You get what you pay for

February 11, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Yes, I fell into the old tripod upgrade trap. Not having enough money I bought a cheap one. It did not last and I upgraded, multiple times (to my shame), until I bought what I should have bought all along. Since I ended up buying an expensive tripod anyways, I lost all the money I spend on all the junk tripods that I also bought. That tripod has lasted me for years, has been to many places on Earth and is still going strong. In fact, it still works as good as new. Well done Really Right Stuff (a tripod and support systems company, for those who may not know).

          Having learnt my lesson the hard way with the tripod drama, I started to research Gimbal heads for long lenses. As usual, the gear on offer ranged tremendously in terms of price. As usual, this price gap started to play games in my head. Is there really such a difference in the quality of the products? What if I bought a middle of the road Gimbal? Surely, all the YouTube reviews praising the cheaper ones cannot be wrong, are they? As usual, I did not have enough money for the Gimbal head that I wanted. I was facing the same decision that I faced with the tripods, so many years ago.

          However, I learnt my lesson with the tripods, and I was not about to make that mistake again. On the other hand, I only had the money I had. Since this purchase was for a mechanical piece of equipment without electronics I made the decision to buy the head I wanted, BUT to buy used to fit into my budget. It was still a lot of money but I was not about to get burnt twice. After a month with the new Gimbal from Wimberley I was disappointed. I don't know what the previous owner did to the head but it must have been something for the head with a great reputation to disappoint. The rotational friction was not consistent. At certain degrees of rotation it turn smoothly and at other degrees of rotation it was much harder to turn. This made it useless for photography involving panning. Secondly, although it was tightly fitted to the tripod, the head wobbled on it's base. It felt loose.

          From all the research that I did, it was clear that Wimberley is the father of these type of Gimbal heads and that they make a very good product. So I emailed the company asking how much they would charge to fix the issues. Now here is where the slogan, "you get what you pay for" comes in:

  1. Wimberley replied quickly and responded to every email I sent promptly. This was great customer service.

  2. Before quoting me a price for the repair they asked if the head was still under warranty. I replied with the serial number. They told me that the head has a ten year warranty. I had only one month of that ten year warranty left. They told me to send it in quickly to take advantage of the warranty. How many companies, knowing that time was short, would have dragged me along, wasting time to make the warranty run out? How many companies would have dealt with this with their best interest at heart versus what was best for me? This was very impressive.

  3. They told me that if something was wrong with the head that was not covered by the warranty, that they did not consider parts as a source of revenue and hence did not charge much. Now compare that with what car manufacturers charge for parts. It is my opinion that if you bought all the parts of a car and built it yourself that $30,000.00 car would easily cost you over $100,000.00. No, not with Wimberley!

  4. I shipped the head to Wimberley in late December. Yes, over the holiday season. They fixed it in a jiff and shipped it back quickly. It was covered by the TEN YEAR warranty and did not cost me a cent to fix.

  5. It is evident that the head was not just fixed, but the part that attaches to the tripod was replaced with a new one.

Yes, you get what you pay for. Wimberley as a company stood by their very generous warranty. They acted in a way that cared more about me than about them. Their good name, in my mind, has become a great name. This Gimbal head is wonderful and I am sure will last me a long, long time. Well done Wimberley. I will recommend Wimberley to everyone. This was a fantastic experience from a company you can count on.

P.S. I am not sponsored by Wimberley nor was I asked to say anything about Wimberley.


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