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For me personally, and I well understand others will see it differently, reliability is worth way more to me than a $100
1) 600 F4 MkII
3) Wimberly GH II
4) Gitzo 5541LS
5) NO muscles
6) No steadiness in handholding
7) No less shaking even while on tripod
No improvement in shaking even supporting the lens with the Left hand below the barrel.
Sell the lenses and forget bird and wildlife photography
[/color]I did also return my 300mm 2.8 since that is just too much. I would prefer to wait until canon answers with a revised 100-400. Events and portraits still remain my main focus.If the 300 f/2.8 was too much, then I think the 1D X is probably going to be too much as well. The 1D features are really nice, but there are simple workarounds to most of them that can be done with the 5DIII. I think the 1D X is really for those needing one or more of the following: combat-ready build quality, 12 FPS (are you missing a lot of fast moving shots?), or are someone who uses big whites a lot and and would benefit from the higher votage drive for faster AF, or for someone who has pretty much all the other lenses and gear they need. If wildlife or fast motion things like sports aren't a priority, lenses and other gear are a better investment. The 5DIII is an amazing camera and the 1D X is better, but (other than the frame rate) not mind-blowingly better.
Those are good points. I just want to clarify that the 300mm felt large and was so expensive for what it was. I felt if I was going that route I would save for the 400 with extenders for next season. Lately i have been doing some indoor water polo at a high school and wanted better files to work with in the iso 3200-8000 range. Also when I am chasing the kids I felt the multiple mn buttuns that can be configured on the fly sounded beneficial such as being in one shot and being able to prog my dof to aiservo and the other the all focus points if the kids/animal just moved to quick to react.
Got it Neuro. For some reasons, I like flip more than twist.
Have you ever encounter flip locks gone bad? I have a much cheaper Oben tripod with flip, so far, it works excellent.
The flips are better than cheap twist locks (without anti rotation legs).
I've had the lever tension go loose - don't lose the Manfrotto clip-on wrench, or carry a spare.
No experience with dollies, sorry.
Do you know RRS makes carbon tripod with flip locks? I didn't see any on their site.
They don't. Having used both, I find twist locks faster and easier to use, particularly in cold weather. They're also easier to clean out after use in sand/mud/salt water.
That's a big chunky tripod Dylan!
I have a Gitzo 3 series mountaineer and a Gitzo 3 series Systematic (with additional center column - yet to be used). Center columns are handy but I have to agree with Neuro, if you extend them more than an inch or two stability suffers. They are fine for shorter lenses but at long focal lengths (300mm +) stability is everything!
Final decision, I will stay with the Wimberley II for now.
It's a great gimbal.My tripod will be home today: Can't wait to play with Geared Center Column feature.
Reading the product description, it lists the best part of the geared center column feature:
...you can unscrew the center-post collar, remove the center column, and attach the collar directly to the included low-angle adapter (through the chassis).
Raising a center column adds a lot of instability/vibration. Higher end tripods generally don't come with a center column at all. There are limited situations where the loss of stability might be a worthwhile trade off, such as when shooting a series of individual studio headshots of people, where you can quickly adjust height with a center column (I used an adjustable chair instead). But generally, I'm not a fan of a center column.
Hi Dylan, my experience to date.
2 x Wimberley 11 units
1 x RRS Pano
1 Jobu II
I've used the Wimberley units for several years, before that the version i units, can't fault them, they just keep working, smoothly & without fuss.
I bought the RRS Pano as I felt it would be a great replacement for the Wimberleys, and in some situations it is, on a Tripod, where you want to do Pano work etc, very smooth (better than the Wimberley), but I found in a vehicle (Safari) the Pano tends to load the weight to the side so vibration of the vehicle ensures the Pano head keeps slipping of vertical, not huge, but I've since gone back to the Wimberley units for Safari, RRS Pano for everything else.
I bought the Jobu as a lighter weight alternative to the above two heads, does the job, but I don't think it's in same Build quality area as either the Wimberley and certainly not the RRS, but it's cheaper, by a lot, tends to sit in the cupboard these days.
Sometimes, I wish I can go back to $99 P&S camera . Back in 2007(when I have no kids), you would NEVER-NEVER-NEVER be able talk me in spending $300 on a camera.
Now...nearly $1000 for a RRS Pano tripod head? Ummmmmm, I'm gonna need couple glasses of wine red.
I have to think about this elm58.
I live in CA, 92708. 30mins south of LAX. About 4hrs from SLO. I'm have little concern driving up there to try out their gimbal head, because I might end up with one of their carbon fiber tripod.
That's really very Funny Dylan, and almost guaranteed if you down those couple of Red Wines along the way.
What ever you do, Do NOT Download the RRS 2014 Catalogue.
I REALLY have to think about this Neuro. What is the smoothness on RRS? The knobs on RRS look solid.
Very smooth, the locks are solid.
IIRC, you're in LA/SoCal? If so, it might be worth you and your lens taking a drive up to SLO, the only place you can actually try RRS gear before you buy it.
Mounting the lens on side way could be an issue for me.
Yes, with the side-mount you need to support the weight of the lens with one hand until you can half-close the clamp, whereas the bottom mount takes the weight.
In my case, I figured that the lightest of my kids weighs more than the 1D X + 600 II, I hold them one-armed all the time without incident, and I value them far more than camera gear.
The lens just arrived from B&H. I currently have the lens my set at +12 on my 5Dmkiii. When the focus hits, I have never seen a lens so sharp. The color and contrast are soooo good. Here is a SOOC shot of my wife @1.4.