How to Set Up and Use a Gimbal Head for Wildlife Photography

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Duration:   2:30   mins

Professional wildlife photographer, Ian Plant, says, “If you are serious about wildlife photography, you will need a gimbal head.” In this video, he will explain the uses of the gimbal head.

The gimbal is a tripod head designed for fluid movement so you can easily track your wildlife subjects. It has a control knob that allows you to pan up down, another knob to pan left and right, and a third to control the tension of your motion. Ian recommends keeping the controls loose in order to follow wildlife movement whether a bird in flight or an animal on land.

Join pro shooter, Ian Plant, as he shows how the gimbal head will help you improve your wildlife photographs.

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12 Responses to “How to Set Up and Use a Gimbal Head for Wildlife Photography”

  1. Dave M

    Nice video. FYI the up down motion is called a “Tilt” not a pan. A pan is side to side motion.

  2. Dee Roelofsz

    Hi Ian

    Love all you video’s they are very helpful. Just a question in regards to the Gimabl head which I get conflicting answers on – I have one almost exactly the same.

    I shoot with two Canon 7D Mkii’s – the one has the new Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS ii lens, the other has the new Canon 100-400mm f4.5 L IS Mkii lens.

    My question – should one turn the image stabilisers off when shooting using the camera/lens attached to the gimbal head as I have been told that if the IS is left on then it adversely affects the images? I would like to hear your thoughts?


    • Customer Service

      Hi, Dee. I hear this one all the time, and it is a myth. The only time you should turn off your image stabilizer when working on a tripod is when you are doing long exposure effects and need to keep your camera and lens perfectly steady. When photographing wildlife, even when the camera/lens is attached to a gimbal head, you are still moving the camera whenever you pan with your subject or even trigger the shutter button. Anytime you move or touch the camera or lens, you introduce vibrations, which the image stabilizer is designed to mitigate. I always leave my IS on when photographing wildlife.

  3. Jane

    Umm, there is a huge vimeopro add in the middle of the video and I cannot see what you are showing. There is no X to close the add. I even logged in thinking it would disappear; but, it did not. Thanks.

    • Jane

      Never mind. The X is in the upper right of the video not upper right of the add box like it usually is. Sorry.

  4. James E Taneyhill

    I have a Wimberley and like it … what is the make and model of the one you are using in this demo? Thank you, your tips are very useful.

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Gino. Thanks for your question! It’s hard to give individualized advice on gear or equipment since they are such personal purchases and depend heavily on your own individual budget and needs. The best thing you can do would be to visit a camera store to discuss your individual needs with one of their professional sales people. Good luck!

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