I'm currently using an Induro AT-313 and BHD3 ballhead with arca swiss plates. I plan to do some birding this spring and would like to try a gimball head for added stability. I used the tripod/ballhead combo this past year and feel I can get better results with a sidekick style gimbal.
I'm very satisfied with their tripod and ballhead so I'm considering this model over the Arca Sidekick due to cost and the included lens plate. The lenses I'm looking to support are the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSMII, Sigma 300 f/2.8 HSM with Sigma DG 1.4 and 2x tc's and a 150-500 without tc. Camera would be a D2x or D300s. I don't plan to get a lens any heavier than the 300 f/2.8 which weighs 5.3 lbs or 2400g.
Would appreciate your thoughts and opinions before making my purchase.
I've been using the GHBA with Induro's BHL-1 ballhead for most of a year with a D7000 and Tamron 200-500, and have found it to be very stable and smooth. It sure has made birding more enjoyable. I believe it's rated for up to 8 lbs., so it should handle your setup fine. I don't think you will be disappointed. Good luck, Montana Bill
The included plate is 3.3" long and may be adequate for your 70-200. However it will not work for your Sigma. The recommended Wimberley plate for your 150-500 is approximately 6.5". On a sidekick or gimbal you will need to move the lens forward/backwards to properly balance the lens/camera on the gimbal. Balancing allows you to let go and the lens/camera combo will remain in the position you left it or return to a completely horizontal position. To achieve this the plate must be long enough to allow for the movement. It would be best to have a plate specific for each lens.
Mark - I've used the GHBA for almost three years now with no issues. Very smooth and easy to achieve balance point. I've got mine on an Induro AT413 with a BHD3 ball head. I've used it with D200 with and without grip, D300s with and without grip, D90 with and without grip. Lenses used: Tamron 70-200f2.8, Nikkor 300mmf4, Sigma 150-500 and Nikkor 500f4P with and without Kenko 1.5 TC.
Thanks everyone for the great info. I've already got 5 ande 6" Wimberly plates for the 300 and 150-500 so that's not a problem. I use a Sigma TS-41 on the 300 which is much longer than the stardard tripod mount and if the tripod mount is to short on the 70-200 I can add the TS-41 to accomodate it. BTW, after the stroke of midnight, 1-1-13, I ordered the GHBA. Can't wait to try it out on some backyard birds.