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Author Topic: advice for tripod selection....  (Read 10688 times)

Bronislaus Janulis

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advice for tripod selection....
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2009, 10:16:16 pm »

Just some additional points, IMHO. 40 years of this, I have opinions.

Good technique is more important than the equipment. or who made it.

Modern IS/VR can compensate for a undersized tripod. Early IS/VR would "feedback" on a tripod, and add vibration; overcompensate. The newer systems don't; word from on high, CANON themselves.

To paraphrase a cultural icon, you need to understand the limitations. Heavy, sturdy used to be the necesisity, but with IS/VR, smaller and lighter support is doable; but not placing the tripod on the top of Everest, or in a fast mountain stream is important, too.

As to different brands; I can still get parts for my 20 year old Bogen/Manfrotto 3001. I like Giottos, they are a premier Taiwan co., but no experience with customer service. Gitzo, the gold standard, only worries me due to the constantly changing model #s. Of all my support devices, the little Giottos, for my Canon G9, is the sweetest, then my Gitzo monopod, which can do duty as a personal protection device as well. The Giottos is smoother and faster than either of my Gitzos.

Another small point; carbon fiber only starts to make a difference in midsize support; the strength to weight ratio. Below midsize, the price difference between CF and Aluminium is extreme with little difference in capacities.

When I was researching small tripods for my G9, I was also impressed by the Slik CF tripods, but price was an issue.


DaveCurtis

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advice for tripod selection....
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2009, 03:06:50 am »

Quote from: duffergirl
Hi

I am an amateur photographer with a d300. I have been using a very old (basic) aluminum tripod that I use to use on my old film camera. It is clunky, unstable, and not at all sexy. I am now able to upgrade this antique for something that I hope will last me forever.

I have a d300 and I mostly shoot on tripod for a lot of my landscape shots. I usually use my monopod for nature shots. I mostly shoot my Sigma 10 -20mm or my Nikkor 18 - 200 lenses. I do have a 80 - 400 mm that comes out on occasion, mostly when travelling. So, I would like the flexibility to be able to use this on all my lenses.

I shoot in landscape and portrait and frequently switch between the two. I also have a battery grip that I am hoping to use more on the tripod.

I have read that the RRS ballheads and plates are great, as are the Markin ballheads. I have never worked with a ballhead so this will be a new experience for me. Would a MArkins M10 or a RRS BH-55 work? Any preference between the two?

I am undecided on the tripod. Whether to go with Aluminum or Carbon Fibre. I do live in Canada so the Carbon Fibre has appeal for the minus temperatures...but do not know if it is worth the incremental $$. Manfrotto or Gitzo....?

I am a 5,8" female....does height play in the decision on the legs?

Any input would be greatly appreciated. It is a $$$ purchase so I am hoping to get enough information to make a good lasting purchase.

thanks
Tammy







Hi Tammy,

If you can afford it Gitzo carbon fibre is the way to go. It will set you up for life. Especially important if you want to get the best out of your camera and lenses and you want to print big.

I'm current using a G1227 with a Canon 1DM3 on top. I find this Ok most of the time but I really need to go to a series 3 e.g. GT3531S or similar. When you are out in the field the series 2 doesn't quite do the job when the wind gets up. When I use live preview at x10 you can really see the vibrations. I'ts kind of scarry! It turns my L series lenses into consumer grade lenses.



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JeffKohn

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advice for tripod selection....
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2009, 03:01:00 pm »

The Gitzo 3-series is pretty nice (although a bit overpriced IMHO). The Gitzo 2-series is a disappointment - they're small and light but the leg spread is too narrow at the default position which compromises stability. I only use my 2-series for long, strenous hikes where the 3-series would just be too much weight (I have the 3541 XLS, which is the largest 3-series tripod).
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jklotz

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advice for tripod selection....
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2009, 11:06:03 am »

The thing manfrotto has going for it, imho, is the quick release leg release. I find the unscrew, extend, screw type locks a bit of a pain, especially when you are trying to set up quickly. I'm not positive, but I think I read somewhere they announced a carbon fibre line at photokena this year. May be worth looking into. I am going to.....
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2009, 03:04:03 pm »

Quote from: jklotz
The thing manfrotto has going for it, imho, is the quick release leg release. I find the unscrew, extend, screw type locks a bit of a pain, especially when you are trying to set up quickly. I'm not positive, but I think I read somewhere they announced a carbon fibre line at photokena this year. May be worth looking into. I am going to.....


I have several Manfrotto tripods with the level-releases, and a year-old Gitzo with the new twist-locks.

The aluminum Manfrotto (3021?) is the quickest to set up -- just undo all the levers and shake, then tighten all the levers. However, it's also the most unstable when set up.

The carbon Manfrotto (190CX3) doesn't work this way. Even shaking several times doesn't extend the legs. I have to extend each leg separately, then lock it. This is a new tripod, so maybe it will loosen up a bit, but then maybe I don't want it all that loose, eh?

The carbon Gitzo (3530LSV) does take a little longer to set up. But once set up it is rock solid. And it's really not all that much extra time. I have come to appreciate and even like the twist locks.
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aaykay

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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2009, 09:37:55 am »

I have 2 Gitzos.  The smaller one is a Series-3 of the 'systematic' line - 3540LS.  This has been replaced with a new model, the 3541LS (essentially, the top plate was changed slightly and a hook was added beneath the top plate but otherwise identical to the 3540LS).  

I can heartily recommend the 3540LS/3541LS, since it is extremely sturdy (rated to support almost 40lbs), rock stable (the series-3 "systematics" can *reliably* stabilize lenses upto 500mm), is light (tripod weighs in at 3.8lbs), is compact when folded (21.7") which is critical when transporting and traveling, and opens out to a height of 57.5" without center column (perfect for people ranging in height from 5' 6" to 6').

This tripod is light enough that I take it everywhere with me and remember it is a Series-3 'Systematic' Gitzo, which is rated as one of the world's most stablest tripods.
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Ed Dubois

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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2009, 01:57:09 pm »

Gitzo 1325, Arca Swiss B1, Wimberley Sidekick. I have been using this rig for many years now without any problems with lenses from 20 mm to 500mm plus 2xTC. I have had 2 friends who used the Kirk ballhead and were unable to get it to lock down tight and ended up going to the Arca Swiss. Other friends report good success with the RRS head.

The carbon fiber tripods are warmer in the cold (I'm in Canada too), especially if you put pipe insulation on the tops of the legs. This also helps with carrying the tripod over your shoulder. Given your height you shouldn't have a trouble finding a leg set that won't require you to use a center post. If you check the specs for the various models of tripods they usually give the height fully extended as well as down as low as they'll go. Don't forget  you have to add the height of your ballhead to that number. Also, if you tend to shoot out in the cold check to see if the leg locks are easy for you to use with gloves on.
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