Author Topic: monopod gimbal  (Read 299 times)

Matthew Currie

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monopod gimbal
« on: June 27, 2020, 04:16:42 »
I figure to count this one as more a feasibility study or a test of concept than a real project, but I was looking at a video the other day in which Steve Perry was touting the idea of a gimbal on a monopod, and then praising the new Wimberley monopod gimbal, and it occurred to me to wonder if the idea was any good.  And then I remembered that at some point, a propos of nothing, I discovered that a device originally made for clamping a bicycle front fork to a pickup truck box just happened to have a base that fits perfectly in an Arca Swiss clamp.  So of course, having more scrap metal and time than brains I decided to try it.  That device also has, in place of the usual wimpy quick release, a nice hefty quick release axle.  So I figured with a little trimming on one end, and a little modifiction of the axle, I could attach an A/S clamp and make a monopod gimbal. 

It actually works pretty well, though the monopod head in question is not really robust enough for the job. The monopod is one I got with no head at a yard sale for a buck or so and the head is actually the ball head from a Pana-Vise, on a home-made adapter. But apart from stressing the ball head, it balances well, and it's set up so the quick release lever allows it to pivot freely or lock in position.  With the mount on the right, and the lever on the left, I can hold the monopod steady with my hand on the lever, and tighten it as needed. 

I don't really anticipate needing a monopod gimbal often if ever in real use, and if I did I'd almost certainly need a better monopod or at least a better head.  But I did want to see how it works, and have to report that it works pretty well.  I imagine a proper Wimberley one with factory-made clamp and pad would be a little nicer, but if you've been wondering if the idea itself is viable, I'm glad to report that it is.  It's pretty comfortable to use, and not as out of balance as one might expect.

It also seems to work on a standard tripod head,  so if you don't mind that it's off center, it could be used on a tripod too.




Erik Lund

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Re: monopod gimbal
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 11:53:33 »
That is quite a contraption  :o
Erik Lund

Matthew Currie

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Re: monopod gimbal
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2020, 21:36:31 »
I shortened it a little and adapted a better head for the monopod, and it looks a little less crazy now.  It takes a little getting used to not to forget and drop the whole rig, so I recommend keeping the shoulder strap on, but it balances fine with a 200-500, and works pretty well. 

Looks like a good possibility for chasing bugs with the big lens.