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Thread: Tripod heads

  1. #1

    Default Tripod heads

    I think I may already know the answer to this, but always looking for alternatives.

    I'm about to buy a 500 f4 IS USM coupled to a Canon 7D lens and need to change tripod heads to suit. Now It seems most, if not all folk buy the Wimberly tripod head for long FL lenses, but it's not cheap and as far as I know not available in Oz. Not wishing to skimp too much on a tripod head if there is no alternative, but is there an easily obtainable head available from Oz that would be as good ?

    Currently using the Manfrotto 488RC2 Ballhead on top of the Manfrotto 055MF4 Mag Fibre tripod {crappy ballhead } At this stage I wish to save a little money and retain the Mag Fibre legs as I really cant stretch the budget to buy a whole new leg setup, and the 055MF4 legs are almost new anyway and a little weight saving would be a bonus.

    So, honest opinion is there another suitable tripod head available in OZ aside from the Wimberly purchased from the USA that I can couple to my current legs...and if I have to buy the Wimberly from the USA { B&H} head will it suitably mount on my current Mag Fibre legs.

    { yes....I'm buying a Canon kit on top of my Nikon gear due to Nikons absurd prices....did I mention absurd !}
    Repost at will......Cheers from Colin

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tripod heads

    How about a manfrotto 383 Head Colin ... -2993.html
    I have one, bit bulky but for the price it is by far the best value for money around, has never let me down. I think Dave Stowe has a Mongoose head, there are also people out there who have wimberly knock offfs from ebay and have been more than happy with them, although i have heard of a 600/4 meeting an untimely death when one of these heads snapped.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tripod heads

    Thanks Dan, will look further into this...just need some pointing in the right direction. Found a Wimberly head in Oz, but at $900.00 + plate is a little unnerving
    Repost at will......Cheers from Colin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default Re: Tripod heads

    Hi seesee. I bought a Mongoose M3.5a from Arthur Morris (Birds As Art) in the US mid last year (don't remind me of the terrible timing of the dollar back then ). I went this instead of the Wimberley for two reasons:
    1. price. Still not cheap at almost $500US but cheaper than the wimberley by at least a couple of hundred dollars.
    2. Weight. The 500mm f4 is not a light bit of gear and I'm not a massive guy so saving weight was a big factor for me (which is also why i bought a Gitzo 3530LS carbon fibre tripod too). can't remember the weight difference between them off the top of my head but it is significant.
    I now LOVE my rig and can't believe I didn't do it sooner. Weight of the whole rig (without camera of course) is next to nothing and it works a treat.

    Negatives: the locking knobs are too small and don't actually lock the head off totally - unlike the Wimberley. I think perhaps the wimberley is slightly smoother but i haven't really had a good play with one to be honest.

    I still think i have made the right choice for my needs though. I would have no dramas buying from those guys in the US either.
    Cheers, Dave WORKSHOPS -

    Aus Life List IOC= 690 - Aleutian Tern
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Tripod heads

    I wouldn't compromise on tripod heads, I did and it ended up costing in the long run. I've got an Arca Swiss B1 and use it with my 500 mm f4.5. Works really well. Now the price of them in Oz is crazy, so I would suggest a BH-55 from Really Right Stuff: ... =0&Tp=&Bc=

    A BH-55 with the Pro-II clamp (screw tightened) is $US415 postage is quoted at $US45, being under $1000 it should come in duty free, that will be about $500 Aus +- depending on what your card slugs on the exchange rate etc. I ordered a replacement clamp from them for my B1 and it arrived less than 7 days later, really good to deal with.

    It'll run rings around the Manfrotto head, stick it on your 055 legs till you save for a carbon fibre set. Not a Wimberley style but you can use it for other things as well as your 500mm. If find my 500mm f4.5 perfectly usable with a ballhead.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Bracken Ridge Brisbane
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    Default Re: Tripod heads

    Yeah, the BH-55 is good from RRS. I use it with a wimberley sidekick for the big glass and have it on a benro tripod. Pretty solid. None of this gear is cheap but there is no way out of that.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Tripod heads

    Cheers for the tips.....I've decided not to comprimise on a head and bought the Wimberly Version 11, might try this on my Manfrotto Mag Fibre and make a descision on legs depending on how it goes with my current leg set before spending bigger bucks.
    Repost at will......Cheers from Colin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Basin View NSW 2540
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    Default Re: Tripod heads


    An answer to your question about tripod heads available in Australia (I know this is a bit late but I thought you may be interested anyway).
    Believe me, there is NOTHING like a Miller fluid head for easily manipulating big heavy telephoto lenses. Miller heads come in a range of sizes and new ones are very expensive. Their main use is for television cameras. Older models are what to look for and on the second hand market you can buy a Miller wooden (= indestructible) tripod complete with head for less than $500. The Senior F was one of the best model heads . I currently have seven tripods - three Miller, two Manfrotto, two Linhof. I've also had Gitzo, Benbo and others I'd rather forget. I've tried the Wimberley and other gimbal style units but believe me, nothing beats a Miller. There is a downside - they are not readily available and they are quite heavy. Good tripods usually are.


    Graeme Chapman

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