The Sidemount Wimberley Head (WH-200-S) is the perfect gimbal head for travel. It is a lighter, more compact and less expensive alternative to the full Wimberley Head Version II.
The main casting and pan and tilt mechanisms are identical to the Wimberley Head Version II; however, the swing arm and adjustable platform are replaced by a sidemounted quick-release clamp. This shaves nearly a pound off the weight! This hybrid gimbal head requires mounting the lens sideways (like with the Wimberley Sidekick)but does not require the use of a ball head to mount it to a tripod.
The same mounting configuration used to attach the swing arm of the Wimberley Head is used to attach the quick-release of the Sidemount. Therefore, it is a simple procedure to convert the Wimberley Sidemount to the full Wimberley Head and vice versa. Conversion kits for both options are now available!
Sidemount vs. Full Wimberley Head
Because the Sidemount and the Wimberley Head share the identical pan and tilt mechanisms, the basic feel and function of the two Heads is identical. The Sidemount has the advantage of being lighter weight (2.3 lbs. vs. 3.15 lbs.), less expensive ($495 vs. $595), and slightly more compact. It is also nominally stiffer than the full Wimberley Head (the added stiffness is unlikely to be noticeable).
The full Wimberley Head has an adjustable platform which allows it to accommodate some lenses that will not work with the Sidemount. The vertical adjustment allows you to compensate for the top-heavy weight of a flash unit, allowing you to perfectly balance your lens even when using an off- camera flash (typically attached to a flash bracket.) When using flash with the Sidemount, the rig will always be slightly top-heavy. It will still be easy to control, but not as nice as a perfectly balanced set-up.
Although many prefer the full Wimberley Head, most of our customers find themselves in situations where the lighter-weight Sidemount Head would be desirable. We offer conversion kits to ensure that you can choose the right set-up for any situation.