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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support
Thread started 18 Aug 2009 (Tuesday) 14:50
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STICKY: -=FAQ=- Tripods, Monopods, Heads & Support - START HERE

 
ben_r_
-POTN's Three legged Support-
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Aug 18, 2009 14:50 |  #1

1. Introduction

Threads of this type are generally created as an attempt to funnel all the most common questions posted by users who are just beginning their research into a topic. In the case of this section of the forum, a lot of questions concerning tripods, tripod heads, and general support related topics are asked and re-asked on a fairly consistent basis. So the hope is this will be a starting point, and perhaps even in some cases an all encompassing, for those who are researching any photographic support related topics.

To start, this thread will be organized as shown below but will be an ever evolving layout as users provide suggestions and comments and the thread continues to grow and expand. Please keep in mind that sometimes the posted thread titles don't sound like they would be relevant to the topic, these threads were still selected and posted here because the direction of the thread changed and the information presented within grew to be more helpful than the title of the thread might have made it seem. So be sure to click through and read through each thread posted in an FAQ section that you are interested in learning more about.

And if you feel you still need to create a new thread asking for help figuring out what support setup to buy, be sure to include in it useful information for determining your needs. Things like specifically what gear you intend to use on it, what gear you plan/hope to buy in the future to use on it, what your maximum budget is for the entire setup, how you intend to use the support setup (hiking, studio, on location, traveling, etc), and perhaps what, if any, other support setups you have owned/tried in the past and liked/didnt like. Chances are pretty good that any questions you have if not listed in a thread here have been asked elsewhere before and covered well. There just simply isnt that many new situations in the discussion area of camera support setups. So, as always please use your best friend the SEARCH button before creating a new thread.

1. Introduction
This post, introducing the support FAQ thread and laying out the format.

2. Making Choices On Support Equipment
How to make the right choice for you when it comes to what equipment to buy.

+Choosing a Tripod
+Choosing a Head
+Choosing a Monopod
+Choosing a Quick Release System
+Choosing Other Types of Support

-Pano Equipment

-Flash Brackets

-Slide/Focusing Rails

3. Support Accessories
Support related accessories.

-Cases/Bags
-Levels
-Wheels
-Feet
-Tripod Leg Protection
-Straps
-Quick Release Clamps/Plates
-Center Columns

4. Support Maintainance, Care and Warranty Info
How to properly care for and maintain your equipment and how to handle warranty issues.

5. Additional Information
General links to support related topics that might be of valuable interest to those researching the topic including Do-It-Yourself posts.

6. When Things Go Wrong
Problems, accidents, failures and horror stories users have experienced with their gear.

7. Support Reviews
User submitted reviews on products.

+Tripod Leg Reviews
+Head Reviews
+Monopod Reviews
+Other Support Related Reviews

8. Conclusion
Close up the thread with thanks and how to get add information to this thread so that it continually improves.


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ben_r_
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Aug 18, 2009 14:51 |  #2

2. Making Choices On Support Equipment

Figuring out what equipment to buy can be an extremely daunting and stressful venture. There are so many possible configurations, so many brands and so many price ranges that when you begin researching the matter it's sometimes difficult to figure out where to start. The following collection of threads might help point in the right direction and give some more background as to what should be considered and what options are available as well as give examples of what most choose and why.


Choosing a Tripod


-support system review (for people like me)
-Camera/Tripod Vibrations
-Why Gitzo, Markins and Really Right Stuff w/ Buying Tips
-Looking for inexpensive tripod
-Recomend me a STURDY tripod + ball head for ~$200
-Cheap tripod or cheap head ?
-Is Carbon Fiber worth the money on tripod?
-Carbon Fiber legs or Aluminum legs?
-Travel tripod
-Head vs Legs Budget Proportioning

Choosing a Head


-(looking for a) New Ball Head
-Ball Head choices....?
-Ball-Head vs 3-Way Head
-Ball Material- ( ballhead )
-Tension Control
-Panning with Ball Heads
-Pistol Grip Head
-Ball head capable of precision movements
-Is this a good tripod & pan head combination?
-Do any of you 5DMKII Owners use a Fluid Video Head?
-Wildlife/Birdies? A Gimbal Head for Everyman/woman!
-Tripod head for bird photography


Choosing a Monopod


-Who uses a monopod?
-monopod usefull?
-Considering Monopod but Too Many Choices
-Monopod? (1)
-Monopod? (2)
-How do you use your monopod?
-3 section or 4 section monopod?
-Head or no head on a monopod?
-Monopod and Ball Head Choice?
-Sports shooters - do you use a monopod or chestpod?
-Which monopod tilt head for long lens?

Choosing a Quick Release System


-Arca Type QR
-Arca-Swiss vs. RC2
-Differences between Manfrotto's RC0, RC2 and RC4 plates
-Did I go wrong with my choice of QR plates?
-Does anyone NOT like quick release heads?

Choosing Other Types of Support


+Pano Equipment


-Tell Me About Pano Heads
-Really getting annoyed at Pano pics not coming out right

+Flash Brackets


-Flash bracket help
-Why a Flash Bracket when You Can Bounce?
-Which flash bracket, and why?
-Flash bracket - Why the bottom shadow ?? Not Impressed !!
-Which flash bracket should I get for 580ex +5D
-A good sound Flash Bracket for 40D/580EXII
-Best Flash Bracket for Canon EOS 40D w/Battery Grip?
-Inexpensive Flash Flip/Rotating Camera Bracket combo
-Flash bracket or shoot everything horizontal?
-Anyone use the Really Right Stuff RRS WPF-1 Wedding Pro Flash Bracket?

+Slide/Focusing Rails


-Advice needed on Focus rail
-Focus Rail
-importance of a focusing rail when going beyond 1:1

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ben_r_
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Aug 18, 2009 14:51 |  #3

3. Support Accessories


+Bags/Cases


-Think Tank Bazooka or Gitzo Tripod Bag?
-Padded tripod bag for transport? Padded ballhead bag?
-Tripod Bag (where?)
-Sling Bag that can hold a tripod?
-Anyone use a tripod bag?

+Levels


-What is a spirit level?
-Tripod Level > important for landscape?
-Hotshoe Bubble Level
-Hotshoe Spirit Level

+Carrying Straps


-Tripod carrying strap ... worth it?
-Tripod strap without centre column
-Tripod back strap ????
-How to use a Gitzo tripod strap?

+Feet


-tripods with spiked feet
-Any thoughts on how to protect tripod feet?
-Gitzo feet
-Frotto spiked feet?
-Suction Cup Feet for Bogen 3021B Tripod!

+Center Columns


-usefulness of center column ?
-Tripods - Horizontal center column - what for?
-Manfrotto 055XPROB center column?
-'Wimberley' Gimbal - mount on a Center Column ?

+Tripod Leg Protection


-Universal Tripod Leg Protectors
-Manfrotto 380 tripod leg protectors - anyone use them?

+Wheels


-Tripod on Caster Wheels or on Dolly

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ben_r_
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Aug 18, 2009 14:52 |  #4

4. Support Maintenance, Care and Warranty Information

Maintenance and Care of Support Equipment


-What type of grease should I use for my ball head?
-Cleaning a Tripod Head


Warranty Information


-

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ben_r_
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Aug 18, 2009 14:52 |  #5

5. Additional Information

Helpful and Interesting Links


-Show us your tripod/monopod rig
-Post your Best Tripod and Head Combination
--=FAQ=- Choosing a Tripod, How too and Reviews (Updated: 2009/03/20)

Do It Yourself


-$1 String Tripod $1 String Stabilizer $1 string monopod
-Do it Yourself - Tripod Pads

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ben_r_
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Aug 18, 2009 14:52 |  #6

6. When Things Go Wrong

Accidents and Mishaps


-Gitzo tripod repair? Help


General Breakage and Failures


-


Parts


-Gitzo and Manfrotto Parts Replacementsexternal link

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ben_r_
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Aug 18, 2009 14:53 |  #7

7. Support Reviews

Tripods


+Amvona


-Amvona Dynatran AT-A105T enDurance Tripod Teardown – A Copy of a Copy?

+Benro


-Benro A-269 Tripod
-Benro C-269 Tripod with B-1 Head (and pictures)
-Benro C128 & C328n6 Tripod Teardown
-Benro C-228 With Markins Q3
-Benro C-068m8 + B-0 +PU-50 Travel Angel
-Benro C-069 M8 Travel Angel Kit
-Benro C-269 M8 Travel Angel Kit, with Benro J-2 ballhead
-Benro A-297M8 and Benro B-2
-Benro C2680T Review and Gitzo GT1541T Comparison
-Benro c2680t v2 vs Gitzo gt1542t

+Bogen/Manfrotto


-Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 with Markins Q3 Ball Head
-Manfrotto 055xprob and Manfrotto 488RC2
-Manfrotto 190C3 + 488RC2 head
-Manfrotto 725B Lightweight, Cheap, Travel Tripod

+Feisol


-Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead
-Feisol CF 3402n tripod + CB-50H ball head
-Feisol CT-3442 and Kirk BH-3
-Feisol CT-3442 & Center Column Kit + Manfrotto 488RC2
-Feisol 3341s / Photo Clam PC-33NS Review
-Feisol 3441T/Markins Q3t Mark II/ Markins Lever QR

+Giottos


-Giottos MT-7371 Tripod and MH-3300 Ball Head
-Giottos MT-8361 Tripod & MH-1300 Ball Head

+Gitzo


-Gitzo Series 2 Traveler tripods (GT2542T & GK2580TQR)
-Gizo GT1550T Traveler Tripod
-Gitzo GT0530 + Markins Q3 Complete
-Gitzo 1541T Tripod, Markins Q3T Ballhead w/ RRS B2 LR II Clamp
-Gitzo GT1541 + Markins Q3 + RRS B2 LR II
-Gitzo 2941 Basalt Tripod + Manfrotto 488rc2
-Comparison pics of Markins Q3 and Q3T, with Gitzo GT1541T and GT2531 tripods
-Gitzo GT3541XLS 6' 8" Very Tall

+Slik


-Slik 330 Pro with Adorama Flashpoint F-1 My lightweight tripod setup...
-Slik Pro 713 CF Tripod
-Slik Mini-Pro II Tabletop/Travel Tripod
-Slik Pro 713 CF

+Yong Nuo (Gitai)


-Yong Nuo (Gitai) Y-560 Tripod Review

Heads


+Arcatech


-

+Benro


-Benro C-269 M8 Travel Angel Kit, with Benro J-2 ballhead
-Benro KB-2 Ball Mount Tear Down

+Bogen/Manfrotto


-

+Cullman


-Cullman magensit 35Nm Ball Head

+Gitzo


-

+HorusBennu


-HorusBennu Products Thread

+Jobu


-Jobu Jr gimbal mount

+Kirk


-Kirk BH-1 thoughts/review

+Markins


-Gitzo 1541T Tripod, Markins Q3T Ballhead w/ RRS B2 LR II Clamp, GE10P Bag
-Comparison pics of Markins Q3 and Q3T, with Gitzo GT1541T and GT2531 tripods
-Feisol 3441T/Markins Q3t Mark II/ Markins Lever QR

+Photo Clam


-Photo Clam PC-44NS Ball Head
-Photo Clam PC-74NS Ballhead
-Feisol 3341s / Photo Clam PC-33NS Review

+Really Right Stuff


-Really Right Stuff BH-40 w/ LR II Lever Clamp
-Really Right Stuff BH-55

+Weifeng Fancier


-Weifeng Fancier FT-565H Ball Mount Tear Down

+Wimberly


-Wimberly WH-200 Gimball Head Review

Monopods


+Bogen/Manfrotto


-

+Feisol


-Feisol 1471 monopod

+Gitzo


-Gitzo GM5561T monopod
-Gitzo GM-3550 Mountaineer 6X Carbon Fiber Monopod
-Gitzo GM2541 Monopod, RRS High Capacity Monopod Head w/ RRS B2 Pro II Clamp

Other Types of Support


+Bogen/Manfrotto


-

+Kirk


-

+Newton


-Newton Flash Bracket Pictures

+Novoflex


-

+Really Right Stuff


-Really Right Stuff B87-B Perfect Portrait Package


-

+Stroboframe


-

+MISC


-eBay Flash Bracket
-Cotton Carrier Review with photos!

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ben_r_
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Aug 18, 2009 14:53 |  #8

8. Conclusion

As I mentioned in the beginning, the hopes are that this thread will be an ever evolving and continually updated collection of information. As new products and new models and versions of existing products come onto the market or new questions and helpful information is posted throughout the POTN forum please feel free to help by posting in this thread and making everyone aware of additional information that should be in this FAQ. Likewise if users feel they have helpful comments or suggests. As users post in this thread new additions to the FAQ will be added and changes will be made.

Thank you all for your contributions, it is collections of helpful information like the above (and so much more) that brought all of us here in the first place. Lets not forget that and keep the tradition going to make and keep POTN the best photography forum on the net!

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CyberDyneSystems
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Sep 02, 2009 16:47 |  #9

Got to give a huge hand to Ben R for undertaking this collosal task!

[XATTACH]391043[/XATTA​CH]Well done, and no one could have done it better![XATTACH]391044[/XATTA​CH]


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r.morales
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Bay Area Calif
Nov 02, 2009 19:47 |  #10

O K , I just found this sticky ?
Anyway I had a mono pod over 30 years ago that was a cane that the center came up and worked as a mono-pod .
I gave it away to someone who needed it .
Now I have a bad knee and need it . I have looked at the local stores and on web , bot can not find any .
BTW I have 2 bogen mono pods and 4 different Bogen tripods , older heads , macro rails that are not listed here .
If you want my review of them with shots - email me .
I am retired - busier than before when I was working - too much volenteer work - so may take me a while to do .


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ben_r_
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Nov 10, 2009 14:33 |  #11

r.morales wrote in post #8943611external link
O K , I just found this sticky ?
Anyway I had a mono pod over 30 years ago that was a cane that the center came up and worked as a mono-pod .
I gave it away to someone who needed it .
Now I have a bad knee and need it . I have looked at the local stores and on web , bot can not find any .
BTW I have 2 bogen mono pods and 4 different Bogen tripods , older heads , macro rails that are not listed here .
If you want my review of them with shots - email me .
I am retired - busier than before when I was working - too much volenteer work - so may take me a while to do .

Well usually how this works is you create a new thread here on the website and do your review, the more details, images and info the better, and then email me or post back here with the link and I add it to the list.


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bps
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Mar 2007
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Nov 21, 2009 18:41 |  #12

As usual, awesome job Ben! I appreciate your work -- you really do give back to this site.

Bryan


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ben_r_
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Nov 21, 2009 23:07 |  #13

bps wrote in post #9058183external link
As usual, awesome job Ben! I appreciate your work -- you really do give back to this site.

Bryan

:) Thanks Bryan! Glad it's appreciated!


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GyRob
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Jul 06, 2010 06:13 |  #14

I carnt see anying here on whether one should pick a tripod / monpod with 1/4 or 3/8th some have both but some only have 1/4 .
Then thers the little addapter that changes the thread
im just wondering if it really matters or should one go for 3/8 with lenses like the 500 f4 .
i would like to get oyjerd thoughts on this.
Rob,


"The LensMaster Gimbal"
http://www.lensmaster.​co.uk/rh1.htmexternal link

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ben_r_
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Jul 06, 2010 11:47 |  #15

GyRob wrote in post #10484845external link
I carnt see anying here on whether one should pick a tripod / monpod with 1/4 or 3/8th some have both but some only have 1/4 .
Then thers the little addapter that changes the thread
im just wondering if it really matters or should one go for 3/8 with lenses like the 500 f4 .
i would like to get oyjerd thoughts on this.
Rob,

Thats a good question. I would think bigger would be better for the larger lenses like the 500mm f/4. Perhaps you should create a new thread to see what others think and I can add it to this FAQ.


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