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Thread: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    Shortly I'll have a Canon 400/2.8L non-IS series I in hand. The Canon Museum lists its weight at 6.1kilos. It would be on a 5DMkII, 0.81Kilos with 0,315kilo grip. Total weight, 7.225Kilos or 15.9lbs.

    Now I have an RRS BH-40 ball head. RRS rates it at 18lbs/8kg.

    Do I need to start saving for the BH-55? Can I limp on for a few weeks with the BH-40?
    Last edited by johnastovall; 17th December 2009 at 07:59.

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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    John,
    I have the 400 f2.8L IS, and will tell you that it is heavy. I use it mostly for shooting action sports with the 1-series bodies, and use a monopod for that. (I mounted an RRS plate to the tripod handle, and use a QR plate atop the monopod to easily separate them for carry.) I have an older ArcaSwiss B1 ballhead on a very sturdy tripod, and would not feel uncomfortable using that, but you are approaching the limits with the BH-40, I think. (RRS does tend to be a bit more conservative, so you may have a bit of room to spare, but should the ball loosen and the camera/lens flop over, you could put some serious stress on the ballhead.)

    Most folks using the 400 for action, use it on a sturdy monopod for both ease of carrying and positioning. RRS has a new monopod head, MH-01, that I have seriously been considering to permit great vertical plane motion that is not easy on a monopod without lots of bending back and forth.

    On a tripod mount, many have gone to using the Wimberley Head to provide greater flexibility and panning action for things like birds in flight. One can use the Wimberley Sidekick also, which mounts to a sturdy ballhead, but I do not think the BH-40 would hold it securely enough.

    Anyway, congrats on the new glass. It is stellar for sure, but it will give you a workout if you have to carry it around a lot. When I shoot polo and stuff, I have the 400 + 1-series body on the monopod, a 70-200 + another 1-series body around my neck, and a third 1-series body with a 24-70 in holster or hanging from a shoulder for closer in shooting. The 400 is an armful at times, but nothing delivers anything close to what it can do, especially wide open, if needed. Just keep your shutter speed up, if you can

    LJ

  3. #3
    tokengirl
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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?



    It never ceases to amaze me how upgrading one piece of equipment will have the most incredible domino effect on your wallet.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    Quote Originally Posted by tokengirl View Post
    It never ceases to amaze me how upgrading one piece of equipment will have the most incredible domino effect on your wallet.
    This is absolutely the perfect response when you buy big glass... However, instead of saving for the BH55, I would save for a Wimberley -- far more useful for this lens . You can limp along with the BH40, but honestly will probably not be able to get critically sharp images unless your shutter speeds are very high.
    Jack
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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    This is absolutely the perfect response when you buy big glass... However, instead of saving for the BH55, I would save for a Wimberley -- far more useful for this lens . You can limp along with the BH40, but honestly will probably not be able to get critically sharp images unless your shutter speeds are very high.
    This one?



    and it looks like a new tripod. My Manfrotto 3021b is rated at only a 15lb load.

    well may as well get a tripod good for 8x10 view camera so..

    This looks like the tripod, GT3340L.
    Last edited by johnastovall; 17th December 2009 at 09:14.

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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    Yes John, that's the head you want. There is also an older version that functions identically and you can sometimes find them at relative bargain prices on eBay -- like around $200.
    Jack
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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    What will you be shooting? If it involves much camera movement (shooting BIFs for example) the Wimberly will make it sooooo easy to manage. Darn BIFs are still a challenge to shoot, though, even with this baby.

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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    What will you be shooting? If it involves much camera movement (shooting BIFs for example) the Wimberly will make it sooooo easy to manage. Darn BIFs are still a challenge to shoot, though, even with this baby.

    Landscapes, coyotes, raptors and what ever that comes to me in beauty.

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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    John, you must have one of the gimbal mount like the Wimberly if shooting anything that's moving. And remember that if you get the sidekick, you will still need to buy a bigger ballhead to mount it. Maybe a monopod would be an option, I've never used one but the shooters on the football sidelines seem to use them. At any rate, I doubt you will be happy with a ballhead alone.

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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    John, you must have one of the gimbal mount like the Wimberly if shooting anything that's moving. And remember that if you get the sidekick, you will still need to buy a bigger ballhead to mount it. Maybe a monopod would be an option, I've never used one but the shooters on the football sidelines seem to use them. At any rate, I doubt you will be happy with a ballhead alone.
    A Wimberly and new tripod are in my planing cycle.

    I'll be shooting from blinds so I think a tripod trumps a monopod.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    I have the Canon 500 f4 L and use the RRS BH55 with Wimberly Sidekick. This combination works well for wildlife where you often have periods of time with no action and you need two axis movement. For sports (like college football), I use a monopod because the action is pretty much non-stop and the vertical axis movement is more limited and easily handled by the monopod. The advantage of the tripod/gimbal setup is that you don't have to continuously hold your camera. A monopod requires you to be hands on all of the time.

  12. #12
    Daveco
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    Re: Canon 400/2.8 and RRS BH-40?

    I have a 400 2.8 mkI and started out using the Kirk King Cobra. After getting the 600 IS, I went with the BH55 and sidekick. I never have used the full Wimberley, because I felt that having the option of taking off the sidekick and using the ballhead if I switched to a smaller lens while shooting was preferable to carrying the extra weight. If I were starting out, I would definitely get the full Wimberley over the Kirk. The Cobra is hard to tighten down enough and it's a bit unwieldy to mount that monster with the plate on the side.

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