« on: May 22, 2013, 04:17:42 PM »
Seemed like an appropriate thread in which to ask this....
Acratech GP owners - what is the heaviest weight you would be comfortable using in the gimbal position? I plan to use a C6 telescope on it for views of the the moon and planets during public stargazes. The scope weighs in at 10-11 lbs and the center of gravity is farther from the ball than a camera/lens combo would be, but the ballhead does not seem to be straining with the weight. It's a featherweight ballhead but I think that may be deceptive.
I have found the gimbal works fine with the 300 f2.8 IS and 1 series cameras, so up to 10lbs, once I put the TC on the balance goes a bit and it gets sticky, the weight is fine and I have no concerns about breakage, but the smoothness of the panning action, which is the entire point of the gimbal feature, starts to falloff around the 10lb mark.
I must point out to anybody reading this, my combo is well above the weight of the suggested lens used (the 100-400 sized lens) in the gimbal feature. As a regular ballhead it will support substantially more and lock solidly in any orientation.
+1 The GP is quite rugged. Like PBD says, when the weight goes too far off axis, the panning is not so smooth. To counteract this, I picked up a Jobu Micro Gimbal Ball head Adapter. It is essentially the same thing as a Wimberley Sidekick, only for far less money. It will keep the weight better centered, allowing for smoother panning. The needle bearing on the Jobu for vertical movement is smooth as silk and locks. Since I have purchased a larger Gitzo with a Markins Q-10 on top, that is the rig I use the gimbal on now, but it may work well for your situation. If you are going to use that heavy setup very often, you would probably be better off getting a more heavy duty ball head. I would still recommend the Jobu Gimbal though.