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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support
Thread started 30 Dec 2015 (Wednesday) 08:03
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Tripod & Ballhead....lightest strongest

 
J-Blake
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Westminster, CO
Dec 30, 2015 08:03 |  #1

I'm currently using an older CF Gitzo traveler tripod (series 2 I think) with an Arca Swiss BH1. It's a great setup and very sturdy, but as I'm getting older I need to shed some weight and this seems to be a logical place to consider. Anyone have recommendations either legs and/or ballhead which will provide (nearly) as good performance as my current setup but is a bunch lighter? I shoot landscapes mostly and often envolves long(ish) hiking.


Jon
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Charlie
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Dec 30, 2015 10:24 |  #2

you're already running with the gitzo traveler tripod, not sure how much lighter you can get without compromise. Your ballhead is too heavy, consider an arca p0 or acratech heads.


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SailingAway
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Dec 30, 2015 13:02 |  #3

I don't have much experience with other ballheads, but I really love the Acratech GP I lucked into...

Light (1 lb). At least as versatile as anything on the market, and much more versatile than most, with its panorama and quasi-gimbal modes (I've used both). Simple. Elegant. Durable. Doesn't catch grit and muck up. Really a great design!

http://www.acratech.ne​t/categories/ballheads​/gp.html (external link)
(the heads on this page are essentially the same design, with different diameters of base plates to match different tripod attachments)


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corndog ­ cabernet
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State of chaos
Post has been edited over 1 year ago by corndog cabernet.
Dec 30, 2015 18:18 |  #4

You already have the right tripod.
But, look at this:
https://www.markinsame​rica.com/MA5/Q3T.php (external link)

Designed for the Gitzo Traveler.
I have the regular Q3. Light, powerful, smooth.




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johnf3f
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Dec 30, 2015 19:53 |  #5

You could try one of the Triopo RS series ball heads. I have been using the RS3 for over 5 years and cannot fault it. Whilst it is very small and light it will hold any lens currently available. You will have to remove the top plate and install an Arca type clamp but the whole lot cost me £40 (about $60) and with my Canon 800mm F5.6 all it does is prove how bendy my largest Gitzo tripod is!
They do make two smaller models, the RS1 and RS2, which would be more suitable for your needs.
I also use an older model Gitzo Traveller tripod (1550T) which works quite well but is hardly any lighter than my 2 Series Mountaineer (though much more compact!) so I don't think you can gain much in the tripod department. Though if the folded size doesn't matter the Feisol 3342 is nice but any weight saving will be marginal at best.


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J-Blake
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Dec 30, 2015 22:04 |  #6

Thanks much to all who responded!

So, it seems as though the consensus is the tripod is fine and the ball head needs to be replaced. Way back when I was looking at ball heads I considered all recommended choices, with the exception of the Triopo RS which I haven't heard of before tonight.

I'm considering all choices and open to any others. I have some familiarity with Acratech in that I owned a QR for a while. I definitely appreciate the quality of build and lightweight design, but I found the QR a bit too light duty. Not a huge deal, but I found myself having to crank down the knob to prevent settling.

There is a currently a Markins available on my local Craiglist which is about $100 discounted and tempting. However, I seem to (almost) recall an issue with them locking up in cold weather???? I do shoot in severe conditions at times and this would be a concern if I'm remembering correctly. Do I have this right, or am I confusing it with something else?

Based on the above, I'm leaning toward the Arca Swiss P0. The P0 was a new model when I last considered ball head options and I did not really consider it a choice at the time, but now it seems that it is a contender. I take it that it will perform "nearly" as well as my B1? Again, my biggest concern is settlement and not having to crank on the knob. When shooting in cold weather this can be a real pain and one of my big concerns going lightweight.


Jon
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corndog ­ cabernet
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Dec 30, 2015 23:19 as a reply to J-Blake's post |  #7

Yeah, I live in SoCal and really haven't used the Q3 in cold weather. I'd also read it tends to lock up in very cold temps.
Too bad as it allows the legs to fully fold on your traveler and is otherwise a great head.

Let us know if you get the Arca P0, and how it works for you. I find this head intriguing




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Charlie
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Dec 31, 2015 01:32 as a reply to J-Blake's post |  #8

the p0 uses planetary gears, real unique in how it works. not much pressure needed to tighten. Really fast to level, hence the reason I got it. Great for fast leveling and single row panoramas.


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sawsedge
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Dec 31, 2015 09:31 |  #9

For a lighter head, in addition to others mentioned, I would look at the FLM 38F and the Really Right Stuff BH-40.

The one thing about Markins that I didn't like when I tried one (rental) was that the panning base can't be locked down as tightly as I'd like. What that means is when I set enough tension to hold a lens steady, the panning base would turn when I wanted to adjust the ball.

I'm not sure of the weight difference vs yours but for a lightweight set of legs I'd look at the Feisol 3442.


- John

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J-Blake
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Westminster, CO
Jan 02, 2016 10:06 |  #10

Thanks Charlie and John!

I like the look of the Feisol legs, but I don't know if it's worth it to switch. Looks like I would save a little less than half a pound. Maybe if/when something happens to the (bullet proof) Gitzo legs.

Does anyone else have any experience to share on the P0? This looks like the move to make.


Jon
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corndog ­ cabernet
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State of chaos
Jan 02, 2016 15:27 |  #11

Regarding the Arca p0…

I don't get why the version with the screw type clamp is so much more expensive than the cam type.
It's kind of a bummer as I don't want the cam type because of the different types of shoes I have on my equipment. I would be adjusting the throw of the clamp a lot assuming it has the range to accommodate all my shoes.

I also, generally, prefer the screw clamps to the cam type even if everything fits.




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peter_n
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Boston, MA
Jan 06, 2016 08:18 |  #12

J-Blake wrote in post #17838339 (external link)
I'm considering all choices and open to any others. I have some familiarity with Acratech in that I owned a QR for a while. I definitely appreciate the quality of build and lightweight design, but I found the QR a bit too light duty. Not a huge deal, but I found myself having to crank down the knob to prevent settling.

There is a currently a Markins available on my local Craiglist which is about $100 discounted and tempting. However, I seem to (almost) recall an issue with them locking up in cold weather???? I do shoot in severe conditions at times and this would be a concern if I'm remembering correctly. Do I have this right, or am I confusing it with something else?

The smaller Markins ballheads do not do well in the cold, they bind and ultimately lock up - I've had three of them. I replaced the last one with an Acratech head and after my first experience with it in a New England winter I got two more. They all have lever releases, as I really don't like the Acratech screw knob designs. I've had no issues with any of them.

If you want to get an Arca-Swiss P0, I believe they are still selling that head without a clamp so get that version and buy a RRS lever clamp for it. Don't buy an Arca-Swiss head with a clamp on it.

I used to be a diehard screw clamp user but now use Acratech and RRS clamps and they have been extremely reliable on a variety of plates and L-brackets.


~Peter

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Charlie
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Jan 07, 2016 00:38 as a reply to corndog cabernet's post |  #13

the rrs clamps are self adjusting. All my heads work on them even the off sized generic stuff.

its a top notch design.


Sony A7rii x2 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - FE 35/2.8 - CV 35/1.7 - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 35-70, 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8, 24/1.4 - Tamron 28-75 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 VC

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corndog ­ cabernet
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State of chaos
Jan 07, 2016 04:43 |  #14

Charlie wrote in post #17847939 (external link)
the rrs clamps are self adjusting. .

According to their site some are, some aren't

Either way they're mighty proud of them




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J-Blake
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Westminster, CO
Jan 07, 2016 07:21 |  #15

Thanks guys. My plan is to transfer the Arca Swiss screw clamps I already own. I like the idea of lever clamps, but back when I bought the system I have they were not considered reliable. Maybe one day I'll anti up to the lever, but after I figure out the head and legs (if necessary).


Jon
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Tripod & Ballhead....lightest strongest
FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support


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