As you know, I’m a bit of a tripod / monopod junkie. So, I’m excited to share my review of the new Wimberley MonoGimbal head.
This new lightweight head allows you to balance your rig just like a regular gimbal head – point up or down and everything stays in place, no need to tighten the locking knob. However, this compact unit is only a fraction of the size of a normal gimbal head.
Is it right for you? Check out the video for what it is, how it works, setup, field use, and recommendations.
Also, if you want to see it yourself, check it out at the link below:
For those in the United Kingdom: https://www.bobrigby.com/wimberley/item/wimberley_monogimbal_head_mh_100
Steve, great video, as always. I have a question about the tripod collar. With my 200-500mm I am using the OEM Nikon collar with an AS plate attached. The monopod gimbal works great with the tripod collar loosened (as I’ve read it is supposed to be). but I am concerned about two things…1) wear and tear on the collar and/or lens attachment points over time, and 2) any risk of the collar sliding off the lens, either during use or while trekking with the lens slung over the shoulder? I know the Nikon collar is only supposed to detach when… Read more »
Hi Bruce – I don’t think there’s a big risk of any collar coming off of that lens, however, I only loosen just enough to turn it and I usually still lock it down while hiking. More to keep the camera from rotating around than collar worries 🙂 As for wear and tear, I really don’t know. I haven’t heard of or experienced any detrimental effects. As for why have the loose collar, remember it’s an offset and not everything is “perfect” as we pan. 🙂 In theory it might be fine to keep it locked, but in practice fixing… Read more »
Thanks Steve for the reassurance. I have been trying to train myself on keeping the tilt as I pan. My local woods and river aren’t that demanding for quick adjustment. As I get more into BIF I suspect I will just loosen the collar to make things a bit easier. Appreciate you taking the time to respond!
Hi Steve, I replaced my RRS MH-01 head with the Wimberley on your recommendation. The reasoning I did it was the point that you made about balancing the lens. Total game changer at about 60% of the cost. I can see an immediate sharpness improvement due to the improved stability and is much easier to track with. I do wish that Wimberley sold quick release plate options for their products. The screw on is a pain but some companies across the pond are stubborn as heck to change. My other problem with the RRS head was the dang thing squeaked… Read more »
Hi Steve, great video ! I’m planning of purchasing Monogimbal for my new 600mm lens. What monopod would you recommend ? I’m im 5’5 tall. Thank you in advance.
Do you still like this Monogimbal head.
Planning for another trip to Africa and will purchase the MonoGimbal. I think the folks at B&H should pay you some marketing cash! About every 3rd or 4th review refers to your website/youtube/review of this item.
I am just now coming to monopods after giving up on using tripods due their weight and size, which, on top of the weight and size of my rig (Canon 7D Mk2 and Sigma 150-600mm), was taxing my strength. I’m only 5′ 6″ and 73 yrs old. So anyway, I found an interesting monopod made by iFootage, the Cobra series. I like its features. So the question then arose – what head? And that’s how I found you. I’ve never used the collar on my Sigma loose so that makes me cautious. How would this Wimberly work on my set… Read more »
I think it should work, but I’m not familiar with that monopod. Looking at it, it looks pretty standard, but you may need to contact the manufacturer.
Late to the party here, thanks for the tip on this Steve. Just received mine today to use with a Nikon 200-500 on a D500. The Nikon foot/collar on the lenses makes it really tight to access the Pv button which I use to switch to single point focus. Bigger issue is the fact that it puts a lot of leverage on the collar, to the point where I have to lift the camera to get out of the “notch” with the arrow marking where to remove the collar. Anyone else experiencing this? What lens collar/foot replacement do you recommend?… Read more »
I had the sidekick and it was a no brainer when this came out. I tried it last week With my 500pf and tamron 150-600 I cant figure out how to get the tripod collar to rotate so that the monopod is on the right but the button to release the collar is on top. Is that possible to do. I have it attached straight to the monopod.
Hello Steve – which size RRS lever release clamp did you go with for your Gitzo 4552? I see a 60mm and 80mm version of the Really Right Stuff B2-LLR-II Lever-Release Clamp. Thank you!
I have the same question which one do you 60 mm 80 mm.
I use the 60mm one.
Sorry for the delay – I missed this post. I use the 60mm one.
No worries…thank you Steve!!
Hi Steve, I saw your last information about the new Heynar foot specifically designed for the 500 PF; as I will in the next days order the monogimbal for my 500 PF, is it better to order the Wimberley AP-500 replacement foot or the new foot you suggest (My camera is a D500)?
Thank’s a lot.
Either one should be fine. I was using the original Hejanr 500PF foot on the mongimbal and it was fine.The new one will be even better. Also, the new and old version are both on the site, here’s the correct link: http://www.hejnarphotostore.com/product-p/h129-500.htm
Thank you Steve; I didn’t make yet my choice for a monopod; I am 5’10” and I don’t want to bend myself each time I will use it; what’s about a Feisol Monopod CM1471 able to withstand 25 pounds (enough for my needs) with a max height of 66” + 3.5” with the monogimbal head?
I’m not familiar with that one – I can recommend the one I use – the Gitzo 4552L. Pricy but great quality.
Thank you Steve, I will follow your advice.
Hi Steve, the monogimbal is indeed wonderful but as you mentioned the smoothness of the lens rotation collar is a big factor. My previous-generation Nikon 400mm f/2.8 AF-S VR ED is really stiff; it doesn’t want to rotate on the monogimbal unless I lift up on the lens while turning it. The same lens, however, rotates fine if the foot is supported from the bottom, as it is when on a full gimbal head. I would love to get this lens working better on the monogimbal; do you have any ideas for improving the rotation? Is this something that Nikon… Read more »
Honestly, I’m not sure eon that one. About the only thing I can think of it to have the collar replaced – it’s probably worn. It may also be an issue with the weight of the lens – your version of the 400mm weighs over 10 lbs if I recall. It might just be too much for the side mount. Wish I had better news…
I am having the same issue with the same 400 lens. But my lens is only a year old so the collar should not be worn out! It was so uncomfortable that I had to return the head 🙁
That’s odd – is it the 400 E? Maybe the offset is just too far with the 400mm glass.
No, it’s a G. But I’m pretty sure you are right about the offset. The lens is so far away from the pivot point that there is too much weight on the collar and it binds up. If I spring for a new, shorter offset collar (if there even is one) and the monogimbal head, I’m up to the price of a full gimbal head! I did find a tilt head that I can live with. It’s the Sirui L-10. It is able to handle the weight of the 400. Not as nice as the monogimbal but it will do… Read more »
Thanks for this Steve. The timing couldn’t have been better. The 600 f/4 FL that arrived here Dec. 26 was quickly fitted with a replacement arca compatible foot & the Wimberley fitted to a Gitzo mono-pod. I’ve had no trouble hand holding the 500FL, but opted for more stability with it’s heavier big brother. I did have to send the mono-pod back, & exchange it for the long version. GM4552L. The extra length is necessary for anything overhead and made a lot of difference. With a 1.4x attached I was able to get sharp photos of a Merlin & a… Read more »
Steve, Thanks for the excellent review and tips on using the monogimbal. I am tempted to buy it, but am hesitating since I already have Wimberly Side-Kick which can also be used with a monopod although it is designed for tripod use. Of course it is bulkier than the new item, but it does eliminate the offset that occurs with the monogimbal. Would appreciate your comments is you have made a comparison. BTW, I did attend your recent presentation at CAPS and found it outstanding and would recommend that those who were unable to attend watch the presentation on your… Read more »
Thanks Bill. I’m out of town at the moment, so I can’t test the sidekick to see – I guess my advice is that if it works, why not use it? Can’t say without messing with it if it’s the same as the mono gimbal though.
And thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed the presentation 🙂
The MonoGimbal actually utilized the same components as the sidekick but with a different body.
The strength and stability are therefore not limited by the strength of the ballhead and it will easily handle anything your monopod can support.
In actual use the weight is centered over the foot of the monopod.
The offset provides several advantages and no disadvantages over a traditional design when used on a monopod.
Thanks Steve, buying on your recommendation, my monogimbal arrived in New Zealand from Amazon this week. So much better than using my regular gimbal head on my Manfrotto monopod. However my D850 is now about 6 inches lower even with the monopod fully extended. At 6’2″ it means I’m stooped over looking through the viewfinder. Hope my back lasts 🙂
Thanks a mil Steve. I am catching up and this most XCLNT info and vid is Eggsactly what I have been waiting for in mono pod tech and info.I especially appreciate the “sling” mode section as I love hiking and traipsing about. Now I can do that AND not have to go insane over handheld stabilizing:)
I have been using a proper Gimbal head(inspired from your proper gimbal head video last year) with my Manfrotto monopod for quite some time now. It was a real pain to lug around the heavy rig (compared to my tilt head), I occasionally take it out. Now I have ordered one here in the UK, expecting to give me some nice shots with the setup.
So I decided to pick up one of these (just got today). Haven’t tried out in the field yet. I did find, like you, that both of the 500/600 f4 lenses (I have access to both) both feel a bit tight on the tripod collar. Since I haven’t truly tried out in the field I can’t say for certain, but I can’t imagine it will be a real problem while shooting.
#1 – will this work with the Nikon 80-400? Can one use this on a tripod? I recognize one would loose the “panning” capability, unless I use it with my video head (which doesn’t pan as smoothly). Thanks!
I think you’re far better off with a gimbal head. Losing the pan would be tough, plus, I’m not sure how well a tripod would handle the offset / side mount.
Ginnie and I took out this new setup for a test drive. I fastened the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary foot with double screws (drilled and tapped the foot) and locktite on to a slide plate. The Wimberly Mono Gimbal head was paired with a Benro series monopod (MAD49A). Our cameras are Nikon D-7200. We shot both standing and sitting in lightweight foldable chairs (Lightspeed Tripod). Compared to my Benro Gimbal Head on a tripod, I was able to correct and find birds in flight much quicker both standing and sitting. As seen in the video, I had the tripod tilted back… Read more »
Hi Tom. I too have a d7200 with the Sigma 150-600C. I also have a longer base plate I can attach to it like you did. I’m doing some research before buying a head for my monopod, and I’m wondering if you are still happy a year on? My main concern is having enough space between the lens foot and both the camera body and lens to access all buttons and controls, and be able to comfortably hold the camera. I’m assuming you mount it with the monopod to the left of the lens? Thanks in advance for any advice… Read more »
I am still happy with my mono gimble. However, as compared with my nikkor 500pf, the 150-600C is relatively difficult to rotate in the collar. In tracking moving subjects the monopod often winds up not straight (90 degrees perpendicular to the ground) requiring the camera to be rotated in the foot collar to maintain parallel to the horizon. Of course this can be fixed in post but with the 500pf that rotation is smooth.
Based on your video review and recommendation, I ordered the Wimberley MonoGimbal head, and chose a Sirui P-224SR monopod on which to mount it. Both arrived yesterday, and I used them together for the first time today. Wow! The combination of this monopod and gimbal head handles my Nikon D750 and Tamron SP 150-600 G2 beautifully. The tripod leg stand of the monopod will support the weight of the rig if the legs are properly positioned. Thank you for making my bird and wildlife photography both easier and more enjoyable!
Awesome – glad to hear it 🙂
I have the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary which has a single piece ring-foot so the Wimberly replacement foots won’t work. My solution is to have the foot tapped so I can place and additional screw to hold the Arca plate to the foot.
Putting a second hole is one option.
These Desmond plates have a ridge on the back that reduces the chances of the lens foot slipping out.
They come in various lengths and are inexpensive
They will work with a single screw and prevent twisting out, but it is necessary to tighten then occasionally
They are not as secure as having 2 screws but they are a lot better than a flat plate with a single screw
I looked at the Desmond plates. They appear superior to what I have BUT what I really want is a one piece ring-foot and No Joy finding one. I simply have to make one using one or maybe two additional screws and locktite everything into place.
When mounting this lens the MonoGimbal should go on the right (grip side) of the camera.
This type of ring releases when rotated to the top and will release when used on the left (non grip side) in the portrait rotation.
When transporting the camera lock the lens ring, when using the camera loosen the lens ring
Your rig will work great on the MonoGimbal but this tip you save you some minor aggravation.
Thanks Barry. I will do this. Ginnie and I are good underwater photographers (www.tomandginnie.com) but birds are a new subject for us (which is why I am here).
I really enjoy your videos and the way you present the information. Thanks.
I have several of your e-books and read them from time to time. How about hard copies. I find print easier to read and I seem to remember the information better.
On another note: I’m past (way past) social security and don’t have the strength to carry the heavy lenses long distances. How about a video for us old folks with some alternatives to the big lenses.
Thank you Steve for another informative video. I hope you will keep us posted when this Monogimbal head finally adopts a quick release lever to attach a big lens, like a 600mm f/4. It is too much of a juggling act to count on a screw knob. Thank you.
I don’t believe Wimberley make a lever clamp. The monogimbal does appear to use the C10 head and is presumably attached to the monogimbal spindle with a standard 3/8” thread.
Perhaps you could ask Wimberley if the attachment is indeed 3/8” and if they’d supply without a clamp. You could them fit your preferred clamp using Loctite to ensure it doesn’t loosen.
How can I ever save enough money to go to your class in Costa Rica if I need to keep buying all this cool gear you review? Thanks Steve
Thanks a lot very helpful information!!
Great video. By the way, which RRS Lever Release Clamp are you using with that rig, and which Series 4 Gitzo Monopod are you using?
Sure thing – It’s the Gitzo 4552L and RRS B2-Lightroom-II clamp.
This looks great. Why couldn’t I also attach to a tripod via the acra swiss connection? If it’s great for a monopod, why not use it for tripod?
It doesn’t allow for left – right rotation s0 you’d have to spin the tripod. So, not really ideal.
If you’re desperate to do it, you could add a rotating panning clamp between the Wimberley and the tripod. Something like RRS PC-PRO Round Panning Clamp or the lever equivalent. Given the cantilevered load, I’d use one from a reputable manufacturer rather than a Chinese knock off. Way smoother and much stronger.
The MonoGimbal is not intended for monopod use and may not perform well on tripod even with a pan head.
Correction…Is intended for monopod
Agree entirely. I wouldn’t do it. Just pointing out an option if he’s hung up on trying it.
Hi Steeve, thank’s again for this instructive video; my question: using a 500 PF, with its original foot, is it preferable to buy the Heynar foot you recommend in your Nikon 500 PF full review or the Wimberley AP-500 replacement foot suggested with the monogimbal head?
Either one – I have the Heynar foot and it’s fine, although I’m sure the Wimberley is just as good, maybe better.
I have the Wimberly foot.
It replaces the quick release feature with a foot that stays on and is more secure, but not easily removable.
The back end extends further and is easier to balance with a heavy camera (D850) plus grip plus teleconverter.
The original foot does not extend far enough to balance this combination.
A single pin needs to be inserted , it is not difficult but follow the instructions carefully.
I use the replacement lens foot from Kirk Enterprises for 500PF, 200-5-00, 70-200 and my old 80-400. Dovetail is built in. Very happy with the build/operation of Kirk.
I have the RRS foot and it works great on the 500 PF. It is essentially the same as the 70-200 f2.8 foot they make.
This whole rig with Wimberley’s new head looks fantastic. I have one of their products and it is great. I like the concept of its design, however, I am concerned that carrying a heavy lens and camera body across your back while hiking distances as shown in your video, might break down the tightness and hold of the gimbal head mount. This is my concern more than the stress on the monopod. Can you please check with the designers from Wimberley and see if they approve of such usage.
Thanks, Pamela /Prima Photography
I always suggest using a lens strap (no matter what equipment you are using.
I have sometimes carried as shown in video and it works good.
I also often point the lens straight down, lock it, and carry in front of me (in a waist level pouch.
If you have a chest strap you can even strap it and carry hands free.
I’ll see what I can find out.
How would you balance the Nikon 200-500 since Balance point changes as you zoom.?
Sadly, you really can’t. Best bet is to balance it where you think you’ll use the lens the most (of many, that’s at 500m or thereabouts).
I love those overdesigned Manfrotto monopods (I have two!)
Caramba, excellent review and I am ordering immediately! Game changer indeed, especially the carry aspect, slinging it over the shoulder is KILLER!
Hi Steve, Another great video as usual. I began using an Acratech ball head with side mount gimbal feature on smaller lenses (80 – 400) and found it worked pretty well. The camera offset wasn’t an issue, my concern was more around stresses in the mounting. If this had been available, I would have bought it. I’d been using an Induro GHBA Gimbal Head (like Wimberley sidekick) on tripod and tried using it on monopod as well. I found it smoother to use and felt more secure with heavier rigs. It also had the benefit of moving lens mass closer… Read more »
I am so excited to hear about the Wimberly Monogimbal Head in your video. I am not the most mechanical person so I have a question. I have the same RRS monopod head on my Gitzo monopod that you have. If I remove that head, buy the Monogimbal head, I would like to put it on the monopod using a RRS Lever-release clamp which I would then attach the arca-swiss dovetails that is part of the Monogimbal head to the RRS clamp. Wimberly also sells quick release clamps but I prefer the RRS ones. If this makes sense to you,… Read more »
I’ve thought about doing that myself, but haven’t been ablate bring myself to disassemble the unit yet. It seems to need a compete disassembly to preform the swap. I tired just tightening the locking knob but the plate wouldn’t budge. I’m afraid if I tight it too tight I might damage it, so I think I need to take it completely apart. If I do, I’ll post an update here on this page.
The RRS 80mm Lever Release is a direct/exact fit. Easy swap. First thing I did when I got it today
If you want you can simply remove the head you are now using and screw the MonoGimbal directly onto the monopod.
You do not need anything else.
If you want it to be even lighter you can remove the camera plate on your monopod (most simply unscrew) and mount the MonoGimbal directly on the 3/8” mounting stud.
Some monopod studs will be too long with the plate removed, if your stud is too long you can get a different mounting stud or put the plate back on.
Thanks, looks great. I have been thinking about using a monopod but a gimbal head does add a lot of extra weight. This does look like a good alternative. I would however want to try out the ball head idea suggested by Harold FEIERTAG in the comments. I have an old Manfrotto ball head on which I can attach an arca-swiss clamp from another head. I also noticed in you video that when you were porting your camera and monopod using a conventional gimbal that all the weight of the camera/gimbal was putting a bending stress on the top most… Read more »
You are correct, the offset nature of this gimbal does put some additional stress on the monopod, and a flimsy poorly built monopod may break. Wimberly recommends a monopod capacity of 3x the weight of your rig. I have broken 3 cheap flimsy monopods, but I have been using sturdy monopods for a long time and never had a problem with a good monopod. Surprisingly have also found that aluminum monopods are a bit more resistant to breakage than comparable carbon monopods. But it is important to use a good monopod and if you do you will have absolutely no… Read more »
Hi Dan – Just FYI – I have used ball heads on monopods and it’s not fun. If you have it loose – and the collar loose for rotation – it can quickly become a mess. The plate leans one way, your camera the other, it’s not fun (and if it worked well, I’d use it). I mean, try it if you have everything you need, but my experience with it is not nearly as good as with the gimbal style setup. And yes, this will put more stress on the monopod, which is, I’m sure, why Wimberley recommends using… Read more »
I prefer using the Manfrotto 234 monopod tilt head with an Arca-Swiss clamp attached to the top whenever possible. It puts the camera and lens directly over the monopod shaft instead of to one side as with the Wimberly device and I can have the lens foot at the bottom of the lens which makes it easier to get to the camera controls which are otherwise blocked with a side mount (as with the Sidekick)/.
I used that, to begin with, but prefer the Sirui Dan used before!
Ooops! Barry! No Dan! Sorry, Barry!
I am evidently out joint today, Steve!
The wife is ill, which might affect my concentration!
Hi Steve Great review. I have been using monopod gimbals similar to this for about 15 years (I have been custom modifying existing products) This one is far sturdier, lighter, and easier to use than the ones I have built. I agree with what you say, and compliment you on discovering many of the versatile uses of this in such a short time. As you have shown the offset nature of this product allows for much more versatility than a conventional gimbal. I would just like to add that using a waist level pouch or double strap web flag carrier… Read more »
Thanks for the kind word – and not a bad thought about the waist pouch – I’ve never tried one, but I’ve seen others use them.
Almost any kind of pouch will work, but I find double web flag carriers to work best.
Few people know how useful these are because they are not advertised for photography.
This one is my favorite (and it comes in Olive)
The Annin 660018 is also very good and a little less expensive.
great piece a kit for monopod use !! fantastic review as always Steve! thanks for sharing this info
Thanks for the video, Steve. Looks like an interesting option for big lens use on a monopod. Totally unrelated question: I have several of your e-books and know you have updated them from time-to-time. Is there some sort of version number in your e-books so I can tell if I have the latest version? Thanks.
Thanks for the purchases 🙂 The page right after the cover should show the version number. To see if you’re current, check the product page for the book – it shows the version number next to the thumbnail. I’v been pretty busy this year though, so no updates lately.
Thanks Steve. Very helpful. Your e-books are the best.
Jobu Jr. gimbal.
I have been using the same unit for sport photography on a 500 mm f/4 lens. Still prefer bottom-mounted for greater security. Durability is another big plus.
Steve, will this head work on a setup where the camera is attached to the head because there is no mount on the lens?
Nope, gotta have a foot on the lens for it to work.
Thanks. I thought that would be the case; how could you balance it??
It would seem if you had an L-plate on your camera, this could work.
Note really – you could attach it, but there’s not any good way to rotate the camera. We’ve had people try that setup on workshops with the regular gimbal heads – it’s a mess!
Hi Steve, I can do the same with my GP Ball-Head by Acratech using gimbal and pan feature.
You can use a ball head as a gimbal, and it will work (sort of) but the MonoGimbal is designed from the ground up to be use only with monopods and lens ring equipped lenses.
It will therefore perform far better.
A zoom lens will do what many different prime lenses will do, and more, but most people will agree that the best prime lens will outperform any zoom lens.
Darn you Steve Perry! Just when I think I’ve got all the equipment I need/want, you produce another terrific video. I always learn from your work products. Among others this time, the tip about putting a piece of tape on the lens foot to mark the balance point. Trust all is good with you.
LOL – sorry about that. I thought I was set too until I saw it… 🙂
Looks pretty good but I think I will stick with my Gimbal on the monopod.
Nice Video, as usual. However, I’ve used monopods directly to the lens foot for years, sticking with it.
Thanks for the review, I’ve been wanting to get a monopod head for a while now. I hope you get a couple of bucks from your link.
Thanks – and nope no affiliate cash on this one. I just like it and wanted to share.
Hi Steve, I’m new to using a monopod. I know you turn off vibration control when you use a tripod, but do you use it when you use a monopod? Thanks!
Yes, use VR when on a monopod OR when on a tripod with a loose gimbal.
I have all of your books and constantly refer to them!
It really depends on the shutter speed used. At 1/500s or faster VR is not adding anything but does interfere with and retard autofocus performance. Quite noticeale with the 500mm PF lens.
Good point Bruce. Also, I notice that I see more of a performance drop in “Normal” VR than in “Sport”.
I use a lot of very long lenses and fast shutter speeds for birds in flight.
At what shutter speeds/focal length combinations do you suggest using or not using VR ?
I try to remember to shut it off somewhere between 1/500th and 1/1000th for most lenses. However, there are times when I’ll leave it on to help keep the viewfinder stable – like when shooting from a boat. Still, most of the time I like to turn it off when I don’t need it anymore.
And I think that’s the best guideline. Everyone is different and has different abilities. When you personally no longer need VR to help keep the rig stable, turn it off.
This could be a game changer for me because walking in the woods with a 600 mm on a sturdy tripod is just not fun. I’ve immediately ordered one and so glad you made this video.
I was very surprised at how well it carried. I think you’ll really like it. It’s even better with the Z7 and 500PF – man, it’s like carrying nothing!
280 bucks to get it in Holland ha ha no way hozee
Me too. Add $73 to ship to Canada and we are on the same continent!
My understanding is that the overseas shipping is rather expensive, and that the product has not yet shipped to many retailers.
I expect the price will be lower once it reaches local retailers.
Rob, this UK site, offers free deliver to Europe on this item –
Hope this helps.
Been on the site, to order, but there is actually a £5 delivery charge. Seems quite reasonable for this type of product.
Thanks for the link John!
Apparently, they’ve had a rush of orders, since you posted your video. Just proves, that there is a lot of trust in you, which has been well earned.
That’s awesome. It’s a good product and they deserve the business IMO.