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03-03-2016, 09:13 AM   #1
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Pano-Gimbal Head vs, Ballhead

Is anyone using a pano-gimbal head for everyday use instead of a Ballhead? I need to upgrade my tripod. Ideally I will get a good bullhead and a pano setup, but this gets very expensive. I also expect that I might leave the pano-gimbal head at home, and not have it when I need it. What would it be like to just use the pano-gimbal head for everything?

Has anyone tried the RRS PG-01 compact pano-gimbal with a K-3?

Jeff

03-03-2016, 10:58 AM   #2
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That looks like an interesting device, but I have to ask...
  • How do you currently use a tripod?
  • How do you intend to use your new head?
  • What is the total weight of kit you intend on mounting? The Compact Pano-Gimbal has an 8lb limit for a well-balanced load. My experience with tripods and heads is that capacity is usually overstated by at least 50%. Consider the design and anticipate how it might sag and/or bind under load.



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03-04-2016, 01:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffBurns Quote
Is anyone using a pano-gimbal head for everyday use instead of a Ballhead?
I use my gimbal head for everyday use, except that it's a Wimberley and I often use long lenses.

QuoteQuote:
I need to upgrade my tripod. Ideally I will get a good bullhead and a pano setup, but this gets very expensive. I also expect that I might leave the pano-gimbal head at home, and not have it when I need it. What would it be like to just use the pano-gimbal head for everything?
I think it would be a great setup to leave on the tripod, especially because the RRS has the leveling base wih quick release. That means you can pop the whole thing off the tripod in two seconds and set your camera on there if you like. Or pop the camera itself off the gimbal to use handheld.

That leveling base is not to be underestimated. For this reason: on the Wimberley and similar gimbals, the horizontal leveling is done with the tripod collar. But, it may not remain consistent throughout the pan. With a leveling (aka panning) base, you're leveling on all axes, so it stays consistent. I use a panning clamp atop my ballhead when using lighter lenses that don't require the Wimberley. And it really works well.

QuoteQuote:
Has anyone tried the RRS PG-01 compact pano-gimbal with a K-3?
There are two downsides to this "lightweight" version: (1) As stated above, it has an 8lb weight limitation, so you really are talking about supporting a pretty light kit. Not a big problem for typical landscape gear, but you won't be able to use it for much else past that. (2) the leveling base is integrated into the head. That means, you can't just pop off the head and use the remaining leveling base to clamp your camera on. But, with such a lightweight gimbal, why bother?

I think the PG-01 would be a great choice for everyday use and is the lightest of the gimbal options. I am not convinced by what I've seen that it has the perfect two-axis balance the Wimberley has but, long lenses not being the target of this tool, it likely wouldn't matter.
03-04-2016, 06:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
and is the lightest of the gimbal options.
Well, maybe not quite...it depends on how you define gimbal! The Acratech GP will self-level and will configure as a gimbal (not at same time) and supports up to 25 lbs (or so they claim).


I would like one of these, but $$$


Steve

03-04-2016, 06:40 PM   #5
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I need the gimbal for multi row panoramas.
03-05-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Well, maybe not quite...it depends on how you define gimbal! The Acratech GP will self-level and will configure as a gimbal (not at same time) and supports up to 25 lbs (or so they claim).

What makes the GP Ballhead better? - YouTube

I would like one of these, but $$$


Steve
Yeah, $400! But looks like an interesting and potentially useful choice. My first concern after watching the video was, "How do they prevent the major downside of ballheads, i.e., your gear falling down with loosened tension?" The video shows their unique balance design, producing gimbal-like performance. But then you find out it only works with tension. Loosen the tension knob and you've lost your balance. A reviewer confirmed this:

"The one thing that I was concerned with before purchasing this was on review that I had read that said that the ball was too loose and would drop quickly. I have not found this to be the case as long as you manage the tension knob correctly. With the proper tension you can have a pretty heavy set-up and have no problems with the ball being too loose."

Perhaps the greatest consideration for me in wanting a gimbal was to be able to balance the cam/lens combo *permanently* and not have to worry that I would lose it all in a drop when loosening the tension. The Wimberley-like design achieves that. Others' needs may differ.

---------- Post added 03-05-16 at 11:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JeffBurns Quote
I need the gimbal for multi row panoramas.
Lightweight gear. Sounds like that PG-01 could work for you.
03-05-2016, 08:41 PM   #7
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Did anyone else chuckle at the bald head guy narrating the ball head video?

03-05-2016, 09:16 PM   #8
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He's hillarious. I think the Marketing department chose the perfect guy to narrate the Arcatech Ball head.
03-06-2016, 09:06 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Did anyone else chuckle at the bald head guy narrating the ball head video?
QuoteOriginally posted by disco_owner Quote
He's hillarious. I think the Marketing department chose the perfect guy to narrate the Arcatech Ball head.
Ummmm...he is the engineer that invented the thing.


Steve
03-07-2016, 12:02 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Ummmm...he is the engineer that invented the thing.


Steve
I wonder who would do the 3-way head video...
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