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01-02-2016, 02:55 AM   #16
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Dewman, I`ve been using one with my K3 and Sigma 150-500 at airshows, for almost two years now, no problems. It worked perfectly out of the box and is one of the best bits of kit I own. I don`t know how Wimberly justify their price.
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01-02-2016, 05:43 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by baldrick Quote
Dewman, I`ve been using one with my K3 and Sigma 150-500 at airshows, for almost two years now, no problems. It worked perfectly out of the box and is one of the best bits of kit I own. I don`t know how Wimberly justify their price.
Simmo.

That's good to know. I fully understand the old adage that "The Best Always Cost's More," but I don't think that means that there aren't alternatives.... somewhat LESS than the best (read: most expensive) that won't perform well. Especially for those of us who must remain within certain budget restraints.


I think it's a lot like those folks who drive the high-end European--made autos and wear Italian-made suits. Anything less is "inferior."
01-02-2016, 10:28 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
That's good to know. I fully understand the old adage that "The Best Always Cost's More," but I don't think that means that there aren't alternatives.... somewhat LESS than the best (read: most expensive) that won't perform well. Especially for those of us who must remain within certain budget restraints.


I think it's a lot like those folks who drive the high-end European--made autos and wear Italian-made suits. Anything less is "inferior."
Whoa, there! I don't think it's at all accurate to characterize folks who find a way to purchase the Wimberley as somehow elitest. Budgets are individual and all are a matter of the priorities we individually choose.

I own both of these gimbals and use them each for different applications. I also ride my bicycle to work.
01-02-2016, 10:56 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
Whoa, there! I don't think it's at all accurate to characterize folks who find a way to purchase the Wimberley as somehow elitest. Budgets are individual and all are a matter of the priorities we individually choose.

I own both of these gimbals and use them each for different applications. I also ride my bicycle to work.
Hi Kath: My next investment is a gimbal head for my K400 so I've been following this thread. I've been saving for a Wimberley (and the conversion to Arca-Swiss plates so my ballheads will also have to go) and I'm curious, if you're willing to share, what your use cases are. Thanks in advance and PM is fine if you'd rather.

01-02-2016, 11:15 AM   #20
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Yeah..... elitist. That was the word I was looking for. It somehow blends in with "budgets are individual."
01-02-2016, 12:11 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Hi Kath: My next investment is a gimbal head for my K400 so I've been following this thread. I've been saving for a Wimberley (and the conversion to Arca-Swiss plates so my ballheads will also have to go) and I'm curious, if you're willing to share, what your use cases are. Thanks in advance and PM is fine if you'd rather.
Sure, @monochrome. I do a lot of work on the water (in my kayak or dory) and don't like to expose my more expensive equipment to the risk of falling into the river. So for these times, I try to use things that won't make me cry (too much), should such a thing happen.

I use the Wimberley on land and truly love it. The smoothness is a real boon when tracking fast moving subjects like birds, waterfowl, etc. The craftsmanship is obvious and speaks quietly but firmly in use. I keep the Wimberley somewhat permanently attached to a heavier Manfrotto 055 tripod so I can grab it quickly on the way out the door.

The BK 45 is a different creature altogether, but very serviceable in its own right. It lacks the smoothness of the Wimberley, but it's sturdy and accomplishes the task just fine. I do find it considerably stiffer, but I haven't done the teardown others have. I like it mostly for the fact that it will adequately support my bigger lenses and give me the confidence of moving my combo at almost any angle when needed. I don't at all like the feeling of supporting a long lens on a ballhead - however strong - because of that sinking feeling you get when you've loosened the head a bit too much and your lens takes a dive in a moment of inattention.

One note about the video linked to in the beginning of the thread. I enjoyed his take a lot, but have different thoughts about his reference to the Wimberley not being stiff enough. He's correct that you want some resistance when moving the lens about, but I've had no difficulty whatsoever in achieving this with the Wimberley. Once you set the balance, you set the tension knobs with enough friction to suit you at the moment. Easy peasy. I wondered if perhaps the fellow in the video had an older version that might have been fussier? You do get sort of an automatic friction with the BK45, no doubt about that.

In short, I would recommend the BK to anyone wanting to try a gimbal to see if the concept works for them. At $70+, you're not risking too much on the wallet. And, if you're happy with the performance, you may never need to spend more. I did the opposite, buying the Wimberley first. And, having both, I don't regret my choice for a moment.

Last edited by Kath; 01-02-2016 at 03:24 PM.
01-02-2016, 12:11 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
Yeah..... elitist. That was the word I was looking for. It somehow blends in with "budgets are individual."
It's about choices and decisions.

My sister-in-law is a birder. She has a D750, a Wimberley, some kind of legs and one mf 600mm Nikon lens. All second-hand. That's what she can afford.

Well, she does have a honking big pair of binoculars, which was all she had for 30 years until she retired because she chose to spend her money getting to places where the birds are.

01-02-2016, 12:29 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
Sure, @monochrome. I do a lot of work on the water
Thanks! At this time I prob. won't spend much time trying to track moving birds and none when I'm in/on water, though Eagle / Swan season is coming on the Mississippi River. 400 on a K-3 might be just enough to capture resting eagles with some cropping in post. I bought 055 legs on sale many years ago, so I'm good there.

My plan is to do 'backyard birding' focused on setups around a feeder. With what I have I can sit inside a three-season room with a window open and they're totally oblivious to my presence. I set the position, exposure and focus, then use a remote to trigger. The commentary in the video about tension on the Wimberley concerned me. I constantly worry about ballhead tension, and the slight drop of the lens when I release it after tightening the friction knob. Often setting up a shot takes 15 minutes.
01-02-2016, 03:23 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
My plan is to do 'backyard birding' focused on setups around a feeder. With what I have I can sit inside a three-season room with a window open and they're totally oblivious to my presence. I set the position, exposure and focus, then use a remote to trigger. The commentary in the video about tension on the Wimberley concerned me. I constantly worry about ballhead tension, and the slight drop of the lens when I release it after tightening the friction knob. Often setting up a shot takes 15 minutes.
Oh, that's so great! I haven't tried any triggering from a lot farther away like that, but I like the sound of sitting inside!

That slight drop of the lens when setting up the ballhead is exactly what drove me to the Wimberley. I had spent an entire afternoon shooting an osprey nest and drove myself nuts having to recompose all the time. Now, I set my composition and it stays exactly where I want it. All day, if need be.

The tension the guy was referring to is the resistance you feel when moving the camera/lens around. The Wimberley/Bk45 gimbal-types balance in such a way (by adjusting the position front/back and up and down) that, once you have it set for that cam/lens combo, it literally floats. I.e., you can move it to any position and it will not fall. And that's without any tension on the knobs. The knobs just create the needed resistance he's talking about and make it harder/easier to move the camera/lens. It's really the most amazing thing.
01-02-2016, 03:37 PM   #25
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I just picked up a BK-45 from Hong Kong. Hopefully it will be here by the end of the month so I can try it out at the Zoo.
01-02-2016, 04:41 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I just picked up a BK-45 from Hong Kong. Hopefully it will be here by the end of the month so I can try it out at the Zoo.

I'm still anxiously awaiting mine. It should be here any day. The Owyhee Mts. are about 25 miles south of here and they are a very rugged, jagged, mostly barren, snow-capped range of mountains that should provide some excellent landscape photos if we can just get some sunshine! It ought to provide some magnificent views during early morning/ late evening hours.
01-03-2016, 04:36 PM   #27
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@monochrome - I forgot to mention one more thing that's great about these gimbals. I was shooting Cormorants flying down the river yesterday, and the panning ability is awesome. With the ballhead, the composition was always jerking up and down because you have to hold the cam/lens up as you move sideways. With the Wimberley-types, the whole lens is supported, so you just pan on a straight horizon, following the bird as it flies. Very smooth.
01-03-2016, 05:15 PM   #28
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01-08-2016, 09:19 AM   #29
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I have two gimbal heads. A carbon fiber head made by Nest that cost me about $300 and a Promaster GH 10 that cost me $129 US. Both have served me well. The Nest is a lot stiffer and that is by design. An out of balance system does not crash down but sinks slowly to prevent damage to the lens or camera. You can loosen the Nest up by using a lighter grease if you want. I did this for the pan but not the tilt function. Both of them support my Pentax DFA 150-450 without any problems. Much easier for me to use than a ball head when using big glass.
01-08-2016, 11:09 AM   #30
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My Beike left Hong Kong on the 6th and arrived in New York on the 7th. Let's see how long it takes to clear NY...
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