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Thread: Tripod recommendation

  1. #1
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    Default Tripod recommendation

    I'm looking at getting a new tripod, but not sure which ones are the best use. I will need one that allows me to get very low to the ground, is fairly portable and lightweight and that wont exceed my very meager budget of $200.

    If anyone has any advice on what I should be looking at, and/or of places where I can buy them it would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Young
    I'm looking at getting a new tripod, but not sure which ones are the best use. I will need one that allows me to get very low to the ground, is fairly portable and lightweight and that wont exceed my very meager budget of $200.

    If anyone has any advice on what I should be looking at, and/or of places where I can buy them it would be very much appreciated.
    With only $200. I'd keep it in the bank and keep saving until you can afford a better tripod which will last a lifetime.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    I bought a manfrotto 055xprob with 488rc4 head for $400 delivered, it was the cheapest I could find! I also second Geoff's comments.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    What geoff said.......

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    Sorry Mark but i agree with Geoff. I love my Gitzo as it is very lighweight and most importantly it allows the legs to splay out and sit flat on the ground as it has no centre column. Cost $1000 though. I have had numerous tripods over the years. You get what you pay for.
    For what you shoot i would think about a waterproof bean bag that velcroed around the lens or something. You could make it yourself too!
    Cheers, Dave

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    Thanks for the info guys. I've had cheap ones before and they don't last all that long. I might look into the beanbag suggestion as it would suit me down to a tee.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    Feisol in the USA I believe used to make the Gitzo tripods and are much cheaper. Have a look at their site here:

    http://www.feisol.net/

    Just make sure you don't have a center column!

  8. #8
    Tony Hansford Guest

    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    I have a carbon fiber manfrotto 190cxpro3 that I bought from lcd4video.com in USA for $267. It weighs about 1.4kg and is super rigid. It is not tall enough for me when I'm standing but quite sufficient at lower levels. It collapses to 8cm high which is amazing. It's a great tripod for bush walking but not so good for long lenses.

    My preferred tripod is an aluminium manfrotto 055clb that I've had for around 20 years. It expends to eye height without the center column extended and as low as 25cm. It is heavier than the carbon 190 but I find this more stable with telephoto lenses. I have even used a Canon FD800 f5.6L and T90 body on the 055 legs without any problems.

    I use a Kangrinpoche NB2A ballhead with both tripod legs but I'm looking at a wimberley sidekick.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    I'm looking for a new tripod setup as well... but find it all a bit overwhelming. What would you guy's recommend for a tripod and head combination? 99% of my use for it is going to be wildlife and landscape photography.

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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    I have an Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT. It was about $200. I'm happy with it.

    But at one of the photography workshops I went to, I also received the same advice about saving the money and buying a $1000 tripod.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    Things to consider when buying a tripod are:

    Stability
    The point of the exercise is to find a tripod that affords a stable base for your camera /lens. It needs to be rigid without slack in any of the joints. Stick to quality brands and read the reviews available on the web. Make sure that it is specified to carry the weight of the lens/camera and any likely up-dates. Find out what the experts are recommending? What have your mates got?
    Number of Leg Segments
    This could have been considered to be a stability issue, however with the better quality tripods the manufactureres claim that the number of stages makes no differnece in terms of stability. This was not always the case with some early model, so check the reviews. Where the number of segments does become important is the tripods ability to collaspe into a shorter length. This can be critical if you intend travelling and packing your tripod in your suit case. Another consideration in regards the number of segments is the ease and speed to assemble the tripod.
    Handling
    The weight of the tripod needs to considered if you intend to hiking or travelling with it. Carbon fibre is going to offer the best weight to strength ratio. If possible check to see how comfortable it is the hold the tripod. There was a particular range from a reputable manufacturer that had a rough texture on there carbon fibre legs that made carrying them very uncomfortable.
    Tripod Height
    Make sure you get a tripod that when extended will be tall enough not to cause you to stoop uncomfortably. Bear in mind the additional height gained when adding a tripod head and camera/Lens. Avoid tripods that rely on a centre column to reach workable heights. These are less stable with addition flex points.
    Ease of Assembly
    As opposed to the clamping systems it is not readily apparent when the screw locking mechanisms are tight.
    Leg Angles
    Look for tripod legs with independent multiple angle positioning. These work best in uneven terrain and will also let you go low when photographing. Another reason not to have a centre column let you go very low to get eye level shots of ground dwelling/roosting birds.

    After considering the above I settled on a Gitzo GT3530LS Long Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs. Currently these legs are available for $725 including postage fron B&H. There has never been a better time to buy a tripod from overseas with our exchange rate. Shop around and make sure that you get the tripod that suits your needs.

  12. The following 2 users say thank you to Gerard Satherley for their reply:

    Dan Weller (04-09-2012), Richard Jackson (17-01-2013)

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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    After considering the above I settled on a Gitzo GT3530LS Long Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs
    I also own this tripod and after 4-6 months in the field cannot fault it I still have trouble moving it in the field though... just a matter of getting comfortable when walking with it and this is with the lens/camera attached
    the gigantic lens foot digs into my shoulder and is not comfortable so I have taken to using some padding over the shoulder, something like a towel folded over a few times does the job quick and easy.
    Regards Mike.

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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    How about ball heads? Tony mentioned he uses Kangrinpoche NB2A ball heads... what are some of the other reputable brands and models you guys are using?

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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard Satherley
    After considering the above I settled on a Gitzo GT3530LS Long Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs. Currently these legs are available for $725 including postage fron B&H. There has never been a better time to buy a tripod from overseas with our exchange rate. Shop around and make sure that you get the tripod that suits your needs.
    I also use a Gitzo GT3530LS tripod.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Johnston
    How about ball heads? Tony mentioned he uses Kangrinpoche NB2A ball heads... what are some of the other reputable brands and models you guys are using?
    Mark,

    If you really want to use a ballhead i suggest you look at the Really Right Stuff range. I use their BH-55 model with my 300mm f/2.8.
    Though in anticipation of getting a 500/600 mm lens i have made the most of the current AU$ US$ exchange rate and bought a Wimberley II gimbal head.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

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    Default Re: Tripod recommendation

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I just bought the RRS BH-55 myself Geoff and am going to put it on top of a Gitzmo GT5531S.

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