12 days of Christmas gifts for photographers - day three


A gimbal head balances your camera and lens at their natural centre of gravity. If you try to use a large telephoto lens and camera on a ballhead you have to fight the natural tendency of the equipment to want to tip over due to gravity. The ballhead will balance the lens only when the centre of gravity is directly vertical over the ballhead, as soon as it moves it will want to fall. Ballhead designers implement friction and all sorts of fancy elliptical gizmos to fight gravity. This is like using a screwdriver to hammer a nail. Wrong tool, wrong job.

A gimbal head balances your lens naturally. You can probably picture the way a large telescope is mounted. There is a reason for this, it works. Our gimbal heads use the same principle to make your lenses and cameras weightless. Tension control is not necessary because your camera and lens CANNOT flop over. You can move a 600mm F4 lens with one finger. Put yourself in the drivers seat and take a Jobu Design Gimbal Head for a spin, you will be like a machine gunner at the control!

The Black Widow Heavy Duty Mark 3 is our top-selling gimbal for mid-large lenses. The HD3 takes the robust core of its predecessor and incorporates the same integrated CNC swing-arm of it's Pro2 Big Brother for serious stiffness and weight savings. Based on customer's requirements we have been able to:

  1. Shed some weight! The BWG-HD3 is only 2lbs 10oz. Savings over 2oz on the BWG-HD2.
  2. Seriously stiffer! The new CNC swing-arm is upgraded with a solid billet aluminum horizontal arm offering fantastic stiffness and improved vibration control for big lenses.
  3. Smooth tilt action! We have implemented a needle bearing system similar to our Jr.3 to offer unparalleled smoothness in the tilt axis. Even with a large load of camera and lens, there is virtually zero friction.
  4. Easily adjustable friction levels with the main tilt-knob to find the sweet-spot for motion control.
  5. Easy to steer! Rubberized knobs are comfortable and easy on the hands and hold well under cold and wet conditions.
  6. Powdercoat finish on the main body and black anodizing on all the aluminum parts makes for long term weather ability and durability.


  • Suitable for lenses and cameras weighing up to 15lbs (600mm F4 + Pro body - No problem!).
  • A stiff tripod recommended for up to 25lbs of load. 3/8"-16 mounting stud required.
  • A Jobu Design lensplate (or other compatible Arca-Swiss style plate) for your lens.
  • A lens with a rotating tripod collar. (Short lenses, or wide angles require the W.A.A. wide angle adapter, see Special Mounts)

You can order your jobu through most major camera retailers.



Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com