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Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter

B&H # WISKA Mfr # SK-100
You Pay: $249.90
Product Highlights
  • Converts Ball Head to Gimbal Head
  • Easily Reposition Big Telephoto Lenses
  • Quick and Easy to Attach
  • Ideal for 300mm, 500mm, etc. Lenses
  • For Lenses With Tripod Collar

Only 1.3 lb and compact enough to pack, the Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter from Wimberley 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 (required and available separately), 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.

A quick-release plate is required when using this adapter.

Note: In some cases it is necessary to add spacers to the adapter. Please click here for the Sidekick/Lens Reference Chart.

Cast aluminium and stainless steel design
Catalyzed urethane finish
Rubberized 5-lobed knob
Captive controls cannot fall off accidentally
Grooves Allow Extended Motion
Shallow channels extending from the sides of the Sidekick's clamp stop just short of the center to allow great fore-aft adjustment when using the safety stops on Wimberley's (and others) quick release plates.
Weight 1.30 lb (590 g)
Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter
  • Integrated Arca-Style Quick Release Clamp
  • Limited 5-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    WimberleyArca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter
     
    4.8

    (based on 89 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (76)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (12)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Solid/sturdy (71)
    • Improves tripod function (70)
    • Easy to use (68)
    • Fits well (66)
    • Lightweight (5)

    Cons

    • Heavy (3)

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife (76)
    • Sports/action (50)
    • Landscape/scenery (19)
    • Travel (13)
    • Night shots (5)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (41), Semi-pro photographer (29), Pro photographer (9), Enthusiast (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (60)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Super Sidekick

    Love it! Using Nikon 300mm prime lens with my Nikon D200 the Sidekick stays where I put it. I don't have to figure out if my shot will change if the lens readjusts because...Read complete review

    Love it! Using Nikon 300mm prime lens with my Nikon D200 the Sidekick stays where I put it. I don't have to figure out if my shot will change if the lens readjusts because of the weight. I've even tried using a teleconverter with it and still steady. I use a Markins M20 ball head and a Gitzo tripod for stability. With this glass I would not use anything smaller with the Sidekick.

    This is light weight enough so that I can haul it around and travel with it with out any problems. I just did not need the extra weight of a Wimberly II and I like the option of using the ball head without the Sidekick and smaller lenses.

    The only con is that I don't leave the 300mm and camera attached to the Sidekick and carry it around assembled for any distance. My husband has a Wimberly II and a Nikon 500mm prime and he can carry the lens and camera attached to his Wimberly without any problems.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Sidekick Review

    I bought this to use with a Really Right Stuff B40 Ball head on a Gitzo older 3 series Studex Aluminum Tripod coupled with a D600 and a Nikon 300 F.2.8 AFI telephoto with...Read complete review

    I bought this to use with a Really Right Stuff B40 Ball head on a Gitzo older 3 series Studex Aluminum Tripod coupled with a D600 and a Nikon 300 F.2.8 AFI telephoto with Nikon 1.7 TC17EII Teleconverter.
    Although the Wimberly manual states that the Sidekick is made for the 300 2.8 tele, I had trouble locking the B40 head down tight enough so that it would not creep and I could use the Sidekick as designed.

    The RRS ball head can handle a 17 pound load and works well with the lens and TC17EII alone. Perhaps I need the larger RRS B55 ballhead, but the Wimberly materials do not rule out use of a mid sized Ball head like the RRS B40.

    Wimberly does caution against Clamp type ballheads not locking securely, but that is not the issue here.

    As a positive note I was able to get the 3 series Studex with RRS B40 ballhead, plus the unattached Sidekick partially wrapped in a Galen Rowell lens case into the Really right Stuff next to largest tripod bag. It would be nice if someone made a wrap for the Sidekick.

    The RRS tripod bag holds up to a 31 inch tripod in length and is worth the money.

    Reviewed by 89 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    5.0

    Easy to use

    By Mariposa

    from Colorado

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fits Well
    • Improves Tripod Function
    • Solid/Sturdy

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife

      Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

      Wimbberly directions for attachment are clear and detailed. Sidekick is easy to use

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Just what I needed

      By Staunton Steve

      from Staunton, VA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Fits Well
      • Improves Tripod Function
      • Solid/Sturdy

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Sports/Action
        • Travel
        • Wildlife

        Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

        I have made some initial testing with the sidekick on my Sirui - S-2205-N Tripod with a Sirui - K-20x Ball Head. It fits perfectly.I bought it to use with my Nikon - AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens. Since it changes length as it zooms, I was a little unsure how it affect the balance. After finding a review that suggested the effect was small, I took the plunge and am quote happy. Use the zoom almost always with the Nikon - TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter so it is 540 mm lens when zoomed out. Of course, this makes it sensitive to vibration (even with the image stabilization). Having the sidekick support the weight and give me the ability to move the lens to follow the wildlife make all the difference. If you balance the camera and lens with the zoom all the way out, the chafe in balance at shorter focal lengths is minor. It is till very easy to hold and shoot. By keeping some tension on the rotation knob on the sidekick you can keep the camera steady when not rotating and make the shot easily. It is safe to say that adding this to the ball-head has changed the way I think about shoot with my telephoto.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Exceptional

        By Cshooter

        from Orlando, FL

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Fits Well
        • Improves Tripod Function
        • Solid/Sturdy

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife

          Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

          I bought this after been so frustrated with my pictures using my Canon 100-400mm L IS. I'm not to good at been stable while holding this big piece of glass at it's max focal length even though I match closely my shutter speed. After couple of pictures with the Sidekick I have noticed a huge difference towards my keepers. I'm using it with a Kirk BH-3 ball head. One of my best investments, works flawlessly.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Nice piece of Metal

          By Philippe

          from France

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Solid/Sturdy

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Travel
            • Wildlife

            Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

            Looks like described and I am waiting now my fore coming Safari in Kenya in a couple of weeks to perform a real field testing

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Perfect

            By JR

            from Colorado

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Fits Well
            • Improves Tripod Function
            • Solid/Sturdy

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

              I use this on an 80-400mm and a RRS ball head. It takes a little thought to get things so they move freely, but it's easy to do. The gimbal adapter works fine, well enough to catch and follow a Kingfisher in flight.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Well made, great accessory for 500mm f/4

              By Andy in Ft. Collins

              from Ft. Collins, CO

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fits Well
              • Good Manual
              • Improves Tripod Function
              • Solid/Sturdy

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

              I bought the Sidekick to complement my full Wimberley Gimbal, which I use every week and also love. The advantage of the Sidekick is that it's much easier to swap back and forth between ball-head use and gimbal use. The weight of a ballhead+sidekick is similar to the full Wimberly Gimbal, so you won't be saving weight - just gaining convenience. Although operation is obvious and easy, it comes with a great manual I recommend reading since there are good tips on balancing your camera and making sure you don't accidently drop your lens. I use this with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head, which is a great combination. Panning and tilting is effortless. If I'm going out for several days and only shooting birds and wildlife, I might take the Wimberley Gimbal, but for mixed landscape/wildlife photography I will take the sidekick. Make sure your ball head is firmly locked in a vertical position and clamped to the Sidekick before loading your lens. There are more opportunities for accidents with the Sidekick than the Wimberley Gimbal.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Perfect tool for telephoto shots

              By Cub Photographer

              from Manhattan Beach, CA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fits Well
              • Improves Tripod Function
              • Solid/Sturdy

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Wildlife

                Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                Shooting birds with my Canon 5D III, 300 f/2.8 with 1.4x doubler just got a whole lot easier. I now leave my monopod behind and use my tripod with the Sidekick attached exclusively. Balance is easy to obtain and the feel is smooth and rock solid. It did require that I modify my Manfrotto ball head to an accept Arca Swiss bracket but that has turned out to be a blessing in itself and I am now hooked on the Arca Swiss system.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Excellent tripod add-on

                By Scubadoc

                from Washington, DC

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Fits Well
                • Improves Tripod Function
                • Solid/Sturdy

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Sports/Action
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                  This product converts a ball head to a gimbal head. It is a much less expensive than a gimble head, and allows you to use an appropriate ball head without having to remove it. The mechanism is very smooth, and the entire device is well machined. Wimberly makes a very good product.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Excellent Adapter Piece so far!

                  By Don't know Jack

                  from Garbage Grove, CA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Improves Tripod Function
                  • Light Weight Ergonomical
                  • Solid/Sturdy

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Sports/Action
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                    A precise piece of photo equipment that is solid and well made. I have only had it for about a month now and have not fully tested yet, out in the field, but it works well and feels solid enough to the point where I have no worries putting a +[$] lens on there. Does not add that much weight or take up that much space in my bag either as an added bonus! Excellent Product!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Works Really Well !

                    By Patel-h

                    from Southern California

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Fits Well
                    • Improves Tripod Function
                    • Solid/Sturdy

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                    I use this with the Acra-Swiss ballhead for both my 70-200mm f/2.8 and my 300mm f/2.8. It gives me the flexibility of a Gimbal head, and when I don't need it, I can simply use my ball-head.The only con is that this all adds up in weight, but then, the Gimbal head from Wimberley is heavy too.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Works as Anticipated

                    By Reluctant Enthusiast

                    from Anchorage

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Fits Well
                    • Improves Tripod Function
                    • Solid/Sturdy

                    Cons

                    • None

                    Best Uses

                    • Sports/Action
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                    First time using gimbal head and was surprised how easy it was to mount and use with my Z1 and 100-400mm. Easy to balance and very smooth. So far have used for water birds in flight.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    JUST WHAT I NEEDED

                    By Nooner

                    from Seattle

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Fits Well
                    • Improves Tripod Function
                    • Solid/Sturdy

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Sports/Action
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                      Well made and ideal for wildlife and sports action.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Good bang for the buck

                      By Phils photos

                      from Kennesaw, Ga

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Improves Tripod Function
                      • Solid/Sturdy

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Sports/Action
                        • Travel
                        • Wildlife

                        Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                        I haven't used the Sidekick yet but should prove very handy in situations where I want to shoot landscape sunrises with a wide angle zoom lens using my Kirk ballhead then change to my 400mm tele drop the Sidekick into the quick release, mount the lens and shoot the morning birds taking flight.

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        a good device

                        By geotravel

                        from LA, CA

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Fits Well
                        • Improves Tripod Function
                        • Solid/Sturdy

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Wildlife

                          Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                          well build and sturdy. fits Wimberley arca clamp perfectly. use it for mounting nikon 300mm f/2.8 on tripod with arca ball head. the weight of 300mm lens, teleconvertor, and camera is impossible for handheld and difficult to control on tripod. this device make it effortless in maneuvering the camera and lens on tripod for tracking moving objects.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          3.0

                          Sidekick Review

                          By n/a

                          from Jacksonville, Florida

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Improves Tripod Function

                          Cons

                          • No Cover For Sidekick

                          Best Uses

                          • Travel

                          Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                          I bought this to use with a Really Right Stuff B40 Ball head on a Gitzo older 3 series Studex Aluminum Tripod coupled with a D600 and a Nikon 300 F.2.8 AFI telephoto with Nikon 1.7 TC17EII Teleconverter.
                          Although the Wimberly manual states that the Sidekick is made for the 300 2.8 tele, I had trouble locking the B40 head down tight enough so that it would not creep and I could use the Sidekick as designed.

                          The RRS ball head can handle a 17 pound load and works well with the lens and TC17EII alone. Perhaps I need the larger RRS B55 ballhead, but the Wimberly materials do not rule out use of a mid sized Ball head like the RRS B40.

                          Wimberly does caution against Clamp type ballheads not locking securely, but that is not the issue here.

                          As a positive note I was able to get the 3 series Studex with RRS B40 ballhead, plus the unattached Sidekick partially wrapped in a Galen Rowell lens case into the Really right Stuff next to largest tripod bag. It would be nice if someone made a wrap for the Sidekick.

                          The RRS tripod bag holds up to a 31 inch tripod in length and is worth the money.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Works smooth and great.Balances camera!

                          By Fred

                          from Boston

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Use
                          • Fits Well
                          • Improves Tripod Function
                          • Solid/Sturdy

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Wildlife

                            Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                            Great for wild life

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Great Product

                            By Neal

                            from Austin, TX

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Fits Well
                            • Improves Tripod Function
                            • Solid/Sturdy

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Sports/Action
                              • Travel
                              • Wildlife

                              Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                              For those of us who travel with a long lens the sidekick works great. Light weight and small but very sturdy and easy to use.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Great Product

                              By Jeff

                              from Hammond, Louisiana

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Use
                              • Fits Well
                              • Improves Tripod Function
                              • Solid/Sturdy

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Sports/Action
                                • Travel
                                • Wildlife

                                Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                                Nothing else like it on the market. Lightweight and small enough to include in my camera backpack.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Slick!

                                By Gramps

                                from Beachwood, NJ

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Use
                                • Fits Well
                                • Improves Tripod Function
                                • Solid/Sturdy

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Sports/Action
                                  • Wildlife

                                  Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                                  I've been using this on a 300mm f/4 w/tc in my D4 for backyard birds. While this combo doesn't balance particularly well, it does make tracking birds much easier than using just a ball head. If I switch out the D4 for the D300 or F6, the rig balances as it should.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Very functional and useful for traveling

                                  By AZ Photog

                                  from Phoenix

                                  About Me Pro Photographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Easy To Use
                                  • Solid/Sturdy

                                  Cons

                                  • Tricky For Long Lens Use

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Wildlife

                                  Comments about Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter:

                                  This is a light weight alternative to a full sized Gimbal head. I use it with my RRS B55 ball head and it supports my 500mm lens. I like the way my Wimberly Gimbal head works but not enough to carry the extra weight when I travel. I would definitely recommend this to a collegue.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

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