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Wimberley Sidekick vs. Gimbal Head


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Gregory_Zimmer Basic Member
Tue 03-Jan-06 03:16 PM

Hi all. I do mostly landscape photography and some wildlife, though I hope to do more soon. I recently purchased the 400mm f/2.8 AF-I. I have a RRS BH-55 head, which I love, but think I will need something more to support and facilitate ease of use of the massive 400mm.

After reading most of the nature photography web pages, I have decided on a Wimberly setup. I am now trying to decide between the sidekick (which mounts on the ballhead) and the gimbal head (which replaces the ballhead). As I said, I shoot primarily landscape and don't envision too many dedicatd wildlife shoots for quite a while, so the sidekick seems more attractive because I would only have to carry a +/- 2lb unit that I can add to my ballhead, and would not need to switch out the ballhead and gimbal if I wanted to change lenses. Price is also quite a bit different on the two models, although given what I paid for the lens (though I got a good price on ebay) that is secondary to ease of use and a solid mount for the 400mm AF-I. The sidekick seems to make the most sense for me but I would appreciate feedback on either the sidekick or gimbal head, and if anyone has used both and can compare the two that would be tremendously helpful.

Also, I have a Gitzo 1258 (6x model of the 1228). I realize that at some point I may have to upgrage to a 13-series Gitzo, but think the legs will work for now since I plan on using the 400mm sparingly until I develop more wildlife shooting skills. Does anyone have experience using the 400mm AF-I or an equally massive lens on the Gitzo 1228 or 1258?

Thanks for all the knowledge you all impart every day.