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Thread: Tripod Reccommendations

  1. #1
    Member DacrimL's Avatar
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    Tripod Reccommendations

    Since my last tripod broke unexpectedly during my absence from AP.....if at all possible could I have some recommendations on what would be suitable, my old one was for one way too light for my needs of late as I have got a couple of lenses that were far to heavy for it.

    Camera is a with 2 lenses 18-55 & 35-105

    One lens is a Sigma 150-600 and the other newer lens is a Canon 600 mm mirror less (gifted, lucky me)

    Also a decent monopod or a 2 in 1.

    Oh and my height is around 6 foot or 1.8 m......so I would most likely require one to at least go to that height or higher.

    Thank you in advance

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Need a little more information in order to make any recommendations. What is your budget? Do you plan to hike with the tripod? Do you need a head for the tripod and is it included in the budgeted figure (or separated out)? What model body are you using and is the 150-600 the "S" or "C" version? Do you plan to travel with the tripod (take on a plane with you)? Are you looking for a tripod and a monopod or is one more important than the other? Would you buy two separate pods?

    All these answers will give somebody enough information to help you make the correct choice in tripods / monopods.
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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    This is similar to what I use, but mine is alloy. Has lasted for years so far and isn't treated real well.
    https://www.progear.co.nz/cameras/ki...ifications-tab
    Regards
    John
    Nikon D750, Sigma 105mm OS Macro, Tokina 16-28 F2.8, Sigma 24-105 Art, Sigma 150-600C,
    Benro Tripod and Monopod with Arca plates

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    I'm also 6' and the minimum height you need without the centre column extended is 1500mm. With a head on it that should bring the viewfinder to your eye level, about 1680mm.

    Once the centre column is extended, stability goes downhill, fast. And with a Sigma 150-600mm lens, cheap and cheerful wont cut it.

    I settled on a Manfrotto 190CXPRO3, not cheap, but will last me a long time. I also wasted $450.00 on the 'cheap alternatives'.

    PS: There are possibly cheaper options available. When you think you have found one, 'Google' it and see what the real world users say about it.
    Last edited by Cage; 02-06-2016 at 5:12pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian500au View Post
    Need a little more information in order to make any recommendations. What is your budget? Do you plan to hike with the tripod? Do you need a head for the tripod and is it included in the budgeted figure (or separated out)? What model body are you using and is the 150-600 the "S" or "C" version? Do you plan to travel with the tripod (take on a plane with you)? Are you looking for a tripod and a monopod or is one more important than the other? Would you buy two separate pods?

    All these answers will give somebody enough information to help you make the correct choice in tripods / monopods.
    Ok Brian.....budget is not an issue (well it is) but either way I will need to save for it but would like a target. I do plan to travel with it whether it is by plane, train or car, even bushwalking but weight or size won't be much of an issue that way. It would be nice if it could be a 2 in one but if I need to purchase 2 seperate items then so be it.....I just need height and stability on both. As for the "S"or "C"version....I am not sure or even how to tell, sorry. As for the head I plan to start with a simple ball head for the selected tripod.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.davis View Post
    This is similar to what I use, but mine is alloy. Has lasted for years so far and isn't treated real well.
    https://www.progear.co.nz/cameras/ki...ifications-tab
    Discontinued line, but it close to what I am looking for, thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    I'm also 6' and the minimum height you need without the centre column extended is 1500mm. With a head on it that should bring the viewfinder to your eye level, about 1680mm.

    Once the centre column is extended, stability goes downhill, fast. And with a Sigma 150-600mm lens, cheap and cheerful wont cut it.

    I settled on a Manfrotto 190CXPRO3, not cheap, but will last me a long time. I also wasted $450.00 on the 'cheap alternatives'.

    PS: There are possibly cheaper options available. When you think you have found one, 'Google' it and see what the real world users say about it.
    Oh dear, yes they are expensive, but if you want quality one must be prepared to pay. I particularly like the 4 legged version, might be overkill but I shouldn't need to replace it in my lifetime.

  6. #6
    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    That Sigma 150-600 is the thing that will dictate how solid the tripod will need to be.
    Legs will need to be a good sized diameter all the way to the ground, if you favor ball heads you will want something at the more heavy duty end of the range.

    Probably a good idea to try a few likely candidates at a camera store if only just to get a feel for the spec you need to chase, that looks and feels solid.
    It might be what you need also to decide on a price range.
    Some shops tend to favor a particular name brand, if what you feel you need is pushing the budget it would be an idea to explore the generic brands as well for something similar, rather than settle for a less solid name brand model than the one you would prefer from their range.

    Though the name brands tend to be the innovators the generic brands mostly follow closely a tried and proven design that just works, tripods are not rocket science after all.
    If it looks and feels solid and well made it probably is and vise versa.

    Its nice to hear from people what models they are happy with, everyone is going to have slightly different criteria though, different tolerances to weight for instance, there is the buy the best and buy once persuasion, or the good enough to get the job done because they are going to give it treatment no tripod will like, or whats the best bang for the buck because in 10 or so years there will be features available to persuade an upgrade.

    Of the generic designs I favored Sirui brand with my last purchase for its build quality. I'm still very happy with this tripod and ball head.

  7. #7
    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    ok - well as others have said there is a huge range in Tripods. Lets assume your lens is a 150-600 Sports version (which is the heavier of the two).

    Now the reason I ask about travel is if you pick one of the larger Gitzo, Benro or Sirui tripods they are not easy to fit into a case on a plane - but simple enough to fit in a car. If you are planning on hiking then the larger above named tripods are not great to carry around - not heavy just awkward.

    If budget is not a problem then go either one of the 3 series Gitzo or RRS tripods. You will not get much change from a $1300 just for the basic tripod but then again it will last you a lifetime. Both manufacturers have plenty of material on their websites on which size you will need and both make sizes for taller people.

    For about 50% of the price you can pick up a new Sirui 4 or 5 series tripod which is 90% of the above in quality (in fact I would say 99%). Other brands with quality product are both Benro and Feisol (although I don't think Feisol are available in Australia).

    If you are serious about a larger tripod do not get one with a centre column - it just adds instability to the tripod.

    If you do want to separate the travel from your main tripod then I can highly recommend the benro C2680T. It will carry 12kg so good as a travel tripod but not good enough to be your main tripod. This tripod will close down to 43cm so can fit into carry on luggage. Tripod has a centre column but it is solid (I have one).

    Next you need to decide if you want a ball head or a gimbal head to swing the sigma around on. I recommend to pick up both as they are both different for different jobs. If you go the gimbal way then pick up a smaller ball head for travel (I think benro C2680T comes with a good quality benro head).

    Gimbal heads are not cheap, but are worth their weight in gold if you are serious about photographing birds or wildlife. Expect to pay somewhere around $500 - $900 for a Jobu or Wimberley set up. There is also an alternative you can add to a quality ball head called a side kick and they are about 35% of the price of a full gimbal set up. There maybe some chinese brands on ebay also but I have no idea of their quality.

    As for a larger ball head you have a few choices - if you go Sirui you should aim at the K30X or K40X - these heads are getting rave reviews and are well priced (maybe less than $220). Markins, RRS, and Kirk are a few more (but expensive) brands to look out for.

    I also recommend either the 3 or 4 series monopod from Sirui - once again you can get these for around $150 - if you need a tilt head you can get one for around $120. You don't need feet on the monopod so steer clear of those models.

    Last but not least - look around second hand for a good quality Gitzo tripod - if you are not worried about weight then you can go aluminium but the carbon do save you a few pounds. There isn't much difference between an early GT3530LS and the later model GT3532LS except around $750 in price. There are a few good quality older models I have seen come up on Fleabay on a regular basis.

    My last bit of advice to you is do not skimp on a tripod - in the end it will cost you more as your realise your mistake - spend the money and buy good sturdy legs - save until you can afford them - do not compromise on legs or head.

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    I agree with Brian. I've found the Gitzo 5541LS carbon fibre tripod and the 5541 carbon fibre monopod to be tall enough and solid enough to support 500mm and 600mm lenses without being prohibitively heavy to lug around. The 4 section legs allow them to close down to carry on size; otherwise, I'd probably have gone for three section legs. An Arca Swiss Z1 double pan ballhead is mighty handy when setting up on unlevel ground (if you want to use a ballhead) but the Wimberley or RRS gimbal heads really help provide control, especially with bigger lenses. Then grab some camera plates / lens plates / L-plates from Wimberley/ RRS/ Kirk and your gear is fully supported and functional.
    For OS travel I've often taken my wife's Gitzo 3541LS tripod to save weight and it has provided good support. Put a tilt head on your monopod (RRS make a good one - and they have clamps so you can clamp your pod to the rails of safari vehicles or whatever ). Don't compromise on your legs, heads or plates or you'll regret it down the track.
    Last edited by Babu; 02-06-2016 at 11:23pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Good run down there Brain.

    Sirui is another brand that do a gimbal head it's $560 (aust), the Sirui Pro Gimbal - PH-20 Professional Carbon Fibre Gimbal Head.

    My tripod was not purchased with travel as a main concern. I went with 3 leg segments for quicker setup and a bigger lower segment diameter. For flights it goes in the main bag on the diagonal with the head unscrewed and in the carry on bag.
    Next trip my carry on bag will be my new camera bag, it has both wheels, retractable tee bar handle and shoulder straps. Compartments empty from lenses left behind will carry general travel items.
    It has a good mounting point for holding the tripod, which is great for using the bag on its wheels, but on the shoulders it moves the weight too far back to be comfortable for long walks.

    The tripods shoulder bag and minimal camera gear is the preferred option where I can, covering rough ground away from the car.

    These things work for me since I'm not a big traveler, other than with my car.
    I'd probably get a second hand tripod for travel, if the need arose.

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    Thank you all for your input.......although the replies do not make my choice any easier, I find it better to be informed than otherwise.

    Just one more quick question in regards to the above tho......

    .......are the head fittings universal or must one stay with the manufacturer of the tripod?

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DacrimL View Post
    Thank you all for your input.......although the replies do not make my choice any easier, I find it better to be informed than otherwise.

    Just one more quick question in regards to the above tho......

    .......are the head fittings universal or must one stay with the manufacturer of the tripod?
    Head fittings are universal - some manufacturers are known for quality tripods but not so much for their heads whereas some just specialize in manufacturing heads. There are some makers that do both well but there is no compatibility issues by using one brand of tripod with another brand of head.

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    Member Nick Cliff's Avatar
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    I have a 3 Legged Thing 'Tony' a heavy duty tripod made from magnesium alloy with a detachable mono-pod which I have been happy with as some reviews warned of some carbon fiber tripods twisting a bit in windy conditions and legs shattering occasionally.
    Things may have changed in the last few years with carbon fiber since buying this tripod and I imagine the carbon fiber tripods in question had narrow leg sections.
    The 3LT tripods head uses arca swiss head plates which is nice and is rated to a 12kg load.
    The 3LT newer model 3rd generation tripods should be even better than my 2nd generation model.
    With 3 thick leg sections it is faster to set up than tripods with 4 or 5 leg sections I have found.
    Last edited by Nick Cliff; 05-06-2016 at 9:30pm.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    I reckon this little jigger http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...erley-Sidekick is the best bit of kit I've got.

    You mount it on your ballhead and voila, you have a Gimbal Head at half the price.

    Highly recommended.

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    Ausphotography Regular Filter's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if it is a written law but I find setting the tripod up with one leg forward to support the extended lens. I have a Benro C1681T + B1 Ballhead, it does what I need to do. It has the option of a mono leg but this is very short, I'm guessing the same would apply to most brands, something to keep in mind.
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    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    All good advice so I won't add much except to say take a look at Enduro tripods. They are very well built and provide a good compromise between weight and sturdiness. I found the 3LTs to not be sturdy enough for my purposes and I'd say not for long lenses either. Also, consider not taking shots stood up. Take a chair, sit on a rock or something. If you can reduce the max height requirement of a tripod then you can reduce the number of leg sections, and weight for a given stability.
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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Get a suitable BENRO tripod and monopod. Mongo has both and loves them - also, great quality for the money
    Nikon and Pentax user



  17. #17
    Member Nick Cliff's Avatar
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    The 3LT Frank is a professional heavy duty carbon fiber tripod which is on sale at Digital Camera Warehouse for $450 at present with a ball-head, seems to be a good deal if carbon fiber tripods are what you are after.
    There is a video with a guy with his girl friend standing on the tripod balanced on the ball-head, seems to be sturdy.
    Last edited by Nick Cliff; 06-06-2016 at 9:42pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Cliff View Post
    The 3LT Frank is a professional heavy duty carbon fiber tripod which is on sale at Digital Camera Warehouse for $450 at present with a ball-head, seems to be a good deal if carbon fiber tripods are what you are after.
    There is a video with a guy with his girl friend standing on the tripod balanced on the ball-head, seems to be sturdy.
    Yep, sorry, I should have been clearer. There are sturdy 3LT tripods in the range, but at the expense of other parameters, be it size or weight. I found that for roughly equivalent size/weights with other tripods the 3LT range wasn't as solid.

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