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Author Topic: carbon fiber tripods  (Read 12717 times)

Joe Dragon Fine Art Photography

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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2009, 12:18:00 AM »

Quote from: John Collins
Unless weight is a very high priority, get a tripod that is a bit larger than you think you'll need. It wouldn't make everyone happy but I use a 5 series Gitzo CF for everything (I got it for a camera, lens & head combination that weighs about 16.5 pounds). Even though it's heavy there are no worries about stability. Make this another vote for the BH55 and a 3 series CF tripod.
Thanks for the reply. Been leaning toward the BH55 already. Still checking out tripods. Joe
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Joe Dragon Fine Art Photography

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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2009, 12:18:45 AM »

Quote from: John Collins
Unless weight is a very high priority, get a tripod that is a bit larger than you think you'll need. It wouldn't make everyone happy but I use a 5 series Gitzo CF for everything (I got it for a camera, lens & head combination that weighs about 16.5 pounds). Even though it's heavy there are no worries about stability. Make this another vote for the BH55 and a 3 series CF tripod.
Thanks for the reply. Been leaning toward the BH55 already. Still checking out tripods. Joe
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Chris Pollock

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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2009, 03:54:03 AM »

I recently bought a Velbon Neo Carmagne 840, and so far I'm quite happy with it. It's reasonably light, sturdy, and so tall that I usually don't have to extend the bottom section of the legs. At maximum height it's significantly taller than the great majority of photographers, even without extending the centre column. My only gripe is that it doesn't come with a case. I'll see if I can talk my wife into making one.
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Geoff Wittig

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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2009, 07:54:20 AM »

Quote from: Chris Pollock
I recently bought a Velbon Neo Carmagne 840, and so far I'm quite happy with it. It's reasonably light, sturdy, and so tall that I usually don't have to extend the bottom section of the legs. At maximum height it's significantly taller than the great majority of photographers, even without extending the centre column. My only gripe is that it doesn't come with a case. I'll see if I can talk my wife into making one.

Yep. Great tripod. I've done my best to destroy my 830, but after 5 years of abuse it's still going strong. I prefer the 830 because it only has 3 leg sections, so it's a bit more rigid when extended and there are fewer leg locks to wrestle with. On the other hand it's still pretty long when folded up; but then I find myself using it as a support when descending or climbing steep slopes.

One thing to watch out for- there's a screw on the tripod platform beneath the spring-loaded sliding switch that releases one of the legs to spread it out for ground-level shots. It's hidden when the legs are folded up. Over time vibration can cause it to start "backing out", and it'll foul the leg release, making it impossible to spread the leg out. Catch-22, when you can't spread the leg out it's almost impossible to reach the screw head. Happened to me out in the boondocks in the Badlands of South Dakota. It took me half a day to figure out how to use a bent large paper clip to slowly screw it back in far enough to get the leg lock released.
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Peter McLennan

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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2009, 02:53:51 PM »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
... considering that 90% of my shooting is done with a pano head ...
Bernard

Bernard, do you use the pano head version of the BH55?  Or just the plain vanilla version?

regards,
Peter

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madmanchan

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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2009, 03:42:07 PM »

I use a Gitzo 3540LS with a RRS BH-55 and lever release clamp -- love the combo. The 3540LS has a little screw which you can tighten to minimize the chances that the head will rotate off the base of the pod. Nice touch.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2009, 07:55:12 PM »

Quote from: Peter McLennan
Bernard, do you use the pano head version of the BH55?  Or just the plain vanilla version?

regards,
Peter

Peter,

I have been using the PCL-1 pano version, but do have other RRS clamps that can be switched when needed. As of now I have never found the need to get rid of the PCL-1, it appears to be very stable and to sustain well the damages of time and of the pretty usage I sometimes do of my equipment.

Cheers,
Bernard
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ErikKaffehr

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« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2009, 01:37:10 AM »

Hi,

Just a hint, there is  a "dovetail adapter" for the the RRS panohead. I have a BH40 with lever type clamp, and just click panohead into the clamp when needed. Having the panohead permanently mounted to the head would save both weight an money.
I also use a Gitzo (3541LS) and I'm probably getting a bigger head (like BH55) soon.

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: Peter McLennan
Bernard, do you use the pano head version of the BH55?  Or just the plain vanilla version?

regards,
Peter

aaykay

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« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2009, 09:34:23 AM »

Quote from: madmanchan
I use a Gitzo 3540LS with a RRS BH-55 and lever release clamp -- love the combo. The 3540LS has a little screw which you can tighten to minimize the chances that the head will rotate off the base of the pod. Nice touch.

I have the 3540LS too and find its design to be very intelligently done.  Especially the folded length of just 21.7" and weight of 3.8lbs - remember this is a Series-3 systematic Gitzo (with all the associated stability related goodness that comes with it)  for such a low weight.

However, lately, I find myself using the 5540LS for all occasions.  With a high resolution body, nothing beats a series-5 systematic Gitzo !
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Peter McLennan

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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2009, 01:06:31 PM »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Peter,
I have been using the PCL-1 pano version, but do have other RRS clamps that can be switched when needed. As of now I have never found the need to get rid of the PCL-1, it appears to be very stable and to sustain well the damages of time and of the pretty usage I sometimes do of my equipment.
Cheers,
Bernard

Thanks, Bernard.  I'll be ordering a BH55 PCL to go on my series 5 Gitzo, then. I'm hard on gear, too.  

regards,

Peter

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wolfnowl

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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2009, 02:17:45 AM »

Quote from: aaykay
However, lately, I find myself using the 5540LS for all occasions.  With a high resolution body, nothing beats a series-5 systematic Gitzo !

NB: The 5540LS has been discontinued, and replaced with the 5541LS.  Gitzo has made several such replacements...

Mike.
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BrianSmith

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« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2009, 11:13:33 AM »

For what it's worth, I was a Gitzo user for years but picked up an Induro Carbon Fiber tripod a few years back and it's the best tripod I've ever owned. Rock solid even extended to the max. I'd suggest you at least take a look at those. I also use a RSS 55 w/lever release.

BradSmith

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« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2009, 04:29:43 PM »

Quote from: BrianSmith
For what it's worth, I was a Gitzo user for years but picked up an Induro Carbon Fiber tripod a few years back and it's the best tripod I've ever owned. Rock solid even extended to the max. I'd suggest you at least take a look at those. I also use a RSS 55 w/lever release.

Regarding the Induro, which one?  And which Gitzo did it replace or did you feel it best compared to?

And what about other CF tripods that I'm seeing advertised?  Benro, Flashpoint, Feisol, Hakuba, Manfrotto?
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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2009, 08:19:04 PM »

Quote from: skeedracer
Regarding the Induro, which one?  And which Gitzo did it replace or did you feel it best compared to?

And what about other CF tripods that I'm seeing advertised?  Benro, Flashpoint, Feisol, Hakuba, Manfrotto?

I love my feisol.  When they upgraded the tripod they made a kit that I purchased for cheap.  I ended up with a better center column and a fixed plate.  Both fixed my only complaints with the original.  When I conanned one of the feet off Feisol sent me a replacement foot (actually a replacement set of 3) for free from the other side of the planet.  Love em.

Edit: Misspelled "kit" as "kid" which changed the meaning quite a bit.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 08:19:45 PM by DarkPenguin »
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aaykay

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« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2009, 02:31:10 PM »

Quote from: wolfnowl
NB: The 5540LS has been discontinued, and replaced with the 5541LS.  Gitzo has made several such replacements...

Mike.

Agreed.  With a different top-plate  and a hook underneath, being the difference between the 5540LS and 5541LS.  

I already replaced the top-plate of my 5540LS, with one from Kirk, with a hook beneath it.  Gitzo probably realized that they were leaving money on the table and quickly introduced their own version of Kirk's top plate.
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Wayne Fox

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« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2009, 04:50:23 PM »

Quote from: wolfnowl
Yes...  If you raise the center column on your tripod you've turned it into a monopod.
Mike.


Yes, but what if you don't raise it?  For portrait work, having the center column is extremely helpful, so I have been using the Induro C413.  When sharpness is an issue I leave the column down and locked very firmly in place making all adjustments with the legs.  When it isn't an issue and I need to quickly change camera height (portrait work) I use the column.

When locked down, it seems every bit as sturdy as my Gitzo that doesn't have a column, using a Hasselblad and now a PhaseOne system (with RRS BH-55 head).  Granted I haven't done any actual tests, but the images even with the p65+ back are very sharp.



geesbert

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« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2009, 03:20:05 PM »

I definitely second the thought that having a center column is helpful. i recently got a gitzo 3541xls and i am still waiting for the geared column to use it with my multiflex. so it is (or will be) a 4 section tripod with centre column, but with the column down and the thinnest legs in it is as stable as the ls-version without column. heavier though, but for those once or twice a year, where i need to go higher than eyelevel it is worth it.

for landscape or far away stuff it's alright to forego the column, but as soon as you try to frame something which is only a few metres away or less, it is such a hassle to raise or lower the camera by all three legs
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John Collins

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« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2009, 05:21:10 PM »

A few factors play into the overall stability of a tripod. When I used view cameras, a center column was not missed - rise and fall made the necessary adjustments. Now that DSLR's are in the offing, a center column will be useful. The quality of the tripod has a marked impact on the stability of the camera. As I said in a previous post in this thread, I use a 5541 CF tripod which has worked well.  I have a 20lb sandbag that I hang from the hook when needed (wind, raised center column, etc.). There is no reason to avoid the use of a convenient center column, just make the necessary accommodations to insure stability.
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