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Old Apr 24, 2009, 2:44 PM   #11
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Just been away to pick up my "like new" (never used) Pentax Rear Converter A 1.4X-L. Bought it on an auction site, and the seller happened to live pretty close so I went there in person.

So now I'll start to save up for the rest...

Kjell
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 3:59 PM   #12
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Goldwinger wrote:
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Hey Scott,

I am curious of the advantages of the Wimberley (operation wise) over a good pan tilt swivel head?
Hi GW,

The gimbal makes positioning the camera with a heavy lens effortless, with balance as the key. With an appropriate plate, you could balance a camera/lens combo front-to-back on a P/T/S or ballhead, but in any position other than straight horizontal, it would be out of balance because it pivots around the center of the tilt pivot of the PTS head or the center of the ball, both of which will be below the center of gravity for the cam/lens combo -- so in any position where it's not in balance, you'd have to work against some weight, using friction in the pivot to control the motion. With very long FL lenses, the field of view is very small -- only a few degrees at most, so any adjustments for framing involve very tiny movements. With a gimbal, this is virtually effortless since you're not working against any perceived weight, and since the system is in balance, the camera does not need to be locked down to be stable -- move it into any position, and it just stays -- due to inertia and the minimal friction in the bearings of the arm. I add a tiny bit of tension on the arm pivot and panning knob on the ballhead to eliminate excess play, and I don't have to lock down either to take the shot.

Last year, I used a ballhead in faux-gimbal mode, and it was effective, but I couldn't help feeling that too much stress was being placed on the ball. Here's a post describing this. . .

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...00&forum_id=80

Once I decided to go for broke and got the FA*300/2.8, I also felt that it deserved a top line support system, so started really looking into the gimbals -- Manfrotto 393, Wimberley Sidekick or Full Gimbal head, Jobu Black Widow LW MkII, Kirk King Cobra, Acratech (kind of) and the Indian knock offs.

I eliminated the Indian knock offs -- they are probably good, and are definitely priced well, but they were the only ones where ultimate quality was a ?, and with the current economic situation, I decided that buying American was a good move, so I was left with Kirk, Wimberley, and Acratech.

The Acratech GV2 is a ballhead that's specially reinforced to be used as a faux gimbal, but is over $100 more than the Sidekick, but very versatile since I wouldn't need another ballhead to shoot shorter. The Kirk King Cobra is $200 more than the Sidekick, weighs over 3 lbs, and I'd need to carry a ballhead in addition to the gimbal.
The Wimberley Head II is $350 more, over 3 lbs, and I'd have to carry a ballhead in addition.

BTW, the Manfrotto, which is the best priced gimbal by far, is over 3 lbs, significantly bigger to store and carry, I'd need an additional ballhead, and is not made in the USA. The Jobu Black Widow LW MkII is a bit under 2 lbs, I'd have to carry a ballhead, is made in Canada, and is about $80 USD more -- this would have been my second choice.

After contacting all the mfgs, I was most comfortable with CS at Wimberley, though all the mfgs are go-out-of-their-way helpful -- Wimberley's 90 day free trial, in addition to the 60 day return privileges, more compact and lightweight design, company reputation, and lower price for a more versatile product (for me) made the final decision pretty easy. After getting it, I also found that by tilting the gimbal arm back, I could position the cam to shoot straight up, which is not possible with any of the other gimbal alternatives (the cam body bumps into the gimbal base or the tripod).

With a bit of practice, I can pretty consistantly get results like this at 510mm and 1/100 sec which continues to amaze me:

Scott
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 4:11 PM   #13
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bilybianca wrote:
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Just been away to pick up my "like new" (never used) Pentax Rear Converter A 1.4X-L. Bought it on an auction site, and the seller happened to live pretty close so I went there in person.

So now I'll start to save up for the rest...
Hi Kjell,

Congrats on the TC!!

I've resisted getting one of these, but am now in the market -- to see if I might be able to squeeze a little better IQ out of my stacked TC combo. Both the Tamron F and the Sigma APO 1.4s are very good, and having AF will still have their use by themselves, but I have a feeling that the Pentax Rear Converter A 1.4X-L will be just a bit better, and will AF with the 1.7x AFA.

I don't even want to know how much you paid. . . -- especially if the deal was anything like most of your previous purchases. . .:-)

Scott
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 5:21 PM   #14
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Thanks Scott,
now I understand and you have me sold!
Now... all I need is some way to come up with about 10 grand to get the 300-800mm lens I want and the gimbal mount!:? :G
GW:bye:
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 9:47 AM   #15
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Hey Scott,

Well done on the explanation of the setup. You areusing the P30 plate, correct?

I've used the Sidekick before when testing out the FA* 250-600/5.6 - it worked fairly well, although the tripod being used was questionable. This is definitely the cheaper yet excellent option for the full Gimbal setup.NOTE: certain ballheads are not recommended with the Sidekicksetup. Check Wimberley's site for details.

Where did you get the hotshoe adapter for the Tasco Red Dot sight and which model are you using?

I do not wish to highjack the thread but Wimberley was kind enough to send me a couple of Plamps for the macro class and field trip I lead on Saturday. I noticed that all of the Wimberley product pamphlets were gone when the students departed. Disclaimer: I am a Wimberley Professional Services member - I was buying their products before that unsolicited invite came through to join them.It is not advertised on their site, since it isinvite only.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 3:25 PM   #16
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Marc Langille wrote:
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Hey Scott,

Well done on the explanation of the setup. You are¬*using the P30 plate, correct?



Where did you get the hotshoe adapter for the Tasco Red Dot sight and which model are you using?
Hi Marc,

Yes, I have the P30 plate for the FA*300/2.8, and a P20 for the Sigma EX 300/2.8 APO.

The hotshoe adapter for the sight is an "Xtend-a-sight" from Photosolve. I had originally gotten it for BIF shots with the FZ30 because the EVF lag made it virtually impossible to get these types of shots with this camera. It's @ $25 USD, but very well made (of aluminum) and is precise enough of a fit that the sight doesn't have to be adjusted every time it's mounted. It has both 3/8" and 1/4" rails, so it will work with either .22 or centerfire type sights.

For those not familiar with this application, the sight acts as an unmaginfied spotting scope for the camera. I've sighted it in at about 50', and it will allow me to get my subject in the viewfinder from any distance the lens will focus to. I also have a Daisy RDS, which is more compact, cheaper, and lighter, but with the Wimberley, I don't have to worry much about the weight.

http://www.photosolve.com/main/produ...ght/index.html

Photosolve is a good company to deal with -- good communication and service. They have quite a few neat and unique photo accessories.

Scott
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 4:17 PM   #17
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snostorm wrote:
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I don't even want to know how much you paid. . . -- especially if the deal was anything like most of your previous purchases. . .:-)
Nah, you can sleep tight, this was a normal buy... 146 USD according to the FX Currencty Converter.

A guy in town is trying to sell one for 470 USD. Pathetic, if you ask me. He also tries to sell an AF Converter X1.7 for 556 USD. :shock: The ad has beenup for two months now, seemingly he's still hoping.

(hrm, what did I pay for mine... oh, remember now - I got paid for taking it together withthat FA28mm and F70-210...:G)

A final question: what does your setup weigh (excluding the camera and lens)?


Kjell

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Old Apr 27, 2009, 5:44 PM   #18
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bilybianca wrote:
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Nah, you can sleep tight, this was a normal buy... 146 USD according to the FX Currencty Converter.

A guy in town is trying to sell one for 470 USD. Pathetic, if you ask me. He also tries to sell an AF Converter X1.7 for 556 USD. :shock:¬* The ad has been¬*up for two months now, seemingly he's still hoping.¬*

(hrm, what did I pay for mine... oh, remember now - I got paid for taking it together with¬*that FA¬*28mm and F70-210...¬*:G)

A final question: what does your setup weigh (excluding the camera and lens)?
Hi Kjell,

A very good price still!

I still can't come close to matching your deal on the AFA, but I've got two, and they averaged about 1/3 the current going price, so I'm not complaining. :-)

The legs weigh about 4.1 lbs, the ballhead is about 1.4 lbs, and the Sidekick is about 1.3 lbs for a total of 6.8 lbs or 3.08 kg. Not really that heavy considering that each of the components is rated at over 22 lbs and the K20 + FA*300/2.8 is less than half of this weight. I can cut the weight if needed by substituting a set of B&L Advanced Titanium legs (1 kg) that I have, but they're not nearly as tall or stable, and don't dampen vibration as well.

Scott
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