Choosing a Gimbal Head

November 16, 2016  •  2 Comments

There are so many Gimbal Heads available and not a lot of data on what's different about them.  Some things are obvious but there is no data to help you make an informed decision. The one big thing that is obvious is cost and maybe some functional characteristics. I have listed some things I think about when looking at a Gimbal Head.

I think it's also important to understand why you want a Gimbal how you plan to use it.  I plan to use a Gimbal on a tripod for when I am on location for many hours shooting action (i.e. BIF or air shows, etc.) with heavy equipment.  For me I mount my Pro Series Canon bodies and 400 to 600mm lens combo on our gimbal setups.

 

Things to consider:

  1. Cost
  2. Solid build strength (w/bearings in pan and tilt head)
  3. Craftsmanship / quality of build
  4. Secure mounting of Gimbal on tripod (3/8 – 16)
  5. Mount plan (Pan / Swing Arm) square (90°) to each other
  6. Smooth Pan / Tilt movement
  7. Lock position of Pan and Tilt heads
  8. Adjustability (up and down of mounting Platform)
  9. Locking height position of Platform on Tilt Bar
  10. Compatibility with Arca-Swiss plates
  11. Locking of quick release plate and safety screws
  12. Weight
  13. Finish
  14. Rated to support weight of equipment
Really Right Stuff PG-02 Pano-Gimbal HeadReally Right Stuff PG-02 Pano-Gimbal Head

I highly recommend these models for the ultimate in build quality and overall performance:

  • Really Right Stuff PG-02 FG - Full Gimbal Head
  • Wimberley WH-200
  • Zenelli CarbonZX

 

Wimberly WH-200 Gimbal HeadWimberly WH-200 Gimbal Head

I do a lot of purchasing from B&H Photo and Adoroma and generally have a certain level of confidence in products they sell vs an internet special of a no-name brand.

So many seem to be knock-off copies of each other
(even low cost copy of Wimberley - so do you pay the high price or take a chance). What do you think?

 

Some other models to consider (no particular order):  
(Just remember... you typically get what you pay for so be sure to read their reviews)

  • Pro Master GH10
  • Movo GH700 Pro
  • Gepe SK-GH01
  • Jobu BWG-J3K
  • Jobo DMG-HD4
  • Jobu Pro2
  • Jobu Jr. 3
  • Induro GHB2
  • Sirui PH-20
  • Custom Brackets CB
  • Photo Clam
  • Kirk King KC-1
  • ProMediaGear Katana
  • Rob Pleas GH-13R
  • Opteka GH1 Pro
  • Neewer Pro
  • CowBoy Studio
  • Beike BK-45
  • Eteyo Pro BK-45
  • Koolerton BK-45
  • Nest NT-530H
  • Benro GH2
  • Benro GH3
  • Luxebell Q45

 

We leave you to do some more of your own research.  The one thing to keep in mind is what are you willing to skimp and save on and what are you willing to spend to protect your large investment that is attached to it?  I think of both the tripod and gimbal head as my base that supports ALL of my investment.


Comments

2.Richard Russell(non-registered)
Good story bro! Thanks for the info.
1.Milton Findley(non-registered)
I initially bought a GH-1, and used it for a couple of years shooting equestrian events. It was inexpensive, sturdy, and stiff, lacking actual ball bearings, and it was always about 4 degrees tilted, which while easily corrected, was always another adjustment to be made. I still have it somewhere. I now have a Jobu DMG-HD4 mounted on a Sunwayfoto DYH90i leveling base atop a Benro COM47AXL tripod. The combination is lightweight, not feather weight, and as stiff under load as you could possibly want. As Marcus said, spending more tends to get you more, and my rig will go any where, under any conditions, and function without compromising. I clean it with compressed air, or soap and water if need be.
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