Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Best Tripod/head combination  (Read 11614 times)

tbaier74

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Best Tripod/head combination
« on: September 25, 2006, 10:24:59 pm »

I shoot mainly wildlife, including birds, with my 1d MIIN and 100-400mm.  I realized during a recent trip to Yellowstone that my existing tripod and head combination would no longer perform.  What would you recommend that I buy?
Logged

DarkPenguin

  • Guest
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 11:27:11 pm »

What is your budget?

Gitzo, Hakuba, and Feisol (in descending price) are nice.  Kirk, Acratech and RRS (in no particular order) make nice ball heads.

http://www.bythom.com/support.htm
Logged

tbaier74

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 11:34:05 pm »

My budget...$1000-$1300
Logged

Paul Sumi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1217
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 12:13:14 am »

If you are photographing a lot of moving wildlife, like birds in flight, you might want to consider adding a Wimberley Sidekick (gimbal mount) to the mix.  It works with any arca-swiss mount ballhead:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/..._sidekick.shtml

That said, for more static subject matter I use a Gitzo 1348 tripod with the Acratech V2 Ultimate Ballhead, which gets you in your budget ballpark.  This combo will easily hold a 1Dmk2 and 100-400 based on my experience.  

The Wimberley would add about $250 to this cost.

Best,

Paul
Logged

tbaier74

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2006, 12:46:02 am »

Would the wimberley sidekick work with the 10-400mm?  I wonder because the  tripod collar is very close to the body.
Logged

framah

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1418
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2006, 06:03:32 pm »

Check out the Velbon system. I got the Neo Charmagne 840 with the PH-285 head with a quick release bracket.  Without a doubt, the best system I have ever used. Carbon fiber legs and magnesium head. In the price range you listed.

It is a really solid tripod, but actually somewhat heavy if you plan to backpack it anywhere... 10.4 lbs. A nice feature about the head is that the controls are left or right handed. Just switch the handle into the other screw hole and us lefties are ready to go!

B&H has it.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2006, 06:04:14 pm by framah »
Logged
"It took a  lifetime of suffering and personal sacrifice to develop my keen aesthetic sense."

Larry C. Price

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2006, 02:11:11 pm »

Really Right Stuff ball heads are the best I've ever used.  I've been through two Arca B1 heads and they don't compare to the (less expensive) RSS heads.

I use tripods:  Gitzo 1200 & 1300 series.  

A RRS medium ball head with an Arca-style plate goes on the medium tripod.  RRS's big head mates to the larger 1300 series Gitzo.

Both tripods are carbon.  I hike with the 1200 and use the larger one for big lenses, or my 8X10 when not walking far from the vehicle.

Buy these two rigs and you're set for life.  

Larry C. Price
www.pricephotography.com
Logged

Nill Toulme

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 738
    • http://www.toulmephoto.com
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2006, 02:35:24 pm »

Best?  Gitzo 1325 with RRS BH-55 head and Wimberley Sidekick, which does work fine with the 100-400.  (But you have to remember it can only be balanced at one zoom length; balance it with the zoom all the way out at 400mm).

A 12- or 22-series Gitzo with the BH-40 head & Sidekick will be perfectly adequate for that rig though, not to mention smaller, lighter and cheaper.

You'll probably want an RRS L-plate for the body and either Wimberley or RRS plates for your collared lenses.

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
« Last Edit: September 29, 2006, 02:35:43 pm by Nill Toulme »
Logged

RobertJ

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 706
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2006, 04:12:18 pm »

My setup is the Gitzo G1500 legs and the RRS BH-55.  I'd consider that the best setup for indoors, or for short walking distances outdoors, but since you're doing outdoors, the 1325 sounds like the tripod for you.
Logged

tbaier74

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2006, 11:30:25 pm »

Thank you all for the advice.  Now to sell some stock options.
Logged

Christopher.Jowell

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2006, 11:37:58 pm »

I too am in the market for a tripod and ballhead.  With many on the forum recommending Gitzo I went to the Gitzo website.  It appears that Gitzo is undergoing a significant product & website restructuring. Using the website it is excruciatingly difficult to ascertain which Gitzo tripod has the features you are interested in and impossible to even figure out which new model corresponds to the old model numbers recommended on the forum.

My visit to the Gitzo website did raise one question:  Basalt... can anyone comment on or compare the basalt line with carbon fiber line?

Thanks
Christopher
Logged

jimhuber

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 147
    • Elegant Earth
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2006, 03:44:43 pm »

I went through this evolution about a year ago, and here is the spreadsheet I created for the comparison (all Gitzo & Really Right Stuff):

tripods.xls
Logged

jd1566

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 149
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2006, 03:57:59 pm »

G'day all.
Re tripods am I the only user out there of Giottos tripods?  I can recommend them highly.  I have the 8170 model, carbon fibre legs and an ingenious arm system that allows me to use it much like the explorer Gitzos. Admittedly it is Chinese, but these days much that we buy and use and trust is made in that country.  Quality and workmanship, as well as some very original and practical ideas are all part of this tripod.  If you are on a budget or would rather splurge on  the ultimate head (where you should be spending the money) then consider this tripod brand.  Giottos has also recently upgraded their designs and have a tripod very similar to Gitzo's 1325, a firm favourite among serious photographers with seriously heavy gear to carry.

On the head, I would also consider the Markins ballhead.  Similar to the Arca Swiss, but again with a few design refinements (including a knob which is 18% grey, for white ballance measurements!).  RRS is a firm favourite, but it is heavier than the markins, and on a lightish tripod tends to make it top heavy.

Lastly the clamp.  You HAVE to get a RRS lever clamp. tHis is probably the most important invention of the last millenium (or perhaps this one, not sure when they came out with it).  It makes life so easy, and eliminates the bother of screwing on and off plates...  Visually easy to check if your setup is tight or not.  This can be bought separately and added to most ballheads out there (as well as my monopod).

So there you have it.. Giottos Carbon fibre legs ($350), a markins ballhead ($350) and a RRS lever clamp ($120).  Add some postage and handling and you're sitting with a high quality support system for under $1000....
Logged
B&W photographer - Still lifes, Portrait

boku

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1493
    • http://www.bobkulonphoto.com
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2006, 04:31:07 pm »

Quote
G'day all.
Re tripods am I the only user out there of Giottos tripods?  I can recommend them highly.  I have the 8170 model, carbon fibre legs and an ingenious arm system that allows me to use it much like the explorer Gitzos. Admittedly it is Chinese, but these days much that we buy and use and trust is made in that country.  Quality and workmanship, as well as some very original and practical ideas are all part of this tripod.  If you are on a budget or would rather splurge on  the ultimate head (where you should be spending the money) then consider this tripod brand.  Giottos has also recently upgraded their designs and have a tripod very similar to Gitzo's 1325, a firm favourite among serious photographers with seriously heavy gear to carry.

On the head, I would also consider the Markins ballhead.  Similar to the Arca Swiss, but again with a few design refinements (including a knob which is 18% grey, for white ballance measurements!).  RRS is a firm favourite, but it is heavier than the markins, and on a lightish tripod tends to make it top heavy.

Lastly the clamp.  You HAVE to get a RRS lever clamp. tHis is probably the most important invention of the last millenium (or perhaps this one, not sure when they came out with it).  It makes life so easy, and eliminates the bother of screwing on and off plates...  Visually easy to check if your setup is tight or not.  This can be bought separately and added to most ballheads out there (as well as my monopod).

So there you have it.. Giottos Carbon fibre legs ($350), a markins ballhead ($350) and a RRS lever clamp ($120).  Add some postage and handling and you're sitting with a high quality support system for under $1000....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79844\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have both RRS BH55 and the Markins larger head. I bought the Markins because I wanted a taller set off to use with a Wimberley sidekick. After leaving the Markins head in my vehicle over night at about 35 degrees F, it kept seizing the next day until it warmed up. I went back gladly to the RRS head when I returned home from that trip. I seems that the Markins has a design that makes it sensitive to temperature. Based on that, I cannot recommend the Markins
Logged
Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...[b

nigeldh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 60
    • http://www.luminousnature.com
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2006, 11:31:13 pm »

I use a Velbon Sherpa PRO CF-730, 3 section carbon fibre. The split center post allows me to spread the legs almost horizontal which is great when talking low shots of flowers or rocks. RRS, Really Right Stuff on top - Lever release for the tripod, screw knob for the GoPod.

I use a GoPod with a Bogen model #3232/Manfrotto #234 swivel per the RRS monopod page. The GoPod is really nice for sports, walk-around nature shots, and commercial gardens where they don't let you set-up a tripod. The Sapsucker Woods bird shots on my web site were taken with a Canon 100-400 on a 30D and the GoPod - I leave IS on.

Over on the Sigmonster review on LL, they talk about the Manfrotto 3421 gimbal head. A number of folks prefer that to the Wemberly.

Nigel
Logged

elkhornsun

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 58
Best Tripod/head combination
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2006, 09:05:56 pm »

I too would recommend the Wimberley Sidekick with any good ball head. I use mine with a Kirk ballhead. The Sidekick takes very little space and I leave it attached to the quick release plate of the ballhead inside the carry case. If I am going to use a smaller lens I can remove the Sidekick in seconds and have a standard ball-head.

I recommend the Wimberley plates which have a double dovetail design that makes it easy to add a flash bracket.

I would caution against the Really Right Stuff ballhead as it provides too little clearance for adjustment once it is mounted to a tripod. Looks neat though.

I can pan with a camera attached to a 600mm f4 lens with two fingers using the Sidekick and ball-head combo.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up