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Thread started 24 Dec 2008 (Wednesday) 15:49
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Initial thoughts on Velbon El Carmagne 530 Tripod

 
TaDa
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Dec 24, 2008 15:49 |  #1

I finally gave in and bought a tripod, mainly so that I could get into a family photo for the holidays. My job gave me a $125 Best Buy gift certificate, so I decided to drop it on a cheap tripod. I decided to spend the $199 that BB charges for the Velbon 530 Carbon Fiber tripod. It comes with a three way tilt pan head, case, accessory hook and stone bag.

The tripod is rather light, coming in at 3.9lb. It also comes in at a little over 2 feet folded. The maximum height of it is 65 inches, but with the center column down (where it is most stable), the height to the bottom of the camera is 51 inches. Not the tallest, but comfortable enough for me (and I'm 6'5")

I know that for a good pod setup, we're in the $1k range, so for $200, I was not expecting a whole lot out of this tripod. I gladly report that I am happily surprised with how stable this tripod is. I went out shooting with a gripped 5D with a 70-200 2.8 IS mounted to the pan head. I was shooting right on the Long Island Sound, and we had the winter winds blowing. It was very very windy. I kept the center column down the whole time. Threw some random rocks into the stone bag and attached it to the tripod for some extra weight. I was able to get crystal clear shots with 2 second exposures. I tried going longer, but it was really sunny, so all the shots came out over-exposed north of 2 seconds.

Things that I like about the tripod:
-Light and Stable. Nice to have a CF tripod at this price point
-Numbered markings on legs, making it easy and quick to extend all legs to the same height.
-Angle adjustment clips to lock the legs in place, when you want to shoot at a much lower height. (minimum shooting height is 10.3 inches when you separate the center column)
-Price

Things that I am not crazy about:
-The Vertical Tilt Handle has to be unscrewed and screwed into the Pan & Tilt handle, for storage. I just bought an Arca B1 ballhead for the pod, so this will not be bothering me much longer
-Velbon does not include the 3mm allen wrench for tightening the leg locks (really not a big problem at this price point. They're 50 cents at the local hardware store)
-The split center column has to be tightened pretty hard to not start to un-screw if you have the column lifted and locked (right out of the box). Just putting a little bit of pressure on the pan handle caused the center column to start to un-screw and turn. I took the center column out completely and used a good amount of force to tighten it, and it has been fine since.

I know that there are much better tripods out there, but decided that I would let you all know my thoughts on this very nicely priced carbon fiber pod.


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

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dan ­ j
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Dec 24, 2008 20:24 |  #2

I checked that out last week at BB too. Seemed like a heck of a deal. For some reason I'm taking a lot of star photos and my old, shaky, junky tripod wouldn't work with long exposures. It was probably the BB floor, but the 530 seemed a tiny bit unstable. Like I said, it was probably the BB floor or maybe the sample had been beat to heck. If you take star photos please post one.

Thanks
dan


5D Mark 2/24-70L/100-400L

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argyle
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Dec 25, 2008 05:52 as a reply to dan j's post |  #3

The Velbon El Carmagne tripods are nicely built and do their job well. Prior to buying my Gitzo, I was using a Velbon 540A, which when folded was a few inches shorter than yours. Rather than use the three-way head, I replaced it with a decent Gitzo 1277M ballhead. I was able to use mine with a 5D and either 70-200/2.8L or the 100-400L without any problems. Heck, I still have the Velbon. You shouldn't have any worries with it, and a decent ballhead will make it much more user-friendly and functional.


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TaDa
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Dec 27, 2008 09:41 |  #4

Received the Arca-Swiss B1 ball head yesterday, and it makes a world of difference. I can understand why certain folks like pan-heads (independent pan/tilt, etc.), but this ball head is so well built that re-configuring the head takes very little effort, and it allows you to get very precise in what you're looking to do. Stability wise, I'm sure that they're probably very similar (the Velbon pan-head is pretty darn good), but convenience wise, the Arca blows it away (especially considering I now have a quick release head and L-bracket)


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

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René ­ Damkot
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Dec 27, 2008 10:26 |  #5

Nice!


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Eagle ­ i
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Dec 27, 2008 12:14 |  #6

how does this 535 (A) compare? http://maxsaver.net ...dwithoneyearwarrant​y.aspxexternal link

it is $188 without a head


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mistergman/external link

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TaDa
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Dec 27, 2008 16:33 |  #7

the 535 seems to be a smaller version of the 530, with spiked and rubber feet. As far as how it compares, couldn't even begin to tell you as I've never used it :)

I went out and shot with the 530 and Arca combo today and it was awesome. I take back my comment about being sure that the stability was the same between the two heads. The Arca head is more stable with my 70-200 attached, when I am mounting it via the body.


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

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zeva
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Dec 27, 2008 16:36 |  #8

have images by any chance?


40D :20D: Speedlite 430ex
100-400 F/4.5-5.6 L :17-55 F/2.8 IS :28-135 F/3.5-5.6 IS: 18-55 F/3.5-5.6: 10-22 F/3.5-4.5: 70-200 F/2.8 IS

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TaDa
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Dec 27, 2008 17:07 |  #9

Sure. It was really overcast today, so I converted it to B&W, but have a pretty massive crop to show the stability. 5D, 70-200 2.8 IS w/ IS off, 70mm, f/11, 1/60th


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

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TaDa
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Dec 27, 2008 17:14 |  #10

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Byte size: ZERO


IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Byte size: ZERO

Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

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zeva
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Silicon Valley, CA
Dec 27, 2008 17:29 |  #11

Lol thanks! but do you have images of the tripod? lol


40D :20D: Speedlite 430ex
100-400 F/4.5-5.6 L :17-55 F/2.8 IS :28-135 F/3.5-5.6 IS: 18-55 F/3.5-5.6: 10-22 F/3.5-4.5: 70-200 F/2.8 IS

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TaDa
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Dec 27, 2008 17:36 |  #12

Heh, you have to be specific man. I don't tend to shoot my gear unless I'm planning on selling it. All the crap from the living room is in my home office right now since the Christmas tree is taking up so much space. Let me try and clear some room to open up the pod and take a few snaps of it.


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

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zeva
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Silicon Valley, CA
Dec 27, 2008 17:42 |  #13

lol Its ok then :) have fun with your new tripod!


40D :20D: Speedlite 430ex
100-400 F/4.5-5.6 L :17-55 F/2.8 IS :28-135 F/3.5-5.6 IS: 18-55 F/3.5-5.6: 10-22 F/3.5-4.5: 70-200 F/2.8 IS

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TaDa
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Dec 27, 2008 17:58 |  #14

Nah, I'm taking some. Here is one of it collapsed with the Arca head attached. Put the tape measure to it and it comes in at 25 inches from foot to top of the head. As you can tell, the head is around 4 inches, so the fully collapsed legs are 21 inches. I really like the neoprene leg coverings as I don't shoot with gloves, and in the cold, they help from my hands freezing when carrying the pod.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Byte size: ZERO

Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

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zeva
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Silicon Valley, CA
Dec 27, 2008 18:18 |  #15

The carbon fiber looks very nice...


40D :20D: Speedlite 430ex
100-400 F/4.5-5.6 L :17-55 F/2.8 IS :28-135 F/3.5-5.6 IS: 18-55 F/3.5-5.6: 10-22 F/3.5-4.5: 70-200 F/2.8 IS

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Initial thoughts on Velbon El Carmagne 530 Tripod
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