User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  7
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Tripod head mounting plate with swivel

  1. #1
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 2007
    Location
    Ballarat
    Posts
    2,895
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tripod head mounting plate with swivel

    Simple enough problem: I need to mount ordinary cameras on a Wimberley head.

    Like all gimbal heads, it moves left and right and up and down, but does not rotate to level a horizon or switch between portrait and landscape orientations because this is not necessary. These heads are designed for and mount directly to long lenses using a standard Arca-Swiss plate; you rotate by spinning the lens (and attached camera) inside the lens collar. It's a simple system and it works perfectly.

    Now, what if you want to mount a camera instead of a lens? There are three or four common ways of doing this. None of them are any good.
    • Use a small Arca-Swiss plate screwed onto the camera. No good. You can't rotate at all so portrait orientation is out, and you can't even level a horizon short of fiddling with the tripod legs. Also, the plates generally need a tool (such as an Allen key) to fit and remove, which is a pain to have to carry around and lose.
    • Use an L-plate. This is the orthodox solution, and it's no damn good at all. I really don't understand why people use this method. First, L-plates have to be made specifically for the camera so that they don't block battery removal, flash and USB connectors, and so on. This means (a) that they are very expensive hand-made items ($200 is not unusual), and (b) that you have to have a different plate for each different camera you own, and (c) buy yet another new L-plate every time you buy a new camera. AND you still only get to switch 90 degrees between portrait and landscape - after all that extra cost and inconvenience you are still leveling a horizon by mucking bout with the tripod legs.
    • Carry a second head; a ball head for example. No. This means you would be forever unscrewing the Wimberley to mount the ball head, and it's a really bad idea to be doing that in the field 'cause you want that big head screwed in solid as it is all that's holding up a ten thousand dollar lens as you walk around with it over your shoulder.
    • Carry a second head and tripod. This is what I do now. It really sucks to carry two tripods any distance, but at present it's the only way.
    • Get rid of the Wimberley in favour of a ball head. No. Not a chance. With a long, heavy lens, no ball head ever made comes even close to the stability, smoothness, and droop-free precision of a good gimbal head like the Wimberley.
    • Shoot hand-held instead. I often do this, pushing ISO and trusting the IS system way beyond what I'd prefer. Not a very satisfactory solution.


    The obvious answer is to have some kind of two-dimensional swivel arrangement with an Arca-Swiss plate on one end and pretty much any mounting method on the other; a sort of "mini-head" that mounts to the quick-release of the Wimberley. I can't find one for sale anywhere. Surely, surely, surely I am not the first photographer to want a better way of mounting a camera to a gimgal head? Surely there is an answer out there?
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Dec 2011
    Location
    Beenleigh
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can you attach a camera plate to the ball head (base) and mount the ball head direct to the gimbal, you may need a 3/8-1/4 reducer bush, and you will need 2 camera plates of course.

  3. #3
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,188
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Going with Dav's reply, a multipurpose rail, with a reducer bushing mounted up side down on the ballhead would seem to an answer to the problem.

    Maybe not THE answer, but one answer.

    OF course this would still require you to carry a ballhead with you all the time too.

    Otherwise does this (expensive) item from Hejnar help?

    Basically a monopd head that swivels in only one plane.

    The base of the head is square and so can fit in one of two orientations on another plate.

    And FWIW, the quality of Hejnar's products is usually at the top end of the accessory market.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    27 Mar 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    549
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tony,
    another option is to invert the vertical arm of the Wimberley 180 degrees and lock it in place (i.e. standing up instead of hanging down) then remove the clamp bracket and re-attach so clamp is facing up. You will have to drop the 'normal' height of your tripod as the camera will be now mounted much higher. If you want to avoid fiddling with legs to level it, fit one of these http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductD...atform&key=ait , assuming you have a Gitzo tripod, but there are similar more generic units available as well.

    Cheers
    John

  5. #5
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Join Date
    01 Dec 2011
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    2,062
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jobu has such a device:

    http://www.jobu-design.com/Wide-Angl...et-2_p_72.html

    Cheers

    Dennis

  6. #6
    can't remember
    Threadstarter
    Tannin's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 2007
    Location
    Ballarat
    Posts
    2,895
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Brilliant answers lads, every one useful. I'll probably go with the Jobu product Nardes mentions (quite expensive but I don't care, I've wanted something like this for years), but I'll have a bit of a think about things first. There are several good answers to ponder here.

  7. #7
    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Dec 2009
    Location
    Eastside
    Posts
    1,639
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The jobu linked above is only in one direction, it will not act as a levelling base.

    I think it can be done, but it comes at a cost. I will update once I get home and look at a couple of pieces I have.

  8. #8
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,188
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If I've read Tony's problem correctly, he only needs the ability to adjust the camera in one plane.

    That is, the gimbal head gives him the ability to adjust the camera's level in one plane, but not in the two planes he requires.

    He only needed a device to adjust the camera in the other plane to what the gimbal gives.

    That is the gimbal + jobu together act a a leveling base.

    I guess the most natural manner to mount this setup is to use the gimbal to adjust the azimuth level of the camera(up and down) and the jobu to adjust for the horizontal plane(side to side) levels.

    If that dedscrption doesn't make sense, the 3rd image(down) of the adapter in use on jobu's site describes it's usage effectively

    The Hejnar ballhead bracket does the same thing and is actually cheaper!

  9. #9
    can't remember
    Threadstarter
    Tannin's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 2007
    Location
    Ballarat
    Posts
    2,895
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ^ Spot on, Arthur.

    Last night as I dropped off to sleep it occurred to me that there may be an even cheaper, possibly lighter, and more convenient way to do this. This morning .... I can't quite remember what my brilliant idea was. Maybe I can duplicate the mental steps and wind up in the same place.

    Various answers in this thread nail the major issue. Yes this is possible and practical. Now we get to the important little details.

    Mounting to the camera is the first one. The ubiquitous Arca-Swiss plate is actually not ideal. You need a plate for every camera you might use with the rig because the plates mount semi-permanently with an Allen key. This means some extra cost (I'd mostly use the 5D II for this but might want to use any of three others) and (the deal-breaker for me) extra bulk - my camera bag is not really big enough to comfortably accept cameras with plates and I can't buy a bigger bag. (Yes, honestly, I already have the biggest instant access waist/strap bag you can buy.) And then we get to another difficulty: incompatibility with my landscape head mounting, which is the hexagonal Manfrotto type. I could buy a new landscape head (it's just a cheap little ball head after all) but the Manfrotto hex plates are really good because they are one of the few decent plates you can attach to and detach from the camera very quickly and easily without tools. You can just keep one in your pocket and mount any camera, any time.

    So, working from that ^ - could we find a monopod head with the same mount? (Answer: probably not. Manfrotto don't seem to have one, anyway.) Failing that, what about fixing a hex-plate socket to any desired head? Manfrotto have a couple of very cheap, light-looking one-way monopod heads - http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod2784.htm and http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod1061.htm - all we need is to mount one of these http://www.manfrotto.com/hexagonal-plate-adapter on top of it. Solved!

    But wait! Why bother with a plate at all? Why not simply screw the camera directly onto the head each time? It wouldn't take more than 10 seconds or so (which is perfectly OK - it takes just as long to mount a hex plate and pop it into the quick release) and you wouldn't have to do it up tight as this is not the sort of rig where you'd walk around with it over your shoulder and need absolute faith in the security of the connection. Am I thinking straight? This looks like the best answer - especially at a princely $37!

    Well, we still have to find a way to mount the head to the rails on the Wimberley. Something like a sort of reverse Arca-Swiss plate would be needed. You can probably buy them, and it's the sort of thing that you could make yourself if you had to.

    I have to go to work. Great answers lads. Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Dec 2011
    Location
    Beenleigh
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So, you've discovered what I have discovered also, There is no one solution to suit all scenarios, be it camera gear, camping gear, cars, cooking utensils or tools, every situation has a different solution/gear requirement. I have found by the time you try this and try that and doctor or butcher one thing to make it multi purpose, you might just as well have bought the right tool for the job in the first place, especially if you plan on doing said thing frequently, if it's a once off then it is different.
    Good luck anyway and let us know what solution you come up with, I may just try it myself

    Dave

  11. #11
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,188
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was going to suggest that Manfrotto tripod head too, but I'm not a big fan of Manfrotto heads.
    But you're right, this will be a lot cheaper(as long as it doesn't fail, which means it'll become a lot more expensive in the long run).

    A simple square base plate(of which I have three) from Hejar will do for mounting to the arca plate on your gimbal.

    The specs say a 3/8 female thread on the base of the Manfrotto mono head, so a 3/8 - 1/4 adapter bush is also needed.

    (not pushing Hejnar .. this is simply what I have, and now prefer to use!) .. from Hejnar the 2" multi-directional plate is $30 and the adapter bush is about $3.

    As you said, it has an easy mounting/removal system, so a QR plate is basically not really needed.

  12. #12
    can't remember
    Threadstarter
    Tannin's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 2007
    Location
    Ballarat
    Posts
    2,895
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nardes View Post
    I'm a little slow sometimes, but I do get there eventually. Ordered one of these today. Thanks Dennis!

  13. #13
    can't remember
    Threadstarter
    Tannin's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 2007
    Location
    Ballarat
    Posts
    2,895
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The gadget arrived today.

    • PRO
    • Easy ordering (you have to look up the value of a Canadian dollar to understand the pricing, no big deal).
    • Very fast delivery.
    • Beautifully made, similar in quality to (e.g.) Wimberley. Smooth and easy to use. You'd expect it to last forever.


    • CON
    • Not properly compatible with a standard full Wimberley head. Landscape works perfectly but portrait orientation is not really possible.


    Set the portrait orientation thing aside for the moment. You use it by:

    • Attaching an Arca-Swiss style quick-release plate to your camera(s).
    • Sliding the gadget into the Arca-Swiss shoe of your head in the normal way.
    • Sliding your camera into the Arca-Swiss shoe on top of the gadget.
    • Now you have the equivalent of a three-way head. (They say it is equivalent to a ball head. This is not so. With a ball head, you have three-axis movement with a single tightening knob. Faster, but tricky to get all three axes correct at the same time.) You have individual knobs to lock or release each axis of rotation.


    In theory, you can use the gadget's tilt axis (normally provided by your lens collar when using a gimbal head with the long lens) to rotate the camera 90 degrees for portrait orientation. In fact, its upper arm is too short to allow that with an industry-standard Wimberley head and a standard-size SLR (5D II in my case). Their video advertises this ability as an advantage of the product but I cannot find any way to do it. The best I can manage is to mount the camera backwards (lens facing me), then spin the whole thing around 180 degrees (so that the camera is on the left and the tripod head adjusting knobs on the right). This gets us to about 10 or 15 degrees off the vertical, and the rest can be attained by doing strange things with one of the tripod legs. Yuk!

    I think I'll keep it anyway. It is quite light, not very bulky, and beautifully made. I'll just have to learn to live without portrait mode, or (if need be) shoot in landscape and crop, or else buggerise about doing strange things with the tripod.

    I took pictures of the device in use today but I'll only post them here if someone is interested.

    One more thing: why are camera plate manufacturers all obsessed with bloody Allen keys? Compare with the vastly superior Manfrotto hex-plate attachment system, which is completely toolless. Allen keys are a pain!

  14. #14
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,188
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    ....

    One more thing: why are camera plate manufacturers all obsessed with bloody Allen keys? Compare with the vastly superior Manfrotto hex-plate attachment system, which is completely toolless. Allen keys are a pain!
    Yeah!
    that's the only thing I miss about the Manfrotto system. Their d-loop screw system for mounting their plates.

  15. #15
    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Feb 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    908
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Yeah!
    that's the only thing I miss about the Manfrotto system. Their d-loop screw system for mounting their plates.
    You know about these things, right?

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/390886309452
    My Flickr Site
    Instagram _alex_ham_

    Gear - Canon 5D mkIII, 16-35 f2.8L, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f4L IS, nifty 50, 75-300 f4-5.6. Sigma SD Quattro H, Sigma 35 mm Art, Sigma 85 mm Art, Canon G1X MkII, Panasonic Lumix DMC LX3, iPhone.


  16. #16
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
    Join Date
    19 Nov 2007
    Location
    About in the middle between Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore
    Posts
    3,140
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get the cheap Chinese plates. The only cost a few dollars and have dloop screws. The last time I bought any I got 2 for $5 (usually about $7 each). They work fine so why would I pay $40 for one that just has an Allen screw?

  17. #17
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Mar 2010
    Location
    Central West
    Posts
    1,991
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamster View Post
    You know about these things, right?

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/390886309452
    Thanks!! I have been looking for some screws like this for something else, but didn't know what they were called. I'm off to find the size I need and order some

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •