Friday, July 30, 2010

Induro Gear Guide Part 5 - Balancing Your Camera/Lens on the GHBA Gimbal Head

Welcome to Part 5 of my Induro Gear Guide. This part was originally going to be the wrap up but while reading some documentation about the GHBA Gimbal Head I decided to add another part before the wrap up. Basically the documentation said that a properly balanced camera/lens should remain in the last position you place it even with the main tension knob for the Gimbal Head completely loose. This got the wheels turning because I was wondering how close to achieving this I have been with the way I have been mounting the camera/lens onto the Gimbal Head. Normally I would align the center marks on the clamp and quick release plate and shoot away as shown below.
Initial Installation
Normally I keep some tension on the camera/lens using the main tension knob so for grins I decided to loosen the tension knob completely to see what would happen. The result is shown below.
Not Good
Not good at all! Clearly the camera was way out of balanace and needs to be adjusted within the quick release clamp. Since it was tail heavy I knew I needed to slide the camera/lens forward in the quick release plate and try again. I tried moving the camera forward about half of the available distance I could move it forward. Locked it down and then manually leveled the camera. When I released the camera the nose still tilted up, but no where near as bad as it did the first time. I don't have a picture of the camera/lens that's not zoomed in on the clamp but you can get an idea of how it looks based on the angle of the camera/lens as shown below.
While the balance was certainly better after the first adjustment I decided to move it a little further and try the test again. This time when I released the camera/lens it didn't move or if it did it barely moved. As you can see from the picture below I had to move the lens plate pretty far forwad to achive the proper balance. I haven't had a chance to shoot with the camera/lens in this new postion but I'll be trying it out this coming weekend and will post a follow up next week.
If/When you buy a Gimbal Head you'll probably want to invest in an extra long lens plate which is what I have attached to the 400 lens. The one I bought is from Berno and costs $27.00. The link below is for the plate on Amazon. If you use it to buy the plate I'll earn a small commission and you'll get a plate that'll allow you to achieve a perfectly balanced camera/lens combo on your Gimbal Head.


  1. Excellent series! I feel like I know something about all this advanced tripod stuff now, and could wade into it armed with some knowledge. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Brent. If questions come up as you explore more let me know and I'll try to help if I can.