Wimberley heads have been the choice for professional photographers with super-telephoto lenses since the day they were introduced. Currently, the Wimberley WH-200 (aka MKII or “full” Wimberley) is the industry standard for anyone using a 400mm, 500mm or 600mm lens. Wimberley also manufactures the Wimberley Sidekick SK-100, designed to be used together with a ballhead to support smaller and lighter telephoto lenses (like the 70-200mm f2.8). Until recently, there was a gap—what should people with a 300mm f2.8/f4 buy? The “full” Wimberley is overkill for such lenses while the sidekick for many feels a bit flimsy.
Enter the Wimberley WH-200-S. It is, in my opinion, the perfect mix between the Wimberley WH-200 and the Wimberley SK-100. It has the swiveling base but lacks the arm of the “full” Wimberley, meaning you have to load your gear sideways.
Early last year, I got in touch with Wimberley about using and reviewing this product. Here are my thoughts:
- Weight: 1.04kg / 2.3lb (360g or 13.6oz lighter than the Wimberley WH-200)
- Height: 23.5cm / 9.25″
- Width: 6.4cm / 2.5″
- Depth: 20.3cm / 8.0″
- Wimberley’s website
The build quality of this head (as well as any other Wimberley product I’ve ever used) is amazing. This head is made out of solid Aluminum and it is as sturdy as it could possibly be. The finishing is great and the temperature remains touchable even if working in the cold Canadian winter or a sunny day in the desert. The knobs are perfectly sized and located, and they are also very smooth to operate. Everything regarding build quality of this head blew my mind, comparing it with some other heads I’ve used before.
The performance of this head is great. I was able to set-up my camera lens combination on the head in the less than a couple of seconds. The camera was balanced perfectly. When loosening the knobs it is really easy to maneuver the rig, and the camera will stay still exactly where you leave it. Once you tighten the knobs, there is nothing you can possibly do to move the camera. It lock ups really tight, which is a very good thing.
In my opinion there is nothing this head has to envy to its bigger brother, the WH-200. I have tried this head with multiple lenses ranging from 300mm f4 to 500mm f4, and the head was able to manage the weight with no problems. I did a side-by-side comparison of this head and the “full” Wimberley with a 500mm f4 and the two where equally smooth and responsive.
Buying this Head
So, who is this head for? I would highly recommend this head to anyone with a lens in between a 300mm f4 and a 500mm f4, but would opt for it’s bigger brother the WH-200 if you own a 400mm f2.8 or a 600mm f4. What happens if you already own a WH-200 and just want to take advantage of lighter weight for traveling and long hikes? No worries, Wimberley currently sells an adaptation kit to transform your WH-200 into a WH-200-S.
I hope you find this review helpful. If you have comments or further questions about my experience with or impressions of the WH-200-S, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will be happy to respond.