The Wimberley SK-100 Sidekick quickly converts any ballhead with an Arca-style quick release clamp into a gimbal head. This allows the lens to rotate around its center of gravity, dramatically improving handling and vibration dampening. Your percentage of 'keeper' shots will definitely go up using this device with telephotos with a tripod collar.
Ideal for 300mm f/2.8 or 500mm f/4.5 lenses, but also works great with 70-200/f 2.8 telephoto zooms or macro lenses with tripod collars such as the 180mm f/3.5 & 400mm f/5.6's made today. When the tripod collar is fitted in the Sidekick properly, you will have perfect 50/50 weight distribution, making movement of the lens and camera finger-light.
The Sidekick, when combined with an appropriate ballhead with an Arca-type quick release clamp & independent panning lock as well as an appropriate quick release plate, makes for an incredible combination to provide control of spotting scopes. This is likely the best possible scenario for tracking a bird in flight, but will require a spotting scope with a rotating tripod collar in order to be ergonomically practical. (See Wimberley Website for complete details)
Reviewed by 2 customers
Wimberley is known for its quality products and the Sidekick doesn't disappoint. I purchased the SK-100 to replace a cheaper full-body gimbal head that just wasn't providing fluid motion for my 300mm f/2.8. The build quality provides complete peace of mind. The price point is reasonable, given the quality the and the size is awesome.
I use this in combination with my Gitzo tripod, Benro B-3 Ball Head, Sigma 150-500 telephoto zoom lens, and my Nikon D7000. I chose the Wimberley Sidekick because I needed gimbal functionality for working with a long heavy telephoto lens in the outdoors, and purchasing and carrying a extra dedicated tripod and gimbal head is out of the question. The Sidekick fits easily into my camera backpack and weighs just 19.72 oz. It is ruggedly designed to the extent that I don't see it ever failing to perform as expected. Mounting it on the ball head (needs a rugged ballhead) is a snap. Mounting the camera lens to the Sidekick and balancing prior to use is also a snap. Note that each lens will need its own Arca-Swiss style mounting plate. I have nothing but good things to say about this fine piece of equipment.