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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,847
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: What zoom to buy?

[ Edited ]

A "gimbal" head has an arm which allows a camera to be mounted so that it is neutrally balanced.  Instead of the pivot axis being below the camera, it's actually roughly along the center-line of the lens.  The camera mount plate is attached to a platform that can slide up or down on that arm, and the camera can slide forward or backward along the plate.  This allows you to mount the camera so that it is neither nose-heavy nor tail-heavy and the up-down height allows you to adjust it so that just as much weight is above the pivot axis as below the pivot axis.

 

Because of this, you don't actually have to snug the gimbal clutches...  you can literally swing the camera (like a tail-gunner) and "let go" and the camera will just stay in the position it was in when you released it.

 

It's an excellent mount for when you have to "track" a moving subject from a stationary tripod BECAUSE the clutches don't need to be snugged down.

 

But there is one flaw... it doesn't allow the camera to tip side-to-side -- so if you want to rotate the camera into a vertical orientation, you can't do necessarily do that.  The exception is that LONG camera lenses tend to have their own tripod-mounting collar and the lens actually can rotate in that collar.  That means you attach the lens to the mounting plate instead of the camera body and you can rotate the camera for vertical orientation.  A short lens doesn't have a mounting collar... so no dice (they do make special mounting brackets for this.)

 

When you use a ballhead, you release the clutch on the ball and you can literally point the camera anywhere you want and in any orientation you want.  Snug it down and you're ready to shoot.  It's the fastest and easiest adjustment method and preferred by photographers BUT not designed for tracking subjects because it's not solid until you snug it down (the one exception is that the mounting head itself usually has a seperate rotation at the base so if you plan to keep it level then you can rotate it in azimuth.

 

I have a couple of ballheads and a gimbal head.  The ballheads get FAR MORE USE than the gimbal head.

 

EDIT:  I see Wadizzle posted photos.  I happen to own the very gimbal head pictured in that photo (it's made by Induro Gear.)

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Posts: 60
Registered: ‎11-16-2015

Re: What zoom to buy?

[ Edited ]

Norm, You need to read this carefully.

This all depends on how good you want your photos to be.  You are spending a lot of money to settle for so-so photos.  Cameras do not take pictures.  Photographers do.  The best way to learn is by experience.  But a less expensive way is to listen to people that have actually done this.  And this guy says a trigger is a waste of time and money.  Good pictures require a good photographer.  If you want a remote, triggered, set up go buy a game trail camera.  Or perhaps you could set up your iphone out there!  So which will it be?

 

I've been listening and making notes, so your advice and that of the other pundits has not been totally wasted. Coming from a novice, I really don't see that the remote trigger has anything to do with quality. Just a matter of pressing the shutter on the camera or pressing it on the remote. The remote just means that I can concentrate on the scene and not move my eyes and hands to the camera.

 

If you are satisfied with the way it performs right out of the box, you don't need the dock.  If you want the utmost IQ, you may need it.  Make sense?

 

Makes sense for an experience user, but not for a novice. Later, if I become an experienced user, then I can use advanced features that give me better quality.

 

A gimbal head, which is best for big tele's is not the only way to go.  A gimbal head doesn't work well with short lenses.  If you don't care, just get the gimbal head and forget it.  Otherwise, a ball head can do either long or short lenses.  You will be giving up a lot of potential use you can get from such a nice tripod.  I use a Manfrotto 501 head on my big 3046. I use a gimbal head on the 55 Pro.

 

With your advice and that of one of your colleagues, I selected the ball head.

 

The really great thing about DSLR gear is, you can make it what you want.  I don't know what your goal is in photos.  I would surely assume you want better than the squirrel.  Correct?

 

Immediatel goal is to experiment with photos of the backyard bird feeder. After that ... who knows?

 

Norm

 

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Posts: 60
Registered: ‎11-16-2015

Re: What zoom to buy?

Thank you for your very complete explanation of the different features of the gimbal and ball heads. Since at the beginning I will be shooting to a fixed feeder station at 64', which requires only changes in elevation from top to bottom and in between, and in the spring shooting, in addition, to a closer hummingbird station about 30' away, but near the line of sight to the 64' station, it seems that the ball head is the one to buy now.

 

If I decide to take the tripod to the Jersey coastal flyway in May when the birds head north, then the gimbal head would seem appropriate to catch the birds in flight. I could buy that head in the spring.

 

Norm

 

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Re: What zoom to buy?

"Just a matter of pressing the shutter on the camera or pressing it on the remote. The remote just means that I can concentrate on the scene and not move my eyes and hands to the camera."

 

" "Cameras do not take pictures.  Photographers do.  The best way to learn is by experience.  But a less expensive way is to listen to people that have actually done this.  And this guy says a trigger is a waste of time and money." "

 

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Posts: 60
Registered: ‎11-16-2015

Re: What zoom to buy?

Now that I've acquired a bit of knowledge from the forum pundits (and felt some of their slings and arrows), my current plan is as follows:

 

Buy the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens and the Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Hydrostatic Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release and use them with my T3i. Consider this a training mission. Put this gear through all the camera permutations to experience the IQ results. Then, buy and substitute the 7D Mk ii for the T3i. Compare the difference.

 

A good plan?

 

Norm

 

 

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Posts: 5,552
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: What zoom to buy?


@Norm53 wrote:

Now that I've acquired a bit of knowledge from the forum pundits (and felt some of their slings and arrows), my current plan is as follows:

 

Buy the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens and the Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Hydrostatic Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release and use them with my T3i. Consider this a training mission. Put this gear through all the camera permutations to experience the IQ results. Then, buy and substitute the 7D Mk ii for the T3i. Compare the difference.

 

A good plan?

 

Norm

 


I guess the only caveat is that if you have any focusing issues with the Sigma, you may have to spring for their dock, since your T3i doesn't have autofocus microadjustment (which the 7D2 does).

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Re: What zoom to buy?

In an effort to save you some money and since you are in leaning mode, that sounds good to me.  Remember it is always the lens that makes the biggest difference.  Not the camera.

 

However, if you are solely just getting the big Siggy zoom, you may want the gimbal head.  Those two are made for one another.  If you do get the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens later, you cn always get a ball head.  Feel it out first.  Like you said you may never want to use the tripod with the smaller lens.  With that big lens, a gimbal head is by far the best choice.

 

It is always about the choices!

 

A word to the wise if you do decide to get the ball head, never, never mount it to the camera with that big lens attached. Always attach it to the lens.  That big lens will quickly snap the plactic lens mount right out of a T3i if you do.

 

One other point that has gone by the way side is a post editor.  You are going to need one.  I recommend Photoshop Elements. You got a free editor with the camera.  It is OK for starters but pretty limited on its ability to edit.  You are going to shoot RAW?  Correct?  And editor is a mandatory requirement.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Posts: 10,399
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: What zoom to buy?

[ Edited ]

@Norm53 wrote:

If you purchase a ball head, be sure to purchase a fairly robust one.  Less robust heads have a tendency to shift slightly when you fully tighten the ball.

 

Thanks for saving me some reseach time. How about the head below. Robust enough?

 

Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Hydrostatic Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release

 

 

Norm

 

PS. I sometimes receive this error message: "Your post has been changed because invalid HTML was found in the message body. The invalid HTML has been removed. Please review the message and submit the message when you are satisfied."

 

S/w then clears the problem, but I don't know exactly what I'm doing wrong.


Manfrotto makes very durable tripods.  I am not a fan of their heads for one basic reason.  Manfrotto makes too many different QR, quick release, plates, and almost none of them are Arca-Swiss compatible, or with one another.  All of the images of the tripod heads that I posted use Arca-Swiss compatible QR plates. 

 

If you buy a Manfrotto head, and later decide to buy a better, then you will likely have to re-invest in QR plates.  I have two tripods, one heavy duty and one more totable.  I have four quick release plates, which are mounted on two cameras and two lenses.  I can put any lens or camera onto either tripod.

 

Just keep in mind that tripod/head kits always compromise on something, unless you spend top dollars.  If I had too choose a Manfrotto kit, I would look for one with a magnesium head, which had a friction control.

 

Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod with 054 Q5 Magnesium Ball Head Kit

 

[EDIT]  The above tripod kit can also be purchased with accessories from some vendors.  Accessories include a bag, a spare QR plate, a carrying strap, and leg weights.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎11-16-2015

Re: What zoom to buy?

I guess the only caveat is that if you have any focusing issues with the Sigma, you may have to spring for their dock, since your T3i doesn't have autofocus microadjustment (which the 7D2 does).

 

Suppose I buy the dock with the lens to be on the safe side?

 

Norm

 

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎11-16-2015

Re: What zoom to buy?

One other point that has gone by the way side is a post editor.  You are going to need one.  I recommend Photoshop Elements. You got a free editor with the camera.  It is OK for starters but pretty limited on its ability to edit.  You are going to shoot RAW?  Correct?  And editor is a mandatory requirement.

 

For the experience, I will shoot in all modes, including raw and raw+jpg. Although I have Corel Paint Shop Pro, it would be best if I used an editor that most people here use, so that when I run into problems, they can help me out. Which one is that?

 

Norm

 

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