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Thread: Tripod advice required

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    Tripod advice required

    Hi all,

    I am looking at getting a tripod, and the number of different options available makes deciding which camera to get seem like a breeze.

    I don’t want to skimp, as I know a good quality sturdy tripod is the best & safest way to go.

    I know Manfrotto are a good brand, but I done know any of the others.

    I was looking at the Manfrotto Slik Pro 700DX Tripod , which comes with the Pro 700DX 3-way Head (including quick release plate). It is currently about $220.00

    Would this tripod be suitable, or should I be looking at something even sturdier.

    http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod2544.htm

    Thanks

    Neil
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Supply an absolute upper limit for price, and a few situations and genres of photography that you are going to use it for.

    ie. for wide angle landscape images, holding your camera on a fence post is tripod-ish enough.

    for 10x magnified macro photography, you probably need at least $1K .. more likely more!(you could get away with less, but it ends up driving you insane, so the money can be considered to be well spent.

    Personally, I'd target between $600-$1K and be done with it. ie. never have to worry about the tripod not being as handy as it otherwise could.
    (read that last comment as: is carbon fibre .. is good! )

    As for heads(not knowing your preference) I prefer ballheads to any other type(even for my macro attempts) ... see DPR's ballhead review.
    Short story. FLM Centerball 58 FTR seems to be the winner of they 10 tested.

    And of note too. I purchased the RRS BH-55, on advice from many sources on the net. Nett result was actually quite a lot of disappointment to be honest. A good ballhead for sure, but not a great as 'everyone says'.
    Kind'a pissed me a bit as it cost so much(even taking into account the then low exchange rate).

    But(and I'm pretty sure I've written a personal opinion of it on here) .. but! Once I figured out that the ball would always sag on tightening the ball head mechanism, I looked for a better way to use it .. ie. where the framing wouldn't drop on lockdown.
    For short lenses, this reframing isn't a problem, it's only at higher magnifications where it annoys.
    So anyhow, I figured out a better way to lock the ball down, even tho it's not an intuitive way to do so.

    One thing I would highly recommend .... is to not go with any ballhead that uses a proprietary clamping system. once you see the advantage of flexibility in the Arca Swiss system, the extra expense of such a system is worth it in the long run.
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    Hi. I own the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod with SBH-100 Ball Head. Good value for money. Might be worth a look. I can't speak for other brands, but I'd imagine you can't go wrong with a Manfrotto, or slik

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    I do agree with Arthur here, there are a lot of variables to consider so but buy the best you can afford. I personally have 3 different heads that I use and none of them are as good as the other for what they are each designed for, Gimbal for long telephoto heavy lens, Manfroto geared head for stationary static type stuff ( rock solid and no creep ever!) and a ball head for light weight travel stuff. I also have pistol grip and a couple of pan / tilt heads and they never get used.
    Also agree about Arca Swiss being more flexible and just easier.
    The last tripod I bought, 4th in total, was a Gitzo CF, it is very good but at around $800.00 it should be, I actually sold the Gitzo ballhead off it to a friend because it was crap....sorry Andy!!!
    And if you do a search on any photography forum you will find hundreds of threads on this subject all with the same variation of opinions you will get in this thread. All opinions are valid!
    David

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    Wow!! They are a bit more expensive than I thought!

    I would be using it for Landsape, sunrise/sunset photography & eventually, a telephoto zoom lens, something like a 100-400 mm.

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    Wooow, long strory. In short there are not many good brands.
    Gitzo is my 3pod brand. I went through http://www.gitzo.com/category/71837.0.0.0.0/tripods to specify what I need. To see how they classify 3pods.
    Consider also the travel models. Folded Travel model has 4 segments. For high stiffness got the the carbon GT3541LS; this one has 3 segments.
    Good stiffness comes with the metal ones, Aluminum, but today woven carbon fiber can do, the issue is high price. The carbon ones are light to carry about.
    Manfrotto, Gitzo, FLM, platform + hinges must be unbreakable. Check out 3pod-stories in Nikonian.com and Utube.

    For ballhead check out the brands, ArcaSwiss, Manfrotto, Gitzo, KIRK, FLM, RRS(REALLYRIGHTSTUFF), ACRATECH, MARKIN(Korea). All are built like a tank.
    I have the Acratech GV2, see Utube movie, for my Nikon 300mm VR2.
    No gimbal-head, for me too complex to carry. Anyway you may Google for : "Gimbal mount for tele lenses".
    Are you planning the 3pod for bird-photography use ??

    In general: Gitzo look alike Benro and Feisol from the same factory in china, need no comment. Old brand VELBON has carbon gear now, useable but quality is so so !
    Until now I never found counterfeit 3pods.

    All is up to you and your budget. What is reasonable? My 3pod and the GV2 set me back about € 950,-. Check out eBay becoze good 2nd hand are cheaper.
    Just buy what you have in mind , the Manfrotto Silk Pro 700DX, and learn how to use it. It is OK for ur gear.
    To compare, check out webshops for wildlife photo gear to scan the gear and prices, so many around. In Britain , Germany, one in Holland in Dongen.

    Last edited by richardb; 15-02-2014 at 8:26am.

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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Doc, based on what you've said and the gear listed in your profile, I would highly recommend a Benro tripod. I have a Benro Travel Angel and while it's not a $1000 tripod (and cost me a mere $150), it's pretty bloody good. Very sturdy and much better value for money than most of the Gitzos and Manfrottos I've seen.

    I've been using mine for a bit over a year now and still happy, the only thing I'm wanting for is a more sophisticated ball head (I got the ultra cheap BH0 ball head).

    Check out these guys for Benro gear: http://www.photo-shop-studio.com.au/
    Last edited by nimrodisease; 15-02-2014 at 7:48am.
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    +1 on the Benro.
    Had mine for a couple of years and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm mostly a people photographer and only occasionally shoot landscapes or night images and never macro, but when i needed it, it did the job well.
    It has a detachable leg which which turns into a monopod. A very useful feature.
    I am more likely to use it as a monopod than a tripod lately.
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    Thanks for all the advice everyone. Looks like I've got a bit more research to do just yet.

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    I believe the 2 most important things in a tripod are weight and sturdiness. If its too heavy you'll never want to carry it and if its too flimsy there's no point in using it.
    Cheap tripods seem to be either too heavy or too weak or both.
    +1 for carbon fibre tripods, they may be more expensive, but the good ones are immensively strong and unbelievably light and have the added benefit of absorbing and
    damping vibrations and not transfering it to your camera unlike aluminium which seems to be a conductor.
    Glenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tman View Post
    I believe the 2 most important things in a tripod are weight and sturdiness. If its too heavy you'll never want to carry it and if its too flimsy there's no point in using it.
    Cheap tripods seem to be either too heavy or too weak or both.
    +1 for carbon fibre tripods, they may be more expensive, but the good ones are immensively strong and unbelievably light and have the added benefit of absorbing and
    damping vibrations and not transfering it to your camera unlike aluminium which seems to be a conductor.
    Glenn
    Benro have a carbon fibre tripod (Benro Classic Camera Tripod Kit C1580TB1). it comes with a ball head & quick release plate. It weights 1.57kg & has a maximum load capacity of 8kg.

    Sounds pretty good.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Doc, if you ever want to catch up, PM me. I can bring you a few tripods to see how each type would best suit your preference and price.

    I have two main tripods.
    A Gitzo CF with the RRS .. and a manfrotto landscape photographer joy!
    They each have a purpose, so to see them is to understand why they each exist.

    The third one is a manfrotto 055 aluminium type.
    I don't ever use it, except on the rare occasion that I want to use it to hold my flash at a parculiar angle or height.

    It works, but I believe not as well as it should. And that really means that better equipment is available if your dedication to the hobby is serious.

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    I recently replaced my old tripod with a benro and I can agree that it is excellent value for money. For my needs it fits perfectly (mine is the aluminium not the carbon fiber) was about $200 off of ebay, the carbon fiber was over double that


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