Reviews

Wimberley Sidemount WH-200-S Review

by Alfredo Fernández | February 26, 2013

© Alfredo FernándezWimberley 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.

Wimberley WH-200 S

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:

Overview

  • 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 WH-200 S in use © Alfredo Fernández

Build Quality

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.

Wimberley sidemount attached © Alfredo Fernández

Performance

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.

Available for purchase in the NatureScapes store
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About the Author

Alfredo Fernández is young nature photographer from Lima, Peru currently living in Vancouver, Canada. Alfredo started in photography in early 2010 after a trip the Amazon Rainforest, and he has been doing it ever since. Having always been interested in Wildlife, and then developed a hobby in Bird-watching, photography became the perfect intersect between Science and Art.

5 thoughts on “Wimberley Sidemount WH-200-S Review

  1. I have had the Wimberley sidemount head for a few months now and though only using it with a Nikon D7000 and a Sigma 150-500 I can’t be more pleased. It works great with my Swarovski spotting scope, too! Thanks for the review.

  2. Nice article and thanks for posting. A lot of people have success with the sidekick – however the weakness is in the ballhead attachement – most ballheads cannot handle the torque placed on the QR plate that a sidekick introduces – and often times come loose at that point or get twisted sideways. Even the RRS head has some issues in this regard.

  3. the traditional sidekick is completeley functional with lenses up to a 500mm f4 . it is not flimsy. i use it for years… absolutely stable.
    the only two lenses i would not recomend the traditional sidekick is the 600mm f4 and 400mm 2.8. ( and now the 800mm )

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