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Thread started 07 Feb 2009 (Saturday) 16:40
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Tripod recommendation: nature

 
HappySnapper90
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Feb 07, 2009 16:40 |  #1

I want to get a good tripod. My current one cost $60, is cumbersome (tightening lever gets in the way of the camera mount), and is being held together by a screw and wire because a screw fell out holding one of the legs on.

I'm looking for a good, sturdy, versatile tripod for longer morning exposures, macro capabilities for SLRs without live view (5D, EOS-3, and maybe a 1v soon), and some use with my Bigma. There will be some hiking, but I am not afraid of a little weight since I have the Bigma and carbon fiber can add $100s to the cost. A good balance between low minimum height and taller maximum height as well, though I know one tripod can't do it all! I want to get something good that fits my needs. Budget is $300-500.

The choices are a bit overwhelming and there is only one place near me that carries good tripods, so there are many options that I cannot see in person. I know there are fully useable tripods and then those that require you to add a ball head as an extra.

And suggestions?




  
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roonsmits
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Feb 09, 2009 18:51 |  #2

You might want to have a look at the Manfrotto MagFibre3 (Bogen in the US I believe) and a Manfrotto 488RC2, Midi Ball Head w/ Quick Release - RC2. This combo serves me well outdoors and in the studio, where I swap the ball head for the 410 geared head from Manfrotto.

cheers
Ronald


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SkipD
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Feb 09, 2009 19:28 |  #3

The most-often recommended (here on the forum) tripod/head combination for a very good and cost-effective general-purpose rig is the Manfrotto 055XProB legs topped off with the Manfrotto 488RC2 ball head (external link). Make sure you get extra quick-release plates so that you can have one permanently attached to each body and lens you'd be connecting to the tripod.

There is a carbon-fiber equivalent, but to lose only one pound or so the price skyrockets.


Skip Douglas
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HappySnapper90
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Feb 14, 2009 21:52 |  #4

Thanks for the input.

I don't see any level bubbles on those though, do they have any?
And I like the feature that some Giottos tripods have where the rubber foot comes off and there is a metal pike under it for rocks and slippery surfaces/soil and olso their "multi-positional center column" which aids in macro photography.

Any thoughts on Giottos or another brand/model that has those similar features?




  
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SkipD
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Feb 15, 2009 04:42 |  #5

HappySnapper90 wrote in post #7327013 (external link)
Thanks for the input.

I don't see any level bubbles on those though, do they have any?
And I like the feature that some Giottos tripods have where the rubber foot comes off and there is a metal pike under it for rocks and slippery surfaces/soil and olso their "multi-positional center column" which aids in macro photography.

Any thoughts on Giottos or another brand/model that has those similar features?

The 055 tripods have bubble levels to get the tripod itself vertical. This is useful if you intend to do a series of images horizontally (for stitching into a panoramic image, for example).

I have never in 40+ years found a need for a bubble level on a tripod's head. There are very simple ways of getting the camera lined up to the horizontal. You can get a two-axis level that fits into the hot shoe if you really feel the need, though.

Manfrotto sells accessories for their tripods including convertible feet that can present either a spike or a rubber half-ball to the ground under them. I use a set on my old 3021BPro.

Don't overlook quality for "features".


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HappySnapper90
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Feb 15, 2009 11:17 |  #6

SkipD wrote in post #7328310 (external link)
\Don't overlook quality for "features".

A hotshoe flash won't help for vertical orientation photos and I have a habit of having my camera not horizontal by a couple of degrees even though I try hard to orient it properly. Plus it can be difficult to level the camera when there isn't much light and only the sky is bright early in the morning. A mini flashlight could be used to see a level bubble.

What are you trying to say about Giottos?




  
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Jon
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Feb 15, 2009 16:45 |  #7

Hotshoe-mount bubble levels can be mounted in any orientation you wish, so you have a bubble available even when your camera's vertical. See, for instance, this (external link).


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HappySnapper90
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Feb 15, 2009 22:09 |  #8

Jon wrote in post #7331223 (external link)
Hotshoe-mount bubble levels can be mounted in any orientation you wish, so you have a bubble available even when your camera's vertical. See, for instance, this (external link).

Interesting. On an aside, I am a land surveyor so I know all about level bubbles. And I guarantee you that if you had a level bubble on a tripod/ball head and you put one of those hotshoe bubbles on you camera that the 2 bubbles would not agree with each other! You would need adjustable level bubbles (found on surveying equipment) and using a high accuracy level bubble as a baseline to adjust your bubbles to.




  
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Lowner
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Feb 16, 2009 08:35 |  #9

HappySnapper90,

With your gear, I'd suggest that while the 055/488 is a perfectly reasonable choice, it does represent the lower limit of the range you should be looking at.

I use an 055ProB myself, and for the money its very good value, but there are better options if you are prepared to pay the premium prices. I may upgrade myself in a year or so. I'd also suggest you look at the Markins ballheads.


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Jon
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Feb 16, 2009 08:39 |  #10

HappySnapper90 wrote in post #7333335 (external link)
Interesting. On an aside, I am a land surveyor so I know all about level bubbles. And I guarantee you that if you had a level bubble on a tripod/ball head and you put one of those hotshoe bubbles on you camera that the 2 bubbles would not agree with each other! You would need adjustable level bubbles (found on surveying equipment) and using a high accuracy level bubble as a baseline to adjust your bubbles to.

Fortunately, photographic needs aren't as critical as surveying needs. Also, it's possible to traverse the camera a full 360 deg. while watching the bubble to see how close to on it is.


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ralff
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Feb 16, 2009 09:11 as a reply to  @ Jon's post |  #11

he also mentioned wanting to do macro work (using a camera without live view) with the tripod, none of those mentioned lets you get very low. What kind of macro do you want to do? I have a Benbo Trekker that lets you move the column around and get down low for shots of wild flowers etc. while in the field. There are quite a few tripods that give you a lot of flexibility on camera location.


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Jon
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Feb 16, 2009 09:16 |  #12

Actually, you can get quite low with the Manfrotto 055, like around 4" plus head.


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SkipD
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Feb 16, 2009 10:16 |  #13

Jon wrote in post #7335787 (external link)
Actually, you can get quite low with the Manfrotto 055, like around 4" plus head.

If you're a bit tricky, you can get even lower than that - especially if you can work with an upside-down camera. The tripod is super-versatile.


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SteveNC
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Feb 16, 2009 11:45 |  #14

Don't see anyone mention the Induro CX113 or CX213 - any thoughts on those?


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HappySnapper90
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Feb 16, 2009 16:23 |  #15

ralff wrote in post #7335758 (external link)
he also mentioned wanting to do macro work (using a camera without live view) with the tripod, none of those mentioned lets you get very low. What kind of macro do you want to do? I have a Benbo Trekker that lets you move the column around and get down low for shots of wild flowers etc. while in the field. There are quite a few tripods that give you a lot of flexibility on camera location.

Macro work outdoors, not in a studio, of nature: plants, flowers, water, not bugs. And I would prefer a tripod that has a moveable column as I think you are mentioning that allows the camera/lens to be pointed straight down at the ground




  
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Tripod recommendation: nature
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