Telephoto lens support assistance needed

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Hi guys, When my heaviest setup was a D90 and the 70-300mm lens, I got a Manfrotto tripod with the old Manfrotto 222 joystick (which I love). Now that I'm sometimes using an 80-400mm with my D750, I need a stronger support for my tripod. B&H suggested the 393 393 Gimbal head as the least expensive choice, but reviews indicate it's heavy. Yes, money is an object! Any recommendations from a similar item that's not a million dollars, or is that the best bet? Any info is greatly appreciated.
 
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I had the 80-400.
This head held up the 80-400 and a D7100 with grip easily.
Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ6 XPRO
Thanks for the link, Zeke. Is the camera/lens stable on a ball head?
Both, but it depends on what you're doing with the lens.
Gimbal for wildlife, ball for LS
Thanks for the reply, Ken and Randy. I tend to shoot smaller critters. The joystick was wonderful because you can quickly make minor adjustments.
 
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Thanks for the link, Zeke. Is the camera/lens stable on a ball head?


Thanks for the reply, Ken and Randy. I tend to shoot smaller critters. The joystick was wonderful because you can quickly make minor adjustments.
The head is rated for 33 pounds. I put it on a set of legs rated for 40 pounds.
The D7100/80-400 setup is nowhere near the limit of the head/tripod combo.
It's extremely stable.
 
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Weight capacity should not be an issue as that combo is light and most heads will have no problem. I think the main question you should ask is what do you shoot more, wildlife or LS. If it's 50/50 I'd go gimbal because a gimbal is better at LS than a ball is at wildlife, imo
 
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Thanks again for all this good info. One more question: I still have the original collar on the lens. Is it advisable to upgrade; and if so, which do you suggest? I know the attachment thingy is small on the Nikon one.
 
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dossy, for your needs I highly recommend the ball head I have. Acratech GV2 Video Review. Most ballheads when you "flop" them to a vertical are not guaranteed to be at 90 degrees, this was is. Just for grins I have used my 400 f2.8, 11lbs of lens, on this in the gimbal position and I was amazed it stayed stable. Simple to use, light and built like a brick. Here is another video of the Acratech GP ballhead, notice the lens used. This video also explains the pin that ensures a 90 degree angle on the gimbal. If you use one of these, you don't need to add something like a Wimberly Sidekick if you also want to use a lightweight gimbal.

My recommendation to you is for you to contact Acratech directly and ask their advice as well. At times they may also have factory seconds, slightly marred finish, or products that have come back from a pro for an upgrade that you can get at discount. Mostly they are just super folks to speak with.

I have no affiliation with them other than being a very happy customer. I first saw these ballheads when I took a class with Ron Reznick, WAY back in the dim dark past. He was testing a prototype for them.
 
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Thanks again for all this good info. One more question: I still have the original collar on the lens. Is it advisable to upgrade; and if so, which do you suggest? I know the attachment thingy is small on the Nikon one.
I did but then I heard the stock collar is not bad so I'd try it 1st. If you go with an Arca Swiss connection you will need a plate (about $60) to go on the lens foot so it will connect to the arca swiss head (ball or gimbal)
 
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a used ball head like one of the RRS smaller ones (bh-30 maybe) and a used wimberly sidekick would give you both (the sidekick needs the ball head to work)
What's your budget ?
 
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dossy, for your needs I highly recommend the ball head I have. Acratech GV2 Video Review. Most ballheads when you "flop" them to a vertical are not guaranteed to be at 90 degrees, this was is. Just for grins I have used my 400 f2.8, 11lbs of lens, on this in the gimbal position and I was amazed it stayed stable. Simple to use, light and built like a brick. Here is another video of the Acratech GP ballhead, notice the lens used. This video also explains the pin that ensures a 90 degree angle on the gimbal. If you use one of these, you don't need to add something like a Wimberly Sidekick if you also want to use a lightweight gimbal.

My recommendation to you is for you to contact Acratech directly and ask their advice as well. At times they may also have factory seconds, slightly marred finish, or products that have come back from a pro for an upgrade that you can get at discount. Mostly they are just super folks to speak with.

I have no affiliation with them other than being a very happy customer. I first saw these ballheads when I took a class with Ron Reznick, WAY back in the dim dark past. He was testing a prototype for them.
Bill, I've been looking at these on the B&H site. It seems there are several versions. This looks like a really good product.
a used ball head like one of the RRS smaller ones (bh-30 maybe) and a used wimberly sidekick would give you both (the sidekick needs the ball head to work)
What's your budget ?
If it's a good solution, probably a few hundred give or take.
 
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Bill, I've been looking at these on the B&H site. It seems there are several versions. This looks like a really good product.

If it's a good solution, probably a few hundred give or take.
Best thing to do is to give them a direct call, they can steer you in the right direction. Your budget fits.
 
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mrdale

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Thanks again for all this good info. One more question: I still have the original collar on the lens. Is it advisable to upgrade; and if so, which do you suggest? I know the attachment thingy is small on the Nikon one.
I don't have this lens anymore but used the replacement collar/foot from Kirk /www.kirkphoto.com/lens-mounting/nikon-auto-focus/80-400mm-f-4-5-5-6-d-vr/lens-collar-for-nikon-80-400mm-f-4-5-5-6-afs-vr.html
Really Right also has one but I prefer the Kirk, its cheaper and offers more support. RRS - Lens collar foot package
 
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Thank you again for all the good information. I have a tendency to overthink everything. Right now I'm just handholding my 80-400, and I keep the neck strap screwed into the bottom of the collar foot. I can walk for hours that way. Where do you keep the strap when you're using the foot for the tripod? I know the lens is too heavy to carry it attached to the camera body.
 

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