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Thread: New to tripods

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    New to tripods

    I have never owned a tripod as I have always thought they were cumbersome looking. Being easily frustrated I thought it might get thrown in the trash. Since becoming a member of this site and the fact I like to shoot action in low light, conditions it seems I have no choice a fence post car bonnet is no longer an option. Lightness/weight is critical as I feel like a pack mule already. I don't think a mono pod will suffice but happy to here opinions. what are the options?
    Last edited by porsche 911; 03-07-2011 at 9:30am.

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    Getting into the tripod buying cycle can be expensive, as you buy cheap to start with and keep upgrading when you find it doesn't do the job.
    Many people say it is better to bite the bullet at the start, and buy the best you can. If you buy a top class tripod it should last you for many years.
    Spending $1000 on a tripod and head that holds your camera securely is better value than spending $150 and then $200 and then $300 and still having a tripod that is not steady enough.
    I would recommend that you get a good carbon fiber tripod, they are lighter and more rigid than the same size aluminium tripods. Also a good (read expensive!) ball head. A good ball-head makes it easy to position your camera without 'droop' when you lock it in position.
    Two very important tips. 1. Buy a tripod that is tall enough WITHOUT extending the centre column. Having an extended centre column is like having a monopod sitting on top of a tripod, not very stable!
    2. Do not buy a tripod with a centre brace for the legs. If a tripod needs the centre brace it is not stable.

    Personally I decided to take a deep breath and get a Gitzo GT3541LS tripod, and a Markins ballhead. This is not cheap, but is wonderful to use, rock solid and yet light.

    Have a look at the Feisol CT3472 or 3372, they have good reviews and are cheaper than Gitzo. Also Manfrotto have some good tripods, but don't get the cheaper ones.

    I bought my Gitzo on-line from B&H Photo in New York, it was less than half the price of the same one locally. You can order Feisol directly from the manufacturer in Taiwan.

    Good luck with your decision!
    David

    Nikon D810
    Nikkor AF-S 24-120VR, Nikkor AF-S 16-35VR, Nikkor AF-S 70-300VR, Nikkor AF 50 f1.8
    Tamron 90mm Macro

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    All good advice from David.

    Have a look at these two articles I wrote re buying a tripod and head. Choosing the correct sized tripod is particularly important.

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ripod_and_head

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...why-I-chose-it.

    FWIW, I finished up getting the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 'pod and I'm delighted with it.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    I won't reiterate what has already been said as that covers it with tripods.

    A couple more ideas. Get a bean bag (Cam-pods are good if you travel as they are filled with plastic beads and can be folded, rolled etc). This can then be used to place the camera on a rock, fence post, fork in a tree, car dash and so forth.
    Monopods are also good and I tend to use mine more than my tripods. However, much of the same applies, you need a good head and a solid monopod for the weight you are putting on it. You also have to know how to get the most stability out of your stance where as a tripod overcomes this.
    DM
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    Thanks David,Kevin,Dm exactly what i need to know. I'll read Kev's articles and check out the recommendations and go from there. Thanks again

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    Hi,

    I had a good play with a Gitzo GT3531 tripod at Camera Pro in Queen Street in the CBD in Brisbane.
    I manged to pick up one on ebay for $660 landed here. For a head I use a Manfrotto 229.
    I have a Manfrotto 075 tripod but it is too heavy to cart around at around 6kg with a Manfrotto 029 head. It has centre braces and even without them locked it is extremely stable.
    My advice go with the Gitzo.

    Regards.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by porsche 911 View Post
    ..... Since becoming a member of this site and the fact I like to shoot action in low light, conditions it seems I have no choice a fence post car bonnet is no longer an option. Lightness/weight is critical as I feel like a pack mule already. ....
    Irrespective of what opinions people have on which tripod(brand, model, or type) is the best way to go, I think you will see no benefit in getting one for the situation you've described.. except for!! .. the fact that you can safely rest your camera/lens gear high up off the ground at eye level.

    Tripods don't really help all that much for action in low light conditions, and while you can use them(and I have done, in medium low light.. sunset), because I'm a regular tripod using type of using person, I prefer the tripod to the monopod, or even handholding in some situations.

    Many people don't really realise it, but the biggest benefit n using a tripod is not for the fact that you can take long exposures with sufficient stability(and in many instances even for this purpose a tripod can still be frustratingly useless)!

    Nope! The main advantage in using a tripod is for the purpose of setting up the shot/scene in a purposeful and dedicated manner. That is, the main advantage in using a tripod is that you set up the shot deliberately, as you compose the scene, and knowing that you have a stable platform, you end up seeing that this compositions, doesn't really work, and that framing a bit more to the left, or right.. or standing closer in a bit.. whatever it takes to get the scene right. That's where the major advantage in using a tripod is.

    if you want guaranteed rock solid stability, well this will cost(a lot of) money.

    if it's for the purpose of assisting with the weight of a hefty lens, or camera lens combo, then a monopod is a more sensible option.

    Shooting action in low light .. you need to consider a few technical aspects. More light gather power(larger aperture) and higher capture sensitivity(ISO).
    Because it's in the action genre, you automatically assume a minimum shutter speed(what type of action is it, and what's the minimum expected shutter speed.. and focal length?)
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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