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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 01 Feb 2009 (Sunday) 11:58
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Canon 500mm and Tripod

 
britt777
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Feb 01, 2009 11:58 |  #1

I currently have the Bogen 3021 Tripod. I am looking for suggestions as to what the best tripod is to use with a 500mm? Thank you in advance.


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gasrocks
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Feb 01, 2009 12:05 |  #2

The Bogen 3021 legs are good enough for your 500. Many here will try to tell you to spend another $1K. I have the 500 (which, to be honest, I usually handhold) and the 3021 legs with a Bogen 3047 head and the combo works well. I am not a fan of ball heads though I own 3 (used for other applications.)


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schliefert
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Feb 01, 2009 16:31 |  #3

I guess I'll be the first to recommend serious money for a serious lens. Makes sense to me.

I'd recommend at least a Gitzo 3 series or maybe even the Gitzo 5 series for some overkill, if there is such a thing for a supertele lens.

An excellent article about buying tripods, one that sold me on buying the best.

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

Really Right Stuff recommends at least the 3 series for 300-500mm lens.

Then you've got the mounting to think about. I went with no center column for even more stability.

Regards,

Roger

britt777 wrote in post #7232506 (external link)
I currently have the Bogen 3021 Tripod. I am looking for suggestions as to what the best tripod is to use with a 500mm? Thank you in advance.




  
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Brad ­ Remick
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Feb 01, 2009 16:58 |  #4

I see a lot of gibal heads on these big lenses. I probably spelled it wrong. Tripods seem to be rated for the weight they can carry.


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BradM
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Feb 01, 2009 18:44 as a reply to  @ Brad Remick's post |  #5

Using a Gitzo 3541LS and Jobu Black Widow HD gimbal for my 500mm f/4, spent the morning on a 3 hour 5.5 mile walk with it over my shoulder through the local wildlife refuge. Love the stability and light weight, great pieces of kit.

When the light is low and the subject is quick you can't do better IMO.


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gasrocks
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Feb 02, 2009 01:53 |  #6

Why not wait until you have the lens and try out the tripod you already own to decide?


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Canon ­ Bob
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Feb 02, 2009 02:48 as a reply to  @ gasrocks's post |  #7

I perch my 600/4 on a Gitzo 3540XLS with a Wimberley II gimbal. Certainly not the cheapest option but works fine for me.

Bob


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amfoto1
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Feb 02, 2009 10:48 |  #8

Hi,

I use an older Gitzo 1325 with a Kirk BH-1 ballhead and a Wimberley Sidekick (gimbal) with my 500/4.

I wanted all the vibration dampening and steadiness I would get. That means a carbon fiber tripod with three-section legs and no center column. The 1325 has met my needs well for about seven years now. It's not the lightest or most compact of tripods, but it's strong and steady. Gitzo has new model numbers, I'm not sure if there's an exact equivalent to the old 1325.

A gimbal mount is most useful for wildlife and sports shooters who need to track and follow moving subjects. I needed one for my work. At the same time, I didn't want to dedicate the tripod to large-lens-use-only with a full size gimbal mount that completely replaces the ballhead. The Sidekick has worked out well for me. With the twist of a couple knobs it's off the tripod and the ballhead can be used normally, but it requires a solid ballhead to support it.

If I were working with a larger and heavier lens - like a 400/2.8 or 600/4 - I'd more seriously consider a full gimbal mount like the those made by Wimberley, Kirk and Jobu. With 300/2.8, 500/4 and, marginally I think, 800/5.6 (don't have one... yet) the Sidekick seems adequate. Although there are three or four manufacturers making full-sized gimbal heads, I'm not aware of anyone other than Wimberley offering anything like the Sidekick.

An added bonus I found was that, since my cameras have Arca Swiss type QR plates on the bottom, too, I can use the Sidekick to vertically mount a camera with a short lens on the tripod. This means I don't need the added expense and bulk of an L-plate for that convenience.

Oh, and I also have a Gitzo leveling platform between the ballhead and the tripod. This makes for quick setup on uneven ground... no fine fiddling with leg adjustments, simply loosen a single grip, use the bubble level to position the head, then re-tighten the grip (I have a leveler on my Bogen/Manfrotto "studio" tripod, too, but it's not as fast acting by any means... It uses three separate "wheels", to adjust.)

Another key "selling point" for me on several of these items was the Arca-Swiss QR system. It's far more universal than the several proprietary QR releases offered by Manfrotto (and some other QRs offered by other manufacturers). I can buy accessories from Kirk, WImberley, Arca-Swiss, Really Right Stuff, Jobu and more, and they work together perfectly.

When you work with any gimbal head you need a somewhat long A-S QR plate on the lens foot to allow for adjustment, in order to balance the lens properly atop the tripod. It will need to be positioned fore and aft differently depending upon the particular camera mounted at the time, whether or not you are using a teleconverter, and, if so, which teleconverter, and if you have the lens hood on or not. Once it's properly balanced, the movements are smooth and easy and there's minimal danger of the whole rig tipping over.

Now, you can get A-S platforms to modify Manfrotto's to fit A-S plates. I've got a modified Bogen/Manfrotto ballhead, in fact, where I completely replaced the platform. But, a 3047 head I've got still needs an adapter. It has that unique hexagonal QR. I haven't adapted it yet, because I'm still using that type of QR on my 4x5 camera.

There are lots of options, so shop around. If I weren't using a Sidekick, I might still use a ballhead for it's compactness in the field. But, a pan/tilt like a 3047 works pretty well, too.... As would a fluid dampened video head.

As someone else already noted, you need to be careful that the tripod and head weight ratings are adequate, but beyond that there are a wide variety of options.


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
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gymell
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Feb 02, 2009 10:59 |  #9

I don't know which is the best, but I know the Gitzo 3530 is rock solid with the 500. I used to use the Kirk BH-1 ballhead and Wimberley Sidekick, but then went to the full Wimberley which is so much more manageable. Of course, I have recently learned to handhold so that's another option. ;)


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NeutronBoy
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Feb 02, 2009 11:10 |  #10

I am very happy with my SLIK tripods which is signifacntly cheaper than those bigger names. It too, is rock solid. The SLIK ballhead I got with it is great too.

Just size the hardware to the expected weight.


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AdamJL
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Feb 02, 2009 11:14 |  #11

Manfrotto 393 = half the price of a Sidekick, but just as stable (albeit bulkier)
Feisol CT Tournament editions = half the price of the (over-rated Gitzo's IMO), but just as stable.

If you want to spend money just for the sake of it, choose a Gitzo.
Or shop around.


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gymell
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Feb 02, 2009 11:16 |  #12

AdamJL wrote in post #7238023 (external link)
If you want to spend money just for the sake of it, choose a Gitzo.

Gotta love that reverse gear snobbery. :rolleyes:


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RPCrowe
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Feb 02, 2009 11:20 as a reply to  @ gymell's post |  #13

Giottos and Manfrotto

I use a Giottos MT-8180 Carbon Fiber tripod. Although, not inexpensive, this is a less expensive alternative to other tripods and is exceptionally sturdy, ajusts great and is plenty tall enough for me. Unfortunately, it is no longer distributed and I have not investigated what Giottos distrubutes to replace the MT-8180.

As with Adamjl, I also use the Manfrotto 393/Bogen 3421 Long lens Support which is an excellent gimbal head. It can support a massive weight and can be adjusted so that it stays in place but can be moved with just finger pressure.

See:

http://www.nikonians.o​rg …/manfrotto_393/​393_1.html (external link)

http://www.pbase.com/l​iquidstone (external link)

By the way, I use my 393/3421 with the camera/lens attached as shown in these links. I do not use it the way Bogen/Manfrotto illustrates on their web site.

Additionally, although Bogen/Manfrotto will tell you that there is no way to attach a flash when using the 393/3421; a flash braket can be easily fabricated from a 1" x 1/4" aluminum strip, as shown in this image. This is not my rig but is the way I mount my flash.


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AdamJL
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Feb 02, 2009 12:19 |  #14

RPCrowe wrote in post #7238080 (external link)
I use a Giottos MT-8180 Carbon Fiber tripod. Although, not inexpensive, this is a less expensive alternative to other tripods and is exceptionally sturdy, ajusts great and is plenty tall enough for me. Unfortunately, it is no longer distributed and I have not investigated what Giottos distrubutes to replace the MT-8180.

As with Adamjl, I also use the Manfrotto 393/Bogen 3421 Long lens Support which is an excellent gimbal head. It can support a massive weight and can be adjusted so that it stays in place but can be moved with just finger pressure.

See:

http://www.nikonians.o​rg …/manfrotto_393/​393_1.html (external link)

http://www.pbase.com/l​iquidstone (external link)

By the way, I use my 393/3421 with the camera/lens attached as shown in these links. I do not use it the way Bogen/Manfrotto illustrates on their web site.

Additionally, although Bogen/Manfrotto will tell you that there is no way to attach a flash when using the 393/3421; a flash braket can be easily fabricated from a 1" x 1/4" aluminum strip, as shown in this image. This is not my rig but is the way I mount my flash.

That's clever!! Nice one, something to think about.


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RikWriter
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Feb 02, 2009 16:06 |  #15

I have the Bogen 3021 and I tried it with the 500 f4 when I got it. It might work, sort of, but it felt a bit too unstable for my tastes.
I wound up buying a used Gitzo 3530LSV, which is the new version of the old 1325. I would recommend you keep your eyes open for a used one...the new ones are way overpriced.
I mount mine on a Manfrotto 3421, the older version of the 393 gimbal head, and it has worked fine. I lust after a Wimberly after trying out a friend's...the Manfrotto is just as stable, but the Wimberly is smoother and easier to adjust. I just can't justify that sort of expense when the Manfrotto works fine.
Here's a pic of the setup:

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/rikwriter/image/108274648.jpg

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Canon 500mm and Tripod
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