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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 12 Aug 2010 (Thursday) 12:50
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Which tripod head would be right?

 
Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 12, 2010 12:50 |  #1

As some of you know, I have recently bought the Canon 300 f4. Now a friend gave me a tripod last year that says on one of the legs: 'Saba Video Stativ' and the number ST50. The name Manfrotto is also on the tripod with the number 190. I haven't used it until now, but I have tried it out with my new lens and I find it is pretty sturdy and I feel my new gear is much safer on this tripod than on my much lighter Gitzo.

The question is what head do I want with that? The head that came with this tripod is the Manfrotto 128LP. It's a video head but it works surprisingly well, much better than I had thought it would. Even for BIFs. It is very smooth. Or is it a bad idea for bird photography? And if so, what would be a better alternative?

Thanks very much for any input.


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res
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Aug 13, 2010 06:08 |  #2

Hmmm, a friend gives you a tripod and head. Personally, I would use it for a while and see if you like it. I would even try both tripods with the head and see what the difference in feel is for you. You may find that neither one works well or you may be pleasantly surprise at the stability of both tripods. I personally have gone the Markin route with my head and have a q20 but am buying more for the future then real need at the moment. I do not have enough experience to tell you "which head is best" but thought I would share my thoughts.




  
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 13, 2010 07:05 |  #3

Thanks, res, I appreciate the effort :).

Maybe I should rephrase the question: I have a 40D + 300 f/4 IS lens and need a good tripod head that can carry that and is good for birding.

A pity that there's not much traffic in this forum...


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BradM
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Aug 13, 2010 08:12 as a reply to  @ Levina de Ruijter's post |  #4

You aren't using a very big rig so if plans include eventually moving to a larger lens that should be taken into account but a side mount gimbal is probably the best choice.

Some like the Wimberly Sidekick, it is a good product however you need a good ballhead to use it. Drives the cost up having to have two separate components, not to mention the weight as well.

For my smaller lenses (like the 400mm f/4 DO and down) I use a Jobu side mount, works very well, doesn't need an additional head to operate and cost while not cheap is reasonable.

As well if you are going to a larger lens the little Jobu with an additional L bracket be upgraded to a full gimbal style. http://www.jobu-design.com/gimbals.htm​l (external link)


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Aug 13, 2010 08:21 |  #5

Hi Levina. I realize the below product is a bit pricey but it's a good solid mount for tripod work. There are many choices as far as ball heads and pan heads but the Gimbal design is by far the most effective in my opinion. I used a Manfrotto ball head for years with my 100-400 and it took some getting used to but I made it work. Once I moved to the 500 and Wimberley II mounting system I was hooked. Like I say there are cheaper multiple heads out there but the Gimbal design is awesome to work with. Well balanced and smooth panning.

This is a junior Gimbal and I have not owned a Jobu before but it appears to be very well made. Maybe google for some reviews on it. Hope this helps.

http://www.jobu-design.com …/item/2588354/6​009620.htm (external link)

EDIT: I see Brad beat me to it and posted a very similar direction. :)


Steve
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 13, 2010 10:07 |  #6

Thank you very much, Brad and Steve. This is a big help! I may in time decide to buy the 400 f/5.6 but that would be the limit as far as long lenses is concerned, so if I buy something with that in mind, I can afford to spend some money.

I really like the look of the Jobu gimbals and had decided to buy the Jobu Jr. 2 kit. But then I read on their site that the recommended gimbal for the 400 f/5.6 lens (which I plan to buy), is the Black Widow Jr. 3 kit. At the same time they recommend the Jobu Jr. 2 kit for the 100-400mm and that's a heavier lens than the 400, so now I'm confused. Brad, as one who owes the Jr. 2. Will it do for the 400mm?


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res
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Aug 13, 2010 12:50 as a reply to  @ Levina de Ruijter's post |  #7

By the way, I am shooting a 40d with a 400 5.6. On the markins I use a sidekick. As Brad states, it is a nice rig. BUT, when I get the chance with reasonable light, I shoot off hand. That was one of the reasons for the Markin head. Also, I am planning on heading to larger lenses in the future adding to my decision.




  
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 13, 2010 14:34 |  #8

Hey Res. Are you saying that the Jobu doesn't have a quick release possibility?


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BradM
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Aug 13, 2010 15:52 as a reply to  @ Levina de Ruijter's post |  #9

Any of the gimbals suggested will require an arca plate for the lens, and a release is just a couple of turns of the clamp.

Either of the Jr's will work great with your lens, the 3 will stand a bit higher if your tripod is shorter or if you want to do flight shots having a head/triopd combination that stands taller than you is back saver.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 14, 2010 07:06 |  #10

Thanks Brad. I've decided to buy a jobu and have found a dealer here where the Jr. 2 kit is on discount right now for € 199.00 (some 250 USD) which is a very nice price I think.

And thank you everyone for your input. It's been a great help!


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Aug 14, 2010 11:26 |  #11

That's an great price Levina, I know you'll enjoy the Jobu.


Steve
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Aug 14, 2010 11:42 |  #12

Thanks, Steve. I just ordered it! :)


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Which tripod head would be right?
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