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Thread: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

  1. #1

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    Chuck

    Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    On September 11 I asked for help to choose a ballhead. I am leaning toward an Acratech GP ballhead but now need to find an appropriate tripod. I have a smaller Manfrotto tripod that I can carry on hikes. I am looking for a sturdy setup that can handle a Nikon D7000 with a Swarovski 80mm spotting scope attached.

    I am 6'4" tall and would like to have a tripod that does not require me to stoop over while photographing.

    Any experience and advice you could share will be greatly appreciated.

    Chuck

  2. #2
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    Hi Chuck

    There is such a wide choice available and it is years since I have had to buy one. I still use my Manfrotto 055 CB which I have lugged around for over 15 years. So all I know it is worth buying a good one.
    Good luck I am sure you will get some more informative answers soon.

  3. #3
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    I would say that your best option is another Manfrotto. The difference seems to be entirely down to the materials they use as weight for weight they are often more rigid. Rather a lot more so in some cases.

    -

  4. #4
    Ollokot's Avatar
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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    Hi Chuck,
    When it comes the time to purchase a tripod I think it is a case of Bite the Bullet and pay the money for a good one. The first one I bought really ended up as a waste of money and in hindsight I wish I had held on to the money, saved some more and bought a good one.
    Eventualy I bought a Gitzo GT5541LS, and have never looked back, hope this helps,
    Best Wishes, Pat

  5. #5

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    Steven

    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    I would echo Pat's comment.
    Whatever make you choose, get a Carbon Fibre one simply for the weight saving. - I had a non CF tripod which I would frequently leave in the car as I couldn't be bothered to lug the extra weight, and kept missing shots as a result.
    I finally bought a Gitzo G1128 a few years ago, and carry it most of the time. Gitzo have subsequently updated their range so I don't know what the equivalent would be now, and you would want one slightly larger anyway due to your height, but the principle still applies.

    Best wishes - Steven

  6. #6
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    I would check a carbon fibre tripod out carefully with what ever you want to put on it available. I use beach casters for fishing from time to time and the increase in the carbon material costs hasn't improved them. It keeps going up and up. Different needs to a tripod but worth bearing in mind.

    -

  7. #7

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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    I went to the CF version of the well used Manfrotto 055 PRO range because of the weight difference when carrying it around all day on my backpack.

    Works well and strongly built. But there are times when a heavier (in weight) tripod is useful; so I have kept my old one for occasional specialist use.

  8. #8
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    I started with a Manfrotto 190, then acquired a Giottos, then a Manfrotto 055 PROB (with lever locks - I hated them). Sold all three.

    I finally have a Gitzo CF (an Explorer which is great for very close to the ground macros).

    It will be my last tripod and with the twist locks is a dream to use. I found the twist locks much easier to use than the lever locks on the Manfrottos. The current model of mine is the GT2541EX.

    The Explorer models are a bit of a specialty tripod in that the column is not mounted directly in the centre but is offset. This enables it to be swung downward towards the ground at many angles; useful for low-lying subjects.

    If anyone requires a tripod that will put the camera right down low, this is the one. There is no other quite like it. The Giottos would do the same thing, but the quality was not that of the Gitzo.


    Glenn

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    What ever tripod/head you choose (I chose a Giottos MT8180 and am happy with it); I would suggest a ball head with a Swiss Arca Compatible quick release mechanism.

    The A/C quick release allows the use of a varied compilation of camera/lens brackets by different manufacturers, including the wonderful "L" brackets by Really Right Stuff. These last are the best things since sliced bread...

  10. #10

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    Allan Short

    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    ChucK: I use a FEISOL tripod and ball head, Iam very happy both, you order direct from them in the US. the link is as follows:

    http://www.feisol.com/0823product.html

    PS. I got the 3472VL it is found under lightest largest tripod.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  11. #11
    zen's Avatar
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    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    Just went thru a period in which I bought three seperate tripod and head set-ups, all of which were higher end CF - and was not satisfied with any of them. Finally decided to bite the bullet and went with the RRS 4 leg section CF and their ball head. I think the tripod model is 24 and the ball head is the mid weight. They offer a package, and for that rig, it was $1168 USD. Expensive, but by far the very best and WOW! is it sturdy and solid!! They say the rig is good for 24 lbs. The upper leg section is 1 1/4" diameter. Sounds big and heavy, but no heavier than the others I just got rid of. With the camera plate and one lens plate for the long lens, it was $1500. A lot, but will never need another. The quick rel works easily and once clamped into place, the camera w/ lens stays put! This is a great tripod. Comes with all you need and instructions on how to clean the leg sections after use in sand or dirt. The whole thing is quite impressive, and I am confident it will securely hold my 5DIII with any of the long lenses attached.

    Made in California and sold directly, not thru any of the New York shops. Google Really Right Stuff. Good luck.

    Zen

  12. #12

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    Chuck

    Re: Help Choosing A Tripod Please

    A big thank you to all of you for taking time to help me think through this decision. Hopefully I will finalize the process soon and get a better setup than I currently have. Your collective input has been very helpful.

    Chuck

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