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Author Topic: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?  (Read 5887 times)

GuyF

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Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« on: June 23, 2013, 05:38:52 AM »
I'm considering a gimbal head for use with my Manfrotto 055CXPro3 tripod and wondered what the pros and cons were to the Wimberley Gimbal Head v2 and the Benro GH3.

From what I can see, the Benro is £170 cheaper, perhaps more flexible too in that it can be dismantled for storage and transport and it also has scale markers which could prove useful. It also appears that the Benro is made by Wimberley, see link:

http://digitaljournalofphotography.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/benro-launches-four-new-gimbal-heads.html

Initially it would be used with a 5D3 and 300mm f2.8 IS (sometimes with teleconverters too) for airshows and birds in flight but I'm wrestling with the idea of selling the 300 and getting the 500mm f4.

Any thoughts or advice would be welcomed.

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Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« on: June 23, 2013, 05:38:52 AM »

kaihp

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 11:32:35 AM »
I haven't used the Wimberley gimbals, but I purchased a Benro GH2 (and a CF tripod) specifically for use with a 400mm f/2.8L (MkI) and both gimbal and tripod has been working flawlessly.

GuyF

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 05:56:43 AM »
Thanks Kaihp, the Benro looks pretty good value for money.

InterMurph

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 07:05:14 AM »
I have this same tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 ball head.  I just bought the new Canon 200-400mm 1.4x extender lens, and I ended up getting the RRS full gimbal head (http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=PG-02-FG&type=3&eq=).  I also got some adapters so that I can quickly swap the BH-40 and gimbal head.

As always, RRS is an expensive option, but I love how the system works.

dhachey77

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 08:08:46 AM »
I bought the Induro GBH2, appears to be the same as the Benro, for a trip to Africa last year.  I used it with a 600mm V1 lens.  It balances perfectly with the 200-400, and probably other big whites.  My only complaint is the weight.  There are one new GH's out, so I may try a lighter weight one.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 09:09:58 AM »
...I ended up getting the RRS full gimbal head (http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=PG-02-FG&type=3&eq=).  I also got some adapters so that I can quickly swap the BH-40 and gimbal head.

As always, RRS is an expensive option, but I love how the system works.

+1.  I went with the RRS PG-02 LLR side gimbal for my 600 II (their recommendation).  I also have the BH-55 LR, and I use the leveling base with clamp and dovetails on the heads to easily swap them.  Although not needed for a ballhead, a leveling base is very useful with a gimbal head.
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RGF

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 09:18:40 AM »
I have been a wimberley user for years.   Never seen the Berno - from picture looks like the wimberley.   Only advice to avoid attachment like the side kick - attaching a large lens sideway is difficulty

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 09:18:40 AM »

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 09:26:01 AM »
I use all Jobu Design Gimbal heads and lens feet. I like their multiple sizes depending on application.
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dolina

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 09:45:06 AM »
Insure your camera if you get a Benro. Just my humble opinion.
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kaihp

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 10:03:35 AM »
Insure your camera if you get a Benro. Just my humble opinion.

Do you have any personal experience to back that up - what happened?

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2013, 10:09:30 AM »
If the Benro gimbal is built like their ballheads, I would stay away. I also wouldn't trust that you're going to get good service from Benro.

I had a Wimberley head break and it took a total of 4 days to get it repaired, and that even included crossing a border twice. They only charged me for shipping.
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GuyF

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2013, 10:23:16 AM »
Insure your camera if you get a Benro. Just my humble opinion.

Strange post to make without supporting evidence (no pun intended).

As it is, I'm insured up to the eyeballs (and never made a claim, ever!).

From what I've read, the Benro is near identical to the Wimberley. Indeed the link I originally posted suggests the Benro is made by Wimberley - perhaps maybe not now but even if they once did, it suggests a certain level of quality.

Further digging suggests the latest Benro GH3 has a tiny bit of slop in the connections compared to the non-dismantleable (is that a word?!?) GH2. I guess that's to be expected, fewer parts means more robust structure.

Thanks for all the views - I'll probably go for the Benro GH2 and the money saved over the Wimberley can go on hiring a 500mm f4 or the 200-400mm for an airshow!

CR - just saw your post on breaking Benros - if it broke within warranty I just send it back to the vendor (the sales contract is between me and the supplier i.e. the shop). Also, what were you doing to break the Wimberley?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2013, 10:28:14 AM »
Further digging suggests the latest Benro GH3 has a tiny bit of slop in the connections compared to the non-dismantleable (is that a word?!?) GH2. I guess that's to be expected, fewer parts means more robust structure.

Not necessarily.  My RRS gimbal is dismantleable, and exceptionally robust.
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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2013, 10:28:14 AM »

unfocused

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2013, 12:50:16 PM »
Looking back to a related discussion from a few years ago on this forum, I would conclude that the better low-cost alternative might be the Manfrotto 393, which is a different design but serves the same purpose. Anyone disagree?
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TexPhoto

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2013, 07:27:44 PM »
I highly recomend you consider the Wimberly Sidekick, or similar. 
http://www.tripodhead.com/products/sidekick-compatibility.cfm
The sidekick essentially converts your ballhead into a Gimbal Head.  A very high quality one at that. (Obviously you must have a high quality Ballhead to start)  With one huge advantage.  It takes about 10 seconds to install my sidekick, and when i remove it, there is my ballhead, ready to use.  Swappng a gimball head for a ball head would take minutes and yes you can just buy 2 sets of tripod legs, but are you really going to carry both in the field?

I've had mine for 3 years, use it with my 14lb 400mm IS 2.8, and have never felt like I needed more.
Shots seem to come out OK:

Surfer by RexPhoto91, on Flickr
400mm f2.8IS 2X III and 7D for a 1280mm equvalent...
Benro B-2 Ballhead + Wimberly sidekick on manfrotto legs.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 06:29:46 AM by TexPhoto »

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Re: Gimbal heads - Benro or Wimberley?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2013, 07:27:44 PM »