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08-14-2013, 05:26 AM   #1
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Still debating on tripod and gimbal

still haven't made the plunge and not sure whether i will ever find what i want in carbob tripod and gimbal head...been looking at some of the ideas that lauren had for carting stuff in her wagon... now trying to decide if i should get the gimbal head and then tripod....decisions, decisions...latest eval is looking at gimbal heads...looked at katana, wimberley, joby and latest is custom brackets CB.... the CB actually is impressing me at the moment and curious if anyone else has used one...had read reviews out the wazzoo and although i never heard of this guy before he has alot to offer...anyone have one of these? what i like about it is it breaks down if you want to travel with it plus it seems to do everything else the others do as well..
Custom Brackets CB Gimbal Tripod HeadCB GIMBAL B&H Photo Video

08-14-2013, 05:34 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
not sure whether i will ever find what i want in carbob tripod and gimbal head..
I'd stay away from the carob tripods, and go for the real cocoa!

BTW, the Custom Brackets gimbal looks exactly like a pano head with a platform for the camera. Adjustable to be sure, but probably not as stable as a gimbal with fewer joints... just my observations!

BTW, I use a Wimberley Sidekick with a big ball head as a gimbal for my lenses with rotatable collars. It packs very small, if that's your main concern, but it's only as smooth as the panning base of the ball head underneath it. I also wouldn't trust it with really old or really heavy lenses, but it handled my Tamron 300/2.8 with ease!

Last edited by panoguy; 08-14-2013 at 06:34 AM.
08-14-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
still haven't made the plunge and not sure whether i will ever find what i want in carbob tripod and gimbal head...been looking at some of the ideas that lauren had for carting stuff in her wagon... now trying to decide if i should get the gimbal head and then tripod....decisions, decisions...latest eval is looking at gimbal heads...looked at katana, wimberley, joby and latest is custom brackets CB.... the CB actually is impressing me at the moment and curious if anyone else has used one...had read reviews out the wazzoo and although i never heard of this guy before he has alot to offer...anyone have one of these? what i like about it is it breaks down if you want to travel with it plus it seems to do everything else the others do as well..
Custom Brackets CB Gimbal Tripod HeadCB GIMBAL B&H Photo Video
The thing about reviews for stuff like this is that most people will only ever buy one thing - all of these manufacturers make great product, so you're probably going to be hard pressed to find a negative review - the only reason people generally sell or move to something different would be a lack of use or they need something more heavy duty (or lighter duty possibly). So yeah, that one you linked got 5 stars...just like the wimberlys, jobu, induro, etc!

I would be wary of that custom bracket one due to the multiple clamp points (while nice for packing, I would be concerned with overall stability).

I use this Jobu Jr3, works great with my tamron 300mm 2.8.

I really like my feisol tripod as well - I have the CT-3471. This is the larger diameter 37mm tube - equivalent to series 5 gitzo. I have the 4 extension version, and the skinniest tube is thicker than my previous series 2 gitzo basalt's thickest tube. Weight is about 5lbs, nice large tubes and padding make it easy to carry, very stable and nice and tall without a center column (actually have to lower it an inch or two...i'm 5'11").
08-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
The thing about reviews for stuff like this is that most people will only ever buy one thing - all of these manufacturers make great product, so you're probably going to be hard pressed to find a negative review - the only reason people generally sell or move to something different would be a lack of use or they need something more heavy duty (or lighter duty possibly). So yeah, that one you linked got 5 stars...just like the wimberlys, jobu, induro, etc!

I would be wary of that custom bracket one due to the multiple clamp points (while nice for packing, I would be concerned with overall stability).

I use this Jobu Jr3, works great with my tamron 300mm 2.8.

I really like my feisol tripod as well - I have the CT-3471. This is the larger diameter 37mm tube - equivalent to series 5 gitzo. I have the 4 extension version, and the skinniest tube is thicker than my previous series 2 gitzo basalt's thickest tube. Weight is about 5lbs, nice large tubes and padding make it easy to carry, very stable and nice and tall without a center column (actually have to lower it an inch or two...i'm 5'11").
thanks paul...i was looking at the series 3 gitzo Gitzo GT3531so will check out the feisol and jobu...i'm only 5'4

08-14-2013, 10:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I'd stay away from the carob tripods, and go for the real cocoa!

BTW, the Custom Brackets gimbal looks exactly like a pano head with a platform for the camera. Adjustable to be sure, but probably not as stable as a gimbal with fewer joints... just my observations!

BTW, I use a Wimberley Sidekick with a big ball head as a gimbal for my lenses with rotatable collars. It packs very small, if that's your main concern, but it's only as smooth as the panning base of the ball head underneath it. I also wouldn't trust it with really old or really heavy lenses, but it handled my Tamron 300/2.8 with ease!
thanks also panoguy!!!
08-14-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
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ProMediaGear Katana gimbal.

Katana Gimbal Head

My write up about it.

Katana Gimbal Head Review

'nuff said.

08-14-2013, 10:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
ProMediaGear Katana gimbal.

Katana Gimbal Head

My write up about it.

Katana Gimbal Head Review

'nuff said.

thnks lauren...i actually read your writeup and katana directed me to it when i spoke to them

08-14-2013, 10:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
ProMediaGear Katana gimbal.

Katana Gimbal Head

My write up about it.

Katana Gimbal Head Review

'nuff said.

that reminds me are you still using the rc2 quick release? also what legs you using ...thanks!!
08-14-2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
that reminds me are you still using the rc2 quick release? also what legs you using ...thanks!!
I've been gradually moving to Arca plates, but I still have rc2 on most of my cameras.
I use the Manfrotto 3021Pro - which is not made any more.

The replacement legs are the 055pro,

Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Aluminum Tripod Legs (Black)055XPROB B&H

Be sure to also get one of these when you order the 055CProB legs

Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and555B B&H

You will love the leveling centering column.

The icing on the cake for the 555B centering column is the right angle bracket to use with it.

Manfrotto 553 Right Angle Bracket for Leveling Center Column553

08-14-2013, 12:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
thnks lauren...i actually read your writeup and katana directed me to it when i spoke to them
Awesome!!!

Tom is a good guy!

08-14-2013, 01:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I've been gradually moving to Arca plates, but I still have rc2 on most of my cameras.
I use the Manfrotto 3021Pro - which is not made any more.

The replacement legs are the 055pro,

Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Aluminum Tripod Legs (Black)055XPROB B&H

Be sure to also get one of these when you order the 055CProB legs

Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and555B B&H

You will love the leveling centering column.

The icing on the cake for the 555B centering column is the right angle bracket to use with it.

Manfrotto 553 Right Angle Bracket for Leveling Center Column553

thanks for the info...i need to look it up...i already have the 055x prob and i understand the center column but not sure the right angle bracket
08-14-2013, 07:55 PM   #12
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Hi Amy,

I bought the Wimberley Sidekick years ago. Many of the gimbals that are now available were not around back then, so my choices were essentially between Wimberley and Jobu, with the Acratech "faux" gimbal ballhead as an alternative.

The heaviest lens I anticipated using was in the 6-7 lb class (300/2.8 -- with a very outside chance of a Sigma 500/4.5 -- something like the FA* 250-600 /5.6 or FA* 600/4 were out of the question because of weight). I'm not getting any younger, so weight and packability were a concern. I liked the versatility of mounting the Sidekick on a ballhead -- This sounds like a liability, but for me, it's a significant advantage. I always carry a wide zoom and a fast 50 in my kit, and to use these with the tripod, all I have to do is unmount the Sidekick and mount the camera on the ballhead. Also, and unexpected bonus with this setup is the ability to tilt the arm back so I can aim the camera higher or lower than is possible with a full gimbal head. With a full gimbal, the vertical travel is limited by the base of the head. The ballhead mounted Sidekick can be tilted either up or down so the camera body or lens can clear.

I also chose Wimberley because of their experienced and very knowledgeable Customer Service. They answered all of my questions without hesitation or upselling. It's hard to argue with their 60 day free test ride. Place your order and pay by CC. They don't process your payment until the 60 days, and anything ordered (even accessories) can be returned for a full refund no questions asked within the 60 day test drive period. At this point, the payment is processed for the items you keep, but you now start the 60 day return period after purchase, and can return any or all of the gear for a full refund, again no questions asked. Of course, you are responsible for any return shipping. There's really no substitute for having the gear in hand and being able to use it in the field. With 4 months to try it out in all kinds of situations, without any pressure, it's hard to not to like dealing with this company.

Lately, I've been shooting a lot with the Sidekick mounted on a very small and lightweight Vanguard ABH 120K ballhead on a very lightweight FotoPro MGC 584N CF travel tripod. The legs are not readily available in the US -- I lucked out and bought them on a closeout deal from OEC Camera who apparently bought some units to see how they would be received by the public. This is very comparable to the Benro Travel Angel Transfunctional tripods in specs, features, and size. This system works well at full leg extension for lenses up to the FA* 300/4.5 + 1.7x AFA, so it's pretty stable. I've also shot it with my 300/2.8s + the AFA, but don't extend the smallest section of the legs with this much weight -- not because the legs won't hold, but because fully extended, I didn't find the stability I need to shoot really long. For the big glass, I prefer my big old Amnova CF legs and my Manfrotto 468 MG ballhead converted to Arca with a Wimberley clamp. It's ver stable, and taller than I am without extending the center column. Both of these heads have very smooth panning bases, even with a lot of weight off center, so they're very suitable for use as bases for the Sidekick.

Scott
08-15-2013, 05:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi Amy,

I bought the Wimberley Sidekick years ago. Many of the gimbals that are now available were not around back then, so my choices were essentially between Wimberley and Jobu, with the Acratech "faux" gimbal ballhead as an alternative.

The heaviest lens I anticipated using was in the 6-7 lb class (300/2.8 -- with a very outside chance of a Sigma 500/4.5 -- something like the FA* 250-600 /5.6 or FA* 600/4 were out of the question because of weight). I'm not getting any younger, so weight and packability were a concern. I liked the versatility of mounting the Sidekick on a ballhead -- This sounds like a liability, but for me, it's a significant advantage. I always carry a wide zoom and a fast 50 in my kit, and to use these with the tripod, all I have to do is unmount the Sidekick and mount the camera on the ballhead. Also, and unexpected bonus with this setup is the ability to tilt the arm back so I can aim the camera higher or lower than is possible with a full gimbal head. With a full gimbal, the vertical travel is limited by the base of the head. The ballhead mounted Sidekick can be tilted either up or down so the camera body or lens can clear.

I also chose Wimberley because of their experienced and very knowledgeable Customer Service. They answered all of my questions without hesitation or upselling. It's hard to argue with their 60 day free test ride. Place your order and pay by CC. They don't process your payment until the 60 days, and anything ordered (even accessories) can be returned for a full refund no questions asked within the 60 day test drive period. At this point, the payment is processed for the items you keep, but you now start the 60 day return period after purchase, and can return any or all of the gear for a full refund, again no questions asked. Of course, you are responsible for any return shipping. There's really no substitute for having the gear in hand and being able to use it in the field. With 4 months to try it out in all kinds of situations, without any pressure, it's hard to not to like dealing with this company.

Lately, I've been shooting a lot with the Sidekick mounted on a very small and lightweight Vanguard ABH 120K ballhead on a very lightweight FotoPro MGC 584N CF travel tripod. The legs are not readily available in the US -- I lucked out and bought them on a closeout deal from OEC Camera who apparently bought some units to see how they would be received by the public. This is very comparable to the Benro Travel Angel Transfunctional tripods in specs, features, and size. This system works well at full leg extension for lenses up to the FA* 300/4.5 + 1.7x AFA, so it's pretty stable. I've also shot it with my 300/2.8s + the AFA, but don't extend the smallest section of the legs with this much weight -- not because the legs won't hold, but because fully extended, I didn't find the stability I need to shoot really long. For the big glass, I prefer my big old Amnova CF legs and my Manfrotto 468 MG ballhead converted to Arca with a Wimberley clamp. It's ver stable, and taller than I am without extending the center column. Both of these heads have very smooth panning bases, even with a lot of weight off center, so they're very suitable for use as bases for the Sidekick.

Scott
thanks scott...this is very helpful and adds to my already full head...as you say there are soooo many choices...i didn't realize wimberly had the 60 day return option and wonder if others do too...larry (crewl) had suggested i go into a store but not much here in richmond and the stores that are here don't carry anything useful so i will have to do it online...i wish i knew the definitive answer because i am willing to pay it as long as i get what i want and don't need to buy any further...larry also suggested the sidekick but i am going to use this with the sigma 500 and want to make sure that it is rock solid...so i will look at the wimberley site and keep reading reviews and posts from others and hopefully you will see me state i finally got XXXXXX..thanks so much!!!
08-15-2013, 05:21 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
thanks paul...i was looking at the series 3 gitzo Gitzo GT3531so will check out the feisol and jobu...i'm only 5'4
I think you'd still appreciate the added height! I would give serious consideration to the feisol legs - I opted to save $100 getting the traditional tightening twist locks but they also have the anti-rotation twist locks for about $100 more (Adorama doesn't carry the old leg lock style, but you can get them at Really Big Cameras if you wanted to save $100) - the new lock types (same as gitzo) would save you about 20-30 seconds setup/takedown vs the older twist/tighten style. The folded length and weight of the 3471 look to be very similar to that set of Gitzo legs you linked to, at half the price and with more stability (owing to the thicker leg base, even with the 4 section version). They also have a leveling base (At the bottom of the page here) - they don't sell it with the center column, though you can buy one you generally shouldn't use it anyway and it will be more than tall enough without it.
08-15-2013, 06:27 AM   #15
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I think you are doing this right in buying a good gimbal head the first time instead of trying the cheaper stuff fist then ending up buying the better one anyway. With that said, I have 2 different knock-off gimbal heads which are "OK" but both needed some modification to get them working half decently.

I use a tripod 95% of the time, and with any longer lenses any gimbal head is fantastic. For the amount of shooting you do Amy and your style, I really can't believe you don't have one yet!

Since my shooting has slowed down so much now, I am content with my knock-offs. If I were shooting more, one of the better heads would have been bought already.

I've done my research on these heads - Wimberley, Katina, and Jobo. When I was close to buying one it was very hard to choose. Because of the excellent reviews from Lauren and Larry with the Katina, I was leaning in that direction.
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