SEVENOAK Gimbal Head User Manual

SEVENOAK Gimbal Head

Instructions: Sevenoak Gimbal Head

It is important to read these instructions. Setting up this Head is not difficult, but reading these instructions will allow you to get the most out of the product.

Dimensions:(h,w,d): 23.5*8.9*24.7cmWeight: 1.4 kg


  • Never loosen or remove the 3 small screws on the top of the pan base.
  • Use caution when adjusting the center screw (see page 7).

Setting up the Sevenoak Gimbal Head

Assembling The Sevenoak Gimbal Head:

Assembling the Sevenoak Gimbal Head is a simple matter of attaching the Head’s platform (detached to make it more compact for shipping) to the swinging arm of the Head. Do not tighten the platform knob unless it is mountedon the Head.

Step 1: Align the platform jaws properly with the dovetail grooves in the swing arm. Slide the platform onto the swing arm of the Head. Slide the platform all the way down until it hits the “stop” at the bottom.Step 2: Tighten the platform knob firmly. (The platform should lock securely to the arm without the need to apply extreme torque). The platform height will be adjusted later if needed.

Mounting SK-GH01to a tripod:

If your tripod has a smaller ¼” mounting stud , check to see if it is a reversible stud with a 3/8”-16 threaded section on the other end. If so, reverse the stud and use the 3/8” end of the stud. If the ¼” stud is not reversible, you will need to use a reducer bushing to mount the Head to the tripod. Robust brass bushings can be ordered through our website.

Step 1: Firmly tighten the lower (pan) knob.Step 2: Position the Head with the spool mounting hole (located under the spool) directly over the threaded tripod mounting stud.It is important to keep the Head completely straight (vertical) over the stud to keep the spool threads from cross – threading.Step 3: Screw the Head clockwise onto the stud of your tripod until it seats the bottom spool of the Head and the tripod mounting plate. Use the leverage hole to achieve a tighter attachment if desired (see below).Loosen the pan knob slightly and rotate the Head to check the security of the mount. The spool should not loosen when you turn the Head counterclockwise, and the Head should not wobble at all.

Using the Leverage Hole:

There is a small hole on the side of the base of the Head that can be used to apply greater leverage for installing or removing the Head from your tripod.The hole is designed to accommodate a 5/32 hex key (commonly used by our customers to attach quick-release plates to lenses & cameras).

Note: The hex key is only used as a leverage arm, it does not engage a fastener inside the leverage hole (the hole is not threaded). If you do not have an appropriate sized hex key, any strong metal rod that will fit into the hole can be used (e.g. a small screwdriver).

Attaching Your Lens To The Sevenoak Gimbal Head:

Prerequisite: In order to attach your lens to the Sevenoak Gimbal Head, it must be fitted with an Arca-Swiss style quick -release plate or foot (see details below).Step 1: Tighten the tilt knob of the swing arm-make sure that the Head’s platform is level so that the Head is stable while you are loading your lens.

Step 2: Open the jaws of the quick-release clamp wide enough so that the jaws clear the entire width of the QR plate attached to the foot of your lens.Step 3: While supporting your lens, insert the quick-release plate on your lens into the jaws of the clamp and tighten the clamp securely. Make sure the quick-release plate is seated properly and captive in the clamp jaws before letting go of the lens.

Prerequisite: Arca-Swiss Style Lens Plate:

In order to attach your lens to the Sevenoak Gimbal Head, it must be fitted with an Arca-Swiss style quick-release plate or foot (sold separately). We offer a line of such plates. For more information see our catalog or website: on “Lens Plates”).We strongly recommend using Sevenoak plates because we carefully match your lens with the appropriate size plate that will allow you to properly balance your lens on our gimbal head. Our plates are also all equipped with safety stops which protect your gear from accidentally slipping out of a compatible quick- release clamp. If you use plates from other manufacturers you will need to make sure that they are the proper length and pro-portion that we recommend for your lens. Compare the plate length and profile to the recommended plate for your lens in our product catalog or on our web site.

Balancing Your Lens On The Sevenoak Gimbal Head:

STEP 1: Preparing to Balance: Position the Head’s platform at its lowest position and level to the ground. Tighten the Head’s tilt knob. Mount your lens (with camera body attached). Stand behind the lens/camera setup and grab the camera body as if you are going to take a picture.STEP 2: Balance the Horizontal Position of the Lens:Loosen the tilt knob of the Sevenoak Gimbal Head SLOWLY-stand ready to catch the lens or camera body should one end or the other rapidly tilt down! Adjust the horizontal position of the lens forward or backwards depending on how the lens tips (see figures below).SAFETY NOTE: Retighten the clamp after each adjustment, no matter how small! Use the two safety stop screws provided with your Wimberley lens plate or replacement foot to prevent the lens/camera combo from sliding out of the clamp when loosened.

  • If the front of the lens tilts downward you will need to sild the lens backward in the clamp toward you.
  • If the front of the lens tilts upward, you will need to slide lens forward away from you.
Proper Horizontal Balance:

Adjust the position of the lens in small increments until it remains level when the Head’s tilt knob is loose.Note: because there is some damping friction in the tilt mechanism, the lens may stay level even when it is slightly unbalanced. This is okay, but if you wish to fine tune the balance even further, gently tilt the lens up 20 degrees from level and then down 20 degrees from level. If it’s easier to tilt the lens up, slide the lens slightly forward. If it’s easier to tilt the lens down, slide the lens backward. Adjust in this manner until the resistance is symmetric.

STEP 3: Balance the Vertical Position of the Lens:

Once you have properly adjusted the forward-backward position of the lens, you may need to adjust the vertical position of the lens (especially telephoto lenses smaller than a 600 f/4 or 400 f/2.8).Loosen the platform wing knob and adjust the vertical position of the platform so that the center of the lens is slightly above the tilt axis of the Head (see figure to the right). Loosen the tilt knob and tilt the front of the lens about 30 degrees toward the sky. When you let go of the lens, if it wants to keep going up in the direction that you’ve tilted it, you need to lower the position of the lens by adjusting the position of the platform. If the lens wants to return to a level position, you need to raise the position of the lens.

The goal is to perfectly balance the lens so that it stays pointed in any position even when the Head is completely loose. Fine tune the vertical and forward-backward position of the lens until you’ ve achieved perfect balance. Once you have done this a few times, it gets much easier to do and will take very little time to achieve as you get more practiced.

TIP: Once you are able to let go of the camera/lens combo in any position with the tilt and pan knobs loose and it stays in a balanced position without moving at all, you may want to mark the exact position of your lens plate within the clamp, and your platform position on the tilt arm, with a pencil, permanent ink marker or tape for faster set up in the field.

The Head is now ready to use. Simply loosen the pan and tilt knobs about a quarter turn and start shooting. If you have done everything properly, the lens should be very easy to point, should stay pointed and should not tend to flop or creep. As you become more familiar with the Head you will probably be better able to make fine adjustments in the balance of your setup. You can shoot with the knobs loose, or lock – in on a target by tightening the knobs. You should not need to loosen the knobs more than a few turns to unlock the Head. Conversely, there should be no need to over tighten the knobs. If things don’t feel right, please contact us. Knob screws are captive and should not loosen or come off on their own.

The tilt and pan knobs should tighten with enough friction to keep the Head from moving on its own. The pan base and swing arm should not move easily when the knobs are fully tightened. If significant force is applied, the Head will slip slightly on the spool when the panning knob is tightened all the way. THIS IS NORMAL AND DOES NOT AFFECT PRODUCT PERFORMANCE. When using the Head, you can put a small amount of friction on both the pan and tilt to hold the position of your lens and rotate it with a bit of force as needed. This is not going to going to damage your Head. Only a single turn or two of the pan and tilt knobs should allow you to loosen and tighten the mechanisms for fluid motion or static shots. You should avoid unscrewing any of the knobs all the way, and there should be no need to over-tighten them.

Other alternatives for attaching the camera body to the Sevenoak Gimbal Head:
  1. Carry a small ball head, attach a quick-release plate to the bottom of it, and attach the ball head directly to the clamp on the Wimberley Head. This eliminates the need to adjust the legs of the tripod to level the horizon or to remove the Wimberley Head, but it can be inconvenient to have to carry an extra head with you.
  2. Use a small beanbag with the Head; you can set the beanbag on the top of the Head itself, or on top of your big lens while it is still attached to the Head.


Fine Tension Adjustment of Your Pan Base:

A 7/32 hex key fits the 3/8”-16 center screw on the top of the pan base of your Sevenoak Gimbal Tripod Head (see figure at right). This screw applies pre-tension to the pan base (so there is no slop in the mechanism),and adjusts the minimum drag for the pan base.You should not have to use this adjustment on a regular basis. The minimum drag is the amount of resistance in the pan mechanism when the Head is un-tightened. We have set the minimum drag for your Head to a level that we feel is optimal for field use. You should not need to adjust the screw unless you experience an undesirable change in the Head’s minimum drag as the Head wears in.CAUTION: Only a very small adjustment should be necessary; do not remove the screw or back it out excessively. Doing so could compromise the screw’s ability to lock in place and the performance of your Head.

Removing the Head from your tripod :

Firmly tighten the pan knob, then turn the Head counter clockwise. It should loosen easily from the platform during the first rotation. If the Head has been on the tripod for a while, more force may be necessary to remove it. If the Head is stuck, try using the lever age hole for removal (see details at the bottom of page 3). The pan base screws do not tighten the Head to, or loosen it from, the tripod mount.

IF You Have a Problem With Your Head:Few things are likely to go wrong with the SK-GH01, and there should be almost no need for routine maintenance of internal parts. However, if the Head is in need of repair, we ask that you return the Head to us for inspection and service. (International customers should contact the dealer who sold you the Head).If the Head is faulty, we will fix it free of cost. If the problem arises from extreme use, abuse or accident, we will repair the Head for a reasonable fee.We strongly discourage you from disassembling this unit without direct instruction from us. Any damage to the head resulting from disassembly will not be covered by warranty. In special cases where an emergency repair is required, please refer to the guidelines to the right.

Emergency Repairs:

In extreme situations where it is not feasible to send the head in for repair, and you wish to attempt to fix a problem yourself, you do so at your own risk; however, these guidelines will help improve your odds of success and help you to avoid making the situation worse. Note: Any field repair should be followed up with a proper repair from us as soon as possible.

Tilt Mechanism: To disassemble the tilt mechanism, remove the captivating screw and unscrew the Tilt Knob. If you need to remove the grease in the mechanism, it is okay to use the tilt mechanism without grease until you have the opportunity to send it in for us to refurbish.

Pan Mechanism: Remove ONLY the large central fastener on top of the Pan base to disassemble the pan base. DO NOT loosen or remove the three smaller screws, and do not attempt to remove the Pan Knob. If you clean the components of the pan mechanism, you MUST apply oil to all mating surfaces before reassembling, failure to do so could cause the mechanism to gall and freeze-up permanently.


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