Phone: 1 (434) 529-8385
If your ball head is a Bogen/Manfrotto model:
Most Bogen, Gitzo, and Manfrotto quick release clamps (QR) are not Arca-Swiss geometry and are not compatible with Wimberley Arca-Swiss style QR plates, thus cannot be used with the Sidekick. Most Manfrotto and Gitzo QR plate/clamp combinations include QR plates of a certain width, length and height that are contained within model-specific clamps with matching-geometry plate housings. This is to insure that you will use the manufacturer's plate with the manufacturer's clamp and vice-versa.
These set-width, specific-geometry clamps will not readily accept the Arca-Swiss style plate geometry, and even if it appears that some will fit, it is highly likely that the plate/clamp connection will not be secure or safe. Arca-Swiss style clamps (Wimberley, Kirk Enterprises, Really Right Stuff among others) are more universal and allow most any Arca-Swiss style plate to move forward and backward within the clamp, thus increasing the level of cross compatibility between manufacturers and increased versatility for the consumer.
To use these ball heads with Wimberley QR plates or the Sidekick, it may be possible for you to remove the existing QR clamp (or mounting platform) and install a Wimberley QR clamp permanently to the ball head stem. We sell the C-12 clamp which is packaged with the proper mounting hardware and designed to fit on the stem of a variety of ball heads.
See our C-12 compatibility page for a list of compatible ball heads and instructions on how to retrofit your specific ball head.
The "Arca-Swiss Style" Quick-Release Geometry
The "Arca-Swiss Style" Quick-Release Geometry refers to the open-cavity dovetail quick-release system developed decades ago by Arca-Swiss for use with their Monoball ball heads and large format cameras. After the extreme popularity of the Arca-Swiss B-1 ball head in the 1990s, other companies began manufacturing custom camera-body and lens plates using this geometry. Since then, this geometry has become the industry standard for high-end tripod heads (particularly in the nature photography industry). The figure below shows the basic dimensions of the dovetail used in this system:
The Wimberley Head Version II, Sidekick, and other clamps use this quick-release system, so any lens that you wish to connect to our heads must be equipped with an Arca-Swiss style lens plate or replacement foot.
Manufacturers that use the Arca-Swiss Style Quick-Release Geometry include:
Giottos (only on their most recent line of ball heads & plates)
Novoflex (only on some of their products)
Really Right Stuff
Important Ball Head Compatibility Information – Please Read:
We do not advertise ball heads on our web site, but we do sell a few of the models listed below for your convenience. The ball heads we sell include the Wimberley C-10 QR clamp (installed) in the price listed. Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing one of the ball heads available through Wimberley.
— High Capacity Heads (Will support the largest lenses: e.g. 600 f/4, 400 f/2.8) —
— Medium-High Capacity Heads (Will support 500 f/4 sized lenses) —
— Medium Capacity Heads (Will support 300 f/2.8 sized lenses) —
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