually makes precision framing of static shots faster, not slower, than with a ball head, unless you're willing to do your leveling in Photoshop (I'm not, generally speaking). They also provide all of the "swift and smooth" action needed (albeit, with one extra knob, but if used with a leveling base you generally won't need to touch that one in most cases), but with better control. I would not extend the same praise to conventional 3-way heads, because most lack the holding power needed and have those long, fiddly handles.

I find that in any attempt to adjust the camera/lens position with a ball head (i.e., either moving it side-to-side to level the camera or to move the camera/lens up or down) introduces unwanted movement in a direction other than the desired direction. Since a ball head has absolutely no restriction on which way the ball can move, it generally isn't possible to achieve the desired movement without some additional, undesired (i.e., off-axis) movement. The bigger, heavier and/or more poorly balanced the equipment is, the more difficulty this causes, because sufficient clamping force to make unwanted directional movement less likely also makes movement with precision more difficult (e.g., with a ball head clamped tight enough as to make movement require effort (so as to keep things from flopping around by force of gravity) means that the last increment of movement needed to level the camera probably results in overshooting the mark, and then you have to do it again...and again... and again).

Since I hate my photos ending up crooked, I refuse to attempt to make precision movements in two directions with a head that moves in all directions. The Arca-Swiss B2/Z2 (or for less demanding applications, the NPC Pro Head) are simply better tools for that, IMO.

YMMV, as they say.
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Old 06-05-2011   #20
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When shooting moving subjects with a long lens, a fluid pan head is also an option and if you also shoot video; the fluid pan head might even be the best bet!

I bought a used Manfrotto Fluid Pan Head for under fifty bucks on eBay...

BTW: taping a corded remote release to the pan handle with gaffer's tape makes the fluid pan head great for following moving subjects...


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