I love photographing birds and one genre that has been beyond my physical capabilities has been BIF, the legacy of forty years of tennis, lots of top spin, tennis elbow and some nerve damage. When my elbow angle gets to around 90°, I get the Joe Blakes.
I've tried several work arounds, none very successful, and have been looking at the Wimberley Gimbal head. While doing some research on their website I had a look at their Sidekick.
Using your existing ball head, assuming it has a panning base and can easily handle the weight of your gear, you attach the sidekick and voila, you have a gimbal head with the added advantage of being able to revert back to your ball head in a flash.
All you do is drop your ball head into the side slot, lock it, and then attach the Sidekick to the ball heads mounting clamp, and it has a lip to stop it sliding through.
You then mount your camera and lens onto the Sidekick via the lens foot plate, and for this you'll need a non-twist lens plate, balance it by sliding the camera and lens in the clamp to find the fulcrum, AKA known as the sweet spot, lock the clamp, and there you have it. The lens and camera should then balance without even tightening the Sidekick's tension knob. All you need is a tweak of the tension knob and you're good to go.
Does it work you may well ask? You betcha it does. It allows me to swing and tilt about 3.5Kgs without effort, and as smoothly as you would want. I've never had a complaint with my Markins Q10 but this little jigger takes smooth to another level.
Here is a link to Wimberley's web page. http://www.tripodhead.com/products/sidekick-main.cfm
Where do ya get it ??? They have an Australian agent, Cameras Direct, who appear to be a tad dearer than the o/seas price, but by the time you factor in the exchange rate and the fee your bank will snip you for an o/seas money transfer they are about the same price.