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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 02 Apr 2013 (Tuesday) 09:31
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dfbovey
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Apr 02, 2013 09:31 |  #1

Hey everyone. I'm in the market for both a monopod and tripod.

Eventually I am wanting to upgrade to 500 f/4L so I'd want both a monopod and tripod system that would be able to support the weight.

I like what I've read about the Wimberly turret style set ups for easy panning.

I also like to get down at ground level. Not sure if there is an all in one solution for being able to have that kind of set up and go from standing position to on my belly? Separate unit needed?

For those turret style set ups, if I wanted to hook up a wide angle lens and get long exposures, are they stationary and stable enough to where I could also use them for that purpose?

Would love some input and suggestions on this front :)


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teekay
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Apr 02, 2013 10:46 |  #2

You might do better posting this in the Accessories forum?




  
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Nighthound
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Apr 02, 2013 10:55 |  #3

I have the Wimberley II on a Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod for standing with the 500. I attach the Wimberley to a Skimmer Ground Pod for low level shooting. I use the ground pod a lot.


Steve
Canon Gear: 1D Mark IV | 1D Mark II | 5D | 20D | 500L IS (f/4) | 100-400L
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dfbovey
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Apr 02, 2013 11:12 |  #4

teekay wrote in post #15782694 (external link)
You might do better posting this in the Accessories forum?

Possibly, I do want advice and thoughts from people who shoot the same things I do. I post it there and I most likely don't get the answers I'm looking for.


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dfbovey
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Apr 02, 2013 11:14 |  #5

Nighthound wrote in post #15782713 (external link)
I have the Wimberley II on a Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod for standing with the 500. I attach the Wimberley to a Skimmer Ground Pod for low level shooting. I use the ground pod a lot.

Steve, thanks a lot. You definitely have me leaning in this direction. Have you ever used your Wimberly for long exposures?


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Nighthound
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Apr 02, 2013 13:26 |  #6

dfbovey wrote in post #15782782 (external link)
Steve, thanks a lot. You definitely have me leaning in this direction. Have you ever used your Wimberly for long exposures?

You're welcome. I haven't used it for terrestrial long exposures but it's certainly solid enough for that. My long exposure work is done at night and for that I use a german equatorial mount with my telescopes and lenses. See my gallery below for those images.


Steve
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CDMOOSE
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Apr 02, 2013 15:27 |  #7

Not that I use it very much, but last year I bought a 4th Generation Mongoose 3.6. It is similar to the Whimberly, including price. Artie Morris sells them and seems to recommend them.

Also, Kirk Enterprises sells a similar King Cobra gimble design.

These are just a couple options you might consider.

Al


Al
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Apr 03, 2013 00:37 |  #8

I have a Gitzo 3541 - it is a model without a center column. The lack of a center column is important, as that will allow you to get way down to ground level.

I also use a Wimberley. Some folks have complained that a Wimberley will not allow you to get down low enough, but I have found that by inverting the vertical shaft and re-attaching the mounting plate, you can hang the lens from the plate via the lens foot (as opposed to setting it upon the plate). This lets you get way down there - just a couple inches above the ground. Any lower than that, and your foreground will just be a bunch of out-of-focus mush . . . and not very aesthetically pleasing mush, at that.

The technique I've described - inverting the vertical shaft and reversing the mounting plate, may sound like it'd be a hassle, but I do it many times a day, and it only takes me about 6 or 7 seconds to do it.

I am shooting with a large supertelephoto, similar to yours, so I am familiar with the support needed for large, heavy lenses, and the Gitzo/Wimberley function very nicely. Well, except for the fact that one of the legs has fallen off the Gitzo. Only 4 years old, too. You may want to go with tripod legs from Really Right Stuff instead of Gitzo - they have a reputation for higher quality and superior customer service. You really don't want legs falling off of your tripod - it sucks when that happens!


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Nighthound
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Apr 03, 2013 13:09 |  #9

Another thing you might consider if you get a Gitzo tripod is one of these. When carrying a large lens and DSLR on the Wimberley and tripod(on shoulder) this safety plate adds strength to the tripod head/base plate. It mounts under the tripod base and greatly reduces the chance of the tripod base plate slipping out and your gear crashing to the ground.

http://www.naturescape​s.net …-gitzo-tripods-gsp35.html (external link)


Steve
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johnf3f
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Apr 04, 2013 19:42 |  #10

Nighthound wrote in post #15787205 (external link)
Another thing you might consider if you get a Gitzo tripod is one of these. When carrying a large lens and DSLR on the Wimberley and tripod(on shoulder) this safety plate adds strength to the tripod head/base plate. It mounts under the tripod base and greatly reduces the chance of the tripod base plate slipping out and your gear crashing to the ground.

http://www.naturescape​s.net …-gitzo-tripods-gsp35.html (external link)

This alleged problem has been addressed in the latest Gitzo Systematics.
Personally I remove the top plate along with my Wimberley as it is quicker and easier. This eliminates the chance of cross threading, when you mount the head, and you know it is tightened properly so it will never fall off. I cannot understand people who do not check that the clamping bolt is tight when mounting a 5 grand + lens!

To the OP I would suggest a 3 Series Gitzo (I use the 3530LS), Wimberley 2 Gimbal head and a Gitzo GM 2531. The 2531 looks far too thin but it did a good job with my 600 F4 IS Mk1 and does an even better job with my (lighter) 800 F5.6 so a 500 won't be a problem - it is also VERY light. For low level work I like my Gitzo 3320BS. These suggestions are what I personally use after a fair bit of testing.
I cannot comment on the Wimberley for long exposures as I have never tried it!


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Nighthound
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Apr 05, 2013 09:32 |  #11

johnf3f wrote in post #15791712 (external link)
This alleged problem has been addressed in the latest Gitzo Systematics.
Personally I remove the top plate along with my Wimberley as it is quicker and easier. This eliminates the chance of cross threading, when you mount the head, and you know it is tightened properly so it will never fall off. I cannot understand people who do not check that the clamping bolt is tight when mounting a 5 grand + lens!

To the OP I would suggest a 3 Series Gitzo (I use the 3530LS), Wimberley 2 Gimbal head and a Gitzo GM 2531. The 2531 looks far too thin but it did a good job with my 600 F4 IS Mk1 and does an even better job with my (lighter) 800 F5.6 so a 500 won't be a problem - it is also VERY light. For low level work I like my Gitzo 3320BS. These suggestions are what I personally use after a fair bit of testing.
I cannot comment on the Wimberley for long exposures as I have never tried it!

It's good to know that Gitzo addressed the plate problem. It's important to note that no tripod manufacturer advocates carrying large lenses attached to a tripod over the shoulder. Doing so puts unnatural stress on all of the hardware responsible for keeping things in tact. I've been carrying mine for several years in this way with no problems but I'm very careful not to jump or in any way jolt my gear as I'm carrying it.

With my Gitzo being of the older generation design I find some comfort in having the NS safety plate in place. However the fact that there remains the possibility of bolt failure is something I do think about. I carefully inspect the bolt from time to time to look for fine cracks, still no guarantee. Personally I doubt that I would carry anything heavier than the Wimberley, 500L (f4) and MK IV over my shoulder.

One note to add about the Wimberley II. The first models of the II Series were threaded directly into the base. One morning my tripod and Wimberley II blew over in the wind and to my surprise the Wimberley came off. When I checked the tripod bolt it was still in tact and the threads looked fine. The Wimberley threads however were stripped out. Needless to say I was just happy my lens and camera weren't mounted on it at the time. When I called Wimberley I was expecting to have to buy a replacement or the parts needed to make the repair because my warranty had expired. I was informed that they had recently (at that time) modified the Wimberley with a stainless steel threaded insert in all their new models for improved strength and durability. They were going to send me a brand new unit at no charge. And if that wasn't great enough news, they were sending it to me immediately and asked that I send them back the damaged unit when I could, now that's great customer service. I had the new unit in a couple of days and didn't miss any time shooting. I wouldn't hesitate one second to buy again from Wimberley, they stand behind their awesome product.


Steve
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badams
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Apr 05, 2013 16:22 |  #12

I really like my Gitzo 3541XLS tripod. The XLS will be taller (I think 7ft) when fully extended which you may need if you are on dams (or other areas) where only 1 or 2 legs can touch the ground close to you and the other leg(s) have to be extended below you.

I was doing a landscape shot a couple of weeks ago where I was on a steep ditch and had to extend 1 leg all the way to reach the ground.

I use the Bogen 3421 head which is similar to a whimberley and a bunch cheaper (less than $200), but you lack all the accessories that the whimberley (and the like) has available.


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johnf3f
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Apr 05, 2013 18:18 |  #13

Nighthound wrote in post #15793347 (external link)
It's good to know that Gitzo addressed the plate problem. It's important to note that no tripod manufacturer advocates carrying large lenses attached to a tripod over the shoulder. Doing so puts unnatural stress on all of the hardware responsible for keeping things in tact. I've been carrying mine for several years in this way with no problems but I'm very careful not to jump or in any way jolt my gear as I'm carrying it.

With my Gitzo being of the older generation design I find some comfort in having the NS safety plate in place. However the fact that there remains the possibility of bolt failure is something I do think about. I carefully inspect the bolt from time to time to look for fine cracks, still no guarantee. Personally I doubt that I would carry anything heavier than the Wimberley, 500L (f4) and MK IV over my shoulder.

One note to add about the Wimberley II. The first models of the II Series were threaded directly into the base. One morning my tripod and Wimberley II blew over in the wind and to my surprise the Wimberley came off. When I checked the tripod bolt it was still in tact and the threads looked fine. The Wimberley threads however were stripped out. Needless to say I was just happy my lens and camera weren't mounted on it at the time. When I called Wimberley I was expecting to have to buy a replacement or the parts needed to make the repair because my warranty had expired. I was informed that they had recently (at that time) modified the Wimberley with a stainless steel threaded insert in all their new models for improved strength and durability. They were going to send me a brand new unit at no charge. And if that wasn't great enough news, they were sending it to me immediately and asked that I send them back the damaged unit when I could, now that's great customer service. I had the new unit in a couple of days and didn't miss any time shooting. I wouldn't hesitate one second to buy again from Wimberley, they stand behind their awesome product.

That is interesting!
Looks like mine is the earlier version.
I got my Wimberley 2 secondhand and noticed that it was continually trying to cross thread when I mounted it. On examining the treads I could see that this had happened before, though the threads were still pretty good. I contacted Wimberley and they offered to have a look at it for free - as you say excellent service. However I found a MUCH cheaper alternative solution. I picked up a couple of spare Gitzo 3 series top plates (from E Bay) at silly prices (far less than postage to the US). I now have the top plate permanently attached to the Wimberley - so no worries about the threads and I always know it is tightened properly. Also I am lazy - it is quicker and easier this way!

Glad to see that you find the Wimberley 2 as good as I do. I have tried a few others but the Wimberley is tops so far.


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Nighthound
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Apr 05, 2013 22:25 |  #14

Sounds like a good solution to additional thread wear but be cautious. Because the original units were tapped into the base without the stainless steel insert any sudden jolt(especially while over the shoulder) could pull out regardless of how tightly attached it is. When mine stripped out there were no threads remaining in the hole of the Wimberley base. My case was a result of impact on tipping over so the original model isn't by any means fragile.


Steve
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johnf3f
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Apr 06, 2013 15:55 |  #15

Nighthound wrote in post #15795943 (external link)
Sounds like a good solution to additional thread wear but be cautious. Because the original units were tapped into the base without the stainless steel insert any sudden jolt(especially while over the shoulder) could pull out regardless of how tightly attached it is. When mine stripped out there were no threads remaining in the hole of the Wimberley base. My case was a result of impact on tipping over so the original model isn't by any means fragile.

Thanks for the info!


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