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Author Topic: Tripod/Head combo under $500 - will this work?  (Read 3952 times)
kaelaria
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« on: October 18, 2006, 09:53:08 AM »
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I'm looking for something to use outdoors, with no special consideration for hiking, being especially light-weight or small size.  I use a 30D with at most my 70-200.  I know I want a 3 section CF unit with no center column and a sturdy standard ball head.  Ideally, sure, a Gitzo 1325 with RRS 55 but it's out of my budget especially when I won't utilize it that much.  I won't even mention what I'm using now - LOL!

I'm considering the Bogen 055MF3 with the 488RC4 head.  It's $450 shipped from B&H and the like, and spec wise looks like it should work well.  Is there any reason not to go with either of these?  I have read every review and relavent thread I can find and can't find anything especially negative - I just want to make sure before I hit the 'Buy' button

Thanks
« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 09:54:42 AM by kaelaria » Logged

Nill Toulme
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 09:55:23 AM »
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For about the same money you could get a Gitzo G2220 and Kirk BH-3, nice rig.

Nill
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kaelaria
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 10:07:44 AM »
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That looks like $200 more and I don't care for the center column design of that 2220.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2006, 10:19:23 AM »
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Well, it has gone up a bit since the last time I looked, but not that much!

The G2220 is $275 at B&H, and the BH-3 is $255 from Kirk.  I think the BH-3 is currently the best value on the market in a high quality midweight ballhead.

The G2220's design is extraordinarily versatile.  I have the carbon version and love it.  But you're right, it's not for everybody (although it might be if everybody actually tried it!).  

Another extremely cost-effective alternative, carbon but more traditional design, is the Feisol line of tripods.

Nill
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« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 10:21:39 AM by Nill Toulme » Logged
kaelaria
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2006, 10:30:32 AM »
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That's $530 plus mount plate, compared to $422 - so maybe $150 more, not $200.

I considered the Feisol until I tried to find one to actually purchase - they also list for another $100 on top of the these two legs listed, comparing the equivalent CT-3371.

So do you have any reason the two parts I mentioned would have a problem?  That's really what I'm looking for, not higher priced alternatives.  Like I said, if I could expand my budget for this I would simply get the best and be done with it.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2006, 11:04:46 AM »
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You purchase Feisol direct.  www.feisol.com

I've used an aluminium 055 a great deal and can vouch for both it's build and stability.  I've no experience with that ballhead though.

Have you also checked www.benro.cn - direct clones of Gitzo bought though Ebay.  For more info check http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/pma06.htm
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 11:21:17 AM »
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Sorry, don't know about the Bogen (other than that my general experience with Bogens is they are sturdy but heavy and I despise their QR system).  Since you weren't getting any replies on that, I thought I'd at least offer what I did know.

As for getting the best and being done with it, you might enjoy this classic article.

Nill
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« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 11:21:48 AM by Nill Toulme » Logged
Nill Toulme
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2006, 11:28:30 AM »
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BTW, purchasing direct on Feisol's web page works very well.  For one thing the prices there are cheaper (last I looked) than the ebay prices.  For another it's prompt.  I ordered one of their monopods recently and it showed up about four days later.

Nill
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kaelaria
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2006, 11:54:48 AM »
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Yes I had read that article and can certainly already relate

Yes I know you can buy them direct, but again, I'm not looking for another budget bump if my choices above will work.  Even direct, it's another noticeable price jump.

Yes I looked into Benro however again, the prices aren't quite as good and I'd rather order from B&H or the like right now, which is not an option with the Asian brands at the moment.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2006, 01:14:44 PM »
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OK a new twist - since I only use one body - is a quick release really that important?  Is the 'standard' mount disadvantage simply that you need to screw it on at every coupling?  If so that's fine with me, I'd rather save the little extra or upgrade for the same money.

In that regard, does anyone have experience with the Giottos MH-3000?  It looks more durrible than the Bogen and has a significantly higher weight limit for the same $$

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller...egoryNavigation
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kaelaria
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2006, 01:47:11 PM »
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OK, it's offered for another $25 with a QR plate so that's worth it to me.  I think I'll pull the trigger on the MH-3000, it seems to be a much better design/copy than the M/B.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2006, 03:52:25 PM »
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Well, it'll all be here next week so I'll post my thoughts on it all then   $476 to my door for the legs, mh-3000 and the QR plate, from B&H.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 03:52:44 PM by kaelaria » Logged

kaelaria
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2006, 10:24:08 AM »
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It all just arrived and it's awesome!  WHAT a deal for everything - the parts are SOLID.  THe CF legs are of course light as could be, and all the metal parts are magnesium.  The ball is beefy, smooth as butter and the control knobs are perfect.  Grippy on your finger, turn like butter and lock solid.
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indianavince
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2006, 08:19:25 PM »
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Nothing better than a Gitzo ball head (medium)--- off a used rack! And a medium sized Bogan tripod.
Bogan makes so-so ball heads and gitzo makes pain in the $*&%^ tripods.  Take the best away from the worst and you have a great preforming value!  

PS and I put the bogan QR on the Gitzo ball.  Italian-French-Italian with a Sweed. on TOP!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2006, 08:21:33 PM by indianavince » Logged
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