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Thread: Tripod help please. In overkill at the moment.

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular landyvlad's Avatar
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    Tripod help please. In overkill at the moment.

    So I was digging around for a tripod and this is the one I have had for 20+ years. I acquired it when I had a Minolta SLR but even then it was overkill.


    Minimum extension.



    Maximum extension !



    (and there's not even a stepladder included).


    It positively dwarfs the FZ200





    As you'd imagine due to its bulkiness it gets used very "not at all".


    I am pretty sure it is designed for big video cameras and stuff.


    Anyway...


    1. Can anyone think of a use for this tripod or is it not worth keeping?
    2. If I was to sell it how much should I ask for it, as a starting point ?
    3. Can anyone recommend a good PRACTICAL tripod for me. One that wont blow over in a slight breeze (or even a brisk one preferably) but is lightweight and easy to carry (eg folds smaller than this one!)


    Thanks for your help.
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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Wow that is a monster! Could be good as a real heavy duty option when you're traveling by car and don't have to carry it far. I've no idea what you could get for it.

    As for a good portable alternative, I would highly recommend the Benro Travel Angel range. I bought mine from here: http://www.photo-shop-studio.com.au/...ipod-kits.html
    My name is John.
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    Cheers.

    The tripod is very good quality wise - 20 years of inattention and lack of maintenance and the things still works close to when it was new.
    THAT impresses me and is why I'd very likely go for a newer (but lighter) Manfrotto.

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    Ausphotography Regular paulheath's Avatar
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    i have the same one i think, is yours the 058B? weighs about the same as a small country, but rock solid even in the windiest of conditions

    - - - Updated - - -



    As for a good portable alternative, I would highly recommend the Benro Travel Angel range. I bought mine from here: http://www.photo-shop-studio.com.au/...ipod-kits.html[/QUOTE]

    did you know the guys are moving from there current address to ashfield, they are just waiting for renos to finish.......sorry to jump on your thread landyvlad
    long live
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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulheath View Post
    did you know the guys are moving from there current address to ashfield, they are just waiting for renos to finish.......sorry to jump on your thread landyvlad
    Didn't know that, thanks for the tip.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    As John suggested, I'd hang on to it if I were you. I have what is very likely a Chinese knock-off, and while the three way head on mine is crap, the tripod is as solid as a rock.

    I use mine as a base for my macro gear, and it could also be a good base for a landscape set-up where you don't have to lug it too far.

    I have a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod and can recommend it highly. I'm not real enamoured with Manfrotto heads and plates and went with a Markins head which is Arca Swiss compatible.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D800 & GAS

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    Ta. Can you point me to a link for the heads you mention?

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    The tripod and head I'm using is probably overkill for your lightweight gear as I got it to support up to about 5kgs of camera and lens combined.

    However if you have intentions of moving to a bigger DSLR and heavier lens it may be prudent future proofing.

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    No likelihood of moving to a dSLR any time soon due to competing financial 'stuff' (aka other hobbies, mortgage, etc...) So a tripod and head (prefer ball head) in keeping with this gear I have would be all Im after really.

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    It might be overkill now, but if you've got the space to store it, maybe as yet get more in to photography and need something for heavy duty work it could come in handy.

    As for selling it, I'd guess the market for something that heavy is limited, but maybe put it on ebay for, say, $60 and if it sells its gone, if not put it back in the roof.

    Another vote for the Benro Travel Angel from me as well, although I got mine from a Hong Kong vendor

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    The Benro ones seem more expensive than equivalent sized Manfrotto tripods - any reason for this particularly ?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landyvlad View Post
    The Benro ones seem more expensive than equivalent sized Manfrotto tripods - any reason for this particularly ?
    I'd also recommend that you're best keeping the heavy beast, if ever you get back into bigger camera ownership.

    The $50-60 you may get for it now, may not be worth the more expensive effort in replacing it if you ever do get a DSLR again in the future.

    I find it strange that a similarly sized Manfrotto tripod is cheaper than a Benro version. Should be of the same material type, and did the Benro come with a head of some type too?

    Also, were the vendors the same.

    That is, is your Manfrotto price an 'ebay price' whereas your Benro price a locally sourced price?

    A cheapish 190cx(carbon fibre) 'fotto on ebay may set you back somewhere around $400-500 without head ...
    A Benro travel angel(carbon) should set you back in the $300-400 range on ebay, but this also includes a ballhead too. Ballhead may not be the greatest model available, but for an FZ200 should be all you may need!

    Note the model name and number in the product when comparing. Carbon fibre is almost always the best material to strive for, as it's much lighter, and much more rigid at the same time .. but the cost is the issue. If there is a C in the model name .. etc, C2680 then it's almost certainly carbon.

    If you can spare the $300ish for a new and more practical tripod, then the travel angel series is the way to go.
    You don't need the most sturdy, or rigid as you camera choice doesn't necessarily demand it.

    As for sturdiness in strong wind .. this is never guaranteed. Even the most rigid and stable tripods can be blown over in strong winds.

    The sorts of things that will determine how resistant a tripod is to toppling over in strong wind are things like how far apart are the lens set, centre of gravity(how much weight is attached above the CoG compared to below it), and stability of the ground it's resting on.

    In the majority of situations, hanging a weight(bag) of some kind along the centreline of the top yoke, and low down is the ideal solution to strong wind stability.
    Look for a tripod with a hook at the lower end of the centre column.

    The only model in Benro's lineup I wouldn't recommend is the 'flat packed' version I've seen around. Other manufacturers may also have them(I don't know of them tho .. just the benro mdel), anyhow the legs don't seem to provide a wide enough support area for high wind situations.
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    I've been looking around....
    Anyone had any experience / comments positive or negative with the Manfrottro BeFree ?
    http://www.manfrotto.com/befree
    Last edited by landyvlad; 10-04-2014 at 1:27pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Just had a look at this befree model. Doesn't look too bad in design terms.
    I'd say it'll be expensive tho(for what it really is).

    One problem with that type of fold back (but more compact) design type is that the centre column is always begins in the extended position when the tripod is initially opened.
    And needs to be extended again for it to be properly folded away.

    Tripods don't generally work at their best when the centre column is fully extended, and even tho your camera is lightweight and not prone to inherent vibration during exposure, the tripod is still at it's least stable when initially setup for use.
    So if you want the tripod to be 'more stable' in use, then every time you setup and packup the assembly, you may need to get into the habit of lowering or extending the centre column every time you use it.

    This can make for a tedious usage experience if you're on a walk and stop every few minutes for a photo.

    (been there, done that, and got a tripod that eliminates the tedium of setting up and packing away!)

    Have you found any prices for this BeFree?

    You haven't yet described your price limit either. Knowing an upper price point helps others to make more suitable recommendations.

    Other points that will help with recommendations are whether light weight and/or size is important.
    Seeing that you have a 4WD vehicle(and a nice one too I have to add! ) in the images above, the assumption is that you're very likely to go bush.
    But going bush, can mean different things.

    Do you go bush bashing AND bush walking, or do you 4WD to somewhere, and camp there?

    If you're likely to drive to a certain point and then hike to some other remote points in the area, then a very lightweight tripod is more likely to be the one you end up using regularly(ie. carbon fibre).

    I sort of do both(just drive, and drive and hike) when I used to have more time to get out and about, and for this reason I have a couple of tripods to choose from.
    If I found that I was going to walk for about an hour or(each way), I'd be inclined to take either tripod .. that is, it wouldn't matter so much.
    But if the walk was obviously a greater distance, then the carbon tripod is the preferred option.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    landyvlad, we all go through the exercise of looking for the most cost effective option. I bought three set-ups and wasted $450 before I realised there is no cheap option. That amount would have got me the tripod I finished up with.

    It has been said by well respected photographers that camera bodies come and go, evolving technology forcing regular updates, however a quality lens, tripod and head should be with you for a very long time. That old tripod you have was top shelf in it's day, and is still very useable.

    Another big factor in tripod selection is your height. If you're around 182cm as I am, you need the tripod to be a minimum of 1400mm at it's maximum elevation, then add 30-40mm for each leg section because I've noticed that there is some slight movement in the joints if fully extended.

    The Befree you linked to is certainly a lightweight, and therein lies possible problems with stability on windy days, as is does not appear to have anywhere to hang some weight from, and anyway, carting extra weight seems to somewhat defeat the purpose of the exercise.

    One of the main purposes of a tripod is to offer a stable platform to operate from, and that, coupled with good camera techniques such as using a remote release, will give you the best chance to obtain optimum results.

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    Local camera shop has quoted me $240 for the BeFree. Its very similar in concept and price to the Travel Angel 2 though I think the Manfrotto has the edge there. I certainly cant be spending more than that, at the moment and hopefully a tad less.

    As far as usage I generally 4wd to places and camp (or drive around all day). I also sometimes drive to somewhere and then spend a few hours on foot BUT this is hunting not hiking so I am carrying a rifle and am unlikely to increase my burden. But I would have the camera on a bag on my belt.

    One issue with the existing large tripod is that the base part which attaches to the camera is big and heavy ! Overkill again and somewhat inconvenient especially if wanting to use the camera 'unattached' to the tripod.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Mate, life is all about priorities.

    If you are deciding between shooting with a rifle, and shooting with a camera, you've lost me.

    If you have to leave something at home, for f@rks sake, mate, leave the bloody rifle behind, or better yet, get rid of it.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Many moons ago when it became uneconomical to maintain lots of guns, my father got rid of them all.

    switched from hunting to photography as my main remote recreational activity since.

    At $240, I reckon it may be worth the effort.

    if your camera were bigger heavier and more susceptible to support related issues, I'd be loathe to recommend a smallish tripod like that(unless you have the patience to adjust for it)
    But for a bridge type camera, I think anything larger may be overkill.

    Do keep the beast tripod tho .. you never know, one day you may find yourself with a larger camera, connected to a larger lens, and the larger tripod may come in handy again.

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    Cage I respect your opinion but disagree wholeheartedly !

    arthur... Yeah that's pretty much the philosophy I was thinking of. I wouldn't get any money flogging the big one off so might as well keep it.

    Another consideration is that the smaller one will be much easier to carry on the motorbike !
    (subject to Cage's approval, of course... )


    I appreciate all this input.

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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landyvlad View Post
    Local camera shop has quoted me $240 for the BeFree. Its very similar in concept and price to the Travel Angel 2 though I think the Manfrotto has the edge there. I certainly cant be spending more than that, at the moment and hopefully a tad less.
    Sounds like the Manfrotto's a good tripod, but just FYI: I got my Benro for $150.

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