Reviews
Reviews of lenses, cameras, tripods, books and everything related to nature photography

Photoseiki TB-101 gimbal head

Photoseiki TB-101 gimbal head is an accessory that should never miss a naturalist photographer I think is just a gimbal head !!

 

Photoseiki TB-101

 
Like so many photographer, I started with a normal aluminum tripod and her beautiful ball head, but when you start using some lenses of a certain level, and weight, you see that the tripod is not enough.
The problems that most are with ball heads are essentially three:
 
1. Need to continually 'lock' the adjustment knobs after setting the lens + camera system
2. little control in the pursuit of subjects to be photographed
3. Poor accuracy of the settings since there is always a slight gap between the parts
 
So in the end I decided for a good gimbal head and after a long search on the net, evaluating features and prices, I came to the Italian Photoseiki with the TB-101 model.
 
This head is made in one piece in Ergal and despite the size and the size is quite light; here are the main technical data:
 

  • Ergal material
  • Height 270mm
  • Width 220mm
  • Weight 1450g
  • For up to 800mm focal targets
  • Arca-Swiss coupling
  • Supported load of 45kg

 

If the technical data is all about, let's go to the practice. The features that I most appreciated are the qualities of maneuverability and freedom of movement. After initially balancing the camera system + lens, operation is done very quickly and
easily because of the large Arca-Swiss support available, you can leave the adjusting knobs open and always have the ability to move the shot very quickly and safely. The large knobs then allow adjustments even with
gloves, so even in winter you can operate easily. Another aspect that I find positive, always with regard to the knobs, is that it is not necessary to tighten it so as to completely tighten the axes, and this gives me a greater sense of solidity in the whole.
 
 
Photoseiki TB-101 


As far as maximum loads are concerned, the 45kg plate is really large and will definitely allow you to handle a 800mm focal lens as stated by the manufacturer; I currently only tested it with a Sony 300mm f/2.8 and a Tamron 150-600mm and I have to say that everything it manages without any problems. The 300mm (optics that I love) use it with one hand despite the 3kg camera + lens system, and the same is true for the 150-600mm which is even lighter, but I hope one day I can try it with a 500mm f/4  

 

Photoseiki TB-101 Photoseiki TB-101

In this last photo you can see how it is possible to adjust the Arca-Swiss support in height to be able to handle big lens , just like a 800mm.
 
On the field I used this gimbal head always easily, even though the total weight of the tripod, head, lens and camera is about 6/7 kg, carrying everything by attaching them on the shoulders.
 
Finally, to conclude this brief review, we come to the price: they are about 400 euros for a high quality accessory, set on simplicity of use and resistance (paint appears to be scratch proof) and I strongly recommend to advise instead of many of the most famous brands but the much higher cost.

 

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Haliaeetus albicilla

Haliaeetus albicilla
Haliaeetus albicilla
A couple of white-tailed sea eagles. Lofoten, Norway. July 2018