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Wingman Dec 23, 2011 3:36 PM

Flashpoint Gimball Head???
Anyone have a Flashpoint Gimball type head? They are priced considerably less than others on the market (Wembly, Jobu, etc). I have read some mixed reviews that say it is a good value, but that it lacks smoothness and fluidity in the operation. On the other hand, Pop. Photography rated it a best buy last year. I am looking to mount a Sigma 150-500 lens on it for use in aviation photography. Would like some accounts of user experience from anyone who owns or has used one.



Bob Nichol Dec 26, 2011 4:42 PM

What about the Manfrotto 393 for the Sigma 150-500mm. I have it mounted on a Manfrotto 681 monopod.

Wingman Dec 26, 2011 9:23 PM

Bob, I had looked at the Manfroto 393, but don't like the idea of the lens mount being above (i.e. the lens hanging from the mount). I'd much prefer that the weight of the lens and body rest on the foot of the mounting ring. For that same reason, I wouldn't get the gimball heads where the mount is on the side. I don'tknow for sure if there are any differences in stress points on the lens mounting foot when using an overhead or side mount.


Bob Nichol Dec 27, 2011 7:18 AM

I use the 393 with the foot down and it works just as well.

The tripod foot on a big tele is on a ring to allow rotation of the camera and lens assembly not to mention when you carry it by holding the foot, either upright or up side down, so any stresses would have been anticipated by the engineers.

Wingman Dec 27, 2011 10:11 AM

Bob, I did not realize that the Manfrotto 393 could be used to mount the lens with the foot below the lens (vs. above). Watched some videos on Utube and this seems a versatile option. A couple of questions for you?

1. How's the motion (i.e. smooth, fluid vs stiff)?
2. How's the overall balance of the camera/lens when mounted?

Thanks for the suggestion!


Bob Nichol Dec 27, 2011 10:32 AM

There are wing nuts on the pivots so you can make it a tight as you want. The kit includes a quick release plate to attach to the lens foot. This plate slides back and forth on the 393 to balance the camera/lens assembly to your taste. Once balanced you can lock it in place.

Bob Nichol Dec 27, 2011 10:56 AM

3 Attachment(s)
QR plate attached to the tripod foot on the lens.

View of 393 showing wing nuts and QR plate base.

Sigma 150-500mm attached to 393. There is a safety catch to prevent the QR plate from sliding out of the base.

Wingman Dec 27, 2011 11:11 AM

Thanks went to some trouble there to take some pictures of the set up! Will be looking at this instead of the Flashpoint. The reviews are largely very positive for the 393.

Thanks again! Jehan

Bob Nichol Dec 27, 2011 2:51 PM

No trouble at all.

Wingman Dec 27, 2011 5:00 PM

One last question Bob...does this come witht a QR plate or do I need to purchase one separately. The listings don't exactly say so.

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