OT ? Home made gimbal type tripod head

My main hobby is photography, and one of my lenses begs for a gimbal style tripod head, so that when mounted, the lens and camera are more or less
balanced, instead of being very top-heavy and unstable as when using a normal pan/tilt head. (Ball heads are even less stable, and even big ones get spoilt when clamped hard enough to hold heavy gear.)
http://www.tripodhead.com/images/WH-200-big.jpg
The image shows the best known commercial device which costs around 500 in the UK. Rather too much for my limited usage I fear, but what's shown has to be big and strong enough for all commercial lenses. It's also quite heavy as a result of the cantilevered design. My requirements are to mount one lens only, my 6lb. EF 300 f2.8L which some claim to handhold. (Done that with poor results.)
I've been wondering whether anyone has made their own using, say, 1/2" or 3/4" square section brass tube, or wood even?. For a single lens, I think the static part of the design could be hexagonal, with a smaller bottom "half a hexagon" supporting the lens on bearings . Haven't done any weight calculations yet, but I guess something like the ASCII art below might work. _________ / \ / \ l l [] [] l \ / l \ \_______/ / \_________/
Any comments orf suggestions? Many thanks.
--
M Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
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On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 10:00:13 +0100, "Malcolm Stewart"

I've got an old Bolex head (picture of a similar one at <http://www.filmshooting.com/scripts/forum/viewtopic.php?p 576&sid2a75e9d4e1cb084f282fd0b35698b0> (towards the bottom of the page).
It is more than strong enough to hold a 6lb lens even when the CofG is well offset. It's a fairly simple design using two quite large disks for the vertical and horizontal axis which are clamped by the small levers you can see on the pictures. The disks are set in a very thick grease (I used Castrol Heavy when rebuilding mine)which controls the movement well even with heavy loads. It would be a relatively simple design to replicate and if you like I can photograph the innards of mine and send to you.
It's broadly comparable to the Vinten Pro5 I have (Bogen 501 head /3283 leg) in weight capability - so a conservative 13lb or so. It isn't quite as easy to move as the Vinten - but it positions very easily and because of the large surface area locks in place without having to put huge forces on the levers. There isn't much difference between the two heads for still photography.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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<http://www.filmshooting.com/scripts/forum/viewtopic.php?p 576&sid2a75e9d4e1cb084f282fd0b35698b0>
Many thanks - Didn't know about the Bolex head. I'll check if any are currently on offer.
--
M Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
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