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Thread: Which tripod head for macro photography?

  1. #1

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    Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Hello,

    as a new macrophoto enthousiaste I am looking for tripod head that would give a good result for smoothness and stability of course combined with a decent price. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Hi Louise,

    First of all what tripod do you have and what sort of a budget are we looking at?

  3. #3

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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Hello Mark,
    I just received as an advanced Christmas gift a Vangard Alta Pro 283 carbon fiber tripod and a Vanguard SBH-100 ball head. I find the ball head jurky for the fine tuning of macro photo. I would like something that "glides" more. Under 200$?

  4. #4
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    This is a make I'm really unfamiliar with Louise. What is the thread size? I've just had a quick google and it looks to be a 1/4". Is this adjustable, by which I mean is it reversable, as sometimes manufacturers put a 3/8" fitting on the other side.

    Here's one that I'd like to recommend as it's the one I use.

  5. #5

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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Humm, do you mean does the tripod accept other heads, I think it does. I was having a look at the manfrotto, I also found it a bit difficult to unlock, could it be because it was new? I do realise that most equipment is made for durability and so requires a lot of strengh, witch cuts down on the finesse of adjustment...

  6. #6
    tbob's Avatar
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    Trevor Reeves

    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Consider this as an add on. I use it and it does well with a D700 and 200mm macro set up, which is quite a heavy set up. http://www.adorama.com/MCFRS.html

  7. #7
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by wlou View Post
    Humm, do you mean does the tripod accept other heads, I think it does. I was having a look at the manfrotto, I also found it a bit difficult to unlock, could it be because it was new? I do realise that most equipment is made for durability and so requires a lot of strengh, witch cuts down on the finesse of adjustment...
    The head or the tripod? The finesse of adjustment on the 410 head is why I got one. You can just turn the knobs and it turns to make minute adjustments.

  8. #8
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Trevor,

    Looks interesting that. But do you not have to have the tripod mounted camera precisely in position in the first place? Before you make minute focusing adjustments?

    Forgive my ignorance, I'm only just getting into macro photography too.

  9. #9

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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Thanks Trevor, I did not know this brand, it does looks like a finer adjustment from the picture. I'll see if I can get it here.

  10. #10

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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    What sort of macro photography are we talking about?

    For flowers or static objects, the slide type of head can give very precise alignment, which is ideal for focus stacking shots,etc.. But for insects which are moving, or liable to move, I need fast adjustment so the quick release ball head gives me the ability for instant photos.

    But what I did (with a Manfrotto 322RC2) was to reverse the handle so I can grip it with my left hand while getting into position (following the target) and my right index finger is on the shutter button. It is easy, when required, to move my left hand from the ball head handle onto the lens manual focus ring.

    Sometimes, getting a good composition and quick focus with insects can be as difficult as photographing flying birds.

    I started by using a cable release but found this was too awkward and slow, even when taped to my tripod. Eventually I found that I needed a reasonable shutter speed to counter wind rock or subject movement (eg 1/200) which was sufficiently fast that I could manage without the cable release.

    My lightweight easy carry alternative tripod has the 'standard' two locking handles which must be tightened individually while trying to line up on a subject. I find it really difficult and too slow to use on insects. The fly/run away rate while I am attempting to set everything up is just too great.

  11. #11

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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Amazing what can be done with equipment. I just check this on the net and it look so interesting to try. Although I know someone who try it for birds photo and could not get it to mouve and follow the birds in flight. But, macro is a different story as we know.

  12. #12
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: Which tripod head for macro photography?

    Mark: I have the camera attached by a quick release onto the rail and then that screwed onto a Manfrotto ball head on the tripod. I try to do as much of the focus as possible by the initial set up of the tripod but the rail gives a several inches of latitude so it isn't really crucial to be spot on.

    The rail is best used, at least with my heavy set up, as flat as feasible although it can be locked down.

    I mainly do slow insects and plants so I have the luxury of time to set up. Faster insects are near impossible with the set up; the D700 and 200mm is just too heavy to hand hold.

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