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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
Thread started 23 May 2015 (Saturday) 23:22
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New Monopod Head sidekick solution

 
CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited 4 months ago by CyberDyneSystems. (3 edits in all)
     
May 23, 2015 23:22 |  #1

EDIT 2020:
IF YOU DON't HAVE a Sidekick yet, see this superior Monopod Gimbal solution at a much lower price;
https://www.tripodhead​.com/products/monopodh​ead-main.cfm (external link)

If you have a SideKick or need one for tripod use, read on.

Do you use a Sidekick on a Monopod?
If so you will definitely want to read on.

If not, let me try to convince you to try it.
If you already have a Wimberly Sidekick, you really should try this at little cost to you.

---------------


I use a monopod a lot, mostly with big lenses including my 500mm f/4L IS.

I need a sturdy set up for this, and for birding, one needs some up and down flexibility beyond just attaching the lens to the 'pod.

My normal solution is the Sirui L-10 tilt only monopod head.

However, one trick I love to use is to turn the Sirui (or RSS, Kirk etc) Tilt head to exactly 90 degrees and mount the Wimberly Sidekick.

This allows easy and amazingly fluid tilting motion with a heavy lens set up that far surpasses the usual monopod head.

I have this demanding load mounted on the tried but true, sturdy but heavy Manfrotto 680B series monopod.

Recently I got my first CF Monopod, an Induro that I will use for all other tasks, but I am going to leave the Big 500mm duty to the heavy Manfrotto. I was shopping for a new tilt head for the CF 'pod when a new solution occurred to me. I would not need a new head, in fact I would not need to buy anything as I had all the parts on hand. The Sirui L-10 is moving to the lighter CF 'Pod, for the long lens work I made a better Sturdier solution.

You will need two parts from your favorite cheap "Desmond" Arca plate dealer. I got mine @ Amazon.

Part Number One:
The Desmond DP 505 50mm Square Bi-Directional QR Plate (external link)

IMAGE: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61gFWmkMEnL._SL1200_.jpg

Part Number 2:
Desmond D290 90* Double right Angle Clamp for Arca (external link) (on left)

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v155/p1200421843-4.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e478cfbd3  (external link)

You want that Square QR plate for a few reasons, one its square so it is easier to mount your clamp to from any of four sides, two, it has one central hole, no slot, threaded 1/4" perfect to attach to your monopod base.

Mount the plate to the Monopod base Upside Down so the Arca part is facing up;

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v157/p1200421813-5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e478cfbb5  (external link)

Attach the DP 290 double clamp to the plate;

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v166/p1200421773-5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e478cfb8d  (external link)

And now you can slide in the Wimberly Sidekick!

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v170/p1200421873-5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e478cfbf1  (external link)

What I ended up with is FAR studier than trying to attach the Sidekick to a Monopod tilt head locked down at 90 degrees. It is solid from the 'Pod all the way to the pivot point of the sidekick.

And it's fast and easy to change set ups, without tools, just loosen QR clamps...

With the 500mm on board, I no longer have to WRENCH Down the tilt lock, there is no tilt lock it is some very solid machined aluminum that will only remain set to 90 degrees!


If you want to go back to a simple QR clamp on your 'pod it's as easy as, undoing the thumb screw on the DP290 clamp and replace with any double sided QR like so;

IMAGE: http://jakehegnauer.zenfolio.com/img/s12/v175/p1200421857-5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://jakehegnauer.ze​nfolio.com/p605089996/​e478cfbe1  (external link)


The Desmond parts will only set you back under $40.00! :)

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Unbalanced
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May 29, 2015 08:52 |  #2

Great find. I can see how that'd be way sturdier than the L-10.

Thanks for sharing. And spending my money... :-)


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bpalermini
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May 29, 2015 09:27 |  #3

Great idea. Thanks.


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 29, 2015 11:29 |  #4

:)

Other than the Sidekick itself, these are all very "low end" but sturdy parts.

The Monopod I'm using is the classic 680 series which has both been around in various forms for decades, and has stood the test of time. It is sturdy enough to be used in the Zombie Apocalypse as a bludgeoning weapon. It downside of course is weight. This could be installed on a lighter CF 'pod of course.

The "Desmond" parts are dirt cheap as far as Arca stuff goes, and yet have proven to hold up just fine as far as i am concerned. Little details may not be as good as RRS or Kirk, but the Aluminum is still high quality strong stuff.

I notice the price on the 90 degree has actually gone up about three bucks so we've moved that package up to about $42.00

680 Monopod: $80.00-$110.00 depending on model. Mine is the $79.00 model 681 3 section (cheaper/sturdier)

Parts: (plate and right angle clamp) $42.00

SideKick: $250.00

Induro Alternative: $200.00 (external link)


Of course in my case I have had the Sidekick since 2003, I paid about $180.00 for it back then, as well as the monopod dating back to 2001 or so. I was mainly suggesting this to those that already have a Sidekick and "pod,. so the additional $42.00 seems like a very small outlay there.


If you don't have a monopod, and like the idea, one can forgo all of the $42.00 parts buy getting the kind of side mount Gimbal that mounts directly to the 3/8" stud on your monopod;
http://www.amazon.com …fRID=0CZREA2HN7​57FC3NZ316 (external link)

Jobu and Kirk make this style as well, but they get pricey too. More than the Sidekick and the $42.00 in parts.


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RPCrowe
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May 29, 2015 18:45 |  #5

When using a long lens, I like my Manfrotto (393) Bogen (3421) Gimbal. I would assume that the Jobu is every bit as nice...

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=qKj4puprfPQ (external link)

I can balance any camera/lens combination to the point where just finger pressure will move it but, it will be still if not moved.


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johnf3f
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Post edited over 5 years ago by johnf3f.
     
May 30, 2015 16:36 |  #6

The Lensmaster RH1 works well on monopods/tripods for lenses upto a 500 F5 or so. If you don't already have a sidekick or similar - they are quite a bit cheaper too.

http://www.lensmaster.​co.uk/rh1.htm (external link)

For bigger lenses I think the RH 2 would be better.

Nice bit of lateral thinking Jake!


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 30, 2015 17:20 |  #7

John, those lensmaster gimbals look great. Price seems good too. I've not seen them over here across the pond.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited over 5 years ago by CyberDyneSystems.
     
May 30, 2015 17:23 |  #8

RPCrowe wrote in post #17576411 (external link)
When using a long lens, I like my Manfrotto (393) Bogen (3421) Gimbal. I would assume that the Jobu is every bit as nice...

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=qKj4puprfPQ (external link)

I can balance any camera/lens combination to the point where just finger pressure will move it but, it will be still if not moved.

That 393 is a monster and one of the sturdiest set ups around. I believe it could handle the EF 1200mm,..
It is also one of the more affordable full gimbal heads in existence,. @ well under $200.00

I had one for some time, and it was a cinch with the "SIGMonster" 300-800mm, and literally overkill for my 500mm.

It's downside is that accordingly it is very large and heavy!


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May 30, 2015 18:09 |  #9

Great idea! Thanks.




  
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johnf3f
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May 31, 2015 15:06 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #10

To be fair the Wimberley offerings are significantly better but, for photographers on a budget, the Lensmaster heads do a very good job and at very reasonable prices! Additionally they come with 2 Arca type lens plates, one short and one long - very handy!

I have the Lensmaster RH1 and it is just the job for my 300 F2.8 + extenders, 1/4 the price of my Wimberley 2 and half the weight.
Many users are quite happy using the Canon 500 F4 L IS Mk1 on it. For the 600 + lenses then the RH 2 looks like a better job and still cheap.

I believe Rob ships to the US. If anybody is interested the E Mail him - he is very helpful. I have no connection with him other than being a customer.


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GyRob
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Jun 07, 2015 15:21 |  #11

I just came across this thread
Thanks for the recommendation John3f

Jake you may well remember this thread https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=147​460&page=1

This is how it all started we now have 4 models and sell world wide and in part it is through the response and interest right here in POTN :)

Rob.


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http://www.lensmaster.​co.uk/rh1.htm (external link)

  
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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited over 5 years ago by CyberDyneSystems.
     
Jun 07, 2015 15:52 |  #12

Rob, I had totally forgot that that was was the name of your Gimbal,.
So glad to hear that it's continues to be a success! Very cool!


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GyRob
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Jun 07, 2015 16:11 |  #13

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #17587720 (external link)
Rob, I had totally forgot that that was was the name of your Gimbal,.
So glad to hear that it's continues to be a success! Very cool!

Thanks Jake

Yes it's come a long way since then :)

Rob.


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http://www.lensmaster.​co.uk/rh1.htm (external link)

  
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Gungnir. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 31, 2017 07:13 as a reply to  @ GyRob's post |  #14

Started using this setup a while ago and love it.

Sirui P 204 monopod (no particular reason, it was a gift) made it a bit simpler as the base is removable to flip reversible 1/4-3/8 screw.

The reduced diameter without the base lets the right angled clamp fit downwards allowing use of both clamps and negating the need for mounting plate.

Top of monopod has small recess just enough to put an o-ring in place adding grip when compressed. There is just enough space to drill and tap a hole for a locking grub screw which I originally did but the compressed o-ring does ample job of preventing it from unscrewing without this.

1 1/2” x 3/8-16 UNC countersunk screw fixes it in place.


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Blackey ­ Cole
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Jan 31, 2017 14:52 |  #15

I went a simpler route. I had a big ebay full gimbal. And put it on my Manfrotto monopod works great smooth balances out great pans perfectly etc. I use the sidekick with my rrs bh-50 on my Manfrotto cf legs when needed. I like you 90 degree plate but I already have the gimbal head or I jwould be doing as you did.


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New Monopod Head sidekick solution
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