Using Wide Angle Lenses in a Gimbal (or lenses with no collar)

Posted by Jobu Tech Team on 9/20/2013
Mounting Wide Lenses on a Jobu Gimbal Head

Gimbal mounts are typically used for allowing improved control of telephoto lenses, allowing smooth, controlled, balanced motion.  Lenses are mounted to a gimbal with either a lensplate (screwed to the lens foot), or with a replacement foot (that swaps the manufacturer's original foot).

Of course, not every shot requires a telephoto lens - what if you want to do a landscape, a group shot, or a portrait, but you've only brought a gimbal securely fastened to your tripod. Wide to normal lenses don't usually have a lens foot (not even aftermarket). So how do you mount a camera+lens in the gimbal's clamp?

There are several options:
1. Our favourite is our WAA2 (Wide-Angle-Adapter) product. The WAA2 is an hinged device; on top it has an Arca-Swiss clamp, and the bottom has a square Arca-Swiss foot profile. You can pop the WAA2 directly into the gimbal head, mount your camera (with a small body-plate on it) and have the ability to Pan and Tilt (functions from the gimbal) and you can micro-adjust the horizon, too, by bending the WAA2.

 



The WAA2 seems big at first glance, until you realize it is designed to clear the top of a gimbal head and give you the full range of motion required to be able to use it in all configurations.

It requires no tools to install, and packs down small. It sure is easier to carry than a second tripod and ballhead.

2. Clamping-plate option (Arca-Swiss or Manfrotto). SF-CP1, or SF-CPM. If you have a body-plate (like the SF-BP1/2/3), or L bracket (LB-ND800, for example) on your camera, then you can mount the SF-CP1/CPM under your camera and allow it to fit into a gimbal head. This option is very lightweight, not expensive, and offers great versatility since you can slide the lens/camera back and forth and use it in true balanced gimbal fashion. Don't forget - It is a 2-pc solution, you do need an Arca-Swiss plate on your camera (or L bracket), or a Manfrotto RC-2 plate.

 



3. The "Super-Cheap-if-you-already-have-a-Ballhead" option. The ADPT-AS250 or AS375 are small square Arca-Swiss plates that can easily bolt onto any small ballhead you may have kicking around gathering dust. You are fundamentally just making a platform for your ballhead that easily pops into the gimbal.

 


 
Super Common Mistakes! Don't do these:
A) Don't try to use a lensplate on your camera body and cram it into a gimbal. Lensplates are called lensplate because they go on lenses. Generally, they don't fit properly on a camera body, they'll twist and slide around. In rare cases it will work, but generally, it's not a good idea.

B) Don't use an L bracket directly on the gimbal. L brackets are designed to go Left-to-Right. Gimbal clamps go Fore-Aft. Unless you have X-Ray vision, you won't be able to see your viewfinder, and you won't be able to tilt up and down.


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