So who is getting the new Gitzo Gimbal Fluid Head?....

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#1
It was only a matter of time before a forward thinking company like Gitzo introduced the fluid head and control bar features of a video head into a gimbal and it makes a great deal of sense, especially to wildlife and action photographers.

A relatively easy task for Gitzo/Manfrotto (they are owned by the same parent company) as they already had the technology.

I see that Swarovski, the scope makers not the jewellers, are offering their own version with a smaller clamp cradle. It's very obviously the same Gitzo design and so must be manufactured under licence unless they are inviting an expensive court case.

They are not expected in the UK dealer supply chain until the beginning of February and will retail for £399. Meanwhile here is a video....

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESkrRRvnaCw&t=16s


And the product page.... https://www.manfrotto.co.uk/gimbal-fluid-head

More of a first impressions video than a full review but by wildlife professional Tom Mason....

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQIv90910qE


:)
 
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#2
Be interesting to see what sort of reviews it gets. Not silly money either.
 
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#4
There is a review here from Tom Mason
....Unfortunately a very poor quality and rather murky video which doesn't tell us much except that he thinks it's "awesome".
 
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....Unfortunately a very poor quality and rather murky video which doesn't tell us much except that he thinks it's "awesome".
I thought he did a bit more than that, does he not make some comparisons with the head he currently uses and mention the design features he likes. I watched it when it first came out and didn't re-watch it before posting the link. Sorry you didn't find it of any value.
 
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I thought he did a bit more than that, does he not make some comparisons with the head he currently uses and mention the design features he likes. I watched it when it first came out and didn't re-watch it before posting the link. Sorry you didn't find it of any value.
....Yes, you're right, he does mention what he likes and I thank you for posting his video < Your post is much appreciated.

As I need a full-size gimbal and being very interested in this new Gitzo product, I was disappointed because I expected much more due to his video title.
 
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....Yes, you're right, he does mention what he likes and I thank you for posting his video < Your post is much appreciated.

As I need a full-size gimbal and being very interested in this new Gitzo product, I was disappointed because I expected much more due to his video title.
Yes, I suppose it's more his first impressions than a review, but given he is a full time professional wildlife photographer used to using gimbal heads, its a useful addition to any other reviews that might turn up.
 

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#8




I'll be trying it next time in the city; I would not even
think of using the handle ever… don't do videos! :D
 
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RedRobin
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#9

I'll be trying it next time in the city; I would not even
think of using the handle ever… don't do videos! :D
....I never shoot videos either but I think the handle will be one of its most valuable features for stills too.

Not only because it should add to smoother, fine and more tactile control when tracking moving subjects but also because it will provide easier/quicker leverage and again more tactile control when adjusting a Levelling Base. Think of it as the difference in finesse between using fingers and a fist.

I have got one being delivered and so will post if this is so when I have tested it.
 

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#10
… more tactile control…

I don't see it that way because, when shooting, I got
both hands on the combo: one on the trigger and the
second on the lens hood… with all long lenses! The
lever seems only to be in the way.

Of course, everyone has his own twist! :cool:
 
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I don't see it that way because, when shooting, I got
both handS on the combo: one on the trigger and the
second on the lens hood… with all long lenses! The
lever seems only to be in the way.

Of course, everyone has his own twist! :cool:
....Indeed, we each have our own preferences.

I sometimes have my left hand on the barrel of a long lens (never on the hood so far) while I shoot with my right hand but it all depends on the heat of the moment and having the option of the handle, which is adjustable in length and angle, is likely to help me. Sometimes I need my left hand to focus manually.
 
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#13
I don't see it that way because, when shooting, I got
both handS on the combo: one on the trigger and the
second on the lens hood… with all long lenses! The
lever seems only to be in the way.

Of course, everyone has his own twist! :cool:
I'm with you on this. I can't ever see that I'd hold onto that lever. I can't fault my Wimberly (which was, admittedly, "silly money" - but about the same price as the gitzo), so won't be looking at this.
 
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RedRobin
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#14
The 7kg limit doesn't offer a huge margin for 400/2.8's and 600/4's with a chunky body on the back.
....Where did you hear that 7kg is "the limit"?

The Canon 1DX2 + 600mm F/4L + 2x III Extender is no more than 7kg anyway and talking to Gitzo directly I am told that there is always margin above their published limits. They specifically said that a 1DX plus 600mm was no problem.
 
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I'm with you on this. I can't ever see that I'd hold onto that lever. I can't fault my Wimberly (which was, admittedly, "silly money" - but about the same price as the gitzo), so won't be looking at this.
....Well, the lever is easily removable if it doesn't suit you and you don't have to hang onto it anyway as you can see in the video of wildlife professional Tom Mason posted earlier. Have you ever used a fluid head? But you're happy with your Wimberley and so it's not for you.
 
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....Where did you hear that 7kg is "the limit"?

The Canon 1DX2 + 600mm F/4L + 2x III Extender is no more than 7kg anyway and talking to Gitzo directly I am told that there is always margin above their published limits. They specifically said that a 1DX plus 600mm was no problem.
It was showing 7kg and now it's showing 8kg. A 400/2.8 IS mkI with a 1Dx, converter and flash-beamer combination comes in over 7kg. Wimberley seem to be shy to give a load capacity but some resellers quote 15kg.
 
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#18
8kg.. (17.64lbs on their website). This concerns me as the lowest most others are rated for is about 50lbs, and IME you want a capacity at least 2x what you'll actually be putting on it. Also, the arm being a hollow casting made from magnesium is a bit concerning IMO.
....Most others unrealistically rate their weight payloads in an effort to outdo each other.

If you are concerned about the strength of magnesium, this may make some interesting reading : search

However, your points are valid of course and should be considered.
 
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#19
Well if the 7/8 Kilo weight rating is to Gitzo's normal standards then I wouldn't worry! My (ex) G1329 Mk2 was rated at 12 kilos yet it was nice and stable with 100+ kilos (me!). As to my current 4 series I can't even be bothered to find out what it is stable with - I might have to bring a friend?!?

Seriously though I don,t think this head will have the slightest difficulty with Canon/Nikon's longest lenses, currently 800mm, and as we all know focal length is FAR more critical than weight!

I am very interested to give one a go with my Canon 800 F5.6 L IS and see how it stacks up against my Wimberley 2 - the "Fluid" function is the only thing that concerns me, but I haven't tried it yet...........
 

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#20
Well if the 7/8 Kilo weight rating is to Gitzo's normal standards then I wouldn't worry!

… me neither!

They have to put a figure so to create conditions to
the extend of their guaranty.
 

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#21
the arm being a hollow casting made from magnesium is a bit concerning IMO.

Not to me, Steven. I learned that a well done tube is stronger,
though lighter, than a bar.
 
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No to me, Steven. I learned the a well done tube is stronger,
though lighter, than a bar.
....Indeed a tube is stronger (and lighter) and furthermore magnesium alloy is currently probably (subject to scientific backup) the strongest metal material available. The Gitzo body is HPDC (High Pressure Die Cast) and therefore will be of appropriately very strong alloy mix - Gitzo are a very reliable brand who know what they are doing and cannot afford to lose their reputation by getting things wrong. Can you imagine the damage if this new product, launched at the celebration of their centenary, had structural failures! It would impact and bring into question their whole range of products using magnesium.

We all know that the Wimberley gimbal is the result of a very clever inventor but it's a very heavy (and I think over priced) old beast. It works but technology and innovation does not stand still.
 
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#23
Well if the 7/8 Kilo weight rating is to Gitzo's normal standards then I wouldn't worry! My (ex) G1329 Mk2 was rated at 12 kilos yet it was nice and stable with 100+ kilos (me!). As to my current 4 series I can't even be bothered to find out what it is stable with - I might have to bring a friend?!?

Seriously though I don,t think this head will have the slightest difficulty with Canon/Nikon's longest lenses, currently 800mm, and as we all know focal length is FAR more critical than weight!

I am very interested to give one a go with my Canon 800 F5.6 L IS and see how it stacks up against my Wimberley 2 - the "Fluid" function is the only thing that concerns me, but I haven't tried it yet...........
....I wasn't worried about Gitzo's weight rating either - Until it was raised as a concern in this thread. So it is reassuring to hear your experiences and opinion, John.

Mine has yet to arrive for a hands-on workout but my understanding is that its degree of fluidity, and hence resistance, is influenced by how quickly the gimbal is moved and the resistance is additionally dialled by the knobs controlling panning and 'swing'. So in other words, hopefully the user has a degree of control over the fluid resistance to then find what they feel most comfortable with.

I shall report my findings back here in this thread for those who are interested.

EDIT : I have just received a phone call to inform me that mine will be with me tomorrow (Wednesday).
 
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#24
As a Wimberley user this does look very interesting and look forward to trying it at the photography show.

With the current price of the Wimberley being what it is, it shouldnt’t cost anything to upgrade either!

As a heads up, Robert White are showing them at £359.95 currently.
 
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#25
As a heads up, Robert White are showing them at £359.95 currently.
....But are "out of stock" like all the other UK retailers because Gitzo are not releasing it into the retail chain until 29th January earliest.

My direct experiences of Robert White (they are within easy driving distance from me) are not positive and I wouldn't be surprised if they sell it at the normal £399 retail price when in stock. Of course, I may be proved mistaken.

They are not expecting to have stock until "2-3 weeks" from now.
 
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....But are "out of stock" like all the other UK retailers because Gitzo are not releasing it into the retail chain until 29th January earliest.

My direct experiences of Robert White (they are within easy driving distance from me) are not positive and I wouldn't be surprised if they sell it at the normal £399 retail price when in stock. Of course, I may be proved mistaken.

They are not expecting to have stock until "2-3 weeks" from now.
That’s fair enough but I am expecting a show price at The Photography Show and I can wait a few weeks! ;)
 
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#27
I would have thought cast magnesium an ideal material, and it's something of a speciality feature of Gitzo/Manfrotto, often used in preference to CNC'd aluminium. It's very strong and light, if a little bulkier than aluminium, but that doesn't matter here. They've been using it for decades for things like tripod crowns and ball heads where it's subject to very high loads.

As a rule, manufacturers' load ratings are pretty meaningless, seemingly plucked from the air in most cases. But if there is an issue here, it may relate to the fluid bearings - which are what this gimbal is all about really. It's primarily a very smooth-panning video product.
 
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#28
....Yes, you're right, he does mention what he likes and I thank you for posting his video < Your post is much appreciated.

As I need a full-size gimbal and being very interested in this new Gitzo product, I was disappointed because I expected much more due to his video title.

This product really caught my eye when I first saw it advertised so I for one will definitely be watching this space to see how you get on with it.
A couple of points, I think the weight limit they quote is for the amount of resistance being offered by the fluid head, in other words if the lens/camera combo was tilted at an extreme angle the amount of of weight which could be contained by the fluid resistance aspect, obviously one could lock the head off if necessary!
In my experiecne many gimbals fail because they lack the amount of fine adjustment to resistance when the mounted equipment is moved, (panned/tilted). Trying to operate a gimbal smoothly which offers no resistance or an inconsistent resistance can cause it's own problems so I'm thinking this
offering from Gitzo may offer a worthwhile advance over existing options. As I say I'll be very interested to hear how you get on with it.
Cheers
tony
PS wasn't sure if you are aware Swarovski optic and Swarovski jewellery are essenially the same company, the jewellery aspect came first, as a company they have a fascinating history.
cheers
 
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#31
In my experiecne many gimbals fail because they lack the amount of fine adjustment to resistance when the mounted equipment is moved, (panned/tilted). Trying to operate a gimbal smoothly which offers no resistance or an inconsistent resistance can cause it's own problems so I'm thinking this offering from Gitzo may offer a worthwhile advance over existing options. As I say I'll be very interested to hear how you get on with it.
Cheers
tony
....That inconsistency and consequently its unreliability in locking down the pan to maintain a composition precisely is mostly why I sold my Sirui carbon PH-20 gimbal < Its slippage became very frustrating.

I sometimes use a Jobu Jr3 Deluxe gimbal, the smallest gimbal currently in existence, but mounted on a Platypod because Jobu feel unable to recommend its continual use for a Canon 500mm F/4L + D-SLR body on a tripod carried around all day on the shoulder. Hence my current need for a 'full-size' gimbal and, like most serious photographers, I am extremely wary of the durability of cheap gimbals advertised on eBay and Amazon made by manufacturers I have never heard of.

About three years ago I bought a Manfrotto aluminium monopod with short flip-up feet and a fluid video head with panning handle - It was heavy and cumbersome and I don't think it fitted Arca-Swiss profile plates so I sold it to a videographer. Its fluid method of operation was much more basic than this new Gitzo promises to be, but we'll see. I'll be testing its movements out at home first but Friday's weather forecast looks good enough for a trip out for the day hunting wildlife provisionally arranged with a friend. I expect to be mostly shooting on a Canon 500mm F/4L II + 5D4 and he on a 600mm F/4L II + 7D2 + Battery Grip. We both occasionally add Extenders. We both use Gitzo Systematic tripods.

How it behaves when the whole rig is carried around on the shoulder is also a serious consideration as to whether I keep it or send it back but I'm not expecting any negatives in that respect.
 
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#32
....Most others unrealistically rate their weight payloads in an effort to outdo each other.

If you are concerned about the strength of magnesium, this may make some interesting reading : search

However, your points are valid of course and should be considered.
Many/most give a failure rating (some quite arbitrary it seems). Very few give a functional load rating, and I don't believe Gitzo does... they specify it as "safety payload weight," i.e. series 2/3/4 systematic legs are all rated at 55lbs, (maybe due to the leg locks).

My concern isn't about the strength of magnesium per-se, it's about it being a hollow casting, cast is more brittle and prone to fatigue failures/cracking. They've been using it forever in their tripods, and it's not terribly uncommon for it to crack/fail. I'm *not* saying it's unsuitable... I'm just suspicious about long term use/abuse.

Fluid damping is ideal, but this is not the first fluid damped Gimbal. RRS makes an expensive one, and there is (used to be?) an even more expensive version made just for the movie industry.
We used to use fluid video heads with adjustable counterbalances, adjustable dampening, leveling ball base, etc etc... I still have an old Sachtler somewhere. This is a move back in that direction IMO, but it has the advantage of being lighter/simpler/cheaper... I would be interested other than I've gone even farther back to using just pan tilt heads, like I did before I could afford a high quality video head.

Fluid cartridge is really just a grease bearing interface, as are most fluid heads. But the cartridge system is simpler... in most cases it's simply a stiction interface.
 
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#34
I've frequently considered the RRS fluid gimbal, but the price was too high for me to justify given the other limitations of a gimbal head (about 3x).
....I didn't know that RRS produce a fluid gimbal. I have a RRS tilt head on my Gitzo monopod and a RRS ballhead on my Gitzo Traveller tripod and find RRS products very well thought out and built to a high standard. Expensive but will last.

Crikey!!! Even more expensive than I thought it might be and a sidekicker rather than cradle bed. Their quick release lever is the best I have ever used.

https://www.photospecialist.co.uk/really-right-stuff-fg-02-lr-fluid-gimbal-head
 
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#36
Bad news Robin, the RRS fluid gimbal can be had with a full cradle - you might even get change from £2k :eek:

http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/FG-02-Fluid-Gimbal-Head
....LOL :LOL:. Much as I love RRS products, their fluid gimbal system offers other features which my photography doesn't need. Reading about it, the new Gitzo's 'dynamic whip' behaviour of fluid resistance seems to be efficiently 'automatic' rather than continually needing to be set by hand. Either way, the RRS is overkill for my purposes.
 
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#38
Reading about it, the new Gitzo's 'dynamic whip' behaviour of fluid resistance seems to be efficiently 'automatic' rather than continually needing to be set by hand.
I suspect it's "marketing" more than anything, and reviews by people who have never used a fluid head before. From what I have seen, the cheaper "fluid cartridge" design is really just two flat bearing surfaces held apart by trapped grease. The drag (stiction) effect is similar to dragging a sled through sand/snow. At a given rate of motion it provides a given resistance/drag, but there is a break away point where it gets much easier. Maybe they have found a special grease that enhances the behavior, but I kind of doubt it.
I suspect there is only one level of fluid drag and the adjustment knobs are standard friction type adjustments.
 
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#39
I suspect it's "marketing" more than anything, and reviews by people who have never used a fluid head before. From what I have seen, the cheaper "fluid cartridge" design is really just two flat bearing surfaces held apart by trapped grease. The drag (stiction) effect is similar to dragging a sled through sand/snow. At a given rate of motion it provides a given resistance/drag, but there is a break away point where it gets much easier. Maybe they have found a special grease that enhances the behavior, but I kind of doubt it.

I suspect there is only one level of fluid drag and the adjustment knobs are standard friction type adjustments.
....Mine has arrived and I have played with it indoors so far (seriously s*** weather outdoors today!). It's a big boy!

You are right : The adjustment knobs are standard friction type and don't influence the resistance BUT they are beautifully tactile, grippy, and everything feels ultra smooooth. You feel as if any vibration of the camera/lens is totally dampened (whether it is or not remains to be seen).

I have used a fluid head with panning arm before and this Gitzo feels very much smoother and finer than the Manfrotto video head I had < More subtle and finer in its adjustability. I hope this makes sense.

Balance (Canon 500mm F/4L II + 1.4x on 5D4 or 100-400mm L II on 7D2) feels equally well balanced - Free but safe and with perfect degree of resistance.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating when I go out shooting with it on Friday (which currently has a better weather forecast).
 
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