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Thread: Which tripod?

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    Member leanne0333's Avatar
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    Which tripod?

    I am buying some new lenses soon and since I am investing in some quality glass, I feel it would also be worth investing in a more stable tripod too! I have a cheapie at present and the slightest hint of wind and my pictures are very blurry! I don't want something too heavy so I'm considering carbon fibre. Can you suggest any? Preferably lightweight but sturdy and not too expensive (although Im aware CF tripods are significantly more expensive than others!) I would like to be able to turn my camera vertical at times and i do like the ball heads. I have had the Situt2205 x suggested with the k10x head from mainline photo.com.au. In total would be $430. Are there any slightly cheaper but still good versions out there? I'm no professional but I am a very keen amateur and I'm willing to pay for quality if need be! I have a Nikon D5100 and my heaviest lens is a 55-300mm lens which is not huge.

    Thanks !

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    have a look at the benro range.

    love mine and the ball head works a treat
    Canon 5D MKiii / Sony A7Rii / Canon 16-35mm f 4 L /Canon EF 24-70mm f-2.8 L USM / Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM / SIGMA 50mm F14. ART


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    Have a look at Vanguard stuff, I got the SBH-100 Ballhead $84 capacity 10KG's and the Vanguard Tracker 3 Capacity 8 kg's $137 , The tripod weighs 3kg's and the Head 450grm's Very sturdy combo , And the price is right : http://www.vanguardworld.com.au/inde...1-4-14-81.html and : http://www.vanguardworld.com.au/inde...-4-23-144.html
    Last edited by William; 13-09-2012 at 10:31am.
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    William, I think that would be too heavy for me. I fly a lot and so need to keep the weight down... Ideally less than 2kg for the tripod. I probably won't take it backpacking with me (unless its very light) but I'd still like to take it when I go away for a weekend or a week. I've seen some extremely light carbon fibre tripods that are around 1kg. Perfect for travelling but since my problem is wind bashing my tripod, would a 1kg tripod stand up to it even if its carbon fibre?!!! I am feeling very confused as I don't really know what to look for in a tripod! I want light but does light defeat the object?!

    These are a few I have been looking at, any thoughts? Still open to other suggestions too!

    Sirui T2205x
    mefotoC2350Q2
    Benro A2692TB1
    Benro C2692TB1

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Benro C3570 + Benro B-2 ballhead.

    Total weight = 2.45kgs. Total price(locally sourced) = $600.

    Probably a bit more expensive than you may have asked for, but I reckon this setup would come close to some of the top end gear for sturdiness.
    And that price is still far less than what a top end tripod(alone) would usually cost too.

    Something to note too about matching a head to a tripod.
    You don't want to match a large head to a smallish set of legs .. it doesn't work. The weakest link is where the issues will manifest.
    And conversely, you don't want a spindly pair of legs matched to an oversize head either.

    The price I noted is from a Sydney based mob, so you may find those two items for less than that on ebay or another supplier

    Because you have already experienced first hand how a breeze can affect the stability of a tripod/head setup, you are best advised to source a model(or range) that will provide you with what you now require.

    I've been through the same process myself, and not that I'm an expert on the subject, but I have 3 tripods(4 if you count the one I've given away) and three ballheads, one of which is now a paperweight, one other that is useful to a degree and my last purchase that I'd recommend any day of the week!(but that last one costs money!)

    So if you have closer to $800-900 as a total budget, then there are other products that not only I, but I know others would also recommend.
    My two recommended items were about as close to your budget as I could muster up.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
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    Quote Originally Posted by leanne0333 View Post
    Perfect for travelling but since my problem is wind bashing my tripod, would a 1kg tripod stand up to it even if its carbon fibre?!!!
    I think, no matter how stiff your tripod is, if it is too light it could move in wind. I think you can usually hang your camera bag off the tripod to add some stability.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    that's true as well, and that's why a good tripod design will always have a hook of some type to allow hanging a weight of some type to it for added support weight.

    Benro's hook design is nicely implemented, that I recall.

    Also the type of ground you are on makes a difference too. Sand is soft and mushy usually, and allows a tripod to 'vibrate' with the wind. Harder surfaces like concrete of rock is more solid of course.

    The number of legs also plays a factor, that's why I prefer 3 tube leg designs over 4 tube leg types .. and extending the minimum number of legs tubes is better as well.

    Mind you tho, all this info is well and good, but is really only relevant when shooting at magnified lens settings.
    You won't notice any of these benefits on an UWA lens, and you will see differences with longer focal length lenses at slower shutter speeds.

    I used to have a horrid time trying to get any decent images from the 500mm at slow shutter speeds, but now I've seen better results with my latest support gear.

    There are other methods of achieving good results in marginal conditions, and my most favoured is trigger happy mode(especially for the 500mm). Knowing that a single shot could be rendered too blurry, I'm almost certainly using continuous shooting mode at the fastest setting. It's all about averaging and timing. In one second, if shooting at 6fps(if the shutter speed allows) one of those 6 frames is timed where it's rendered sharp enough due to a random event where wind shake and camera shake balance themselves out and the image is rendered sharp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leanne0333 View Post
    Sirui T2205x
    mefotoC2350Q2
    Benro A2692TB1
    Benro C2692TB1
    I have the Sirui 2205x - a very sturdy tripod that fold up into a most compact size. It is heavier than the Benros and more compact but heavier (a plus for big lenses). Mine is the aluminium version without the monopod leg. It is a solid tripod with legs rated for 12 kg and head for 20 kg. You can get it with a smaller head but if shooting long lenses, I wouldn't.

    Only negatives - leg locks not as quick or positive to operate as the Benro but still OK and while the size is great for packing, the weight can be tiresome (but heck - great stability).

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    PS - I find the Surui great with my Sigma 150-500 but if long lenses at low shutter speeds are your main concern, the 4-leg 2204 is the way to go. Less legs is better but you lose out on carry size.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

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    I think something is going to have to give in your equation. You want strong, cheap, lightweight. You are going to have to work out which one of those you want to fore-go first, then seek a tripod that meets the other two. My suggestion would be forego the cheap, save up some more and get THE tripod you want, and it will last you a lifetime. If you compromise now, you will just spend more money in a year or two (see Arthur has had 4 tripods), as you again try to get the tripod you want.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I think something is going to have to give in your equation. You want strong, cheap, lightweight. You are going to have to work out which one of those you want to fore-go first, then seek a tripod that meets the other two. My suggestion would be forego the cheap, save up some more and get THE tripod you want, and it will last you a lifetime. If you compromise now, you will just spend more money in a year or two (see Arthur has had 4 tripods), as you again try to get the tripod you want.
    Just quickly before I have to scoot....

    Thom Hogan has a very good tripod suggestions writeup on his pages and (for me at least) it's 100% true and accurate.
    As photographers we're always looking for something that cheap and good(and then better) .. as you progress, you learn more about the requirements you want or need.

    In general, (and primarily as a landscaper) .. I believe that any tripod will do as you generally tend to use wide angle lenses, but as you tend to use more magnified lenses(whether that's macro or long focal lengths), the tripod and head become more and more important.
    You simply can't get cheap and lightweight and perfect stability in the one unit.

    Apart from one tripod(now I have three here with me, as I gave the lowest quality one away) .. I still find uses for the other two that I rarely use.. whether that is as a flash stand(overkill I know, but that's what I have) .. or as a stand for my tablet(dodgy, but it works).
    One day I'll get a round to making up a proper bracket for the tablet, but it's not a priority, and the tripod I use for that is the weakest tripod I have .. being very flexible, but it has a very neat trick.
    it takes literally 1/3rd of the time to setup from fully closed to fully extended, compared to any other tripod.
    This is my preferred tripod for 99% of landscape work where I'm using the 10-20mm lens at 10mm. At this lens setting, vibrations are basically not an issues even in strong breezes. I may get one shot in 12(a rough estimate) missed due to vibration with that tripod.

    But the issue is that not all photography is UWA based, and at a moments notice I may go from 10mm(landscape) to a 500mm(wildlife) shot and this preferred tripod(Manfrotto NeoTech) simply doesn't cut it.
    So I tend to use the Gitzo, which is an OK alternative for both speed and rigidity when needed.

    But with all of this the cheapest tripod(Manfrotto 055 Aluminium) is the one I don't use, other than for holding speedlights now. It's too heavy and not as rigid as other, more appropriate leg support.
    The fact that it was also the cheapest tripod I still have may be an important point to consider .. so as Rick said, a priority should be placed on at least one of the deciding factors involved(price/quality/weight).

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    Thanks for all the advice, between you guys, a search on the internet and a well timed travel tripod review in my photography magazine, I have a much better understanding of what I need. (That said it is STILL a minefield!)

    I've had a think about price and I really don't want to spend more than about $400. I understand I may want to upgrade later and thats ok - I should be in a better financial position in a few years time as at the moment I am trying to save for a house, save for 4 months travelling and update my camera lenses!! Also at present my camera and lenses are reasonable compact and i can't imagine upgrading them much in the next few years - after that perhaps but once I've made these few investments, I really do have to focus on my house deposit saving for a year or so!

    Mostly my need for a tripod relates to landscape photography. Therefore mostly I will use a SWA or a 35mm prime lens. I barely do any macro or formal portraiture. I like photographing weddings and wildlife for which some would argue a good quality tripod is a necessity but I prefer to keep my lenses light and shoot handheld so I have maximum flexibility and can shoot candid animal and wedding portraits spontaneously as the moment happens. (My largest lens is a 55-300mm - only 530g - i can't imagine eve upgrading to something much more than 1kg) Arthurking83 - I like your advice about continuous mode shooting for lower light handheld work which I will try in the future! I also try to keep my aperture wide for this sort of work to keep shutter speeds fast enough for handheld work!

    The lightweight factor is still important to me so I think I will have to choose a carbon fibre tripod. If I chose a heavy tripod I think it would get left behind way too often! But it seems that on ebay and sites like global, I can still pick up a travel tripod for $300-$400 that is carbon fibre.

    Now my problem is that there are still too many to choose from that fit those criteria! So does anybody have suggestions for a tripod under $400 that is carbon fibre which is the most stable that it can be? I understand it may not be the best and most stable tripod ever made and may not be suitable for larger lenses than mine but I just want to work out what the best I can get for my budget is?
    Thank you all so much for your help!

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    How tall are you? Tripods come in different heights. So knowing how tall you are will assist in narrowing it down a bit.

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    im 5'8 (172cm)

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    http://www.eglobaldigitalcameras.com...ipod-kits.html weighs 1.94kg and can be loaded to 12kg

    http://www.eglobaldigitalcameras.com...er-tripod.html Weighs 1.7kg and can load to 8kg(you will need a ball head)
    Last edited by ricktas; 14-09-2012 at 11:03am.

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    The 1st one is one I have been most tempted with so far so glad you think that one looks ok. As I am planning to buy my lenses from same site it will no doubt save on a bit of P&P too! I hadn't considered the manfrotto before - is there any advantage of that one over the travel angel other than its slightly lighter? Thanks a lot again for your help!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another one Im considering although a bit more expensive that I wanted to pay is feisol carbon fibre travel tripod CT3441S.
    At the moment I think its between this and the benro CF travel angel...

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leanne0333 View Post
    Thanks for all the advice, between you guys, a search on the internet ......

    -snip-

    ......
    Thank you all so much for your help!
    From that post then as pricing is the major influence and landscaping is a main genre, then a smaller and lighter weight tripod(such as the travel angel type or more compact C2xxx series Benro) is probably the better option for you.

    One of them and a suitably sized ballhead should cost you no more than about $400(give or take) and depending on freight charges.

    (note that I have no experience with the travel angel series) The C2xxx series looks a bit more sturdy to me, even tho the travel angel appears to have a nicer design for travel purposes.
    The top plate(most important part of the tripod!) appears a bit more flimsy on the travel angel models than it does on the C2xxx series.
    So from there, it'd be up to you to decide on the final point of whether the deciding factor is better travelability or more rigidity is important to you.
    On a C2xxx series I'd be inclined to place a B-1 ballhead on top .. I think the travel angels come with a ballhead already chosen for the set of legs you want.

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    Is there a C2xxx in particular that you recommend - looks like a lots of their tripods start with C2 which is confusing me! Do you have any thoughts of feisol and giottos vitruvian?
    Thanks

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    feisol also looked OK, until I emailed them asking a question and they didn't reply!

    giottos is another brand I've heard of but know nothing about.

    As for recommendations on Benro C2xxx series, I'm not a huge fan of those tripods with angled centre columns that can contort themselves to get close to a difficult to reach subject.
    In Benro terms that refers to the C29xx series, where it has a tiltable column so that you can get the camera close to a subject without hindrance from the tripod legs themselves.
    Thought about getting one too, and again I looked a a Gitzo model that has this feature and was completely underwhelmed by the quality of that tripod.
    I doubt that any of the other brands would provide any more stability than what the Gitzo lacked.

    I've noticed that with the Benro range, the last two numbers in their xxxxx numbering seems to refer to the number of leg tubes, where xx70 seems to indicate a 3tube leg design, an xx80 has 4 tube legs designs.
    3 tube designs will be stiffer, but of course more cumbersome and make for a larger folded tripod length. But a 4 tube leg design will be more compact for when travelling, but not as rigid as the three leg version when fully extended. Joints make weak points .. more means weaker legs.

    In the Feisol range, I reckon a CT3301(without centre column) may do well.
    I'm weary of Feisol, but only because they hadn't replied to me enquiries all those years ago(well, OK, maybe two or so) .. If you went with the Feisol route, I'd be interested to know how you went with dealing with them.
    working from the description of Feisol's products, this would have to make them one of the best value for money tripod models available(if the tech blurb lived up to the theory behind it all).
    I'd love to try one, but I really don't care for companies that don't care for any degree of customer relationships.

  20. #20
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    Leanne, get the sturdiest and best you can afford in whatever range you decide on. Don't sacrifice steadiness/sturdiness to weight - you will regret it.

    I have the following:

    Manfrotto 055-Nat + 141CRNAT
    Manfrotto 190XPRO + Fancier FT9706 gimbal head
    Manfrotto 680B monopod + 322RC2
    Benro BH1 ballhead (very recnt purchase, haven't used it yet. I purchased from this ebay site and the price and service was good. CamerasDirect in Labrador have special 'SpotDeals' all the time too, my friend Gail (gabby here) got the modern version of the 055 legs for $157.00 recently.
    Odille

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    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

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