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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
Thread started 14 Feb 2018 (Wednesday) 11:59
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Tripod questions

 
Peter2516
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Post edited 4 months ago by Peter2516. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 14, 2018 11:59 |  #1

Hello there looking for your recommendation/suggest​ions here.

I am 5 ft and 7 inches tall. should I go 63 inches max height or 70 inches maximum height the latter is $50 more and 2lbs heavier. I shoot birds/wildlife. Both are Carbon fibre and same brand. I would like to have more flexibility like shooting up, or the terrain/ground are not level which some tripod maybe adjusted to different length. I don’t want to go lower than 63”. I know there are some there in 59”.

Thanks
Peter


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited 4 months ago by Tom Reichner. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 14, 2018 13:57 |  #2

Peter2516 wrote in post #18563679 (external link)
Hello there looking for your recommendation/suggest​ions here.

I am 5 ft and 7 inches tall. should I go 63 inches max height or 70 inches maximum height the latter is $50 more and 2lbs heavier. I shoot birds/wildlife. Both are Carbon fibre and same brand. I would like to have more flexibility like shooting up, or the terrain/ground are not level which some tripod maybe adjusted to different length. I don’t want to go lower than 63”. I know there are some there in 59”.

Thanks
Peter

Peter,

Unlike many people, you seem to "get it" when it comes to tripod height.

You definitely want to go as tall as you can.

Why?

Because of the very factors that you have mentioned.

When you are shooting from uneven ground, such as a steep hillside, then you need to have a tripod that is much taller than you are, so that you can have the downhill leg extend so far that it will enable the camera to be at your eye height, when you are shooting downhill or "sidehilling" (shooting parallel to the topo contour lines).

The other thing you mention is equally important, and that would be the times when you are shooting up. . When a subject is overhead, such as a squirrel up in a tree or a bird flying overhead, you need a tripod that will hold the lens up so high that even when it is pointing almost straight up, you will still be able to comfortably position yourself underneath and put your eye to the viewfinder without having to crouch awkwardly. This requires a tripod that is MUCH taller than you are.

Being bird and wildlife shooters means that we are seldom photographing on even terrain, and that we are often shooting at things that are way up high over our heads. . People who don't specialize in wildlife & birds don't typically have these challenges, and therefore can get away with a much shorter tripod.

I've made 20" leg extensions out of PVC pipe that will get my current Gitzo up to about 7 feet high, but that still isn't high enough for many of the things that I shoot ...... and I'm not very tall - just a very average 5' 10".

The next tripod I buy is going to be the Gitzo that goes up to, like, 9 feet tall. . It's very expensive, but I guarantee that I will be using every bit of that 9 feet for a lot of my photography (especially for cavity nesting birds and Bighorn Sheep on super-steep cliffs).


.


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Peter2516
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Feb 14, 2018 14:26 |  #3

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18563766 (external link)
Peter,

Unlike many people, you seem to "get it" when it comes to tripod height.

You definitely want to go as tall as you can.

Why?

Because of the very factors that you have mentioned.

When you are shooting from uneven ground, such as a steep hillside, then you need to have a tripod that is much taller than you are, so that you can have the downhill leg extend so far that it will enable the camera to be at your eye height, when you are shooting downhill or "sidehilling" (shooting parallel to the topo contour lines).

The other thing you mention is equally important, and that would be the times when you are shooting up. . When a subject is overhead, such as a squirrel up in a tree or a bird flying overhead, you need a tripod that will hold the lens up so high that even when it is pointing almost straight up, you will still be able to comfortably position yourself underneath and put your eye to the viewfinder without having to crouch awkwardly. This requires a tripod that is MUCH taller than you are.

Being bird and wildlife shooters means that we are seldom photographing on even terrain, and that we are often shooting at things that are way up high over our heads. . People who don't specialize in wildlife & birds don't typically have these challenges, and therefore can get away with a much shorter tripod.

I've made 20" leg extensions out of PVC pipe that will get my current Gitzo up to about 7 feet high, but that still isn't high enough for many of the things that I shoot.

The next tripod I buy is going to be the Gitzo that goes up to, like, 9 feet tall. . It's very expensive, but I guarantee that I will be using every bit of that 9 feet for a lot of my photography (especially for cavity nesting birds and Bighorn Sheep on super-steep cliffs).

.

Thank you very much Tom, I will go ahead and order the much taller tripod I really do appreciate your input, that helps a lot for my decision. Thank you again.


Peter
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Wilt
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Post edited 4 months ago by Wilt.
     
Feb 14, 2018 14:35 |  #4

Just to be a bit argumentative...:-)

Why not use a right angle finder so that you can lower your head to look thru the eyepiece while the camera and lens are aimed at an upward angle?


The problem I see is that taller tripods need to have a bit more stiffness in them than a shorter tripod. More stiffness = larger diameter leg sections = more weight
which is bad when portability needs are there. I have a very tall (74") tripod, but is for 'studio use' and weighs just under 10lbs. without head!

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Equipment/Reflexhood-4_zpsrypvjkpz.jpg
...and this is not as tall as it goes!

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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 14, 2018 15:00 |  #5

Wilt wrote in post #18563797 (external link)
Just to be a bit argumentative...:-)
Why not use a right angle finder so that you can lower your head to look thru the eyepiece while the camera and lens are aimed at an upward angle?

Have you ever tried to track a bird in flight using a megatelephoto focal length?

I mean, look at the lens in the OP's avatar. . Do you realize how hard it is to even find a bird in the viewfinder, let alone keep it in the viewfinder as it flies overhead and changes its angle rapidly? . It is already hard enough to do that when you are looking "in line" through your optics. . To try to do so when you are viewing through an angled viewfinder would be a near impossibility.

But by all means, Wilt, be my guest if you want to try to shoot moving overhead targets that way.

.

Wilt wrote in post #18563797 (external link)
The problem I see is that taller tripods need to have a bit more stiffness in them than a shorter tripod.

When you are using very long supertelephotos like the one in the Peter's avatar, more stiffness is a good thing, even when it comes at the expense of additional weight.

.


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Wilt
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Post edited 4 months ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 14, 2018 15:08 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #6

Ok. your retort of my stupid idea has been noted as a valid issue.

The issue of tripod rigidity vs. portability stands.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 14, 2018 15:17 |  #7

Wilt wrote in post #18563815 (external link)
Ok. your retort of my stupid idea has been noted as a valid issue.

The issue of tripod rigidity vs. portability stands.

Yes, and there will always be that tradeoff.

Any tripod buyer will need to decide what thing they are more wiling to compromise - portability or stability. . But the fact that Peter is considering only carbon fiber tripods means that he is already ahead of the game, because the weight : stability ratio is much better than that of other materials.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Wilt
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Feb 14, 2018 15:32 |  #8

Well, there is always the Gitzo GT5543XLS tripod Systematic, series 5 XL, 4 sections, which gets to 78" without a destabilizing center column, and weighs 3.12 Kg (6.8 lbs)
...only $1220 (NYC)


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Feb 14, 2018 16:13 |  #9

Peter2516 wrote in post #18563679 (external link)
Hello there looking for your recommendation/suggest​ions here.

I am 5 ft and 7 inches tall. should I go 63 inches max height or 70 inches maximum height the latter is $50 more and 2lbs heavier. I shoot birds/wildlife. Both are Carbon fibre and same brand. I would like to have more flexibility like shooting up, or the terrain/ground are not level which some tripod maybe adjusted to different length. I don’t want to go lower than 63”. I know there are some there in 59”.

Thanks
Peter

You can always make the tall tripod shorter, but you can't make the short tripod taller. I too am 5'7" and I have two primary tripods; a Gitzo Sytematic 5 series traveller and a Sirui 4 series. The Sirui extends to 70.8" (without the ballhead) and I can stand under it when it's fully extended. I find myself using at least one leg at full extension fairly often. Either on the side of a steep hill, or to drop one leg down into a gap in the rocks.


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Peter2516
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Feb 15, 2018 16:33 |  #10

Scatterbrained wrote in post #18563866 (external link)
You can always make the tall tripod shorter, but you can't make the short tripod taller. I too am 5'7" and I have two primary tripods; a Gitzo Sytematic 5 series traveller and a Sirui 4 series. The Sirui extends to 70.8" (without the ballhead) and I can stand under it when it's fully extended. I find myself using at least one leg at full extension fairly often. Either on the side of a steep hill, or to drop one leg down into a gap in the rocks.

I often find myself in this situation thanks for your input also. I am going to get the one that extends to 71”.


Peter
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