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Author Topic: Tripod  (Read 9729 times)
MBury
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« on: November 26, 2005, 03:45:04 PM »
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Hello There,

I've made and "upgrade" to a 1D IIn about a month ago, and with the current lensens ( 28-135 IS USM, 17-40 f4 and 70-200 f2.8 ) I'm more than pleased. However the tripod I used was rated only for 1.5kg ( didn't use it with the 70-200 ) so a new one is needed. The general advice; "get the best you can affort" isn't very helpful as the choices remain limitless.

So for starters, Gitzo or Manfrotto, and what type of head? Something not to heavy would be nice as I travel around a lot.

Any suggestions,

Regards,
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2005, 03:58:07 PM »
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After 4 tripods and 5 heads, I've settled on Gitzo 1228, Markins M10 and the RRS Lever QR Plate and RRS L plate (for 1d2).  

The 1228 has 4 sections so it collapses small enough to travel reasonably well.  The Markins M10  is great (I used an Acratech for a couple of years).   An excellent combination of low weight, lack of creep and friction. I would have seriously considered the RRS B40 but it wasn't available when I bought the Markins (and the North American distributor is local so I went out to see it).  The lever style QR plate is great if you're using an L plate.  If you're a purest, Markins had a replacement for the Gitzo if you want to take the centre column out.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2005, 03:58:44 PM by Tim Gray » Logged
boku
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2005, 04:34:00 PM »
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Yes, a Gitzo 1228, an RRS B40, and an RRS L-Plate would be my recommendation for light and portable. There are two compromises with this rig: limited height (if you are tall), and...

I own the 1228 (with an Acratech BH) and a 1325 with the RRS B55. The heavier rig is sturdier and the results in my pictures bear that out. I still use the 1228 when I have to for portability (really great for travel and hiking), but I know I know what I am missing. Not a big deal, but something to consider.

BTW: you need to get used to Gitzo collet leg locks. There really isn't a better tripod made than a Gitzo carbon fiber, so try to go in that direction. Like Tim (and just about everyone else), I've been through about 4 pods working my way up to the Gitzos. What a wasteful experience. My early body of work was compromised. Just pony up right out of the gate. Learn from the rest of us.

Quote
After 4 tripods and 5 heads, I've settled on Gitzo 1228, Markins M10 and the RRS Lever QR Plate and RRS L plate (for 1d2).

The 1228 has 4 sections so it collapses small enough to travel reasonably well. The Markins M10 is great (I used an Acratech for a couple of years).  An excellent combination of low weight, lack of creep and friction. I would have seriously considered the RRS B40 but it wasn't available when I bought the Markins (and the North American distributor is local so I went out to see it). The lever style QR plate is great if you're using an L plate. If you're a purest, Markins had a replacement for the Gitzo if you want to take the centre column out.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2005, 04:35:58 PM by boku » Logged

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MBury
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2005, 04:47:19 PM »
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What do we consider to be tall  , I'm 6'3"? What surprised me a bit is that both of you don't mention Gitzo's own heads, any special reason?

Thanks for the replies thus far though, very helpfull.

Quote
Yes, a Gitzo 1228, an RRS B40, and an RRS L-Plate would be my recommendation for light and portable. There are two compromises with this rig: limited height (if you are tall), and...

I own the 1228 (with an Acratech BH) and a 1325 with the RRS B55. The heavier rig is sturdier and the results in my pictures bear that out. I still use the 1228 when I have to for portability (really great for travel and hiking), but I know I know what I am missing. Not a big deal, but something to consider.

BTW: you need to get used to Gitzo collet leg locks. There really isn't a better tripod made than a Gitzo carbon fiber, so try to go in that direction. Like Tim (and just about everyone else), I've been through about 4 pods working my way up to the Gitzos. What a wasteful experience. My early body of work was compromised. Just pony up right out of the gate. Learn from the rest of us.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52247\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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boku
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2005, 04:51:42 PM »
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I'd say 6'-3" is tall. The 1228 is fine for me (I'm about 5'-8"). I think if you are over 6 ft you will be disappointed. You will be extending the center column, something to be avoided.

I never considered Gitzo heads because I like to use mainstream (common, popular) equipment. You never really hear too much about people using them. Must be a reason, no?

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What do we consider to be tall  , I'm 6'3"? What surprised me a bit is that both of you don't mention Gitzo's own heads, any special reason?

Thanks for the replies thus far though, very helpfull.
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jani
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2005, 05:26:15 PM »
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Since Didger no longer is among us, I'll take the role of recommending the Velbon Sherpa Pro "carmagne" series.

Sturdy and light, it's more than adequate for e.g. a 5D or 20D, 100-400mm @400mm and 1.4x TC (I haven't tested with heavier equipment, though Didger did some more extensive tests, do a forum search for Didger as author during 2004, and the text "velbon"). The IS on that lens isn't always behaving on a tripod (reported by several people, and unfortunately recently experienced by myself), so a stable tripod is rather important.

With your height, I guess it's the 700- or 800-series that would work best, the 600-series would require you to extend the center column. Like Gitzo, they're using collar leg locks for the 700- and 800-series. The 500- and 400-series also come with lever locks, like Bogen/Manfrotto.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2005, 06:43:25 PM »
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Jani, I had come on the forum to ask about the Velbon and here I see that you've already answered my question! thanks.

I've been shooting with a manfrotto 055 pro and 468 (not 486!) head with the RRS lever QR and though it's pretty solid, it's damn heavy, weighing in at 3.3kg together. I'm looking for something light and the Velbon Sherpa Pro 530 EL with the new Manfrotto 468MG looks to be a nice combo with quality, strength and features weighting less than 2kg. My only issue is, of course, stability with such low weight. It comes with a free 'rock bag' but I don't fancy carting it around, or fetching rocks each time I want to shoot either! I can hang my bag off the hook assuming it doesn't sway or drop into a waterfall or something.

I suppose this is a problem with any CF tripod, the lighter you go, the less rock solid your stand. Even with my heavy aluminum 055 fully extended, the camera on top is far less steady than when the legs are unextended, i.e. low down (I never use the center column of course). With CF I assume that this is just exasperated. Everything in photography is a sacrifice in the end otherwise we would all be shooting 8X10...
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boku
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2005, 06:46:57 PM »
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Pom,

The Gitzo 1228 with an Acratech head is about 2 Kg.

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Jani, I had come on the forum to ask about the Velbon and here I see that you've already answered my question! thanks.

I've been shooting with a manfrotto 055 pro and 468 (not 486!) head with the RRS lever QR and though it's pretty solid, it's damn heavy, weighing in at 3.3kg together. I'm looking for something light and the Velbon Sherpa Pro 530 EL with the new Manfrotto 468MG looks to be a nice combo with quality, strength and features weighting less than 2kg. My only issue is, of course, stability with such low weight. It comes with a free 'rock bag' but I don't fancy carting it around, or fetching rocks each time I want to shoot either! I can hang my bag off the hook assuming it doesn't sway or drop into a waterfall or something.

I suppose this is a problem with any CF tripod, the lighter you go, the less rock solid your stand. Even with my heavy aluminum 055 fully extended, the camera on top is far less steady than when the legs are unextended, i.e. low down (I never use the center column of course). With CF I assume that this is just exasperated. Everything in photography is a sacrifice in the end otherwise we would all be shooting 8X10...
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Bob Kulon

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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2005, 06:51:34 PM »
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Either the Markins or Manfrotto head (similar price) with the RRS lever QR is more suited to me than the arcatech. The velbon is a fraction of the cost and comes with lever locks that I prefer. The advantage of the Gitzo is the level of weight bearing but I'm shooting a 5D with 300f4 max so it's not a huge issue. Thanks though.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2005, 06:57:13 PM by pom » Logged

DarkPenguin
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2005, 07:55:29 PM »
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An angle finder goes a long ways towards making up for a short tripod.  I find mine to be tall enough (I'm 6'5") but then I expect to have to hunch over.  The angle finder also helps if you put the tripod close to the ground.

(I use Feisol and Kirk so what do I know.)
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Ed Cordes
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2005, 09:42:06 PM »
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I have been using a Monfrotto Carbon Fiber 440 for over 2 years.  I believe this exact model is discontinued, but replaced with a similar model with a different number.  I like the 3.5 lbs weight and it supports my 1DMK2 and 500 f4 well.  
Many here and on other forums swear by Gittzo.  Personally, I like the snap lever locks for the legs. They are fast and secure.  I can work them with one hand.  To my taste this is better than having to twist the collars on the Gitzos.

Just my $0.02
« Last Edit: November 26, 2005, 09:44:00 PM by Ed Cordes » Logged
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2005, 11:54:13 AM »
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I'm 6'-6" and use the 1228 for travel or when I want an ultra-light tripod.  It is a bit short for me to use as my everyday tripod but works fine for the above-mentioned needs.  I have the Kirk BH-3 on top of it.  I remove the center column and it easily fits inside my 22" carryon suitcase.

Cheers,
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2005, 01:04:54 PM »
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How big a lens can you use on the BH-3?  Kirk is a little vague about it.  I've used a 300 f2.8 is on mine and it seemed fine.
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Stealthfixr
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2005, 03:32:12 PM »
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Quote
So for starters, Gitzo or Manfrotto, and what type of head? Something not to heavy would be nice as I travel around a lot.[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Have you considered the Feisol tripods?  If curious, here's a link for a review I wrote on my Feisol 3401 with a BH-3 ballhead.  The 3401 might be perfect for your needs.

[a href=\"http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00DVxv]http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00DVxv[/url]
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2005, 05:14:35 PM »
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How big a lens can you use on the BH-3?  Kirk is a little vague about it.  I've used a 300 f2.8 is on mine and it seemed fine.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52294\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yes, Kirk is vague...  I have used my 70-200 plus 2x moutned on a 1-series camera and it held fine.  IMO that was probably at or near the limit of the system.  I would think 4 kilos or so is probably a good number...
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2005, 05:38:37 PM »
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Have you considered the Feisol tripods?  If curious, here's a link for a review I wrote on my Feisol 3401 with a BH-3 ballhead.  The 3401 might be perfect for your needs.

http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00DVxv
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52298\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Have you tried the new Feisol center column?  It is much nicer than the original one.  Heavier, tho.
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2005, 06:14:56 PM »
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After going though a number of Gitzo and Manfrotto tripods, I have settled on a Manfrotto 440 carbon fibre model with the short center column and a mag alloy ball head from Velbon. It seem to be the best compromise in size, weight, and portability. I hate using something smaller or carrying something bigger and heavier. I use it with 6x6 and 6x12 medium-format cameras and a maximum focal length of 150mm.
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Peter Jon White
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2005, 07:25:16 PM »
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I'm 6 feet. I now use the Gitzo 1228 tripod, RRS BH-40 head, the RRS L plate for the 5D, and plates for all my other cameras and long lenses. I'll be getting the Wimberley Sidekick for the Tamron 300 f/2.8 as funds allow.

I really like using an Anglefinder on a tripod. For years working with the Canon F-1, I used the Speedfinder so I could look down on the camera. It makes life so much easier, since you can easily see the top of the camera and all of the settings on the lens. While that's less important these days with auto everything cameras, it's still nice to be able to see the top of the camera and lens. If the rig is high enough for viewing directly into the viewfinder, you have to jump up to see what's going on with the camera, or lose your adjustments. So with the 5D I use the Anglefinder C. It rotates for portrait mode. You also get the magnified view with the flick of a switch which makes manual focusing even better.

Lowering everything has other advantages. The entire rig is that much more stable when it's lower. You can get away with a smaller, lighter tripod. You don't need the long extension center post.

I'm kicking myself for putting off getting an L plate for my cameras for all these years. It's so easy now to go from landscape mode to portrait mode. The camera stays centered on the tripod. On the monopod the center of balance is maintained with the L plate. And with the monopod, I don't even need a head. The clamp is bolted directly to the Gitzo 1568 monopod, and the camera goes directly on top via the L plate. How often do you need to tilt your camera up or down 45 degrees? Having the camera perpendicular to the monopod turns out to be no problem at all!

On the tripod of course you need a head as you can't make small vertical adjustments without a massive amount of work. So the RRS ball head is wonderfull. In particular I like the adjustable resistance knob. The BH-40 doesn't weigh much. And while it's expensive, it's so well made I really fell like I got my money's worth.
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danmitch
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2005, 07:56:41 PM »
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Since Didger no longer is among us, I'll take the role of recommending the Velbon Sherpa Pro "carmagne" series.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52253\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've also been using a Velbon Carmagne this year for backpacking and other outdoor photography. I am very pleased with it: it is easy to set up, reasonably steady, not too heavy, and it packs well. I use it with the Acratech Ball Head.

Dan
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2005, 08:03:13 PM »
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For real value you can't beat Amvona's prices on eBay. All of their stuff appears to be direct copies made in China. The quality is quite good and shouln't be disregarded unless you've tried it. I'm very satisfied with my carbon fibre tripod.
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