We Simplify The Technical!

Do you need a gimbal tripod head, but aren’t sure which one to buy? We will tell you about the gimbal heads that we recommend purchasing and why.

 We’re going to talk about gimbal tripod heads.  You might be wondering, what kind of photographer needs a gimbal head?

Primarily a bird photographer, since they are trying to shoot birds in midair, but they’re also used by sport and race car photographers. Because they need to have a heavy lens and swing it around fast enough, it is helpful to have something to hold it!

When you’re holding it in your hand, it’s going to get really heavy with a big long lens, so you need to set it on something. If you put it on a traditional ball head, you can’t really move it around. So, with a gimbal head, you have free movement. You can swing it around with easy and it will keep the shots steady!

Now, most gimbal heads mount on a tripod that you would have to purchase. There aren’t any gimbal heads, to my knowledge, that come with a tripod, because typically, when you’re up into this range, you have your own, good quality tripod.

Are all gimbal heads the same? 

There’s two basic styles. The first is called a full gimbal, top mount gimbal, or cradle gimbal. They have all different names, but this is a basic, traditional style gimbal that most people use now.

The other style is what they call a side mount gimbal. The original gimbals were mostly side mount.  With this gimbal, it is much harder to settle the camera in since you have to have a lens collar in order to attach it to the gimbal.

With a full gimbal, you have a cradle to hold the weight of the camera, no matter how heavy it is. This is much more convenient to use.


What’s the price differences on these? Or, where do they range?

The full Wimberley gimbal is around $600 and a side mount gimbal runs about $250. Now, I recommend the Wimberley Sidekick as a side mount gimbal since it is far better than a full gimbal in terms of quality. A Wimberley is probably the best known name in the gimbal business. 

The best advice you can give is, buy a quality one off the bat, because otherwise, you’re going to buy a cheap one, and then you’re gonna buy a little better one, and then you’re gonna buy a better one, and when you’re finally down the road, after buying all of those, you’re gonna buy the one you should’ve bought to begin with!


Peggy Farren

Peggy Farren

Photographer, instructor and speaker.

Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, author, instructor and speaker. She’s been interviewed and featured on TV and in many national and local publications.

Peggy is the host of The Understand Photography Show, where we teach about travel, nature and fine art photography.  Subscribe to our Podcast or Youtube channel for new videos every Tuesday and Saturday!

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