Induro GHB 2 Gimbal Head, GHB2
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When using very long, heavy telephoto lenses for sports or bird/nature photography, standard panheads and ballheads aren?t the optimum solution. The Induro GHB2 Professional Gimbal head is designed to make vertical and horizontal tracking of fast moving objects quick and easy. It?s the ideal choice for serious photographers. Balancing a camera/lens system by positioning the equipment at it?s centre of gravity makes it essentially ?weightless,? allowing your equipment to stay in place - at any angle or position - without needing to be ?locked down.? This provides a level of control, and freedom of movement not possible with any other support system. Of course, if you wish to fix the horizontal or vertical position, oversize lock knobs make it easy - even with gloves. The GHB2?s convenient calibrated vertical scale and height adjustable lens platform makes it easy to consistently position your camera/lens combination at the right position for repeatable results and perfect balance. The GHB2 head has a 3/8?16 thread base mount and includes an Arca-Swiss compatible Quick Release Plate.
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Edit: My first day out birding and all seems Okay. Even the vertical axis drag was not too much of a bother for stationary targets. Birds in
flight remains a concern however. Stay tuned. BTW here's a way to attach your camera body to the gimbal, I just ordered one. Desmond
120mm Nodal Slide DNR-120 Dual Dovetail Macro Rail & Clamp Arca Compatible http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F1IF240/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Update: Dec. 16 I've upgraded my review to 4 starz now finding the vertical axis not to be a problem. Also I've added new glass, a Sigma 150-600C a more weighty lens and the GHB2 performs very well.
This Induro head, like others of this style, can actually fit in my camera bag allowing me to carry the tripod and ball head separately. This allows a much more compact carrying experience and allows me to use the ball head for non-gimbal use with regular camera/lens combinations.
Using a 500mm Sigma lens and a DSLR with battery grip, this head seemed to handle the weight just fine. It was, however, slightly less than smooth when pivoting the camera up and down. The locking knob of the gimbal pivot was also a little weird and tended to be either fully locked or unlocked. It does not easily allow slight tension to be placed on the pivot.
Lastly, I could not tilt the camera up all the way without hitting the locking knob of my ball head. This could be a simple flaw in my specific ball head design, and was easily solved by pivoting the gimbal head back slightly from perfect vertical position. This would not be any issue if I did not have the battery grip on my camera.
I would like to try Wimberley's version of this style of gimbal for a comparison. It appears to only be ~$50 more expensive but may work better?
Handles heavy loads and secured lens and camera very well
Compact and easily removed for transport
Locking knob worked best for fully locked or unlocked position only
Smoothness of pivot was a little lacking
If you're using lenses with their own mounting foot I strongly suggest trying a gimbal head with your tripod, especially if you photograph birds or other wildlife. You'll feel nearly as free as hand holding your rig, but you'll have stability hand holding is unlikely to match.
I now pack my tripod and Induro gimbal head on every trip.
As to the Sidekick? Feels better, lighter, much better quality, and functions better as well for balancing. With the Induro, it really didn't matter much where the camera was balanced...it "stuck". Wimberley's mounting clamp is better quality as well. For $46.00 more, buy the Wimberley Sidekick!!