Product review by David Hemmings of Natures Photo Adventures
I was looking for a lightweight, functional good quality gimbal head for my wife to use on her now frequent photo excursions with me. Jennifer uses lighter equipment than I do, usually a Canon 7D with a Canon 100-400mm lens and sometimes she borrows my 300 2.8.
Jobu Junior 3 Gimbal Head
A fellow photographer had mentioned to me to go and check out the Jobu Design Junior 3 gimbal head. I had heard of Jobu and knew that they were a Canadian manufacturer located in Mississauga, just outside of Toronto. I liked this and decided to go and have a look at what they had to offer. After a visit to my favorite retail photo supply store I left with a brand new Jobu Junior 3 gimbal head in my hands. I was impressed by the sturdy build, beautiful finish and the smoothness of both arms of this head. I couldn’t wait to see how it performed in the field.
Read real customer reviews of the Jobu Junior 3 Gimbal Head here.
We were going to test the setup at a local pond full of different ducks coming and going, flying, swimming and landing.
The first combination we tried out was the Canon 7D with a Canon 300mm 2.8 lens attached. After getting the Junior 3 attached to the tripod the lens foot plate slipped with ease into the J3 quick release clamp.
The control knobs for both arms are solid, large and very comfortable to make quick and easy adjustments to, even wearing gloves. Balancing the 300mm lens and the camera body was as easy and smooth as could be; the lens balanced very well over the center of the tripod to lessen risk of any the tripod falling over when the legs were tucked in. It was quick and effortless to make fast adjustments to the balance of the rig when we added a tele converter or an external flash unit. Just a small turn of the quick release clamp knob and a soft nudge forwards or backwards of the camera and lens and the balance was easily obtained quickly and efficiently.
We took turns shooting our subjects at the pond for the next couple of hours. The J3 performed extremely well and actually exceeded my expectations on all fronts. The unit panned effortlessly back and forth at the slightest touch. Panning with this unit is so much better than using any ballhead that I have ever tested, and I have tested about all of them. The up and down tilt movements were equally as smooth and sure. Never did I feel worried about tightening down after the action subsided because the unit was so well balanced that I didn’t have to.
The unit worked just as smoothly and effectively with the 100-400 mounted on it. It was a bit more challenging balancing because the Canon 100-400 is a push/pull zoom but that is a lens factor and does not detract from the performance of the J3. We found ourselves shooting at 400mm most of the time anyways.
The J3 is also very lightweight, a huge plus for those of us who travel often and are always concerned about keeping our baggage and carry on weight limits down.
Photographs by Photography Talk member David Hemmings
Written by: David Hemmings. David owns and operates Natures Photo Adventures and has been published by National Geographic and many other magazines and books.