To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?
PhotoCamel: Your friendly photo community, with free discussion forums, digital photography reviews, photo sharing, galleries, downloads, blogs, photography contests, and prizes.
 

Go Back   PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Camera Accessories

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-16-2013   #1
Alpaca
 
Location: Portugal/UK
Posts: 2
CamelKarma: 10
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

Hi All.. I just wondered if anyone could help me out ASAP.

I am going to be photographing skydivers landing and I wonder if it was a good idea to purchase a gimbal or just to stick with a ballhead when using a tripod? I have seen a reasonably priced Manfrotto gimbal that would do the job.

At the moment I have a 70-200mm lens and although big(ish) it's not a huge zoom so is a gimbal really necessary?

Thanks so much in advance.

Hannah

__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
hannahfelicity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013   #2
Dromedary
 
Posts: 1,032
CamelKarma: 7568
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

A gimbal head gives you much more control over movement than a ball head IMO. A ball head allows the camera to flip and flop and you will have little control with it.
That being said, hand holding a 200 mm lens is quite eash and you really don't need either of the above. Set the shutter to 6 or 800 and enjoy. You will have no trouble getting good exposures with that lens.
golfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2013   #3
F1 Camel
 
WesternGuy's Avatar
 
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 2,891
CamelKarma: 6817414
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

A gimbal does give you control over both the vertical and horizontal as you follow the skydivers. They are really meant for use with large lenses above 300 or 400mm in focal length. I would disagree with golfer in that I have used both a gimbal head and a ball head and the latter does not "flip and flop" so you will have little control over it, unless you put a lens on it that is too large for the ball head to handle and the 70-200 would not be too large. A good ball head will give you control over your lens as will a good gimbal. Having said all that and having used a 70-200mm lens, I would guess that you can probably get just as good results hand-holding the lens as you can on a tripod, regardless of the head. You do have to use a slightly faster shutter speed when hand-holding, as golfer suggested. This simply helps reduce any shake that you might get from hand-holding. If you are in doubt, take your tripod and ball head with you and see how it works vs. hand-held shooting. Personally, I would not buy a gimbal just to shoot one event with a 70-200mm lens.

WesternGuy
__________________
“The real question is not what you look at but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/westernguy/
WesternGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2013   #4
F1 Camel
 
gryphonslair99's Avatar
 
Location: Wichita, Kansas, USA
Posts: 3,652
CamelKarma: 1091466
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

I use both a RRS BH55 and a Wimberley head depending on the situation. I can see where a gimble could be handy for something like skydiving as your vertical axis is well defined, your horizontal axis is easy to control and switching from Landscape to Portrait orientation is easy if you are using a lens with a collar. As much as I love my BH55 I use my Wimberley on a sturdy monopod for air shows and it works excellently.
__________________
Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about time, masters worry about light.

I can honestly say that there are two most remarkable men in the world today. Michio Kaku is one and I am the other one. Between us we cover all knowledge.

Kaku knows all that can be known....And I know the rest.


"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today?
Today is a gift. That is why we call it the present."

Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda
gryphonslair99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013   #5
Photocamel Master
 
Ed Shapiro's Avatar
 
Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Posts: 6,718
CamelKarma: 5188665
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

It is really a matter of how your camera handling skills are and how ergonomic you camera grips and shutter release features are as well. My experience with shooting parachute training goes back many many long years ago- my stint in the Army. I was in an Airborne Division unit and I did make both motion picture and still photographs of landing techniques. In the day the pictures were made with a big bulky 4x5 press cameras and later on with fairly bulky medium format equipment. We were at fairly close range because we, as army personal, were allows on the field. Hand holding was no big problem at the time and the images were usually about 11X14 in size and in the case of medium format were made into full 2 1/4 projection slides. The motion pictures were made on Bell & Howell newsreel type cameras and were Tripod mounted on fluid heads.

If you are restricted to far shooting distances with longer lenses, a tripod or monopod may be advantageous. You may also consider other support devices such as gun-stock mounts or steady-cam like units which are now available for other than motion picture cameras or video cameras. Consider rentals of this kind of gear.

I found, over the years, that good hand held techniques are a matter of stance and practice.

I hope this helps in someway. I am now way too old to JUMP and never could figure out why any sane person wants to jump out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft. I guess in the day I was a bit more adventurous and a bit more crazy!

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SHOOT!

Ed
__________________
Ed Shapiro - Master Photographer
Ottawa, Canada
Ed Shapiro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013   #6
Dromedary
 
richardpcrowe's Avatar
 
Location: Escondido, California
Posts: 1,533
CamelKarma: 313787
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

I like using a fluid pan head for following moving subjects, although the Manfrotto gimbal mount is also in my inventory.

One thing that I learned shooting Polaris Missile launches for the U.S. Navy is to use a triangular wedge between the camera and the tripod head. Using this wedge, the tripod pan handle is pointed up when the camera is parallel to the ground (or in my case, to the deck of the ship). That way, it is easier to follow a subject at a high angle. It would also be easier to follow a brd with the wedge between tripod head and camera.

We used a wedge that was about three feet long and made of plate steel. We shot with a pair of 16mm Mitchell motion picture cameras with 1,200 foot magazines (one at standard speed and one at high speed) and also had a 70mm high speed Hulcher still camera with 100 foot of 70mm film.

This rig was mounted on a 35mm Mitchell tripod with an O'Connor 50D fluid pan head... I would guess that the three camera rig with tripod, wedge and O'Conor 50 head weighed well in excess of one hundred pounds. We never moved the setup and assembled it piece by piece...

We secured the tripod to the ship's deck using aircraft tiedown chains attached to a ring that was spot welded to the shp's deck.
__________________

Richard Crowe
Escondido, California
richardpcrowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013   #7
PhotoCamel Supporter DONATED
Camel Breath
 
_Provo_'s Avatar
 
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 12,141
CamelKarma: 7324142
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

Short & sweet Gimbal all the way
_Provo_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013   #8
F1 Camel
 
Narsuitus's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,790
CamelKarma: 31066
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

Since you needed help as soon as possible and since this thread is now over a month old, I assume you have already photographed the landing of the skydiver. If so, please let us know how satisfied you were with what you used.

If I had been in your situation, I would not have purchased a high-priced gimbal head just for this event unless I were paid enough to justify the expenditure.

I have a Wimberley gimbal head but if I were shooting the event with a 70-200mm lens and one body, instead of the gimbal head or the ball head, I would probably just mount the lens directly to a monopod.

However, if I were shooting with two bodies and two longer telephoto lenses, I would then use the gimbal head and the ball head on the tripods.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/7254365342/in/photostream
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_4365b sml.JPG (111.5 KB, 101 views)
Narsuitus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013   #9
Vicuna
 
fs44's Avatar
 
Location: Australia
Posts: 183
CamelKarma: 7339
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

For sport with big lens the only way to go!
fs44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013   #10
Photocamel Master
 
Bobby Deal's Avatar
 
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 8,442
CamelKarma: 19116378
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: To Gimbal or not to Gimbal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Shapiro View Post
I am now way too old to JUMP and never could figure out why any sane person wants to jump out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft. I guess in the day I was a bit more adventurous and a bit more crazy!

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SHOOT!

Ed

I am happy to jump from any aircraft, provided of course it is burning down around my ears! Short of that I will ride it out trusting in the skill of my pilot


__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
__________________
"The only photographer we ought compare ourselves to is the one we used to be"
Bobby Deal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Camera Accessories »


Share this topic:

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gimbal heads golfer Canon 18 10-25-2012 03:33 PM
why a gimbal fly4rfun Camera Accessories 20 06-27-2011 08:19 AM
Which Gimbal? profpb Sigma 5 03-13-2011 12:52 PM
Gimbal head for sports? olcoach10 Camera Accessories 3 05-12-2010 07:30 PM
Gimbal head for sports? olcoach10 Camera Accessories 2 05-11-2010 10:28 PM