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Thread: Lensmaster

  1. #1
    beechdale basher's Avatar
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    Lensmaster

    http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/

    Does anyone have any experience of this equipment at all?

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Lensmaster

    No, I have no experience with it. But, it looks pretty much like any other gimbal mount. I am not sure where this rig was manufactured but, the Chinese are producing a lot of them now!

    I personally like the Manfrotto Gimbal Mount.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ty_Gimbal.html

    I like it despite the incapable marketing folks at Manfrotto. They persist in illustrating the mount with the camera inverted

    Lensmaster

    while I and everyone I know mounts the camera upright when using this gimbal. See this Nikonian Review to see how I mount the camera upright...

    http://www.nikonians.org/html/resour...393/393_1.html

    The Manfrotto Gimbal is capable of supporting a large weight. See the website of Romy Ocon, the great Filipino Bird Photographer for examples of the Manfrotto Gimbal being used with an enormous load...

    http://www.pbase.com/liquidstone/image/59586426

    If you contact the Manfrotto folks they will erroneously tell you that their Gimbal cannot be used when the camera is equipped with a flash. That is dead wrong and shows you how totally ignorant they are of their own product. The Manfrotto gimbal can be easily modified using an inexpensive piece of aluminum stock of about 1/8" by 1" (about 3mm by 26mm or so) to hold the flash and still allow the camera to rotate from landscape to portrait position. It is also elevated enough so that a Better beamer (flash extender) can easily be used. If I were marketing this gimbal, I would have a flash bar available as an accessory as well as a case for the rig.

    Lensmaster

    IMO, if this rig had the benefit of competent marketing people, it would become far more popular than it is now. Everyone who I know who has used the mount really likes it. It is considerably more expensive now than it was several years ago when I bought mine but, I guess all photo gear has increased in cost. One money saver is that the rig comes equipped with the lens mount. This mount is long enough so that you can shift the camera/lens back and forth to balance it. When I have mine set up, I can move it with my finger tips but, it is so well balanced that it will not move unless I move it...

    I can follow fast moving subjects with ease using this rig. I really love it. Aparently the other 57 reviewers on B&H website above also like time rig because it is given a 4.8 stars out of 5. I don't consider it heavy or bulky at all. I carry it in an old nylon case I once used for a small notebook computer!

    BTW: I also use this rig on a monopod (originally Manfrotto called it a monopod head) and it works great. The upright bars make a super handle for monopod use...

    However, another quite inexpensive solution to following moving subjects is to use a fluid pan head.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...&_osacat=30095

    I have a small Manfrotto head which works just great for action shooting with my 7D and 300mm f/4L IS or 400mm f/5.6l lenses. If I were using it for really giant lenses, I would get a fluid head that was a bit heavier duty I usually tape a shutter release to the pan handle so I can follow and shoot without letting go of the handle or causing a momentary jerk by hitting the shutter button.

    I use a sportsfinder to pick out my target.

    Lensmaster

    If I were a business type, I would get a Chinese company to fabricate sportsfinders. I think that there might be a market for these, especially if there were inserts for various focal length lenses...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 7th January 2013 at 07:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Lensmaster

    Hi Peter,

    Quote Originally Posted by beechdale basher View Post
    http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/

    Does anyone have any experience of this equipment at all?
    Well the video looks impressive, but the engineer in me thinks a double sided mount (like those in Richard's links) has to be stronger and more stable than a single sided.

    I have no experience beyond seeing someone use one in abird hide once or twice.

    Trouble is I hate carrying a tripod

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Lensmaster

    I think (and only think mind you) that my double sided mount would be more balanced for use on a monopod than the single sided mount. I know that the Manfrotto gimbal is real stable when I shoot with a monopod but, don't know if the single sided mount is less stable. I am sure that the double sided mount would be at least equally stable.

    When I purchased my Manfrotto gimbal years ago, the price was just a bit over one hundred U.S. Dollars, new. At that time there were only one or two very expensive single side gimbal mounts available such as the Wimberly models. Additionally, the Manfrotto came with a lens mount while the others did not.

    However, since the infusion of Chinese gimbals, I don't know if the Manfrotto still has a price advantage. But, I also don't know how good the Chinese models might be.

    One of the most important prerequisites of a gimbal mount is that it moves smoothly with just a bit of tension. The Manfrotto is great in that respect...

  5. #5

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    Re: Lensmaster

    It is a very hard choice to make with each manufacturer having its own loyal band of followers.

    Interesting comment there Richard. Over at that other place we are at (that desert animal) I once asked about fluid heads in place of gimbals and was almost laughed off the board even though none of them had ever used one.

    My friend the camera store manager in HK, tells me that fluid heads are the new "in". According to him nowadays no one in his right mind would ever consider a gimbal over a fluid head. Then he demos the only one he has left in stock. Very impressive.

    My only problem with fluid heads is the long "arm" means that one hand is off the camera.
    Last edited by Bobobird; 8th January 2013 at 05:04 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Lensmaster

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I use a sportsfinder to pick out my target.

    Lensmaster

    ...
    Where did you get that sports finder Richard and what AoV does it cover? I tried a red-dot viewfinder but couldn't hack it

  7. #7
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Re: Lensmaster

    Quote Originally Posted by beechdale basher View Post
    http://www.lensmaster.co.uk/

    Does anyone have any experience of this equipment at all?
    I own the RH-2 from Lensmaster. I have been very pleased with it. Solid build and works great.
    The designer is very friendly and will answer personally any questions you might have.

    I use mine on with a Nikon 400mm 2.8VR (Very Heavy) and it handles it with ease.

    If you have any questions just ask but I would highly recommend this piece of kit. There is a good review here

  8. #8
    beechdale basher's Avatar
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    Re: Lensmaster

    Thanks Guys.

    I will have to give this some thought.

    In an effort to be more mobile how do you think this type of equipment will work with a monopod?

  9. #9
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Re: Lensmaster

    Quote Originally Posted by beechdale basher View Post
    Thanks Guys.

    I will have to give this some thought.

    In an effort to be more mobile how do you think this type of equipment will work with a monopod?
    I am sure it would work but I have never used mine on a monopod. I use the 400mm directly attached to a monopod and that works well but with the Gimbal on it I don't see that much advantage as you would be only really be helping with the vertical movement, the monopod already makes it very easy to move the lens horizontally which is what I tend to do more of. To be honest I have been handholding more than anything else as I just feel too restricted when it's bolted down Monopod is great for sports though.

  10. #10

    Re: Lensmaster

    I have just received the RH-2 gimbal head. It arrived the following day after my order and after most helpful conversation with Rob about which version I should use. I posed an e mail question about lens plates to which he responded immediately by telephone on a Sunday. He is sending me an additional lens plate for and I cannot commend his service too highly. As for the unit it is well made based on a simple easily maintained design. It works superbly and does exactly as described. Heartily recommended

  11. #11
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Lensmaster

    John, Sorry, I missed your comment... "Where did you get that sports finder Richard and what AoV does it cover? I tried a red-dot viewfinder but couldn't hack it."

    The sportsfinder was once part of a 35mm Topcon camera kit issued to U.S. Navy pilots. The sportsfinder allowed the Pilot or aircrewman to shoot while wearing a helmet and visor. The FOV is approximately for a 55mm lens which (if memory serves me) was the lens supplied with the camera kit. The camera was lost when an aircraft was ditched and the sportsfinder had been left back on the ship. They were going to throw it away but, I rescued it.

    This would work also
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Forster-equi...item3cf19aebea

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