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$99 or $500 Gimbal
  
 
wayneo
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p.11 #1 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Ok
Just recieved my cheap knock-off gimbal (beike-45). and is it ever sweet.
works perfect and i have no problem hanging a Canon 1Ds Mark III and a Canon 300mm f2.8L IS from its swing arm. With complete confidence I might add......
Thanks for the heads up.
Bifurcator



Nov 14, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Bifurcator
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p.11 #2 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Sure, NP. Glad you're enjoying the gimbalisms! Gim-bal-istic!!!



- - - - - - - - - - - - -- -
BTW,
Since we've previously discussed it in this thread a few pages back I've tried it on a monopod and it works very nicely! The curved L shape of the main arm fits nicely when leaned over my shoulder, it doesn't seem to add any noticeable weight to larger lenses and the mechanics work nicely. With the lens properly balanced, aiming the camera too high or low requires a monopod height adjustment (tho I can't imagine a head that wouldn't) but other than that all things were groovy!



Nov 14, 2012 at 07:22 PM
ukkisavosta
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p.11 #3 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Ah, I forgot to clarify what I was talking about in my earlier post regarding panoramas.

The camera needs to be dead center in the rotational axis to prevent parallax errors. To confirm this, you need to pop off the plastic "Beike" badge (so that you can see the screw head) and follow the instructions on this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jAhwFLimM0

Jaakko




Nov 14, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Bifurcator
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p.11 #4 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Yeah, this is one reason it's important to have a tripod socket (on the camera) that's centered with the lens axis. There are plates which allow a centimeter or so of offset which should be enough to center up most cameras - not really sure about the OM-D tho which has a socket that's quite a ways over to one side. Maybe an OM-D owner could offer comment...













That said, this centering is only really important when there are subject elements close to the camera. If all the elements are more than about 8 or 10 meters away then a centimeter or two to the right or left plus the lens node alignment (see video) aren't very critical.



Nov 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM
gordone
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p.11 #5 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Hi. I bought the BK-45 and tried it with a Canon 7D and a Canon 500 mm F4 IS II. The first thing I noticed is that the supplied lens plate has squishy rubber on it and no matter how hard I tighten it, there is still flex movement. The next thing I noticed is that the bevel tightener for attaching the mounting plate has play in it and even when fully tightened there is vertical movement. In fact there is enough play that the side of the lens almost hits the upper column. The distance between the side of the lens and the column has about 7 mm of horizontal play just from the slack in the bevel clamp. The next issue is when you tighten or loosen the top knob, there is enough slop in the bearing surface that the vertical arm swings in and out about 6mm off vertical. My conclusion is this product may work for small lenses but is not designed for anything serious. I disposed of it and ordered the Jobu Pro 2. The same rule seems to always hold true that the cheapest tool is the most expensive one. My gimbal head ended up costing $700 instead of $600 because I wasted $100 buying a BK-45


Feb 03, 2013 at 04:51 AM
wilco23
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p.11 #6 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


gordone,
Not only you. I have also wasted $100 too. After 2 weeks of usage, lower knob got jammed and cannot rotate the head anymore. 'cheap' and 'good' never go together.



Feb 03, 2013 at 05:22 AM
roboticspro
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p.11 #7 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Hi,

I'm still using mine for the lighter lenses (<5 lbs), but still rely on the big Jobu for the heavy stuff (400mm f2.8 and up to 800mm f5.6). For about $100.00, it fills a niche for me, but it is not a solution for everyone. As always...YMMV...

Regards,

Edd







Feb 03, 2013 at 04:34 PM
ToeTag
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p.11 #8 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


The OP was written in 2008 -- still the same decision, the same choice between gimbals exists. I did not find many other alternatives without going up significantly in price. I am sure the Wimberleys are really well made, superior products, and I appreciate that they are manufactured in the US.

There is a price for quality though. Instead of one of the top brands, I bought the cheap chinease [] alternative, the Beike BK-45 on the *Bay. It cost about 1/6 of the price of the WH200 @ a top NYC mail order outfit, B&H (BTW, I priced both on 2013.02.10). B&H carries the WH200 for $594.90 + free shipping in the US. I paid $97.00 with free shipping from some *Bay vendor, you can find a similar price pretty easily I'd guess, but it would pay to look elsewhere: just reading reviews to ease post purchase anxiety, I found it online for US$70.00 + ~$13.00 shipping, so a few dollars cheaper.

Part in hand, I mounted my trusty Nikkor 500mm 4.0 P with TC1.4 and set up to shoot the bird feeder from the living room (meh). I noticed immediately that I was getting too much movement at 1/60" to get a sharp photo. Is it the gimbal? I checked all lock knobs, they are tight, no noticeable movement. The lens is mounted on a 3" Arca Swiss type plate mounted on the foot of the 500, it shows no flex or movement and neither it nor the lens foot has never been an issue. I screwed the gimbal firmly to my (previously) trusty Gitzo GT2530EX. I believe the tripod flexes too much for the D3 + 500 4 P + gimbal combination, so the vibration would be the same issue with a much more expensive part: the tripod is just beyond its capacity to resist the torquing forces to remain stable. I'm confident the tripod would hold much more weight (*like my RB SD + 180mm + SD back or 8x10 Ansco with 19" brass lens.)

So the upshot is that the gimbal seems to be a good buy. The grippy coating probably also insulates the metal well. I would prefer large, rubber coated, round locking knobs for the 4 adjustments, but the two most commonly used knobs, to lock swing and rotate seem to work well (2" x 6 lobe and 1.5" x 5 lobe, respectively). The mount plate lock is round with a ribbed-rubber ring, and a pretty standard size. It works well. I take the most issue with the rise/fall lock knob (~1 3/8" x 2 lobe). This adjustment hold the camera + lens at a given height, bearing their entire weight, but it is bit hard to lock/unlock when you have to really apply enough clamping force to hold for certain. This is not a deal-breaker though.

Second real problem with the gimbal itself is mentioned in the OP: the distance to the center of the mount clamp from the swing arm -- about 58mm. This is a cm or two too small to mount my D3 (pro-level body) directly on the gimbal.

The BK45 seems like a pretty good effort, I imagine it will work as intended when I get my tripod issues sorted: looking at a Series 5 leg set, see if that works to kill the vibration. I think for the money it would be hard to beat.



Feb 11, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Mr.Lindy
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p.11 #9 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


I just bought my 2nd Wimberley Gimbal II head 7 days ago & received it 3 days ago.
Wife uses one Gimbal & I use the other.

Naturescapes.com is running a storewide 10% off discount for those who type LOYALTY in the discount code box.

The wife & I are very satisfied Wimberley gear owners & very happy Naturescapes customers too.



Feb 20, 2013 at 03:45 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Tony B
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p.11 #10 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


ToeTag wrote:
The OP was written in 2008 -- still the same decision, the same choice between gimbals exists. I did not find many other alternatives without going up significantly in price. I am sure the Wimberleys are really well made, superior products, and I appreciate that they are manufactured in the US.

There is a price for quality though. Instead of one of the top brands, I bought the cheap chinease [] alternative, the Beike BK-45 on the *Bay. It cost about 1/6 of the price of the WH200 @ a top NYC mail order outfit, B&H (BTW, I priced both
...Show more

+1. Great value. My wife was so impressed she purchased one for use with her scope as the Mandfrotto pistol grips (2) & ball head lost fine focus when tightening/locking on to shoot thru the scope with a P&S for bird ID purposes.



Mar 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Alistair1
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p.11 #11 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Apologies for digging up this old thread but I found it while searching the gimbal head topic and found it very useful so thought I would add my story for others revisiting this topic.

I use the old Nikon AFS 600mm on a D800e and this is a great lens but boy is it heavy. I purchased a "Nest" gimbal which looked great (same style as Wimerley but half the price) but after a few months of use I found it to be rather unstable and the locks did not work very well and the so-called arca swiss plates did not fit the rest of my arca swiss fittings.

So I recently purchased a Wimberley 2 and it certainly is a lot more stable and the locks really grip well for carrying the lens on its tripod.

But the biggest surprise I got was once the images taken using the Wimberley as support were loaded into Lightroom. They are visibly sharper. It is like a significant lens upgrade.

So in summary I did something I swore I would never do - I wasted my money on cheaper gear before buying the good stuff and ended up paying more than if I just got the good stuff in the first place!



Mar 12, 2014 at 07:46 AM
RickPerry
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p.11 #12 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Alistair,

I just went through a similar situation.

I recently bought a used WH-101 Wimberley Gimbal - when I received it I was dismayed by its size and weight. I immediately posted it on buy/sell in order to pick up something smaller and lighter. While waiting to sell it, I started to use it and also put it on my heavier tripod which seemed to match the heft of the Wimberly better than my lightweight travel tripod.

As I started to process the photos I realized that they were indeed sharper than previous shots on my old smaller and lighter gimbal setup.

I have withdrawn my sell post and have decided to keep it.

Yes, sometimes you do get what you pay for!




  DSLR-A900    300mm    f/8.0    1/640s    500 ISO    0.0 EV  









Mar 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM
ebiggs
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p.11 #13 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


I just ordered one from a "supposedly" USA dealer. Since I am a part time wildlife guy, this should work well for me.

Edited on Jun 24, 2014 at 09:34 PM · View previous versions



May 06, 2014 at 01:39 PM
wimberley
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p.11 #14 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Just to clarify some confusion about where products are made. Really Right Stuff products are made in San Luis Obispo, CA and our Wimberley products are made in Charlottesville Virginia. All of our parts that our products consist of come from the US and all products are assembled in our factory in Virginia.


Jun 24, 2014 at 07:33 PM
HarleyD
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p.11 #15 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Late to the party, but having owned one of these Beike BK45 gimbals for a few years, maybe I can help someone a little.

The price is proper. The other ones are ridiculously high priced. It does what it says it does, and is a fully functioning, smooth operating gimbal.

That said, it also has a couple of weaknesses.
-It is a little smaller, which can be good or bad, depending on your lens. Still big enough to hold my 600/4 Not a serious weakness.
-The knob that locks down the quick release plate is way too small. It can be difficult to tighten, and difficult to tell when tight. More than a few times, I have found the plate to gimbal connection loose, which risks dropping a lens and camera. This IS a serious weakness. They could fix it with a wing nut type knob like they already have on the vertical adjustment. A little larger diameter bolt would be good there, too. It wouldn't cost them more than a few cents to fix it.
- When you want to lock it in position, particularly locking the pan position, the gimbal turns a little as you tighten the screw. With a long lens, this can make it take more time to center the focus point on your subject. Not a serious fault, but it is a little irritating.

As I look at Jobu and Wimberley products when other photographers are using, they look really solid. I wish they weren't made of Unobtanium.

HD



Jul 15, 2014 at 12:15 AM
Bifurcator
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p.11 #16 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmvcui3m_a4




Aug 11, 2014 at 12:58 AM
Bifurcator
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p.11 #17 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


BTW, I'm still using the same one I bought back when I made this thread 2 years and 7 months ago. I use the head about 3 or 4 times a week and trek all over Japan with it, I use some really heavy 500 and 600mm f/5.0 APO lenses with it and I use some lightweight rigs on it as well. I use it on a monopod, and on a big 75 year old titanium Linhof. Pretty much i use this head for everything except the desk-pod I occasionally use instead while transferring files to my network server!

The bottom line: My copy is still performing identically to the day I got it. I dig this head! Nice!

$80 Sweet!



Aug 11, 2014 at 02:23 AM
Frogfish
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p.11 #18 · $99 or $500 Gimbal


Alistair1 wrote:
I use the old Nikon AFS 600mm on a D800e and this is a great lens but boy is it heavy. I purchased a "Nest" gimbal which looked great (same style as Wimerley but half the price) but after a few months of use I found it to be rather unstable and the locks did not work very well and the so-called arca swiss plates did not fit the rest of my arca swiss fittings.


I've quoted this post from Alistair because it comments on the gimbal I'm using now, the Nest (this is an upmarket HK brand).

I started off with a Beike, which I loved. However it doesn't have any safety locks on it so I moved onto another Chinese brand which did, that served me well and I could now dispense with the additional Black Rapid I had as redundancy on the Beike (and needed - twice).
However it was heavier than I wanted, I use all my gimbals on a monopod and can then easily sling the mono, gimbal and lens over my shoulder as I walk/hike a lot with this rig.
I saw the Nest gimbal in a mall in Shanghai, it is lighter, though a little bigger, than the Beike etc., mostly made of CF and the weight saving, whilst not enormous, is felt when hiking 10kms a day or more.
The Nest has been fantastic, I've had absolutely zero issues with it, no problem with the knobs at all, the locks work exactly as they are supposed to securing the lens to the gimbal.
The price was around $250 (give or take, I forget exactly) compared to the Beike (and peers) at $80-100 but it's worth it. A substantial saving over a Wimberley but still a high quality piece of kit.



Aug 11, 2014 at 02:45 AM
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