The perfect solution for balancing a heavy lens and camera combination for free and smooth movement is a Gimbal head. But when we come to Gimbal heads several hundred €€€ or $$$ figures come immediately in mind.
If you happen to have a Versatile tripod here is a cost effective alternatve solution that I have tested. Which is fully functional, very stable and sturdy with minimal to no vibration even for heavy lenses.
As an extra bonus... it weighs less than 0,5 kg (1.1 lbs) to carry around.
The idea was inspired by the Benro A-298 EX Versatile Tripod's articulated center column and was realized with other Benro gear as the AC-33 Short Center Column, B2 Ball Head, and PC-1 Panorama Clamp.
|The Benro PC-1 Panorama clamp attached on Benro B-2 Ball head via its dovetail base plate.|
|A long zoom lens attached to the panorama clamp via an extra Arca compatible plate attached on the lens collar foot.|
|Mount the camera and off you go...|
|Full clearance for a vertical shot.|
|Alternative Gimbal Head w/ Canon EF 100-400 L IS USM & Canon EOS 50D down|
This idea can be realized with any versatile tripod, any Arca-Swiss® compatible ball head, a short center column and a panorama clamp.
Consider a total cost for short center column + a panorama clamp less than 150 USD shipped !!!
I hope you found the idea useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2010 S.C.Vlachos
Benro B2 Ball head Review
Benro PC-1 Panorama Clamp Review
Benro AC-33 Short Center Column Review
Benro A-298 EX Versatile Tripod