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Author Topic: Change in tactic  (Read 3853 times)

Bo_Dez

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Change in tactic
« on: April 06, 2017, 04:59:56 PM »

I've never been a tripod person but I've started doing things differently.

What are peoples thoughts on choice/favourite, for a lightweight, but most importantly very quick and easy to operate tripod?

It's only for a Leica M so low weight.

Thoughts appreciated
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nemophoto

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 05:27:53 PM »

Like you, I generally am not a tripod kinda guy. I actually use a monopod most of the time when I need more stability. I own several lightweight tripods that I'll throw into a grip bag for some shoots. The one I use most is a MeFoto carbon fibre. It's not the sturdiest thing out there, but it does the trick and it's decent on a hike as well. Also, it can double as a monopod. I've never been a huge fan of knurled leg releases -- I prefer the Manfrotto type of release latch. That said, I look for lightweight with enough stability for a moderate camera and lens (i.e. - Canon 5ds with a 70-200/2.8).

MattBurt

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 05:43:21 PM »

I like my Manfrotto 190 CXPRO. It might be a little big for you but they make smaller ones too. Light for its size (which isn't all that big anyway) and solid with leg levers instead of those twist locks. It's held up well and once when I broke a metal leg angle lock/release button (it fell on concrete) it was easy to get a replacement part to fix it myself.
I have a Manfrotto 498RC2 head on it and they seem to be a good match. Great setup for day hikes and/or general use.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 12:37:53 AM by MattBurt »
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NancyP

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 11:37:06 PM »

Everybody will have their favorite type of tripod, head, quick release system. I like the Arca-style standard dovetail provided by a zillion manufacturers. For ease of use, nothing beats having a well-designed L bracket on the camera 100% of the time. All you have to do is whip out the tripod and slip on the camera, and if you want to change orientation, you just loosen the QR clamp and slip the camera in using the other dovetail grooves on the L bracket. This avoids 1. tilting the head 90 degrees and thus putting the camera's weight significantly off-axis 2. having to fish around for the camera plate and screw it on every time you want to put the camera  on a tripod 3. one less step - more likely to actually use the tripod. So, look at and ask to try the types of products being used by other photographers. As for ball head vs inverted ball head vs geared head vs pan-tilt head, it all has to do with type of photography, personal preference, and weight/size limitations.

My kit: SLR or compact with its L bracket; remote release - I am old-fashioned and usually use the cheap wired kind that uses a AAA battery; tripod with twist locks (personal preference again); inverted type ball head, specifically the Arca p0 (easy one hand operation, light, small, my tripod's legs invert so the ball head is between them for compactness). Kit, minus camera, weighs ~ 3 pounds, goes from 0" to 60" (I am 5'5", so that is good enough for me to stand up straight and look through viewfinder/at live view screen), and is no burden on the trail. YVMV.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 04:27:33 AM »

I use a Gitzo series 2 tripod with basalt legs, and Acratech ball head.

davidgp

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 05:17:05 AM »

I use a Gitzo systematic series 3... living in Europe Gitzo made more sense... more easy to get spare parts ( https://www.manfrottospares.com ) for repairs. In the other side of the Atlantic... people over there say they prefer Really Right Stuff tripods... for several reasons... but mainly because for repairs they do it in the USA...


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mecrox

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 05:38:20 AM »

I like my Manfrotto 190 CXPRO. It might be a little big for you but they make smaller ones too. Light for its size (which isn't all that big anyway) and solid with leg levers instead of those twist locks. It's held up well and once when I broke a metal leg angle lock/release button (it fell on concrete) it was easy to get a replacement part to fix it myself.
I have a Manfrotto 498RC2 head on it and they seem to be a good match. Great setup for day hikes and/or general use.

I have the same model though with a different head and like it a lot. It strikes me as an excellent light all-rounder and usually lives in my car. Quite big for hiking, though, at least for me, but as you say there are smaller options. My camera has a high-resolution mode (eight images combined in camera into a 64 mpx one) which needs a tripod to work and I enjoy using it. Quite a lot of uses for a tripod here. Poking around in old country churches which tend to be quite dark - some kind of tripod or firm stand is needed. Since a decent tripod should last for years and doesn't cost the earth it is quite a useful thing to have.
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Hening Bettermann

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2017, 05:17:17 PM »

I use a Gitzo GT 1531, which I find the lightest, yet stable enough, about 1050 grams. The lightest 3-way (!) head I could find is the Vanguard PH-12. On top of that a pano with built-in Arca Swiss dovetail. Again the lightest I could find was the Sunway Foto DDH-021, now discontinued I think, but it must have a successor. I'm happy with the combination.

Good light!

BrownBear

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2017, 06:56:10 PM »

We have stacks of tripods and heads of all sizes, makes and materials dating back over 50 years. But our all-time favorite for light cameras and travel is the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber legs with RRS BH-25 ballhead, and especially their compact lever release version. The legs are just 2.3# and the head and the head 8 oz, for a total package just under 3#.  Stable enough for a Nikon 7200 and lens, so especially stable with lighter models.  I tend to leave the legs extended for use as a "mono-pod," spreading them as needed for true tripod function.  At 16" folded length, I have it strapped to the bottom of a camera bag or pack between uses and never even notice it's there.  BTW-  RRS' larger ball heads are among the smoothest, most carefree we've ever used too.  RRS has their own line of tripod legs, but I've never tried them.
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hogloff

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2017, 07:08:26 PM »

I've never been a tripod person but I've started doing things differently.

What are peoples thoughts on choice/favourite, for a lightweight, but most importantly very quick and easy to operate tripod?

It's only for a Leica M so low weight.

Thoughts appreciated

For me quick and tripods don't belong in the same sentence. I use a tripod to enable me to focus and compose my image and then sit back and wait for the light...nothing quick at all. I think if you are trying to mix quick and tripods together...you'll become discouraged quickly.
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luxborealis

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2017, 09:48:52 PM »

For me quick and tripods don't belong in the same sentence. I use a tripod to enable me to focus and compose my image and then sit back and wait for the light...nothing quick at all. I think if you are trying to mix quick and tripods together...you'll become discouraged quickly.

+1

Use of a tripod is all about slowing down. There is no "quick" way to set up any tripod. The closest I've come to that is with my 5+kg wooden Reis tripod because it has only one leg extension!
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BrownBear

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2017, 10:11:42 PM »

Use of a tripod is all about slowing down.

Ummmm....   Not if you're using longish lenses for wildlife or isolating elements in landscapes, especially in low light.  Same for macro, especially with moving subjects.
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 08:11:24 AM »

I second this... that is my exact compact tripod setup.  I used a Leica m8 for years as a main personal camera and travelled everywhere with that and the gitzo  traveler tripod. The rrs ball head can really hold its own with even larger gear especially if you use a nodal slide or macro rail to balance the weight over the center.  For a Leica it's more than enough as is. 


We have stacks of tripods and heads of all sizes, makes and materials dating back over 50 years. But our all-time favorite for light cameras and travel is the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber legs with RRS BH-25 ballhead, and especially their compact lever release version. The legs are just 2.3# and the head and the head 8 oz, for a total package just under 3#.  Stable enough for a Nikon 7200 and lens, so especially stable with lighter models.  I tend to leave the legs extended for use as a "mono-pod," spreading them as needed for true tripod function.  At 16" folded length, I have it strapped to the bottom of a camera bag or pack between uses and never even notice it's there.  BTW-  RRS' larger ball heads are among the smoothest, most carefree we've ever used too.  RRS has their own line of tripod legs, but I've never tried them.
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Bo_Dez

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2017, 09:39:35 AM »

Wow, thanks everyone some great feedback here!
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Bo_Dez

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2017, 09:40:57 AM »

For me quick and tripods don't belong in the same sentence. I use a tripod to enable me to focus and compose my image and then sit back and wait for the light...nothing quick at all. I think if you are trying to mix quick and tripods together...you'll become discouraged quickly.

Not really. I shoot people and its all about speed.
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hogloff

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2017, 07:54:04 PM »

Not really. I shoot people and its all about speed.

Explain please. Why do you need a tripod to shoot people? What's the speed aspect of shooting people?
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2017, 04:26:54 AM »

I see no contradiction between:

1. Photographing with a tripod is good to slow down and concentrate, and take your time to carefully compose, and;

2. Having a tripod that is quick to operate and set up.

These are different things. Quite often I am all packed up at the end of the day and ready to go back, when I see something new and worth it happening. With a quickly operated tripod, I can set up in a few seconds. This is why I like Gitzo; I can simply twist the leg locks in the right order and set up really quick.

Jonathan Cross

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2017, 05:24:20 AM »

This is probably not what others will think/do.  I am using a tripod less and less.  The only time I will definitely use one is for macro, and I have a Manfrotto tripod and the junior geared head - I found ball heads to difficult to position accurately.  For all other situations, I find handholding and a little cropping afterwards best for me.  In lower light, I just wind up the ISO if necessary, but IS makes a great difference.  That said, for wildlife or moving objects I use a very short exposure (< 1/800sec), switch off the IS and use burst mode with subject tracking.  I had a morning trying out an M10 and Summilux 50mm recently, and was happy with handheld even for a product type shot of the headlight on a Porsche parked in the shade.  I find I can get enough sharpness to print up to 13" x 19" by monitoring the usual 3 variables.  Just my way of working!

Jonathan

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MattBurt

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2017, 12:55:38 PM »

I see no contradiction between:

1. Photographing with a tripod is good to slow down and concentrate, and take your time to carefully compose, and;

2. Having a tripod that is quick to operate and set up.

These are different things. Quite often I am all packed up at the end of the day and ready to go back, when I see something new and worth it happening. With a quickly operated tripod, I can set up in a few seconds. This is why I like Gitzo; I can simply twist the leg locks in the right order and set up really quick.

Yeah, I understand both sides of this but with a quick to operate tripod you have the option of working slowly OR quickly.

I like to shoot slowly from a tripod too but I like having a tripod that is quick to set up and take down for those "just one more" kinds of shots while hiking out or maybe on my way to my "real" destination. It doesn't mean I'm rushing around all the time but it does mean I could grab that shot I may not have anticipated without taking too much time away from my main mission.
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BrownBear

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Re: Change in tactic
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2017, 02:10:10 PM »

For me, a tripod is just another tool. Use it when you need it, bypass it when you don't. I'll certainly use one at all times in low light, even if the high ISO capabilities of today's cameras are better than they were even 5 years ago.  Call me a low ISO shooter by preference, and a tripod user as a consequence.
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