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  • #262333
    Profile photo of erictanerictan
    Member

    hi,

    just started to enjoy doing birding, so am planning an upgrade of the tripod head…
    have been using 3 way pan head and ball head… so do not know anything about sidekick and stuff like that..

    currently using the slik 400DX and the gitzo 1531…

    any advice on which sidekick to purchase and apologise for asking, what else i need to buy to use the sidekick?
    don’t know how to use the sidekick… :ashamed:

    #284577

    Hi Eric,

    You should have stopped me when you saw me at SBG on Saturday, I can show you the Wimberley II head, flash bracket and flash extender.

    To answer your question on head for long lens, it really depends on which lens you will be getting in the future. If you have intention to get 500mm prime or above, I will recommend Wimberley Head II. The mounting position for Sidekick is quite odd for heavy lens (at least to me). We discussed this at the thread : http://npss.org.sg/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=983

    For Wimberley Sidekick, you will need to have a ball head (with Arca Swiss clamp, manfotto head will not work unless you modify it). You will also need to have a stable tripod as the lens, camera, flash and head will weight quite a lot. Other than head, tripod, you will need the flash bracket and flash extender.

    For head and flash bracket, I will recommend Wimberley. There are some made in China or Thailand imitation, I am not sure how reliable these products are. IF I invested a lot of the lens and camera, I will probably want to make sure the lens is properly secured onto a trusted product. :P For Flash extender, you can get from Cathay or The Camera Workshop.

    Cheers,
    SC

    #284579
    Profile photo of erictanerictan
    Member

    hi scfang,

    thanks for your advice, will go down to TK photo or cathay to have a look at the sidekick and wimberly to understand the product better….

    seldom approach other photographers in the field as worried might be disturbing their shooting…
    saw peter with his family and he was without any gears…
    had a nice chat with him….

    thanks again :)

    #284611
    Profile photo of chrislichrisli
    Member

    hi scfang,

    thanks for your advice, will go down to TK photo or cathay to have a look at the sidekick and wimberly to understand the product better….

    seldom approach other photographers in the field as worried might be disturbing their shooting…
    saw peter with his family and he was without any gears…
    had a nice chat with him….

    thanks again :)

    Eric,
    Alternatively you can also go to this link
    http://www.birdsasart.com/accs.html

    Other proven good alternative is from Benro which is half the price, have seen some people using it and the comments was quite good, you can see it at Ben Photo same place as Camera Workshop,

    #284634
    Profile photo of erictanerictan
    Member

    thanks chris… will go have a look at benro too…
    but more likely to do a one time purchase….then no need to upgrade…
    but heart pain… ha ha :)

    #284640
    Profile photo of hanYeo, Wee Han
    Spectator

    Eric,

    What lens are you using now? If you are budgeting for a 500mm in the future, do heed SC’s advice and get the W2 head. For the legs, you would want to get at least something in the league of the 3540 Gitzos. These are what I feel will be a good bet for the 500mm and 600mm (though the latter can do with something more heavy duty such as the 5 series). TK Foto is a great place to try out the tripods but they do not sell the Wimberley heads and for that, you will have to head down to Cathay.

    P.S: If you see me in the field, always feel free to stop and chat (I would think Im speaking on behalf of almost all the shooters in NPSS). :smile:

    Cheers

    Han

    #284665
    Profile photo of erictanerictan
    Member

    hi han, thanks for advice…..

    am secretly planning for the 500mm…. (my wife better not see this posting…ha ha :D )
    before this, was actually seriously considering the 200-400mm… but it seems like more people are suggesting the 500mm prime.

    just spent some money on upgrading to a D700, so got to save up a bit… ha ha :)
    was thinking of getting the 300mm f4 first… and a proper tripod with head (most likely wimberly sidekick)
    not sure if buy wimberly head II can use for 300mm f4 or not…

    thanks…
    will defintely chat with you if i see you on the field… :)

    #284746
    Profile photo of tridenttrident
    Member

    eric,
    I think many of us don’t want our wives to see this too :D
    I am using Benro carbon tripod and Gimbal head, so far so good.

    #284749
    Profile photo of hanYeo, Wee Han
    Spectator

    Eric,

    Haha! Lucky Im still single… :razz:

    Anyway, the W2 will be too overkill for the 300/4, you will want a sidekick for that. You can always sell off the sidekick once you upgrade though frankly, a ballhead will just do as good a job.

    With regards to the tripod, I would avoid Benro as they have known quality issues. Get Gitzo and it will last for some years (I will never say lifetime as I trashed mine after 6 years… :cry: )

    Cheers

    Han

    #284756
    Profile photo of erictanerictan
    Member

    thanks trident and han….

    currently have a gitzo tripod which should suffice for the 300mmf4….
    went to cathay today and was told the sidekick is out of stock…they have no idea when it will come…
    might order from online like scfang mentioned in the other thread…
    will see how…. but will make do with the ball head first… :)

    thanks :)

    #284760
    Profile photo of hanYeo, Wee Han
    Spectator

    No problem Eric. Meanwhile you can try to order the Wimberley flash bracket alongside the Sidekick. You will need the bracket. :smile:

    Cheers

    Han

    #284874
    Profile photo of erictanerictan
    Member

    thanks han….

    most likely will look at ordering online… a number of people have told me that cathay might be more expensive…

    :)

    #284892
    Profile photo of hanYeo, Wee Han
    Spectator

    Eric,

    Yup, Cathay is slightly more expensive but its usually the case. In return for the higher costs, you get peace of mind that the purchased item will work well since you can try it out in the shop unlike buying online.

    You can order direct from Wimberley @ (http://www.tripodhead.com) or from BH Photo (http://www.bhphoto.com).

    Cheers

    Han

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