The Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal head
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This tripod head, designed for huge telephoto lenses needs very little introduction. The original Wimberley gimbal appeared on the market in the early 1990's and has dominated the bird photography market ever since.

The WH-200 is effectively the Wimberley Gimbal MkII and was introduced just over a year ago in response to customer feedback and pressure from other manufacturers products that were catching up to the standard of the original.

I never really fell in love with the original Wimberley, as it was more bulky and heavy than it needed to be... and with the discovery of the Manfrotto 393 Gimbal head, there was little reason to go down the Wimberley route. Yes, the original Wimberley was a slicker device with more stability, but only marginally when locked down.

The new incarnation of the Wimberley head has renewed my interest in the head, and with the bulk and weight reduced, it makes it a far more attractive proposition to myself. Weight wise it has shed a whole pound in weight, dropping from just over 4lb to just over 3lb. As far as dimensions, it has shrunk in all aspects, it may not look much on paper but it really does look a far more compact unit as a result.

The new Wimberley has also lost that oversized (and slippery) tilt control knob to be replaced with a smaller rubbery and contoured knob. The pan control knob is also now of the same desing as the tilt knob and has now been relocated to the side of the head instead of  on top of the base, thus becoming easier to come to hand... although panning control is not likely to be changed very often.

The new Wimberley WH-200 has a new lens mounting system, where-by the Arca-swiss clamp is built-in to the unit (and this really makes sense)

In Use:
Where-as my trusty Manfrotto 393 relies upon balance and some friction to keep it in position, the Wimberley can work purely on balance alone to keep the lens in position, even the lens axis point needs to be positioned correctly to achieve this. In use you do keep some friction there for the sake of solidity, but it's not vital. Once set up, you can have the lens totally free and it will not droop or raise.

I have to say that I have found the new Wimberley to be tighter in many aspects, and locked-up it is a stiffer unit than the previous design with very little scope for bounce.

With the tilt knob tightened, you can remove the camera with total confidence that there will be no dramatic plunging of the lens.

Operating your camera and lens is a breeze with the Wimberley MkII, there is assured solidity even with a relatively free-running set-up.