Tripod gimbal comparison for large lenses

Welcome to Our Alpha Shooters Community Forum

We'd love to welcome you on board, join today!

garuda

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
10
Following
0
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Posts
514
Likes Received
351
Name
Mike
City/State
Illinois
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.

All-1.jpg



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

Attachments

  • TRIPOD GIMBAL COMPARISON.pdf
    687.2 KB · Views: 56
Last edited:

Jeff A

Veteran Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
28
Following
0
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Posts
1,348
Likes Received
648
Name
Jeff
Country
United States
City/State
Elk Grove, California
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

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
10
Following
0
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Posts
514
Likes Received
351
Name
Mike
City/State
Illinois
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

Veteran Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
28
Following
0
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Posts
1,348
Likes Received
648
Name
Jeff
Country
United States
City/State
Elk Grove, California
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

Admin
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
159
Following
34
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Posts
1,857
Likes Received
1,198
Name
Tim
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
Shropshire
CC Welcome
  1. Yes
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

Newcomer
Followers
0
Following
0
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Posts
4
Likes Received
8
Name
Brian Young
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
Lincolnshire
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

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
2
Following
0
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Posts
402
Likes Received
428
Country
United States
City/State
Northern Virginia Suburbs of Washington, DC
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

Active Member
Followers
0
Following
2
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Posts
40
Likes Received
22
Name
Peter Menear
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.
 

Angieb

Active Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
1
Following
21
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Posts
28
Likes Received
35
Name
Angie Birmingham
Country
United States
City/State
Corpus Christi Texas
I have used the 2 different Movo brand was very disappointment it was not smooth at all so I returned and purchased the manfrotto Gimbal was ok but very big. I then bought a Promediagear Katana Jr and absolutely love it it is so smooth and easy to use and handle. My husband and I had went to Yellowstone and TSA dropped one of our katanas . He called and they overnighted the parts and tools to fix it so we were back to 2 katanas the next day. Since then we have built a great working relation ship. Everything is made in the USA. Just recently we went to Africa with Promediagear and they supplied all of the gimbal that were mounted on the truck the entire 8 days and not one screw came loose after getting beat to death for 8 days. The set up was awesome I could quickly Switch from my zoom to my 600mm I attached a picture. Any way that is my 2 cents on the subject . image000000.JPG
 

rōken

Active Member
Followers
0
Following
0
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Posts
26
Likes Received
59
Name
chuck
Country
United States
City/State
Long Beach, CA
We’ve used Wimberley heads since 2007 and have been very happy with how they perform. Hoping to improve panning when shooting video, I got a Manfrotto 516 pro video fluid head. It’s not comparable to a real (expensive) cinematography or broadcast fluid head but with practice it’s a big improvement in smoothness and aim. I still use the Wimberley for birds but use the Manfrotto for sports even when shooting stills.

bg516.jpg
 

Landshark99

Active Member
Followers
0
Following
0
Joined
Nov 14, 2022
Posts
36
Likes Received
44
Name
Bob
Country
United States
City/State
So Cal
I am using a Benro GH2C occasionally with a Benro tripod with a half ball
 
Top