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Old Feb 25, 2009, 3:34 AM   #1
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Hi All,

High 30's F here today for the first time in about 10 days, so grabbed the gear and went to the Nature Center to check out the feeders. I saw about 10 different Cardinals hanging around in the area.

I recently received a Wimberley Sidekick for a free 60 day Test Drive, so I set it up and started shooting, concentrating on the Cardinals. More on the Wimberley later.

Here's a Female. No TC, f7.1, 1/200, Ev +1.3, ISO 200:


There's a little motion blur, but what's cool about this shot is that it's a 100% crop (No PP or resizing) of the following shot, taken at @ 40 ft in jpeg ***:


Here's a male, also a 100% crop, No PP or resize. No TC, f 3.5, 1/500, Ev +.7, ISO 100:


Cropped from this shot:


These last two are 5x7 crops from the originals, sharpened a bit, and increased contrast to return the original Look
1/500, f3, ISO 100

Slightly PP'd to make it pop a little.


Oh yeah -- these last two were taken through a not-so-clean Thermalpane window from inside the NC.

I'm looking to get some practice for the coming next months. That's why I thought I'd get the Sidekick now, so I'd have some time to get use to it before the larger number of species started coming through. A cool thing about the trial is that you just use the gear as if it were your own, then after 60 days, you ship back any items that you didn't find worked for you, and keep the rest, Wimberley then bills you for what you keep. They are apparently generous about not charging for dings and scratches on returned merchandise, so you don't have to baby the gear. Once your account is charged, you start another 60 day period where you have a money back guarantee on the items that you have now paid for -- 120 days of no questions asked return for full purchase price.

Wimberley is not only a great company to deal with, but also was one of the first to make a head of this type. They're friendly, helpful, and knowedgeable. All promises make were kept, and the gear is straightforward to mount. This is a great system for larger lenses, and even after a full hour of constantly shooting, I wasn't getting tired.

I'd always seen the Sidekick as a wierd duck -- fits into a ballhead QR (A/S compatible), but using it, it's really a great design being the smallest and lightest of the gimbals -- easy to mount and set up, small enough to pack in the tripod bag. If you want to use the tripod for a smaller lens, you just remove the Sidekick.

It gives great controlability to a camera with a very heavy lens, and would be good down to the 70-200/2.8, 100-300/4 or 300/4.

Scott

Edited this morning for spelling -- Geeesh I must have been half asleep when I posted -- even spelled my name wrong. . .:angry:
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 4:24 AM   #2
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Great series, and that sidekick looks to do it's job.

I still don't have a lens weighing enough to buy me something like that.

Ronny
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 5:23 AM   #3
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Great shots Scot!!

Dawg
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 7:16 AM   #4
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Those are some great pix Scott!
I'm still debating weather to keep the 70-200 or return it and get the DA300.:P
how about a picture of the sidekick?

GW:bye:
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 2:40 PM   #5
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rhermans wrote:
Quote:
Great series, and that sidekick looks to do it's job.

I still don't have a lens weighing enough to buy me something like that.
Hi Ronny,

Thanks!

I've been putting off getting a good gimbal for quite a while, using my ballhead in "gimbal mode" as I described in a previous post. I must say that the Sidekick is a definite step up from that, but I must say that if I wasn't primarily using lenses with this kind of weight, I wouldn't spend the money for the gimbal. I still handhold the FA*300/4.5, even with the TCs, and really only use the tripod for the 300/2.8s.

It must be said that a gimbal is mainly for easy handling of really big lenses, and doesn't really give the absolutely most stable base for applications like long exposures.

Scott
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 2:42 PM   #6
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bigdawg wrote:
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Great shots Scot!!

Dawg
Hi Dawg,

Thanks! Now that it seems to be warming up some, I should be able to get out and shoot some more. It seems like I've pretty much been cooped up for forever!

Scott
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 2:53 PM   #7
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Goldwinger wrote:
Quote:
Those are some great pix Scott!
I'm still debating weather to keep the 70-200 or return it and get the DA300.:P
how about a picture of the sidekick?

GW:bye:
Hi GW,

Thanks!

I have the Tokina 80-200/2.8 AT-X Pro AF2 (a slight step down from the IQ you can get with your Sigma), and find it a great range for a zoo lens and very good for longer range candids of people, but it doesn't get nearly as much use as my FA*300/4.5. I'm not very mainstream in my use of lenses, so take that for what it's worth. I actually use my MF Tamron SP 80-200/2.8 A2 with the 1.7x AFA (136-340 f4.8 ) more -- it's sharper and better suited to use with a TC than the Tokina.

I'll get some pics of the FA*300/2.8 and the Sidekick and post them in another thread.

Scott
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