Tripod gimbal comparison for large lenses

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garuda

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I have compiled a list (not comprehensive) of popular tripod/monopod large lenses gimbals for comparison. I purchased the MOVO GH-1000 gimbal and I'm quite satisfied w performance and price point.

The only functional drawback I can find with the GH-1000 (and likely all the other models being compared), is they do not have the conventional “fluid drive” system on either axis. Therefore, it takes more practice to gain consistent skill in tracking, panning, tilting (especially for BIFs, et al) to keep a moving target in frame. Lacking true fluid drive, the friction-drag resistance can be implemented with care by tweaking the pan and tilt locking-knobs for just enough pressure to add some resistance to somewhat replicate the smooth, graceful, fluidity found in a fully fluid drive system, which smooths out start/stop and tracking movements. It appears to me that all of the gimbals compared here do not have a true "fluid drive" system but rather a friction-drag mechanical axis resistance system. Pls correct me if I'm wrong.

I had listed two MOVO models, along with other more expensive popular competitors. Comments are welcome.

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You can view PDF comparison (below) with FireFox or Microsoft Edge -- just click on thumbnail on left below:
 

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Jeff A

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As you may tell from some of my past posts, I try to offer cheaper solutions for various camera equipment or workarounds. And while doing so, I also try to suggest a cheaper solution, but still maintains the same (or nearly the same) reliability, performance, and longevity while still at a lower price point.

I totally agree with the old adage “You get what you pay for.” Implying that the more expensive versions of a product likely will be worth the extra price in in the long run, as well as better quality. So for that reason, I’m cautious about suggesting the cheaper versions unless they seem to be the exception to the rule (adage).

Recently I purchased a carbon fiber tripod gimbal (GH-1000) by MOVO that seems to have comparable quality, performance, and functionality as the more expensive gimbals available. So I decided to post a thread for those with a budget, to show a comparison, and to solicit opinions on the MOVO GH-series gimbals.

I chose the dual-arm model because of its extra strength for supporting the larger/longer tele lenses (my 200-600 specifically). And I am not contending that this gimbal is necessarily superior to the more expensive competition, but rather it certainly seems to be a good, safe buy for the price for those on a budget.

The only functional drawback I can find with the GH-1000 (and likely all the other models being compared), is they do not have the conventional “fluid drive” system on either axis. Therefore, it takes more practice to gain consistent skill in tracking, panning, tilting (especially for BIFs, et al) to keep a moving target in frame. Lacking true fluid drive, the friction-drag resistance can be implemented with care by tweaking the pan and tilt locking-knobs for just enough pressure to add some resistance to somewhat replicate the smooth, graceful, fluidity found in a fully fluid drive system, which smooths out start/stop and tracking movements. It appears to me that all of the gimbals compared here do not have a true "fluid drive" system but rather a friction-drag mechanical axis resistance system. Pls correct me if I'm wrong.

I had listed two MOVO models, along with two other more expensive popular competitors. Comments are welcome.

UPDATE: Standby, figuring out how to upload a PDF file. In meantime, you can view with FireFox or Microsoft Edge -- just click on thumbnail.
Actually, when I tried to open it in Firefox, It just went to my Download directory. FYI, I'm a Windows 10 user.
 

garuda

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The "Download" option works also, I guess. I get the choices on my Windows 10. It may depend on your download presets. Could you read it after download?
 

Jeff A

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The "Download" option works also, I guess. I get the choices on my Windows 10. It may depend on your download presets. Could you read it after download?
Yes, I could.
 

Timothy Mayo

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Thanks for sharing Mike! I'm using the Jobu Design BWG-J3K Jobu Jr.3 myself which I'm pretty happy with. I don't use it a great deal though. Normally just if I'm sitting in a hide which isn't so often.

 

BrianCY

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My gimbal of choice, also used primarily in my pop-up hide with the FE 200-600 attached is the Calumet CK7075. When I first bought it, at a special show price at the NEC Photography Show, some years ago I wasn't really happy with the movement that was very stiff, no matter how much the locks were released.
Then I discovered a good YouTube video detailing how to sort it by dismantling it, cleaning out all the grease and re-greasing it. What a transformation! Super smooth and sensitive to fractional adjustments. The video wasn't my specific make or model so I get the impression it will probably apply to most lower priced gimbals.
I thought it might be of interest to anyone with similar issues.

Edit: the link to the video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt9nkiBMlYQ
 

Clix Pix

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I have always used Wimberley Gimbals, and they have served me well through the years. I started with the first version and then during a time when I wasn't doing much shooting I sold it to a friend. Then I got my Sony gear and realized that I really wanted a gimbal again for my 200-600mm, so bought the Wimberley WH-200, which is on one of my tripods now, and works as expected: smooth transitions, easy to mount my 200-600mm with the replacement Wimberley foot so that it fits nicely in the Arca-Swiss clamp. Both my 100-400mm and the 200-600mm do well on this setup, which so far I have primarily used when shooting from my deck.
 

pmenear

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My big lens gimbal is the Jobu Pro 2 but 2 other gimbals I use may be of interest to anyone that wants to bury or use their gimbal in sea water, sand and mud without damage. Lensmaster RH1 and RH2, I have them both and use them on ground pods and bury them till the lens is on the surface of the water, mud, sand etc. They do not have bearings but use bushings which you pull apart and rinse clean without damage, I also carry one to fit on the shelf of public hides.
 

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