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Author Topic: Tripod Choice  (Read 8545 times)

Jerry Clement

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Tripod Choice
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2008, 08:29:05 PM »

I currently have two tripods which I really love... Both are carbon-fibre Velbon models.  I have the 530 and the 730. 

On the 730 I have a full Wimberly Loctite'ed onto it.  I use this with a Canon 500mm f4L IS (even with extenders) and it's superb.  Rock solid.  Just a bit heavy and of course with the Wimberly on it, it becomes pretty much a dedicated tripod for the 500mm lens.

I have  RRS BH-55 on the 530 and it's my favorite.  I am finding however that with a bigger lens (I HAVE used the 500 on it, with a Sidekick) it's not quite as steady as I'd like.  And even with shorter/lighter lenses, since I started doing more HDR (multiple image) shots, I'm not getting the consistency shot to shot that I'd like.

So I'm looking for something pretty much between the two models.  I thought the Velbon 630 would be ideal.  And now after more than a week of looking, I haven't been able to locate one.  B&H has one they call the "630A" but that doesn't appear on the Velbon website.  It looks more like their model 635.  (The difference between the 630 and the 630A or 635 is the 630 has twist-lock legs and the others have lever lock - I want the twist lock!).

The dealers I've called haven't been any help.  Neither has the Canadian distributor who after a week hasn't answered my email.  Velbon Japan hasn't replied either.  So I'm looking at other options.  Sorry for the long preamble, but I want you to know where I'm coming from with this.

The Gitzo Mountaineer GT2530 has caught my attention.  But I'm confused.  Here's why:

Velbon 730 - weight 2.35kg - load 8kg
Velbon 630 - weight 1.61kg - load 6kg
Velbon 530 - weight 1.41kg - load 4kg

Gitzo 2530 - weight 1.4kg - load 12kg

At first glance it appears that the Gitzo is incredible!  Lighter, yet able to handle a heavier load than even the Velbon 730!  And I know the 730 is superb with the 500mm lens.  However (you knew that was coming, right?)... the Gitzo specs says this tripod is for use with a MAXIMUM lens of 300mm!

I just don't get it.  It'll hold 50% more weight than the Velbon 730 (which we know is great with the 500mm) yet it'll handle only up to a 300mm lens.  How is this?  Is Velbon being over optimistic and Gitzo pessimistic?  Support-wise would these be just about the same?

My plan is to move the 530 into my studio for only indoor studio shooting.  I'll still keep the 730 for dedicated use with my 500mm and the new tripod (most likely the Gitzo) will be for everything else.

Any help with this would be very much appreciated. 

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« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 08:32:55 PM by Jerry Clement »


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Tripod Choice
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2008, 07:44:36 AM »

Gitzo is right that this tripod can RELIABLY STABILIZE only upto a FOCAL LENGTH of 300mm.  Please note the portions I have put in caps, since it is not the weight of the lens you have placed on the tripod that matters, but the view-angle or the Focal length of the lens, that is of even more importance.

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Hello aaykay

I understand that now that view angle/focus length is more important. I have a 1.6 crop factor camera and I want to buy my first tripod. My longest lens is the Canon 70-200 IS 2.8.

In order to find the right tripod do I look for a tripod that can handle a focus length of 320 mm or for one that can handle 200mm?

What happens if  I use a 1.4 converter?


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