I use a Wimberley Sidekick with my B800/D7000 and 300mm f/4 + TC 1.4x.
The reason I had not bought the full Wimberley was the cost.
I am pretty comfortable and happy using the Sidekick. My question is, am I missing out on something by not using the full Wimberley?
I am currently using a Manfrotto 055 Pro with a Markins ballhead (the largest one) but have ordered a Gitzo 3542LS (legs only).
#1. "RE: Full Wimberley and Sidekick" | In response to Reply # 0Henry64 Nikonian since 13th Jan 2008Thu 07-Mar-13 08:36 AM | edited Thu 07-Mar-13 08:37 AM by Henry64
You'll miss some balancing and smoothness while tilting/panning at the same time - but not by much IMHO.
I'm downgrading to a ball-head and sidekick - basically because it much easier to take apart and transport. The full wimb, is huge in a (mine) suitcase or backpack.
I also find the sidekick more stable (but it's very subjective and I cannot prove it) than the full wimb. I think that due to one less arm (the vertical arm) in the equation.
While downgrading the "head", I decided to upgrade the tripod, I have a gitzo GT3541L coming my way, while I never ever ever, use the center column for my big gun (500mm) or 70-200, I do use it for portraits and marcro where it's help full and less painfull that to adjust heights by adjusting 3 legs.
So my setup will be a GT3541L with ground set, Kirk BH-1 and a sidekick - time will show if this is an upgrade from my previous set-up with a cheaper tripod and a full wimb.
I guess that's a similar set-up to yours except from the center column thingy
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#2. "RE: Full Wimberley and Sidekick" | In response to Reply # 0nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Thu 07-Mar-13 06:59 PM
I did some controlled tests and determined the Sidekick was very slightly more stable than a full Wimberly. Not sure it was enough to actually notice while shooting. But stability is not a reason to go for a full Wimberly.
The full Wimberly includes an adjustable vertical platform. In principle it should be adjusted to exactly the balance automtically achieved by the Sidekick. But some people find the Sidekick too "lively" and prefer to detune the full Wimberly by dropping the platform lower than optimum.
The Sidekick does not work well with a flash bracket like the Wimberly bracket I use. The flash sitting well above the camera raises the effective center of gravity. With a full Wimberly you pretty much balance out a flash, depending on the lens. May be more difficult with a 300/4, as I vaguely recall.
The full Wimberly may make you want to buy a 2nd tripod after you tire of swapping heads. It is possible to screw a short plate to the bottom of a ballhead (using a 1/4-->3/8 bushing) and to then mount the ball head on a full Wimberly. You mus then lock the vertical pivot on the gimbal (and never loosen it and let go!). I have done that in a pinch but would not want to do all my collarless lens shooting that way.
The full Wimberly is fully specified for over the shoulder carry. The Markins is not, and I have seen some cautions (not in the manual) about damaging the head by doing over the shoulder carries.
For a 300/4 or 70-200 the short distance between the lens foot and camera body can prevent the much if any upward tilt on a Sidekick. A camera will actually swing through the WH-200 and point up, in some cases even with a TC14 or TC17 attached.
There is a counter to that... you can cock the Sidekick back by adjusting the ball head, adding height with the expense of the other end (can't go as low and in the extreme can't even go level). You can't do that with a WH-200.
Lastly, heavier lenses can be uncomfortable and unwieldy to side load into a Sidekick or any other gimbal with a side mounted clamp. That should not be an issue with a relatively small lens like a 300/4. It's a big issue with a 600/4.
If you do not have any specific issues now, you should probably stick with the Sidekick. Very few people put smaller lenses like a 300/4 on a gimbal although there are a couple of advantages in some situations.
I have them both. I started with a Sidekick and bought a WH-200 for my 300/2.8 when I started shooting the flash bracket. I kept the Sidekick because it is easier to pack and transport, and easier to swap between collared and collarless lenses.
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#4. "RE: Full Wimberley and Sidekick" | In response to Reply # 3jrp Charter MemberFri 08-Mar-13 04:11 PM | edited Fri 08-Mar-13 04:19 PM by jrp
You may want to to peek at this new product.
Its development was initiated when someone asked a similar question as yours:
"How can I have the functionality of a Sidekick or full Gimbal head without the weight, bulk inconvenience and the need of a dedicated tripod for the Gimbal?"
Have a great time :-)
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