Reddish Egrets at Sunset Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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Hello Bird Photographers,

The Wimberley Sidekick.

When I first saw this head at NANPA 1999, I just didn't get it, and I still don't. Why? 1- Having the lens mounted with the lens mounting plate perpendicular (rather than parallel) to the ground makes it difficult to move the lens forward and back in the quick-release jaws to balance your outfit each time that you add or remove a tele-converter, an extension tube, or your flash (as I do dozens of times during a full day of shooting). This same problem makes it very easy for you to drop your heavy, expensive telephoto lens to the ground while mounting it. 2-You are in effect, carrying two tripod heads at one time, the ballhead and the Wimberley Sidekick (which is mounted atop the ballhead). Note that you are also PAYING for two tripod heads. 3-This arrangement introduces extra play into the system, thereby reducing image sharpness. 4-If you want to make scenic images, make them with a short lens and and your camera mounted on an Arca-Swiss B-1 (with the proper Really Right Stuff mounting plate for your camera body). If you want to photograph birds, photograph birds! (If you are working from your car, simply buy a smaller, lighter, cheaper tripod for your scenic photography.)

Recommendations: With 600 f/4s and 400 f/2.8s, the (regular) Wimberley is the only way to go. Best atop the Gitzo Carbon Fiber 1548. Pretty much the same for 500 f/4s, though those looking to save weight may prefer the Arca-Swiss B-1. (If you are shooting a 500 f/4 with a Sidekick, go to the back of the class.) For 300 f/2.8s, the Wimberley is probably overkill, but might work for those doing lots of flight shooing with 2X TCs. All lenses lighter than those mentioned above belong on Arca-Swiss B-1 heads (and Gitzo Carbon Fiber 1325 tripods).

I have spoken to some folks who profess great love for the Sidekick, but I just don't get it. I told Clay and David Wimberley, both good friends, that they should get a Nobel Prize for marketing the Sidekick successfully! But remember, this is just one man's opinion.....


I am constantly asked which data base system that I use. The truth is that not a single BIRDS AS ART image has a file number or bar code of any kind on it. Our images are filed by bird family or species. Each sheet of slides that leaves the office is photographed on the lightbox so that we have "record slides" of each submission. It's that simple.

Best, and great picture making,

Arthur Morris

P.S. I'm headed for SW FLA with lots of Velvia and Provia F in the cooler!

Listing of Archived Bulletins

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