Jonta wrote in post #6359375
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.
- 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.
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.