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Thread started 22 Sep 2008 (Monday) 15:13
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The hell of choosing my first tripod

 
Jonta
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Sep 22, 2008 15:13 |  #1

Finding good guides for buying tripods is hard. Even harder than finding a good camerabag-buying-guide.

I hope I can use this tripod for quite a lot; Lowlevel macro, bringing it up to headhight without having to bend, and so on.

My criteria:

- Weight: I thought this wouldn't be a big problem. I handled a Manfrotto a friend of mine has, and thought it was quite heavy. I was therefore very surprised to see that it weighs 1,8 kg. My mentality on this is: If I buy a cheaper tripod which weighs more now, then realise I won't take it with me, and therefore it stays at home, and then think "I can't buy a new, and more expensive tripod now I've bought this one can I?". Result: Misery dragging on for months, perhaps years, until I sell the old one and by a better and lighter one.

- Centre column: I'd very much like to have an extendable centrecolumn, and also (perhaps not that important, but still), being able to turn it around, for lower pictures.

- Method of fastening legs: I think a kind of clamp would suit me well here, seeing as this will be my first tripod, I don't know how much different things matter to me.

- Head: 3-way pan-tilt. Removable...thingy I don't have the time to remember the name of right now.

I don't like to be in a hurry about these things, but this time I can't drag on for too long. Any questions? Just fire away.

Edit: This thread will also be posted on digital-photography-school.com

And yes, I'm looking for recommendations for tripods...

Edit2: Oh yes, camera: 400D. Possibly getting 70-300mm. or smiliar.




  
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theague
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Sep 22, 2008 15:16 |  #2

Here are two links...

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=53864

http://www.bythom.com/​support.htm (external link)

The first link really should have been consulted already if you're making this post. It's a sticky at the top of this section. The second one is a professional's perspective and a good one at that.


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ben_r_
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Sep 22, 2008 15:17 |  #3

Most importantly.... Whats your budget?


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Jonta
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Sep 22, 2008 15:21 |  #4

theague wrote in post #6359395 (external link)
Here are two links...

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=53864

http://www.bythom.com/​support.htm (external link)

The first link really should have been consulted already if you're making this post. It's a sticky at the top of this section. The second one is a professional's perspective and a good one at that.

I've already checked out the first one, It's just that there is a certain timepressure, and it's a little while since I was hunting for tripods.

This (external link) is where I posted on DPS.

Budget is hard to judge, seeing as this is an international forum. I'll check out your suggestions, and then comment on the pricing in relation to my budget.




  
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ben_r_
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Sep 22, 2008 16:02 |  #5

SkipD wrote in post #6359656 (external link)
The most-often recommended tripod and head combination on the forum is the Manfrotto 055XProB tripod topped with the Manfrotto 488RC2 ball head.

A ball head is a lot better than a 3-way pan/tilt head for everyday still photography. The 488RC2 has a separate pan release if you merely want to swing the camera horizontally without releasing the main ball. The 488RC2 is also plenty beefy for rather heavy lenses like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS.

Ill second that recommendation and add to it that I owned it and loved it. Very sturdy and very strong. Bogen / Manfrotto is definitely good quality stuff. Just, like the OP said a little on the heavy side which is why I sold my setup and upgraded. The current top of the line is anything made by Gitzo and heads made by Markins or Really Right Stuff. That gear however kicks up price quite a bit though but is well worth the extra money.


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SkipD
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Sep 22, 2008 16:03 |  #6

The most-often recommended tripod and head combination on the forum is the Manfrotto 055XProB tripod topped with the Manfrotto 488RC2 ball head. There is good reason for the recommendations, and most folks who own the combination like it very much. I own an earlier tripod - the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021BPro, the forerunner to the 055XProB, with the same head and have no reason to buy another.

A ball head is a lot better than a 3-way pan/tilt head for everyday still photography. The 488RC2 has a separate pan release if you merely want to swing the camera horizontally without releasing the main ball. The 488RC2 is also plenty beefy for rather heavy lenses like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS.


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TomTomTuning
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Sep 22, 2008 16:08 |  #7

SkipD wrote in post #6359673 (external link)
The most-often recommended tripod and head combination on the forum is the Manfrotto 055XProB tripod topped with the Manfrotto 488RC2 ball head. There is good reason for the recommendations, and most folks who own the combination like it very much. I own an earlier tripod - the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021BPro, the forerunner to the 055XProB, with the same head and have no reason to buy another.

A ball head is a lot better than a 3-way pan/tilt head for everyday still photography. The 488RC2 has a separate pan release if you merely want to swing the camera horizontally without releasing the main ball. The 488RC2 is also plenty beefy for rather heavy lenses like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS.

I <3 my 055XProB (external link)and 488RC0 (external link)(Same head different quick release)

But the 488RC2 (external link)is definitly the more popular


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JohnJ80
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Sep 22, 2008 16:44 |  #8

Jonta wrote in post #6359375 (external link)
Finding good guides for buying tripods is hard. Even harder than finding a good camerabag-buying-guide.

I hope I can use this tripod for quite a lot; Lowlevel macro, bringing it up to headhight without having to bend, and so on.

My criteria:

- Weight: I thought this wouldn't be a big problem. I handled a Manfrotto a friend of mine has, and thought it was quite heavy. I was therefore very surprised to see that it weighs 1,8 kg. My mentality on this is: If I buy a cheaper tripod which weighs more now, then realise I won't take it with me, and therefore it stays at home, and then think "I can't buy a new, and more expensive tripod now I've bought this one can I?". Result: Misery dragging on for months, perhaps years, until I sell the old one and by a better and lighter one.

Don't feel bad - we all go through this. My feeling is that if the weight is >5lb for the whole thing it doesn't get used and is, therefore, wasted money. That said, if you want light, then it is going to cost you. The bonus is that for the really light stuff that is made from carbon fiber (CF) are also the best dampers of vibration.

Rule of thumb: you can have light, cheap and stable - pick any two but you can't have all three in a tripod.

- Centre column: I'd very much like to have an extendable centrecolumn, and also (perhaps not that important, but still), being able to turn it around, for lower pictures.

If you can avoid a tripod that has a center column, and it is the right height for you, you are ahead. It makes no sense, if one can avoid it, to spend lots of money on some serious legs and ballhead and then to perch it up on a single column - which gives back much of the stability gained.

See if you HAVE to have one of the options where you can cantilever the center column out or flip it upside down. Truth of the matter, 98% of the time you don't need it. Try, first, using your camera when inverted under the tripod and seeing if you can even make it work. Also, cantilevering your camera out on a column is even worse for stability than extending the center column.

- Method of fastening legs: I think a kind of clamp would suit me well here, seeing as this will be my first tripod, I don't know how much different things matter to me.

Try both and see. Good twist locks are better, IMO.

- Head: 3-way pan-tilt. Removable...thingy I don't have the time to remember the name of right now.


Why do you think you need a 3 way pan and tilt head? Have you looked at ballheads in general? Typically much easier to use.

I don't like to be in a hurry about these things, but this time I can't drag on for too long. Any questions? Just fire away.

Edit: This thread will also be posted on digital-photography-school.com

And yes, I'm looking for recommendations for tripods...

Edit2: Oh yes, camera: 400D. Possibly getting 70-300mm. or smiliar.

Some reading:
http://bythom.com/supp​ort.htm (external link)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/t​ripods_&_heads.shtml (external link)
http://markins.com/cha​rlie/report4e6.pdf (external link)
http://www.prophotohom​e.com …php?userid=3425​2&entry=62 (external link)
http://www.prophotohom​e.com …php?userid=3425​2&entry=55 (external link)

Bottom line - don't do this on the cheap or you wind up spending the money all over again. You've sort of hinted that you understand that buy your discussion of the height issue.

The manfrotto stuff recommended is ok, but it does not qualify as light. You'll need to decide how important that is to you and then vote with your wallet.

I'd look also at the Gitzo stuff - which sets the bar for stability and light weight. For less money, and less durability, look at the Feisol stuff.

J.


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Sep 22, 2008 17:19 |  #9

TomTomTuning wrote in post #6359707 (external link)
I <3 my 055XProB (external link)and 488RC0 (external link)(Same head different quick release)

But the 488RC2 (external link)is definitly the more popular


I will second that. I have the same setup. Excellent, doesn't leave me needing anything more. Im 6'1" so this thing is perfect even without extending the center column.


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stig001
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Sep 22, 2008 18:44 |  #10

I got a Velbon CF-645 with QHD-61Q ballhead the other day. Used it this weekend with the 100-400 and it was working good. Main reason for going for this combination and not a Manfrotto combo was that I find the Manfrottos I have tried to heavy.




  
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Jonta
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Sep 23, 2008 04:18 |  #11

I've checked the pricing, and it seems that I can actually go up a bit pricewise on the Manfrotto 055xProb. It's also heavier than I would like. To choose two of the three (cheap, stable, light), I'd choose stable and light.

The Velbon is too low at its highest in my opinion.




  
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JohnJ80
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Sep 23, 2008 07:36 |  #12

Jonta wrote in post #6363232 (external link)
I've checked the pricing, and it seems that I can actually go up a bit pricewise on the Manfrotto 055xProb. It's also heavier than I would like. To choose two of the three (cheap, stable, light), I'd choose stable and light.

The Velbon is too low at its highest in my opinion.

Seriously consider Feisol. They have done well, are all CF and are, IIRC, much lighter than the one you are looking at.

J.


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