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Gimbal head for Sigma 150-500
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Jan 1, 2013 12:31:11   #
naturepics43
 
I've spent several days searching the internet for a mid priced gimbal head. The Desmond head is interesting but only offers two height adjustments. The Opteka (looks) very good with infinite height adjustment. It does look very much like units costing 2-3 times the price and has a 1 year warranty. Does anyone have personal experience with the Opteka GH-1 gimbal head or with any Opteka products?

I'm not a pro and can not afford a $400.00 head. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Jan 1, 2013 12:48:07   #
MT Shooter (a regular here)
 
I had an Opteka Gimbal from 47th St Camera, I bought it because the price was right and I couldn't afford a Wimberley either. After 2 outings I sent it back. The movements were terribly sticky and no amount of coaxing or lubrication would make it work well. I did buy a Beike BK45 Gimbal after that for the same reason and found it more smoothly operating, but still stickier than the Desmond, and it has infinite height adjustment. I decided to disassemble the Beike and see if there were improvements that could be made. After cleaning up the pan pivot I realized the unit had not been cleaned after initial machining and removed all the fine burrs, and all the residue with solvent. I then lubricated it with sewing machine grease and reassembled it. After I mounted my Sigma 800mm F5.6 on it one time I realized there was absolutely no reason to get rid of it, its the smoothest operating gimbal I have ever touched, including Wimberly and Jobo, and I got it for only $68 on Ebay, shipping included. I still use the Desmond for the 150-500mm though as it is quite adequate for that weight lens, but way too flexible for a true long telephoto like the 800 or even my Nikon 500mm F4.

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Jan 1, 2013 13:21:07   #
JC56
 
I have the opteka..mine works okay but I had to work on it. I would take MT's advice...idea...Maybe MT can buy BK45's work his magic and sell them to us.....I'd buy one.

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Jan 1, 2013 13:40:02   #
naturepics43
 
MT Shooter wrote:
I had an Opteka Gimbal from 47th St Camera, I bought it because the price was right and I couldn't afford a Wimberley either. After 2 outings I sent it back. The movements were terribly sticky and no amount of coaxing or lubrication would make it work well. I did buy a Beike BK45 Gimbal after that for the same reason and found it more smoothly operating, but still stickier than the Desmond, and it has infinite height adjustment. I decided to disassemble the Beike and see if there were improvements that could be made. After cleaning up the pan pivot I realized the unit had not been cleaned after initial machining and removed all the fine burrs, and all the residue with solvent. I then lubricated it with sewing machine grease and reassembled it. After I mounted my Sigma 800mm F5.6 on it one time I realized there was absolutely no reason to get rid of it, its the smoothest operating gimbal I have ever touched, including Wimberly and Jobo, and I got it for only $68 on Ebay, shipping included. I still use the Desmond for the 150-500mm though as it is quite adequate for that weight lens, but way too flexible for a true long telephoto like the 800 or even my Nikon 500mm F4.
I had an Opteka Gimbal from 47th St Camera, I boug... (show quote)


Thanks MTShooter. Once again you have come thru with great personal experience advice. The Beike BK45 looks like it will do the job for me. I see they have a"new" version pictured several places. I think I'll go with the "old" slyle as new isn't always better. Thanks again. I'll let you know how it works out.

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Jan 1, 2013 13:43:00   #
naturepics43
 
JC56 wrote:
I have the opteka..mine works okay but I had to work on it. I would take MT's advice...idea...Maybe MT can buy BK45's work his magic and sell them to us.....I'd buy one.


Looks like the price I can afford, I'll have to do a little tweeking. Thats OK. Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.

| Reply
Jan 1, 2013 14:51:26   #
JR1 (banned)
 
Have you searched the forum for gimbal

LENSMASTER. Google

Been bought by another member here also I think craggycrossers

http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/

I have both versions

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Jan 2, 2013 07:04:47   #
merrittbtuhh
 
Hello, I recently went through the process of trying to find a good gimbal head without spending $600. I found this from Amazon for $229, Triopo DG-3. It is a Chinese knock off of the Wimberley II. It is beautifully made and is silky smooth in operation. Comes with mounting plate. I found it cheaper after I googled it. ($199) I hope this helps. Merritt

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Jan 2, 2013 08:20:54   #
oldtool2
 
naturepics43 wrote:
I've spent several days searching the internet for a mid priced gimbal head. The Desmond head is interesting but only offers two height adjustments. The Opteka (looks) very good with infinite height adjustment. It does look very much like units costing 2-3 times the price and has a 1 year warranty. Does anyone have personal experience with the Opteka GH-1 gimbal head or with any Opteka products?

I'm not a pro and can not afford a $400.00 head. Thanks in advance for your help.


This one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071BIQZC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

I just got one two days ago. It is still out as to whether I will keep it or not. The lower pivot, at the tripod, on mine was very tight. Before I used it I popped the cover for it off and loosened the allen head bolt that applies the tension on the bearing. That cured the to tight problem and it now pivots nicely. That was the only problem I had with mine so will probably end up keeping it. I have been testing it using my 400mm lenses.

I also own and like this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Bogen-Manfrotto-Long-Monopod-Bracket/dp/B0000AE66A/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1357132555&sr=8-5&keywords=gimbal+head

I do like it, works well. My only complaint is that on rare occasions the one side of the “U” will get in the way, but like I said not often enough that I would consider it a problem.

Jim D

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Jan 2, 2013 08:22:12   #
mborn (a regular here)
 
Try the Jobu Jr Canadian Made and works wonderful. I use it with my Nikon 500 mm lens without a problem. Can follow BIF
http://www.jobu-design.com/catalog/item/2588354/9564432.htm

| Reply
Jan 2, 2013 09:32:02   #
ecobin
 
JR1 wrote:
Have you searched the forum for gimbal

LENSMASTER. Google

Been bought by another member here also I think craggycrossers

http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/

I have both versions


I bought the RH2 model and use it with my Sigma 150-500. It's very solid and I'm completely happy with it.
http://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-76747-2.html#1366132

| Reply
Jan 2, 2013 10:34:07   #
naturepics43
 
JR1 wrote:
Have you searched the forum for gimbal

LENSMASTER. Google

Been bought by another member here also I think craggycrossers

http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/

I have both versions


Thanks JR1 for the link. I'm not keen on the side mount & looking for more height adjustment. Thanks for the input.

| Reply
Jan 2, 2013 10:53:52   #
2x25mpg
 
I have a 150-500 and got the Opteka gimbal. It was very stiff but I fixed it easily. If you pry off the plastic cap, you will find an hex bolt head .
Who's holding the gimbal head to prevent it from turning, slacken the hex bolt in small increments till the gimbal head rotates smoothly without binding. I also applied a shot of spray lube. This was a year ago with no problems since. I think the hex bolt was just overtightened at the factory.
For a cheap Chinese. Gimbal, it works fine for me. !

| Reply
Jan 2, 2013 11:10:15   #
naturepics43
 
merrittbtuhh wrote:
Hello, I recently went through the process of trying to find a good gimbal head without spending $600. I found this from Amazon for $229, Triopo DG-3. It is a Chinese knock off of the Wimberley II. It is beautifully made and is silky smooth in operation. Comes with mounting plate. I found it cheaper after I googled it. ($199) I hope this helps. Merritt


Thanks for the input. So many choices, so little time !

| Reply
Jan 2, 2013 11:12:32   #
naturepics43
 
oldtool2 wrote:
naturepics43 wrote:
I've spent several days searching the internet for a mid priced gimbal head. The Desmond head is interesting but only offers two height adjustments. The Opteka (looks) very good with infinite height adjustment. It does look very much like units costing 2-3 times the price and has a 1 year warranty. Does anyone have personal experience with the Opteka GH-1 gimbal head or with any Opteka products?

I'm not a pro and can not afford a $400.00 head. Thanks in advance for your help.


I'm with you on the Manfrotto. I'm always tweeking focus and the additional arm could be a problem. Thanks for your input.
This one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071BIQZC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

I just got one two days ago. It is still out as to whether I will keep it or not. The lower pivot, at the tripod, on mine was very tight. Before I used it I popped the cover for it off and loosened the allen head bolt that applies the tension on the bearing. That cured the to tight problem and it now pivots nicely. That was the only problem I had with mine so will probably end up keeping it. I have been testing it using my 400mm lenses.

I also own and like this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Bogen-Manfrotto-Long-Monopod-Bracket/dp/B0000AE66A/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1357132555&sr=8-5&keywords=gimbal+head

I do like it, works well. My only complaint is that on rare occasions the one side of the “U” will get in the way, but like I said not often enough that I would consider it a problem.

Jim D
quote=naturepics43 I've spent several days search... (show quote)

| Reply
Jan 2, 2013 11:14:31   #
naturepics43
 
mborn wrote:
Try the Jobu Jr Canadian Made and works wonderful. I use it with my Nikon 500 mm lens without a problem. Can follow BIF
http://www.jobu-design.com/catalog/item/2588354/9564432.htm


Thanks for the link and your input. Unfortunately, the Jobu is not in my budget right now. Maybe I'll wait.

| Reply
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