Peter2516 wrote in post #18563679
Hello there looking for your recommendation/suggestions 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”.
Unlike many people, you seem to "get it" when it comes to tripod height.
You definitely want to go as tall as you can.
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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