Throughout this project I have been testing out the Wimberley Head version II. The Wimberley Head (WH) is a specialised tripod head aimed at photographers using large, heavy telephoto lenses. I was keen to put it through its paces to see how it performed.
My main interest in a tripod head is whether it allows for easy and accurate control of a lens. The WH has been cleverly designed to allow you to rotate a large lens around its centre of gravity, which essentially means that a heavy lens can be moved about without any effort at all. I found it a real joy to use; with a single hand I could move a 4kg+ lens smoothly towards any direction without a problem. The movement of the WH is totally fluid and this makes panning and tracking moving objects easy to do. This is a really important plus point for wildlife photographers and I expect will be useful for a host of other photographers who use large lenses to track moving objects.
It’s very easy to use; just one control to increase or decrease the tension for moving the lens up and down and another to do the same horizontally. When tightened there is no play at all and your lens won’t budge, but when released fully fluid motion is possible. Serious thought and effort has gone into the engineering of this product and it shows with the ease and smoothness of use.
I’ve used a variety of tripod heads but this was by far the best I have tried. In comparison to the ball head style, I found the WH much better as it takes all of the pressure off balancing the lens and allows for focusing on getting the shots instead. This also means that you can shoot for longer without the fatigue associated with holding or balancing large lenses.
The build quality is incredibly high and it feels like a product that will last for many years. On top of this, the WH comes with a five-year warranty just in case there are any issues. Considering the high build quality, it manages to be fairly light weighing in at 1.4kg — important if you’re going to be lugging it around to remote locations.
At around £520, this tripod head isn’t cheap but I genuinely think it is worth the money. If you have spent several thousand pounds on a telephoto lens, it needs to be complemented with a tripod head which will makes it easier for you to get better shots. This tripod head allowed me to push my photography further with less effort, and that can never be a bad thing!