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Thread started 10 Jul 2014 (Thursday) 09:18
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Help with a Tripod selection

 
MalVeauX
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Jul 10, 2014 09:18 |  #1

Hey all,

So I've gone through stickies and looking at stuff there, some of the links resulted in items discontinued and "newer versions" came up at stores like Amazon. So I got the feeling that there may be newer options at this point. I find a lot of the specs listed on tripods are just specs, so I'm looking for a more real world approach. I have two tripods, they're cheap, and work great, but I'm starting to really make my loads heavier so I'm starting to notice it more when it wriggles and I think I'm ready to get a serious sturdy tripod at this point.

Things I'm looking for:

$200~300 price range (give or take).

I have a ballhead already (arca style). Gimbal in my future too. So just the tripod is needed at this point.

Sturdy, can handle a top heavy load of a skytracker, gripped SLR, heavy prime, and an additional ballhead on top of that (I do a lot of wide field astro with heavy equipment for 4~8 minute exposures). If it can easily handle a gimbal and my gripped setup with a 600mm lens and a flash unit, that would be a good thing too.

Thick, heavy legs. Every time I look at a sturdy tripod and I don't see thick legs, I cringe. I don't want them to bend or wobble. I really don't care a huge deal about weight. I won't be using this for hiking, I have lighter setups for that. This will be for controlled night use mostly, and for bracketed stuff where I drive to a location, so I don't have to carry it for a few miles, but I might carry it for a little bit.

I would like that the center column doesn't extend down, or up, as I don't need it. If I want to collapse the tripod to the ground flat, I don't want to have to stick a center column up in the air. If it could just be a level surface with legs and no columns, that would be great.

Suggestions?

Very best,


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huntersdad
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Jul 10, 2014 09:34 |  #2

Just an opinion to completely not answer your question. You will probably get several people talking about Feisol. I have one. It is plenty steady with a 1D4/500/1.4x on it gimbal mounted. Legs are sturdy and solid. However, my issue with Feisol deals with the material used for the leg locks - it is extremely soft. It somehow got bent/dented last year and the leg wouldn't open fully without hitting the leg release again. Once hit, it opened up. I dealt with it for a awhile and finally took a Dremel to it lightly to remove the bur. Problem solved. Until about 2 weeks ago when the dent came back.

I think the leg lock material is too soft, despite weight ratings, to handle any kind of long lens. My suggestion for you: add to the budget, get a Gitzo or RRS and be done with tripod buying forever. It's going to be hard to find something steady enough for the 600 in that cost range anyway.


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FarmerTed1971
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Jul 10, 2014 09:45 |  #3

I think you may need to bite the bullet and drop double your budget to get what you are looking for.
Very curious to what you end up with. I see a rock solid tripod in my near future as well.


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MalVeauX
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Jul 10, 2014 09:58 |  #4

Heya,

Just a note, my 600mm is the Tamron 600mm. It's not a super heavy lens. It's just long. I don't have the budget for a $13,000 lens, and if I did, I certainly wouldn't be looking at $300 tripods, lol. Thanks!

Very best,


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huntersdad
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Jul 10, 2014 10:23 |  #5

OH, in that case, I have a Feisol and gimbal head I'll sell you for pretty cheap.


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FarmerTed1971
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Jul 10, 2014 10:47 |  #6

How tall are you?


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MalVeauX
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Jul 10, 2014 11:15 |  #7

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #17022921 (external link)
How tall are you?

Under 6 feet, but I often use it low to the ground for perspectives, and at fence lines that are only 4 feet tall, etc. I don't need it to be super tall. Again, it's primary function will be for heavy setups for bracketed shots, and for long exposure shots at night with stacked tracker, multiple ballheads together, etc, where stability matters.

Very best,


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Charlie
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Jul 10, 2014 15:40 |  #8

manfrotto 055 xprob if you dont care for carbon fiber. Simple, get the job done type tripod. Super stable and dirt cheap. Downside, cant shoot very low due to center column, but with some DIY skills, center column can be removed.

second hand gitzo 1325 should be around $300-400, super heavy duty carbon fiber. Should be on the level of current series 3 gitzo's except for very conservative weight rating.

1325 = no center column
1327 = includes center column

here's a review on TDP: http://www.the-digital-picture.com …-Fiber-Tripod-Review.aspx (external link)


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MalVeauX
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Jul 10, 2014 17:26 |  #9

Heya,

That 1325 looks exactly what I'm after.

I think I'll just bite the bullet, budget appropriately and go for it. I'll budget it with a gimbal and something to mount my flash to so that it's off axis to avoid steel eye. Will plan it for this fall. Not lugging this stuff in the 95F Florida weather right now.

Unless there's a less expensive alternative that's very similar to the 1325...

Very best,


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johnf3f
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Jul 10, 2014 18:43 |  #10

+1 on the Gitzo 1325/1327 - I have the 1329 Mk2 (very similar to the 1325). Forget the weight ratings on these tripods. They are rated at 12 Kilos - my 1329 supports me at 105 Kilos! It is a VERY stable tripod and is quite happy with my 800 F5.6. I also have, the more recent, G3530LS which is a little nicer in operation and a little lighter but there is no appreciable difference in performance with either the Canon 600mm F4 L or my Canon 800mm.
As I stated above the 1325 and 1329 are very similar (don't know why they did both) and they are both fine tripods that will be excellent with any Canon production lens.
You state that your 600mm is the Tamron - yes it is not one of the big white behemoths, but it is still a 600 mm lens so good support is essential. These, older model, Gitzo tripods are more than up to the job and not (too) silly money.
If the Gimbal head that you get is a Wimberley clone then I have PMed my own design for a Flash mount that will help avoid "Steel Eye".

Sorry couldn't upload the images - too many! I have sent you my E Mail address so I can send them to you.
This bracket was made from a spare Arca clamp + a cheap flash mount and off camera flash cable (from E Bay) coupled with some alloy strip from a local hardware store. Total cost was less than $20 (in your money) + paint.


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peter_n
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Jul 11, 2014 08:03 |  #11

A Gitzo 1325 sounds right; you'll never need another tripod. Check the Classifieds: Sell forum here, also keep an eye on the Fred Miranda Buy & Sell forum (external link), a virtually new 1325 sold there for $365 in May.


~Peter

  
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nellyle
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Jul 11, 2014 09:16 |  #12

I had a good condition 1325 on here a couple of months back, zero interest, now people can't stop talking about them! :lol:


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Charlie
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Jul 11, 2014 11:37 |  #13

nellyle wrote in post #17024847 (external link)
I had a good condition 1325 on here a couple of months back, zero interest, now people can't stop talking about them! :lol:

it's because going prices are a bit high. Sometimes, they can cost even MORE than the GT3530. The 3530's go on sale more frequently, which makes it easier to find really good deals. The one I got was damn near perfect, for 400.


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nellyle
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Jul 11, 2014 12:04 |  #14

Mine was £150 (uk) so very, very cheap! I had come into some cash so treated myself to a 5532LS, thought I'd pass the good fortune on, but got ignored so I sold it to a UK dealer for more!


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yslee
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Jul 13, 2014 09:47 |  #15

That's the old Gitzo right? Word of warning: The old Gitzos have the terrible locks that aren't particularly fast to set up and drive me absolutely nuts. If you don't have experience with them before you might want to try them out first.




  
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Help with a Tripod selection
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