User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  16
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: Tripods

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    03 Jan 2016
    Location
    Kendenup
    Posts
    334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tripods

    When setting u up my tripod for the ten second members challenge tonight I noticed a few things.

    With the legs locked in place, the head tightened and everything ready to go, the was still a mm or so of play in the components.

    Also, when made as flat as possible, one side of my camera was a few mm higher than the other. You could push the plate down, lock it tight, and it would spring back up.

    I remain reasonably disappointed with the quality of goods in the $25 to $30 range '(second hand...).

    I need to lift my sights, and reach into the dark recesses of my pocket a bit more.
    D5200 D7100 Limited talent, but lots of enthusiasm.

  2. #2
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Jun 2007
    Location
    Loei
    Posts
    3,279
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yip, invest (a frightening sum of money) in a decent tripod and you will notice the difference. It'll get your camera nice and flat for starters.

  3. #3
    Moderately Underexposed
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,898
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you are expecting a free lunch from an inexpensive tripod I'm afraid you won't have a leg to stand on ----

    Many years ago I read an article saying that by the time you add up the cost of several sub standard tripods you will arrive at the figure you ended up spending on the one that does the job.
    I reckon that is a very accurate summation of the scheme of things.

    Ideally you need a very clear idea of what you need a tripod for as a generalisation there isn't a one leg and head combination that will suit all purposes. Astro photography, landscapes, macro and video all seem to have greatly differing needs in legs and heads.
    Last edited by I @ M; 19-01-2017 at 7:24am.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  4. #4
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Join Date
    01 Dec 2011
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    3,661
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 to all of the above.

    Dennis

  5. #5
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    03 Jan 2016
    Location
    Kendenup
    Posts
    334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Three tripods?

    Three lots of $40?

  6. #6
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    03 Jan 2016
    Location
    Kendenup
    Posts
    334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK, so can anyone elighten me?

    What are the different needs of a tripod user for

    - landscapes

    - astrophotography, and

    - macro

    (no need for video, that's for amateurs )

    I'm interested in learning something I was not previously aware of.

  7. #7
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Join Date
    01 Dec 2011
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    3,661
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brendo09 View Post
    OK, so can anyone elighten me?

    What are the different needs of a tripod user for

    - landscapes

    - astrophotography, and

    - macro

    (no need for video, that's for amateurs )

    I'm interested in learning something I was not previously aware of.
    The 3 genres you have listed are essentially all concerned with mainly static subjects. Granted that trees will sway, stars will move across the skies and flowers will sway in the slightest of breezes. I would personally go for a mainstream, medium to heavy duty tripod, if carrying weight/distance is not an issue.

    I prefer twist lock legs whilst others have a preference for lever clamps.

    I personally prefer a sliding centre column rather than a geared one.

    Generally, a 3 section leg is considered to be more rigid that a 4 or 5 section leg but that really depends on the build quality (=cost).

    I personally like Carbon Fibre (a good brand, e.g. Gitzo) because it has an optimum weight/rigidity ratio for hiking, so I do not begrudge the weight of my CF tripod 2 or 3 hours into a walk. Gitzo are insanely expensive but you might only need to buy one tripod for life rather than go through several "inferior" or unsuitable models - its a personal thing really.

    A geared head (generally heavy) is an excellent aid in “slowing” you down to compose the best shot(s), it does pay to think and reflect when the subject is static.

    A good ball head is also very useful but is has to be good to avoid “creep” when you lock the ball head with a heavy camera/lens on it.

    A firm, positive, leg locking mechanism is good, you don’t want your legs to slip.

    Will you set up in streams, on wet ground, sand? The more expensive models can tolerate these conditions without falling apart, although cleaning is important.

    How tall are you – do you have a need to shoot at full height?

    How low down do you want to shoot for e.g. macro – a low shooting position where the legs are splayed and the centre column is removable can get you to with 3 or 4 inches of the ground – is that important?

    Cheers

    Dennis

  8. #8
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,693
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    If you are expecting a free lunch from an inexpensive tripod I'm afraid you won't have a leg to stand on ---- ...
    You don't even have 3 legs to stand on

    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    ... Many years ago I read an article saying that by the time you add up the cost of several sub standard tripods you will arrive at the figure you ended up spending on the one that does the job.
    I reckon that is a very accurate summation of the scheme of things. ....
    Good ol Thom Hogan ... very smart man, worth searching for and reading his article on tripods!
    He's the anti-Ken Rockwell!
    (ie. you read KR and you do the opposite: you read TH and you do as he recommends! )

    +1 to nardes thoughts:

    added:
    Do you walk a lot with camera gear and peripherals?
    if so, forget aluminium tripods .. eventually they're all too heavy(unless you're a glutton for carrying more weight than required!)
    my bag is already heavy(20-30kg) so tripod is always hand held or over shoulder .. with camera/lens attached).
    I've walked for many hours sometimes and prayed, and payed hommage to the gods of modern material technology for inventing carbon fibre!
    No problem carrying medium-large tripod for 5 hours in hand with camera pre-set up for a shoot in a few moments notice.
    Gitzo are good!
    Benro better value for money.
    You could get a second hand gitzo for OK money(not sure but I'd say ~$400osh) with a decent ball head.

    But I'd recommend either a Benro, or maybe even a bit more $s and a Feisol(what I'll probably get next).

    Only reason I don't like most Manfrotto gear is that they are over priced for their overall ability.
    (same with Gitzo, but their ability is better!)
    other thing I don't like about Manfrotto is the leg lock design.
    Gitzo's twist lock leg system is far better, sleeker(in terms of ability to carry nicer, both in hand and over shoulder) the legs are smoothly profiles due to the lack of protruding leg locks .. and carrying the tripod for a length of time this makes a massive difference.
    Set up time is also quicker. it's only marginally measured in seconds, but it's also a smoother action.
    Easier to clean when it's time too as well. legs come apart in seconds with no tools.

    Benro is far cheaper and the same quality and sturdiness. See the difference and in one small way the Benro is actually better.
    Taking into account the price and quality and design .. I'd say forget the Gitzo, good as it may be and Benro is a better bet .. and for less money!
    Had the Benro been available when I got my Gitzo, I'd have got a Benro instead .. and saved close to $1K to boot!

    If you need to stick to name brands, then Gitzo.
    My recommendation is to ignore name brands and look at Benro as alternative.

    All the Benro owners are probably nodding their collective heads in agreement right about now(if they got this far in my overly long reply! )

    Save, scround, but don't steal .. and eat nothing for a month if you have too, but don't waste money on another cheapo. $500-600 should get you a good tripod.

    Heads: forget most manfrottos(ballheads). Pretty much useless all round. Sorry Manfrotto owners but this is truth.
    RRS BH ballheads are far superior for the same money.
    From what I've seen, if you want Manfrotto heads, you need a largish one, and then you pay the weight penalty. Manfrotto plates are ok, but again not the best. you want Arca swiss types, and for that you have to mod your Manfrotto.

    overall Manfrotto are a waste of money. This isn't to say they can't do their job .. only to mean that for that kind of money, better stuff exists.

    Benro seems to make some good quality ballheads, but I have no idea on their durability.
    Then again in saying that two of my Manfrotto ball heads aren't all that durable either.
    I've played with Manfrotto geared heads(at a store) and they work ok, but expensive and heavy).

    I have a BH55 from Really Right Stuff. At first I thought it was a waste of money, at about $500-ish all up.
    But it started to come good, and I then learned how to use it properly. Maybe not the way it's supposed to be used, but it now works as you'd expect a high priced item too!

    After all this, I like the look of Feisol's gear. it looks high quality and comments I've read confirm this. Don't have one(don't need 4 tripods), but I do want two good ones. So one day I'll be looking at a new one once again.

    If you do macro on a tripod, ballhead creep isn't so much an issue, as is droop(or drop).
    That is, you frame the shot, and then lock down the ballhead and the frame moves by a few mm.
    it basically sucks!
    Manfrotto ballheads are bad for this.
    I tried in vain for ages to get mine to work, and one day I noticed goop on the ballhead.
    The goop turned out to be lube. I spent a while one day cleaning it all out using WD40.
    The cheapo manfrotto worked better, but still no good, but the larger 'hydrostatic' head came good for me. no more droop. framing stays within a mm of where I set it with 'lockdown'.

    The BH55 was frustrating. it uses no goop, and it also drooped when locking down with the large lockdown knob.
    I had no idea on how to make it not droop as it used no goop(lube) on the ball.
    I then learned to use one of the smaller friction adjusters to 'lock' down the ball.
    it shouldn't be how to use use it, but it works.
    it's far more rigid than my large manfrotto ballhead, and it's reputation is high(I think a bit too high tho).

    I think if you budget for about $500-600, you can easily get yourself a nice Benro carbon pod and decent ballhead.
    if you can extend that budget a bit more, I'd say have a look at the Feisol products, they are known to be of a very high quality standard of manufacture and material.

    For the Feisol stuff, what I'd recommend would be the CT-3301(no extender column!! :th3) and a CB-60 ballhead .. on their site they list those two items for a total of about $500(but I think that's in USD )

    hope that helps
    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
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N


  9. #9
    Ausphotography Veteran enseth's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Feb 2013
    Location
    Orange
    Posts
    2,041
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a Benro. Used it almost daily for about 3 years with no issues. Works well.

  10. #10
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    03 Jan 2016
    Location
    Kendenup
    Posts
    334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Arthurking, wash your keyboard out! Ken Rockwell is a great mind, a knower of many things, some not even relevant. I've learnt all I know from Ken's page.

    Looking at the responses, I get the feeling that I need to take tripods seriously, or not take them at all.

    I'll try to spend a bit more time with my camera this year to really knuckle down and work out what I want to do. But the point about buying once is a good one. I'll start sliding a cunning kick into the PayPal account each week.

  11. #11
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,530
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Brendo,

    Have a read of this..... http://www.bythom.com/support.htm However just using a tripod is not a panacea for fixing those less than sharp shots, there are steps to be taken to ensure you get the maximum benefit from it, like using 'Mup' mode, a remote shutter release and waiting about ten seconds for even your very expensive tripod to stop vibrating after you've touched the camera.

    As Thom alludes to in his article I bought three progressively dearer tripods, none of which did what they were supposed to do. I then bit the bullet and spent about what I'd outlaid on the three cheapies and got a Manfrotto carbon fibre job. I've had it for about four years and would buy it again without hesitation. Manfrotto heads however are not in the same class, and are to be avoided.

    Look for a tripod that has your camera viewfinder at standing eye-level, without the centre column raised, as once your lift the centre column the vibrations increase dramatically.

    Like tripods, there is no such thing as a 'good, cheap ball-head'. Be particularly wary of manufacturers claimed weight carrying capacity as there is no standard industry testing methodology. The $99.99 bargain with the stated 25kg carrying capacity looks good on paper. It may hold the stated weight with the ball-head absolutely vertical, but move it off the vertical plane and watch your carefully composed shot steadily disappear from the frame, commonly referred to as drooping.

    Good luck in your search.
    Cheers
    Kev

    Nikon D810: D600 (Astro Modded): D7200 and 'stuff', lots of 'stuff'

  12. #12
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    03 Jan 2016
    Location
    Kendenup
    Posts
    334
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Cage.

    Right off the bat, then, I'm 6'5". Are there any brands straight away that can get the viewfinder up over 6 foot?
    Last edited by Brendo09; 20-01-2017 at 2:29pm.

  13. #13
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,530
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You would need a tripod that is about 5'5" un-extended.

    Measure your height to eye-level then take about 7" off for the ball-head and camera. That should be your tripod height with the centre column down.

    "Google' is your friend.
    Last edited by Cage; 20-01-2017 at 3:02pm.

  14. #14
    Moderately Underexposed
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,898
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brendo09 View Post
    Thanks Cage.

    Right off the bat, then, I'm 6'5". Are there any brands straight away that can get the viewfinder up over 6 foot?

    You will find tripods that will fit the bill to have the view finder at eye level but they are reasonably rare.

    I did a quick measure and a Manfrotto 055 pro with a Sirui K-40X ball and a D800 body mounted puts the centre of the viewfinder at 1.6m. The Manfrotto does not have a centre column attached so that is the height at maximum leg extension alone.
    I am about 5'7 to 5'8 and I have to get on tippy toes to see through the viewfinder at that height so max height is not a problem for me. If I wanted the framing to be from a higher angle I would find something to stand on to lift my eye point.
    You at somewhat loftier altitudes will obviously have a different point of view.
    However ---- due to my usage of tripods I would rarely have it at max height or even eye level. More often than not I will be seen bending ( physical exercise ) or kneeling ( calisthenics ) in order to frame / compose the images I want. To me a tripod is a way of securing a camera securely in a plane that is compositionally friendly rather than a convenience device to walk up to and view the scene at eye level.
    Yes, some views can be better at an elevated perspective whilst others work better from a lower point of view. That is where my observations about different genres of photography are better suited to differing leg and head combinations.

    There are some very good replies to this thread and I read similar after buying one tripod and prior to buying another as well as heads to suit the legs. AK83 ( oh wiry haired oracle with a ton of tripod research beneath his belt ) presents some compelling thoughts ( some of which I have ignored over the years ) but I do agree on his thoughts on weight, if you are doing a LOT of walking the less weight the better. I had a quick thought about my carrying usage and I reckon maybe 1.5 to 2 km would be the sort of walking I would do for a shot so a heavy set of legs hasn't really worried me too much ( remember points about physical exercise and calisthenics which my rather cubic body is averse to ) so that leaves you saving money on the legs to spend it on the head.
    There are a shed load of brands, models and styles out there to choose from so research carefully, save a lot and spend wisely. From a quick think back, the current Manfrotto / Sirui combination cost around the $400.00 mark and quite frankly I can't fault the performance of either legs or heads for MY usage.
    Last edited by I @ M; 20-01-2017 at 6:53pm.

  15. #15
    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Dec 2008
    Location
    Willowbank
    Posts
    1,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Old benro Aluminium tripod with newer Benro Ball head set up with a D750 and a Sigma 150-600mm lens, didn't budge for three hours in the heat of the day.
    Clip lock 3 section legs and shortened centre column.


    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


  16. #16
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,693
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Arthurking, wash your keyboard out! Ken Rockwell is a great mind, a knower of many things, some not even relevant. I've learnt all I know from Ken's page. ... [/quote]

    then you'd have already learned that you don't even need a tripod at all for landscapes if you follow KR
    Cameras now have ISO 6400 so shooting handheld is easy

    (if you don't know his history, this is KRs philosophy)


    Quote Originally Posted by Brendo09 View Post
    .... I'll try to spend a bit more time with my camera this year to really knuckle down and work out what I want to do. But the point about buying once is a good one. I'll start sliding a cunning kick into the PayPal account each week.
    You can still get good images with a cheap and slightly(not totally) flimsy tripod if you only concern was for wide vista landscapes.

    you need to take into account what lens you're using and what purpose.

    eg. using a flimsy tripod for macro just won't cut it. You can try using mirror lockup and that can help, but you'll always be fighting the battle with vibrations.
    macro images imply magnification, and flimsy tripods vibrate, so those vibrations are also magnified,
    OTOH tho, a 10mm lens has extension(the opposite of magnification), so a flimsy tripod can be used with reasonable success when using a wide angle lens.
    The vibes that tripod causes are less of an issue.

    I use both types(and like I said looking to get another tripod(for a specific purpose again). But this new one has to give me some advantage and I want it sturdy.

    I have a flimsy tripod, which I sometimes use. It one and only purpose is that it take 1/3rd of the time to set it up due to it's unique leg design.
    it doesn't use locks for the legs, it has a hydraulic leg design, so you just pull the leg out rather than unlock(two) locking systems, then extend, then lock them again and over and over till you get it level.
    This hydraulic leg tripod literally takes 1/3rd of the time for all it's legs than a normal tripod takes for just the one leg!

    So don't think I don't use an unstable tripod.

    It's just that when I want to do macro, this hydraulic tripod, while super duper easy to work with when setting up, takes far longer to get the actual shot, because I then have to use mirror lockup, and a 3sec delay between mirror up and exposure .. and even then it's still questionable if the shot is sharp enough to see the detail I'm trying to capture.

    If you want to eliminate as much vibration as possible, then look at a tripod with no centre column at all.
    I've seen a big enough difference with my Gitzo with and without the column attached to know that my next tripod will have no column at all(and a far better top plate than Gitzo make!)

    That is, even tho you haven't raised the centre column(as Cage points out) you still get some extra vibration through the entire tripod system with the column down, than if it's removed completely.

  17. #17
    Spammer - Permanent Ban WayneSpahl's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 May 2017
    Location
    aussie
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    *post removed : spammer*
    Last edited by ricktas; 24-05-2017 at 6:30am.

  18. #18
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 2007
    Location
    Huon Valley
    Posts
    3,734
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have to take exception to your dissing of Manfrotto, Arthur. Manfrotto make decent cheap stuff ("decent" bearing in mind how much you are paying, that is), and perfectly workable mainstream products. (Again, not perfect but useful practical tools.) Nothing to rave about, but if you want perfection, you have to spend the big bucks. Fact of life.

    In particular though, I want to mention my current birding tripod. It is Manfrotto's top of the line carbon fibre model with a greared head. (Or was at the time I bought it. Whatever the current model is would be similar.) It was hellishly expensive, and it is very, very good. It's quite heavy for a carbon fibre 'pod, but that's a price you pay for solidity. Even carbon fibre needs to be used fairly generously to get a rock-solid platform, especially with a big lens. It has lever-locks (which is one reason I bought it - I don't much like twist locks, too slow, and too fussy about grit). More significant from the weight point of view is the geared head. A decent geared head is heavy, no two ways about it. The main advantage of a geared head (as I see it) is that it is the only sort of head that lets you wind the head up with a heavy lens mounted. Try fitting something like a 600/4 with pro camera onto your head and then raising it an extra 400mm without removing the lens firs! Not easy, and plenty of room for accidents.

    As for heads, the only head worth considering for big lenses is a Wimberley. (Or direct equivalent from another maker.) Ball heads just don't cut the mustard. They can't be adjusted precisely enough, and they slip. Don't care what your brand is or how much you spend, it's just not a sensible way to try supporting a long, heavy lens.

    For smaller lenses, use whatever you like. I used to have a three-way head, which was firm and precise but a pain in the A to fiddle about adjusting. Very slow. You had to get up at three in the morning to get it adjusted right for the sunrise. Well, almost. I replaced that with a cheapish ball head, which seems to go OK. I used to have a Manfrotto video head. That was excellent in most regards (cost a fair bit and weighed quite a lot though) and coped very well with lenses up to 400/5.6. Faster to use than anything short of a Wimberley. I recommend them. But they aren't strong enough for big lenses.
    Tony

    It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

  19. #19
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Jun 2007
    Location
    Loei
    Posts
    3,279
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't much like twist locks, too slow, and too fussy about grit
    Same.
    Last edited by jim; 23-05-2017 at 10:06pm.

  20. #20
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,693
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    .... It has lever-locks (which is one reason I bought it - I don't much like twist locks, too slow, and too fussy about grit). .....
    I think there should be some clarification on the types of twist locks used by various manufacturers.
    The twist locks that Manfrotto use, ie. where you twist to tighten 'the bolt' that subsequently tightens the leg post(at 90°) are super annoying to use.

    The twist locks that are my preference are where you twist to unlock around the leg directly. The action of doing so is more natural than either the level lock design and the Manfrotto twist lock design, as you hand naturally grabs onto those joints in the legs anyhow.
    Benro's twist locks I remember felt a bit nicer(more solid/sturdier) than my Gitzos do.

    ps. (Tannin) ... a good ballhead will easily hold a large(600-800mm lens) but it seriously depends on the quality of the ballhead. My RRS BH-55 does it well, and so does my old NatGeo(Manfrotto) hydrostatic head.
    But I had to pull the Manfrotto head apart(as far as I easily could) and clean out all the grease that they use (to make it smooth or whatever) as it was causing major issues with both stability and it's ability to hold.
    Once I cleaned out all the grease from the ball itself, it's now brilliant to use.
    The Manfrotto clamp system is limiting tho, and I've changed mine from the Manfrotto quick release clamps to Arca swiss type .. much better and worth the effort.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •