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Thread: Investment in high quality tripod and head

  1. #1

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    Investment in high quality tripod and head

    I know this issue has been discussed here sometime ago. I just like to make sure nothing is wrong in my plan before I start to purchase.

    My current very cheap tripod is gradually dying. I decided to invest the best quality of tripod and head. Having done some research, I come with the following plan:

    - tripod: Gitzo GT5531S 6X Systematic 3 Sections Tripod, which replaces GT5530S (GT5530S was the replacement of the former model GT1548)

    - head: BH-55 full size ballhead with B2 AS II clamp, from Really Right Stuff, it says that such ballhead and clamp combination is the best-selling and popular from Really Right Stuff

    - B5D2-L: L-plate for Canon 5D Mark II, from Really Right Stuff

    - Lens plate L84 for my EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens, from Really Right Stuff

    Do you think this is a right tripod-head investment plan?

    Thanks,

    Yan

  2. #2

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    Re: Investment on high quality tripod and head

    Hi Yan,

    Personally, I feel more comfortable with the NON-quick release clamps - here's the one I use ...

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Cust...%2D55%2DPCL&eq=

    An alternative - without the panning base - is ...

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Cust...%2D55%2DPro&eq=

    The quick release is probably fine, but when push comes to shove, I don't trust them. Often when I've finished a shoot I'm tired - gear everywhere - and rather than pack everything up nicely I often just chuck the tripod over my shoulder with camera and lens still attached - not sure I'd trust a quick release clamp in that scenario - I'd be scared that I hadn't locked it properly or that it might snag on something and drop $15k worth of gear on the ground. Just my opinion though.

    Your choice of ballhead and tripod are perfect - will be the last ones you ever have to buy.

    With regards to plates - dunno - I didn't research them - they all sound about right. Keep in mind that Wimberly plates are interchangable (www.tripodhead.com). Just be aware that the correct camera plate depends on whether or not your using a vertical grip.

    If you haven't seen the quality of Gitzo / RRS / Wimberly products then your in for a nice treat; very high quality - tough as nails - but nice asthetics as well (makes you feel better about the price!).

  3. #3

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    Re: Investment on high quality tripod and head

    Dear Colin,

    Thanks very much for your information. I'll do look at those issues you mentioned.

  4. #4

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    Re: Investment on high quality tripod and head

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Zhang View Post
    Dear Colin,

    Thanks very much for your information. I'll do look at those issues you mentioned.
    No worries Yan,

    As I say, I've never used the quick release - but then again, once the camera is mounted then there's usually no good reasons to take it off the tripod (with the BH-55 you can even flip the camera through 90 deg without undoing the clamp) (although I prefer to just undo it to re-orientate it).

  5. #5

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    Re: Investment in high quality tripod and head

    I have that ballhead you posted

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Cust...c=BH-55-LR&eq=

    I really like it very much and not thinking of something else, but i also have Markins Q3T ballhead, it is so lightweight and good enough, but i don't like their clamp, and i can buy another Markins ballhead without their clamp and add RRS clamp if i need.

    About the tripod, i have Gitzo GT1540T as my first Gitzo, then upgraded to GT5540LS which is my best tripod ever, but due to it's weight for travel i bought another 2 Gtizo tripods which are:

    GT2541LS
    GT3541LS which it will be my best travel tripod i hope [i just got it about 1 month ago].

  6. #6

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    Re: Investment in high quality tripod and head

    Tareq,

    Thanks for your useful information.

    Colin,

    I have looked at the clamps you mentioned: with panning base one and traditional one.
    I probably will choose between these two.

    Just one question: will the panning base one, can it be also used as normal one? Because at this time, I don't do panorama, but maybe try sometime later.

    Thanks,

    Yan

  7. #7

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    Re: Investment in high quality tripod and head

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Zhang View Post

    Just one question: will the panning base one, can it be also used as normal one? Because at this time, I don't do panorama, but maybe try sometime later.
    Hi Yan,

    Yes - if you tighten the screw then it stays locked.

    It's not an essential item as the head base swivels anyway, but without it you have to level the tripod if shooting panoramas, whereas with it you can just level the camera and then still pan.

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