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Tripod with gimbal head advice

Runner111

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Can anyone recommend or give me some advice on purchasing a tripod and gimbal head that will not break the bank please.
 

Phill104

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What do you need it for? What lenses and what subjects?

I have seen a wimberly copy or two fail on their owners leaving their very expensive lenses having a concrete interface moment. Avoid any gimbal that has a spirit level or compass in the side. They seem to be based on a **** bearing and bolts and can easily just fall apart. Don’t trust your expensive glass to a cheap head.

As for tripod, that does depend on a few things. Do you need to be mobile, walking a good distance for instance.

Currently, most of my wildlife shots I shoot handheld as I always feel more mobile and able to react. If I do use a tripod it is usually only for specific things, which as shooting video. I currently use a Manfrotto 055 carbon, the latest version. Plenty used around at decent prices. My biggest beef with this model however are the leg clamps. They tend to pinch the fingers which can hurt, especially in the cold. They snap shut a bit rapid also causing pain.Excellent tripod other than that. I recently got a three legged thing too and that feels superb. Have yet to use it much as I am too lazy to carry a tripod most of the time.

The only cheap gimbal I would use is also from manfrotto, the 393. It works well and is a decent bit of kit for under £200 and can be had used for about £60 on the bay of fleas. After that you really have to step up to a wimberly or benro and it gets expensive. As I said earlier, it is a bit of a false economy going for a cheapo one IMO.
 

Scratch

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I use a Benro BH-2 Gimbal head which costs approx £269 new. It‘s a good quality head at a reasonable price. Might be worth looking for a used one which should be below £200. Can’t really advise on a tripod without knowing what gear you will want to use on it. I would advise not to skimp on a tripod though.
 

Runner111

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I will be using mainly a Nikon 200-500 lens
 

Phill104

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I will be using mainly a Nikon 200-500 lens
Not a heavy lens, a great walk around one too.

What will you be shooting?

In my case I often shoot wildlife and windsurfing. Unless I am doing video I mainly shoot handheld, For bird from a public hide I prefer a bean bag on the window ledge as hides are usually an awkward place for a tripod due to the fixed seating etc. If there is a good shelf many people use a gimbal on a fixed plate that can sit on the shelf.

Out in the field I often want to get really low or be very mobile, so again I do not use a tripod. I tend to use a Canon 100-400II so a similar weight of setup. It is not heavy so I can get away with a more modest tripod. Still wouldn’t skimp though so if you want to keep the budget down then second hand is the best option.

What is your budget?
 

Runner111

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I have always handheld as I feel more comfortable and more flexible. People keep saying you need a tripod etc to get better pictures. I shoot mainly birds which are either flying or are perched in a tree. So personally I would find a tripod difficult in those circumstances.
My budget would be £350
 

Activ8

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I use a Benro GH2c carbon gimbal for birds with my Sony A7riv and 600mm f4 and 200-600 zoom on my A9ii. I do prefer to handhold but I do get much better shots with a gimbal on the 61mp A7riv as you do notice camera shake more even at quite high shutter speeds hand held. I use it with the Benro M3 carbon legs which makes it quite a light setup but new this combo would be over £500. The non carbon version of both would probably be close to your budget if you were not too bothered on weight!
 

Runner111

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Thanks for your info guys
 
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