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Thread started 01 Sep 2013 (Sunday) 21:49
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Recommend me a new tripod for wildlife set up

 
Methodical
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Sep 01, 2013 21:49 |  #1

I currently use a Feisol CF Tripod (3342), but thinking I may need something a bit more sturdy now. I like this tripod because it is really light. But, I keep reading where folks are using $500 or more tripods for their wildlife setup. Are these tripods really that much better? What is it about these tripods that make them so costly? Bird and wildlife shooters I need your help here with this decision.

Can you recommend me a better tripod to use with the following equipment: 1D4, 500 f4 (+ extender), JoBu Pro2 Gimbal, flash bracket, 580 II and flash extender.

Thanks...Al


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Sep 02, 2013 00:15 |  #2

I'm using this: SiRui Upgraded M-3204X Carbon Fiber Tripod Max.Load 18kg with K-30X Ballhead Kit Set with a Wimberley Sidekick and P-40 Lens Plate.

I works great and the Sidekick comes off to allow me to use the tripod for other uses besides holding my 500mm f4 Mrk II. I love the Sidekick! :)

I did a lot of shopping and the best price is here: http://thephotogadget.​com …set?ModPagespee​d=noscript (external link) nobody could touch that price and it was free shipping and I received about 7 days.


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Sep 02, 2013 07:01 |  #3

I've been using a Gitzo 1228 (discontinued) mostly because it is small enough to travel with. It supports the weight but requires some technique as it is maxed out and therefor not as rigid as the larger/heavier ones. I also shoot my 500 hand held a lot.


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Sep 02, 2013 08:37 |  #4

Look at the Gitzo and RRS range. Both manufacturers make stable tripods without a center column suitable for your height and camera equipment. And they cost plenty too.


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Richard ­ N
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Sep 02, 2013 12:43 |  #5

I just picked up an Induro CT314 and though I haven't been able to put to the test yet I'm very impressed with it. It easily straps to my backpack, offers plenty of height adjustment, holds 40# of gear, and has a very solid feel. It's unfortunate that Induro's 25% off summer sale is now over, I think this might have been a good option for what you are seeking.


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Sep 02, 2013 12:44 |  #6

If you don't mind purchasing used, you can get a lot more for your money. ;)


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Methodical
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Sep 02, 2013 14:04 |  #7

Thanks everyone. I am weighting all options at the moment. I see many of the Pros use the Gitzo or RRS tripods, which cost significantly more than my Feisol. I will probably have to rent some and see what I like.


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Sep 02, 2013 15:59 |  #8

I use a Gitzo GT3541LS tripod with a RRS BH55 & a Wimberley sidekick for my 500 f4 & extender. This combination is rock solid and has the benefit that with the sidekick off it becomes my landscape tripod.


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Sep 02, 2013 17:24 as a reply to  @ GTogs's post |  #9

I use the gt- 3542 ls tripod with wimberly gymbol. The tripod is rock solid and folds up small. I use it with the canon 500mm f4 and converters.


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Sep 02, 2013 19:03 |  #10

Methodical wrote in post #16260116 (external link)
I currently use a Feisol CF Tripod (3342), but thinking I may need something a bit more sturdy now. I like this tripod because it is really light. But, I keep reading where folks are using $500 or more tripods for their wildlife setup. Are these tripods really that much better? What is it about these tripods that make them so costly? Bird and wildlife shooters I need your help here with this decision.

Can you recommend me a better tripod to use with the following equipment: 1D4, 500 f4 (+ extender), JoBu Pro2 Gimbal, flash bracket, 580 II and flash extender.

Thanks...Al

A friend of mine has that tripod and it will certainly work with your 500, it worked with his 600 F4 - but it is far from ideal.
My tripod for my 800mm F5.6 is a Gitzo 3530LS which is fully up to the job and would be more than adequate for your 500 - unfortunately it is no longer made and the new version is (in my opinion) inferior and more expensive.
I have a couple of Sirui products and am pleased with them, I have not tried these particular tripods but their Mono Pods are top notch: http://www.amazon.com …tion-59-1in/dp/B004QC3C94 (external link)
There are similar products in the Feisol range - note they do a heavier duty version of your tripod which should fit the bill.
Personally my ultimate choice would be a Gitzo 3530 LS (unless you are very tall) as, it is light, rigid and perfectly adequate for any lens Canon currently sell - probably why I am so happy with mine.
If you can find a used 3530LS, at sensible money, you will be happy.


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Methodical
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Sep 02, 2013 19:20 |  #11

johnf3f wrote in post #16262418 (external link)
A friend of mine has that tripod and it will certainly work with your 500, it worked with his 600 F4 - but it is far from ideal...

I am starting to notice this myself and that is why I am in the market for a better tripod. I've been looking at the Gitzo and RRS tripods, which seem to come highly recommended by many wildlife photographers. I guess it's only money right.:)


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Sep 02, 2013 20:46 |  #12

Methodical wrote in post #16262454 (external link)
I've been looking at the Gitzo and RRS tripods, which seem to come highly recommended by many wildlife photographers. I guess it's only money right. :)

I saw a survey somewhere a while back and the dominant equipment choice of pro (mostly outdoors as I recall) photogs was a Gitzo systematic for the tripod and the RRS BH-55 ballhead.

Yes it's only money, but it's money well spent. Camera bodies, and to a certain extent lenses come and go. Make a wise investment in quality support and that investment will last through many cameras. The top-of-the-line tripods are worth the extra expense because (a) you will love the stability and (b) you only have to buy once.

The attachment below is a summary table of the current range of Gitzo systematics. They generally go on sale in December/January and some of the most popular models even carry double discounts during that period. If you can wait it's really worth it, and renting is an excellent strategy for figuring out your preferences in the meanwhile.


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Methodical
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Sep 02, 2013 22:30 |  #13

Thanks for the data Peter. I'm going to call the one place in DC that I know who rents equipment - hopefully they are still in business.


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Sep 02, 2013 22:52 |  #14

When I finally went "Gitzo Systematic" it was for one reason.
At the time it was the only tripod system with a good fast leveling "bowl".
I'd had a chance to try it out once, and was immediately sold. The leveling head in conjunction with a good gimbal is a great combo.

Now, I have seen a number of alternatives,. but the Gitzo may still be the fastest to adjust and sturdiest.


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Sep 03, 2013 15:29 |  #15

Well, I went back and forth betwen the RRS and Gitzo, but after reading some of the customer relations issues with Gitzo, I opted for the RRS TVC 33s, which at it's max height (49.75") is right where I have my Feisol set (just under 50"), so it fits me perfectly. I did not opt for a longer tripod because I did not want to have to deal with having to always set the last leg shorter, which I had to do with the Feisol. The Feisol will be relegated to holding flashes and modifiers or used to mount the camera when doing portraiture style shooting.

Thanks all.


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Recommend me a new tripod for wildlife set up
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