Gimbal heads, KC-1 King Cobra

framerframer Posts: 491Member
edited June 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I just acquired this used off fleabay for my 400 2.8. I'd wanted some type of gimbal head for the monster but never wanted to pay new prices. Anyway it's here and It's bigger than I thought, heavier then I thought but WOW it really was just what I need to mate to that lens. I tried it out in the basement last night @ minimum focus distance low shutter speed 1/60 and it was smooth & stable.. Once It was balanced, not hard, a few ounces of pressure was all it took to put it where I want. Now I need a better tripod for travel. There are several different gimbal heads I was looking at, but used, cheap price, close to what I thought I needed won. It was not my 1st choice but I really like it.

I've kinda talked the wife into a fall road trip. Now where to go?

framer

Comments

  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    edited June 2014
    I am saving for a gimble and think i am going the way of Induro. framer what was your first choice and why? After you have used it out and about let us know what you like or don't like. ^:)^
    Post edited by Parke1953 on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,062Member
    I would head to one of these destinations for the fall road trip:
    ++Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Mass, Connecticut.
    ++Grand Tetons
    ++Smoky Mountains

    Nice purchase.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • lasherlasher Posts: 14Member
    edited June 2014
    congrats
    Post edited by lasher on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,369Member
    Where to go to shoot with a 400mm f2.8 lens on a gimbal head? Yellowstone National Park offers wildlife and the Everglades offers birds.
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    Alaska works. I could have really used in last March in Grenada but I also left the 400 at home, stupid me... Never again. I really need a better tripod now. Christmas is coming. [-O<

    framer
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    you'll be more than happy with your purchase. IMHO, gimbal is a must for bigger lenses. If someone is looking for the best on the market, than there's only one option to go: Wimberley. If you want to spare a $ or 2, than I had some good results from Canadian Jobu design.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,062Member
    @Adamz: Does the Nikon 300 F4 require a gimbal mount or is that lens mount suitable on a solid tripod? My tripod is good and can support the weight. Just thinking of the future. Thanks.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    It doesn't require a gimbal but it does require a better support. There are basically 3 options on the market. The most solid one is from Kirk but it limits the focus override and scratches the barrel. Then there's the perfectly balanced version (stability vs operability) from RRS - though it's pricey and lastly there's the fun & cheap version taht uses a chopped wine cork (though operability is limited as you are locking the collar in one place = every time u forget u need to have a new cork - my head couldn't handle this anymore so I finally ended up with RRS, after using Kirk for some time).

    As for gimbals, the main aspect for using them IMHO, is speed. Once u find the perfect balance ur camera can move from one location to another in fraction of second - try to do it on a regular ballhead. For 300/4 I'm using an older version of Jobu Jr.2 with RRS panning plate on bottom as the friction on Jr2 is not smooth enough for me and as I use the RRS for panos it's in the bag anyway.
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    300 f4 hand hold it or monopod for lower speeds. Use the cork to stabilize the mount, works perfect.

    framer
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,280Member
    Don't even need a cork, the stock foot is fine. Managed to get tack sharp moon shots with the stock foot. The need for another one is just marketing nonsense.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    Maybe u got an improved version. As I wrote before I had 3 of this lenses and in all of them there's a certain amount of flexines in the foot.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,062Member
    It doesn't require a gimbal but it does require a better support. There are basically 3 options on the market. The most solid one is from Kirk but it limits the focus override and scratches the barrel. Then there's the perfectly balanced version (stability vs operability) from RRS - though it's pricey and lastly there's the fun & cheap version taht uses a chopped wine cork (though operability is limited as you are locking the collar in one place = every time u forget u need to have a new cork - my head couldn't handle this anymore so I finally ended up with RRS, after using Kirk for some time).

    As for gimbals, the main aspect for using them IMHO, is speed. Once u find the perfect balance ur camera can move from one location to another in fraction of second - try to do it on a regular ballhead. For 300/4 I'm using an older version of Jobu Jr.2 with RRS panning plate on bottom as the friction on Jr2 is not smooth enough for me and as I use the RRS for panos it's in the bag anyway.
    @adamz: Great feedback on the lens foot. This is why I visit NRF. Strange that Kirk scratches the barrel...not good engineering IMHO. I'll go with the standard foot and if I need an improvement will go to RRS.

    I see your point regarding the Gimbal mount when changing positions. Never thought about that but you are spot on it does take time to reset the set-up when you move. Nice plus. I'll look into the Jobu Jr but it sounds like another RRS is the way to go. I have read their catalog on Gimbal mounts each time I get one but always felt I did not have a large enough lens to justify buying one. Again thanks for the excellent feedback.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,062Member
    edited June 2014
    @adamz: Looks like Job updated their Gimbal mount. Check it out:
    http://www.adorama.com/JDBWGJ3K.html

    Need to check out the King Cobra. Thanks again.
    Post edited by Photobug on
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,062Member
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    The RRS gimbal is an overkill - way to heavy and big. I wouldn't buy it. The way to go is the Wimberley gimbal + the RRS lens collar for N300/4
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,280Member
    edited June 2014
    Maybe u got an improved version. As I wrote before I had 3 of this lenses and in all of them there's a certain amount of flexines in the foot.
    Either that or one could simply mark it down to sample variation. If it happens in glass, it could happen with the tripod feet as well. I purchased the one I had in the spring of 2009.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,304Member
    Since we're talking towards the 300/4 a bit, what's the difference (in terms of ease of use and capability of following moving subjects) between the gimbal head where the arca swiss attachment plate is vertical and the (more expensive) gimbal heads with the extra L-shaped doohickey and the arca swiss plate is horizontal?
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,280Member
    edited June 2014
    The more expensive gimbals do work better, simply due to higher quality components being used, there is no question about it. The weight of the lens is generally better centred over the tripod head when it is on the lower plate.

    That said, I just use the Jobu Design add-on gimbal, which mounts into a normal Arca-Swiss ballhead and it worked fine with the 300mm F4 and now with the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8. It's not as smooth, and doesn't balance as well, but it still gets the job done. It also means I can take it places and remove the gimbal attachment and shoot normally without having to mess around and change heads or have a second tripod.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    @dissent - doesn't really matter, the only drawback is that you will have an offset towards the centre of the lens. that's why you can buy some additional plates for Wimberley Sidekick to make sure your lens will be in the middle. With smaller lenses I tend to use my Jobu Jr. without the horizontal plate as there's less traction. with heavier setup I like the horizontal plate as this gives me nicer swivel.
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    Well I guess that now I have a good head for my 400 I should get a better tripod. I've been using an old tiltall from Leitz from the early 60's. it weights 6lbs and fit in my checked bag for travel if I pull the column & head. It's then 25 inches long. My new tripod must be under that weight and length and be better. I'm thinking of an Induro CT404 for the upgrade. My 2nd choice is an RSS TVC-24 folded 18 inches 3.2lbs. Last choice is the RSS TVC-34L about the same specs as the CT404 but cost 2x. I travel several times a year by air so I'm considering choice 2.

    framer

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    The TVC-24 is a great tripod for travel. You will not regret getting it.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
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