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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 27 May 2014 (Tuesday) 16:14
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Less expensive support options for 500 f/4L support

 
dfbovey
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May 27, 2014 16:14 |  #1

I recently purchased a 500 f/4L IS USM version 1. And my only two options are to use it hand held or to use in on my Manfroto monopod. But I'm looking to get a good Wimberly like system. With a full swiveling head (up, down and side to side) that can support the weight. The purchase of the lens itself dried up my budget though. So I'm trying to find some low cost recommendations for the time being that would offer similar functionality.

Suggestions?


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ldn323
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May 27, 2014 21:48 |  #2

I use this Opteka GH1 Pro Heavy Duty Metal Gimbal Head for my Canon 300mm f/2.8 + either 1.4x or 2x + either 7D or 1Dx. It is not as smooth as the $600 Wimberley gimbal head ... but I am happy with it considering I paid $150 for it new at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com …keywords=wimber​ley+gimbal (external link)


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Evan
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May 27, 2014 22:32 |  #3

This one will survive anything...
Again, not as smooth as a wimberly. But it works well
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …w_wcB&is=REG&Q=​&A=details (external link)


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jhayesvw
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May 27, 2014 23:14 |  #4

I have a couple buddies with the Opteka one and they like it.
I think it uses an ARCA swiss plate too.



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hollis_f
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May 28, 2014 04:49 |  #5

That Opteka looks very similar to the cheap gimbal I bought on Ebay - from India. Nowhere near as smooth as a proper gimbal, but it was usable while I saved up some pennies. Then I sold it for just a small loss.


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dfbovey
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May 28, 2014 06:47 |  #6

From reading the reviews it looks like the Opteka can made to behave more smoothly. Might be an option.


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badams
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May 28, 2014 08:40 |  #7

I have the Manfrotto head that Idn323 provided above. I like it, but my complaint is that it uses its own head system so the plates aren't compatible with anything else.


Everyday use: 7D2, 1.4x v3 Canon TC (sometimes the 2x v2 Canon TC), Canon 500mm f4 L IS USM; 6D, 24-105L
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Jun 01, 2014 21:09 as a reply to  @ badams's post |  #8

I second the cheaper option, Beike it seems is similar (read comes out of the same factory) to Optica. As said previously it is not smooth, but it does hold the weight (200-400 f/4 +5DIII) It could be said, if you can afford the lens, then $600 for the gimbal is not much, but I know where you're coming from you have to stop somewhere!.


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nellyle
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Jun 02, 2014 01:53 |  #9

I think you can get these in the US (assuming that's where you are!) I've used one with my 500 and it handled it just fine.

http://www.lensmaster.​co.uk/rh2.htm (external link)


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tomj
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Jun 02, 2014 09:04 as a reply to  @ nellyle's post |  #10

"I second the cheaper option, Beike it seems is similar (read comes out of the same factory) to Optica."

Yes, it's the same. I purchased one new on ebay for $87, it shipped from New York (As I recall, most of them were shipping from China.)

Mine was very stiff when it was new, but after using some spray lubricant and working it a bit it's now fine. There's a lot on the web about this, including disassembly, and most seem to think it's an acceptable tradeoff for the price. I've never come across a report of any kind of structural problems.

I use it for a 400/5.6, relatively small and light, and am very happy with it. It does work fine with larger heavier lenses. However, if I were using a larger and much more extensive lens like the OP's I know I would certainly be looking at something like a Wemberly down the road, if just for peace of mind.


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Gbgb
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Jun 02, 2014 09:19 |  #11

tomj wrote in post #16946213 (external link)
"I second the cheaper option, Beike it seems is similar (read comes out of the same factory) to Optica."

Yes, it's the same. I purchased one new on ebay for $87,

There's a lot on the web about this, including disassembly, and most seem to think it's an acceptable tradeoff for the price. I've never come across a report of any kind of structural problems.

I found some talk about disassembly here:-
http://www.pentaxforum​s.com …ike-bk45-gimbal-head.html (external link)

Personally I would not go to that trouble, mine is a little stiff, but it is not a problem. If it became a problem, I would sell it & buy Whimberley before disassembling it.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jun 02, 2014 12:13 |  #12

Evan wrote in post #16934882 (external link)
This one will survive anything...
Again, not as smooth as a wimberly. But it works well
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …w_wcB&is=REG&Q=​&A=details (external link)

I can speak to this, it is in fact bullet proof!
It is very heavy, but it gets the job done. It easily handled one fo the largest lenses in existence (the SIGMA 300-800mm)

my complaint is that it uses its own head system so the plates aren't compatible with anything else.

True. The clamp can be removed and replaced with a long arca clamp, but once you start down that road, you are upping costs considerably, and might just want to go another route.

You don't mention legs? You'll be needing strong legs to support all of this combo.


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ScubaDude
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Jun 06, 2014 19:04 |  #13
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While not as cheap as the other heads mentioned above, I would highly recommend the Induro GHB2. (external link) Smooth as silk and built like a tank. I'd put it up against a Wimberly any day, and it's $100 cheaper. You know what they say... buy nice or buy twice. Induro also makes great tripods at a fair price.


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badams
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Jun 09, 2014 21:53 |  #14

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #16946600 (external link)
I can speak to this, it is in fact bullet proof!
It is very heavy, but it gets the job done. It easily handled one fo the largest lenses in existence (the SIGMA 300-800mm)


True. The clamp can be removed and replaced with a long arca clamp, but once you start down that road, you are upping costs considerably, and might just want to go another route.

...

Do you know what clamps fit it? I've been tempted to go this route for the time being, but the clamps I've looked at, I'm not sure if they will fit or if they do I would be able to tighten/untighten them.


Everyday use: 7D2, 1.4x v3 Canon TC (sometimes the 2x v2 Canon TC), Canon 500mm f4 L IS USM; 6D, 24-105L
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Evan
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Jun 10, 2014 00:27 |  #15

badams wrote in post #16962224 (external link)
Do you know what clamps fit it? I've been tempted to go this route for the time being, but the clamps I've looked at, I'm not sure if they will fit or if they do I would be able to tighten/untighten them.

The largest problem i have with this support, isn't the clamps, but that I cannot lock down the horizontal panning. Drag can be adjusted (requires Allen wrench), but there is no quick fix for it. This isn't a problem for the most part, considering I shoot moving subjects, but there is the rare occasion when a still subject is in a windy environment and locking down my axis would be handy.


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Less expensive support options for 500 f/4L support
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