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Wimberly and 400 f/2.8- which are you using?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by RichNY, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. RichNY

    RichNY Guest

    I'm going back and forth between getting a full Wimberly vs. the Wimberly sidekick for use with my 400 f/2.8. I think that I'll probably still need to carry the Markins 20 ballhead for use with other lenses.

    The full Wimberly weighs 4lbs, the Sidekick/Markins20 at 2.6lbs.

    What are you using and are you happy with your choice?
  2. I use a full gimbal - very happy. It leaves the ballhead free for shooting a 2nd tripod or using a spotting scope for wildlife.

  3. I have the Wimberley II head and I love it. I do not think they recomend the sidekick for use with the 400 2.8. I use mine for a 600 lens and it is solid. Everything I have bought from Wimberley is first class.I have the head on top of a Gitzo Carbofiber Tripod and it is light. Wimberley has a test drive program, and also have some used, Tradins, and seconds. Give them a call. Good luck Ross
  4. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Many years ago I had a Pentax 400 ED-IF. I never got the most of that lens using a monopod, especially with the 2X converter.
    When I rebuilt my Nikkor system which included the Nikkor 400 2.8 AIS the Wimberly was one of the first things I bought to go with Nikkor's super telephoto's. The gimbal system/concept isnt perfect. However, for tracking action like birds in flight or even people walking while shooting an elevated postion the gimbal works like no other. I wouldnt think of using a side kick with my Big Super Telephoto's like the 400 2.8. Maby the side kick for 500 F4 but for lenses like the 400 2.8/ 600 4/ 800 5.6 the version 2 gimbal is the right choice. However, for static subjects like a bird on a fence pole or a mail box on a gravel road. I need to use mirror up everything locked down six ways to sunday to use shutter speeds in the 1/4-1/30 of a second range. In those instances I think a ball head is better. And than even than mirror up with cable release "taming" the vibration factor or wind/ mirror bounce/ shutter pressing needs to be considered.

  5. Pixelographer


    Dec 22, 2006
    I used the sidekick for the ultra-heavy 400/2.8 af-i and loved its action, simplicity for helping to capture BIFs - and "DILs" (deer in leap, see below) - but was always worried about the stress on both the ball head (Markins) and the lens mount, given that it was always on its side. Walked for hours on end with the 14lb monster plus D200 plus 1.7TC on a tripod over my shoulder with no problems at all. Now use the Wim II with the 400/2.8/af-s II (4.5 lbs lighter) and find the action just as quick, perhaps 'smoother'(?), and I'm not as concerned about the mount cracking due to stress.
    Indulgence - taken with sidekick and the 14 lb boat anchor:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  6. Hey Rich, got your email...sorry I was watching movies and couldn't respond. :biggrin:

    I guess it's what you shoot. Since you would rather sleep late than shoot birdies, I suspect the sidekick would be sufficient. I use the RRS BH-55 with Sidekick for my D3 and 400/2.8, and it's tons better than when I shot with the straight ball head. Is it "the best"? No. But I probably ain't ever going to sell the birdy shots I take, I just go for fun, practice, and socializing. So for me, the price difference and hassle of swapping heads (Colleen would whack me with something heavy if I bought a 2nd 5540) wasn't worth it.

    A guy I shoot with (a Canon shooter. no accounting for taste) did change from the SK to the full Wimberley head, due to ease and sureness of mounting. With the Sidekick, you need to hold the whole lens up and mount the foot sideways to the SK, while with the full head you just set it in and tighten. Therefore, the SK is a little more challenging to get the balance right. He had almost pitched his 1dMkII w/400/2.8 off a tower into the lake trying to mount it to the SK, and decided then and there to buy the whole deal.

    Will you have use for either, or will most of your shots with that nice, new VR baby be on the MH-01 and monopod?
  7. itsmike


    Mar 2, 2008
    Greenlawn NY

    That is an amazing shot!!!! :eek: :eek: 
  8. RichNY

    RichNY Guest

    I expect 90%+ will be on the MH-01 and monopod. You are welcome to leave the 2nd 5540 here and tell Colleen I'm lending it to you when you need to use it:wink: We can buy lots of extra gear with them thinking we are just being generous to each other if we take them out for a dinner every now and then with the 'savings' :biggrin:
  9. Holy!....that supercollider in Geneva has cracked the space/time continuum! It's only 7:42 AM and Rich is awake! :eek: 
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