Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod? - Page 4
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Old 10-21-2012   #31
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

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Originally Posted by cft View Post
WesternGuy:

There are a lot of very good ideas in this thread. Three years ago, when I was choosing a tripod for a trip to Yellowstone with a rented Nikon 600mm, I bought a RRS gimbal head tripod combo. All of their stuff is very well made, high quality machining, in the US. I continue to use this system with a 200-400 or 300mm with a 2x extender.

1)Cross border: Southern Alberta – how far south? I live in Vancouver and use a delivery address in a small town just south of the border for US purchases and bring them across myself. At the border they just charge HST (does Alberta have that?) and sometimes they just skip that as well especially for amounts below $400. A set of tires balanced on rims were 40% less. I purchase through Adorama, B&H, and RRS on line with a Canadian US currency MasterCard.
2)RRS: They have a “dovetail plate” that attaches to the bottom of the ball head or gimbal. You mount a clamp to the top of the tripod – no tools or screwing to switch between a gimbal for BIF long lens to a ball head for a landscape regular or macro lens.
3)Use blue Loctite 242 which comes in a red bottle.
4)I came late to the photo hobby in retirement and chose the RRS system after seeing some of their stuff at a Nikonian workshop. It is top end stuff, more expensive, good service, made in US, and only sold on line.
5)I use their BH-55 Full-Size Ballhead, PG-02 FG: PG-02 Full Gimbal Head (optional PG-02 LLR: Pano-Gimbal Head with LLR – no Cradle Clamp or vertical rail), Versa Series 3 Tripod (optional 147mm, 125mm, or 177mm), MH02-LR Pkg: MC-34 Monopod + MH-02 LR</SPAN>, TH-DVTL-55: Round Dovetail Plates, Lens Support Pkg - dual Quick-release clamps, lens foot replacements, camera L-plates, and miscellaneous rails.</SPAN>
6)You save a “little” if you buy a package e.g. Tirpod + ball head.

Last thought – http://www.bythom.com/support.htm for an article on tripods. He is mostly a Nikon shooter but his general equipment and photo essays are very very good.

Enjoy. Cal
Cal, thanks for the reply and the info. To answer your questions:
1) I live in what a former local journalist used to call "Baghdad on the Bow". I am about a 5 hour drive from the US border, so having a mail box just south of 49 is not a decent option. If I was in your situation, then I would probably look into such an arrangement.
2) I am familair with the RRS equipment. The only problem is that I do not see much of it being used by photographers where I tend to hang out and it is not available in stores here, so I tend to go with what I can review locally.
3) Blue Loctite 242 - thanks for that info.
4) Like you, I have taken this hobby up "big time" after I retired - I am spending my kid's inheritance - I have "taken pictures" most of my life, just never really got serious about it until about 7 or 8 years ago. Now I look at it as "making pictures". I have been to a couple of "photo shows" in the past few years, but I have never see any RSS equipment at them, nor do I know anyone locally who uses their equipment - everyone seems to be a Gitzo/Wimberley fan.
5)I have given some thought to that ballhead, but I do have a Manfrotto setup that is suitable for most of my equipment, it just will not handle the 600mm II that I have on order, and it is marginal with 100-400mm lens at 400mm.
6) Thanks for the info.

I have decided on the equipment I will buy, as there is another thread that I started on PhotoCamel that also went into details on the gimbal heads - http://photocamel.com/forum/camera-a...ence-both.html - it also got into the discussion of tripods as well. If the Purolator gods are good to me, it should all be here on Monday.

WesternGuy
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Old 10-21-2012   #32
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

WesternGuy:
Working with the gear that you already have makes very good $en$e. Do consider the RRS Lens Support Package. Good long lens technique cable release, mirror up, hand pressing on the lens, shutter delay is very difficult with birds. They rarely wait patiently in place for you to click. Check with RRS to see if it will work with your clamp. I first saw their lens support in use in Yellowstone and the photographer said he got a 1 to 1.5 stop improvement. I take that with a grain or two of salt but it does stabilize a long lens. In particular, the mirror up vibration is dampened which, once you have all other techniques in place and practiced, is the biggest tack sharp inhibitor. See Avatar.

Cal
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Old 10-21-2012   #33
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

Cal, thanks for the info on Lens Support Package from RRS. I did have a look at it and it is an interesting way to go. I think I will wait until my CB Gimbal and new Gitzo get here and see how things go with it, before committing to any further $$$. I notice they have it coupled with a one of their ballheads. I will definitely keep it in mind. I had a look at your avatar, but it is a little small to make things out in detail, but I do get the picture. Thanks very much for your input on this.

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Old 10-21-2012   #34
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

I can also recommend the RRS support package. I forgot I owned it, but I always use it in conjunction with both the RRS and Wimberley gimbal heads.

Subjectively, I feel like it makes a huge difference in sharpness, especially with lenses with subpar tripod collars that flex where the foot attaches to the collar, or in other words, most recent Nikon super telephoto lenses.
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Old 10-22-2012   #35
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

OK bigger photo - that's a RRS lens replacement foot on my 300mm and a TC 20III between it and the camera. The foot is a little longer and higher than the original which makes a better handle for carrying the lens and also allows for a little more back and forth adjustment for centre point balancing on a gimbal. The pivot point will vary depending on the weight of the camera, extension, etc. The rail in use is a little shorter than the one supplied as a part of the Long Lens System which is meant for longer 500mm-600mm lenses. With the 300mm the back of the longer rail hits the gimbal base limiting elevation when tracking up for BIF.

Michael makes a good point about collars. I dont know about Cannon but some Nikon collars are definitely subpar, which on multi $1,000 lenses this is just wrong! On the other hand, it keeps RRS in business.

Cal
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File Type: jpg Y-support CDR-Rail 300mm 2xTC_resize.jpg (123.8 KB, 35 views)
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Old 10-22-2012   #36
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

I am trying to figure out how this is all fitting together - it is not clear to me which RSS head is being used here in your pic. On the RSS site, they show it being used directly on a RSS ball head, but, if I interpret what I see in your pic, you have it mounted on one of the RSS gimbal units - the PG-L02 LLR or the PG-02 FG - correct me if I am wrong.

My take on this is that my camera+lens would fit onto the long lens support (LLS) unit using the Arca-Swiss lens plate attached to my lens collar. The lens plate is coming with my Custom Brackets (CB) gimbal and hopefully would be compatible with the LLS unit.

This combination would then fit onto the Arca-Swiss mount in the CB gimbal head - the CB head is here - CB Gimbal - Gimbal Series - Products - Custom Brackets - if I am missing something let me know. I don't know if the Canon lens collars are "sub-par" yet, I guess time will tell.

Thanks for helping me understand this, as this sort of stuff is all new to me and I really want to learn as much as I can.

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Old 10-22-2012   #37
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

Quote: My take on this is that my camera+lens would fit onto the long lens support (LLS) unit using the Arca-Swiss lens plate attached to my lens collar. Yes.

Quote: This combination would then fit onto the Arca-Swiss mount in the CB gimbal head . . . Yes. But talk with RRS first to make sure that the clamp will grip the rail securely enough.


Details: The photo shows, from the bottom up, a TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Tripod with a B2 LLR II: 80mm LR clamp Loctited to it, a Round tripod head dovetail plate is on the bottom of a PG-02 FG: Pano-Head with Full Cradle Clamp so it is removable without tools (I have a ball-head also with a dovetail plate attached), and a Long Lens Support is clamped in the Pano cradle. The rail (camera bar) that I am using for the Long Lens Support is shorter than the CB-10 10-inch long camera bar that is a part of the LLS package. Ive substituted a CRD-Rail: Vertical rail w/ on-end clamp which is actually a Panorama Component but used horizontally.


I totally understand not being sure about how all of these do-dads fit and work to make using a long lens effective (sharp shots) while keeping the gear secure. I know that I certainly was. A 600mm lens is a hell of an expense and a challenge to use. But once you get it all functioning what a joy. Besides, isnt the gear part of the fun? Yes I do have a slightly strange sense of humour.

BTW RRS has a great catalog, ask them to send you one. Also, check out their vids on tripod, clamp, etc. use. Enjoy!

Cal
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Old 10-22-2012   #38
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

Cal, thanks for the additional info - it will take me a while to figure this out. You are right, "gear is part of the fun" - my new gear should be here today . If you think you have a strange sense of humour, you should ask my wife and friends about mine - maybe this is a "photographer" thing(?) . Will check out the RSS stuff - catalog and vids - thanks for that.

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Old 10-22-2012   #39
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

I've handled tons of different kinds of equipment in my line of work, and well, all recent tripod collars flex a little. Some are worse than others.

Something that big (600mm lens) attached to a foot so insubstantially (4 to 6 little screws) is guaranteed to have a little give.

The RRS support package, IMHO, is worth every penny.

I used to do a lot of wildlife as a hobby (outside of my "work photography"), and personally I feel that my stuff is much sharper with the long lens package than without, though I've never done any formal comparison, as I decided I'd rather be shooting instead of comparing results with/without the doodad.
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Old 10-22-2012   #40
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Default Re: Wimberley gimbal head and what tripod?

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Originally Posted by cyclohexane View Post
I've handled tons of different kinds of equipment in my line of work, and well, all recent tripod collars flex a little. Some are worse than others.

Something that big (600mm lens) attached to a foot so insubstantially (4 to 6 little screws) is guaranteed to have a little give.

The RRS support package, IMHO, is worth every penny.

I used to do a lot of wildlife as a hobby (outside of my "work photography"), and personally I feel that my stuff is much sharper with the long lens package than without, though I've never done any formal comparison, as I decided I'd rather be shooting instead of comparing results with/without the doodad.
Thanks Mike, advice noted, but, you know, I don't think I have ever seen anyone, including the few pros that I have had the opportunity to share some time with, ever use a LLS package. I had a look at your wildlife images, they are just great, so maybe I will get this package. I will definitely keep it in mind.

WesternGuy


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