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Thread: What brand of tripod?

  1. #1

    What brand of tripod?

    I am in the market for a tripod that will hold 11+ lbs. What brand and/or model is the most durable, easy to use and of coarse will hold the equipment without slip or failure?

    Thanks for your input,

    guitarbts

  2. #2

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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    Tripods are often stated to hold such and such weight, but although in some way it might be useful to know, it doesn't say much about how immobile it might hold your equipment. Often, there is a weak link, as for example the plate that attaches the gear to the tripod, or the very head of the tripod.

    So it boils down, not so much to weight, but to focal length of the lenses you will use, and under what conditions it will be used. If you have to carry it far, you wouldn't like a too heavy tripod, even if you need a sturdy one, and many of the lightweight tripods are a bit flimsy for very long telephoto lenses.

    For weight and stability, wood or carbon fibre can be the best material choice. If the tripod will be used for long lenses, you will not want a centre column, but the head attached directly to the tripod. So you need a tripod that can be easily adjusted to any height up to your eye height without a centre column.

    Then you'll also need a head, a sturdy one. I'd suggest a gimbal, as it balances the equipment better than the more common tripod heads. I think you might find good alternatives at Really Right Stuff, but there are also other suppliers.

  3. #3
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    I'm afraid that you really haven't given us a lot to work with. Tripods come in many styles and with many options and which way you end up going is really going to depend on what you are planning to do with it (studio versus travel), what you are planning to shoot (landscape versus table top studio work) and what you are planning to shoot (stills versus video). You have to decide on leg design and then the head you plan to shoot with. Your budget also will play a major role in trying to figure out what is "right for you".

    Personally, I own three tripods (four if you count the monopod). One is super light weight and small, and I use that for travel and hikes, another it still light weight, but larger and more robust and I use that for more traditional shooting and finally I have a video tripod with mid-level spreader and fluid head for video shooting. Simply put, there was no single "right" answer for my needs.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    The problem with the weight rating is that there's no standard for determining it. One manufacturer's 12lb rating may be just as good as another's 30lb rating. The head is also a critical component, and a good place for a little overkill. I own two ball heads with weight ratings of 35 and 50 pounds - crucial for heavier lenses.

    Features I like are a removable and reversible center column, which lets you either mount the camera directly to the apex of the legs for greater stiffness, or hold the camera below the 'pod to shoot close to the ground. For faster deployment, I don't like more than three leg segments (two adjustments per leg). Carbon's great, but for higher weight-rating tripods, it's still pricey, so you may find metal's a better value. Tripods with a removable leg save you some space and weight, since you don't need to carry a separate monopod. I'd highly recommend a Three-Legged Thing tripod. They're a relatively small manufacturer, but they make great stuff with an excellent sense of humor, and their manuals are written by a former comedian.

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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Personally, I own three tripods (four if you count the monopod).

    Official ruling: That would be 3 1/3 tripods owned.

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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    I would consider my budget first, and then whether I actually was a serious, frequent hiker or just liked to fancy myself as such.

    A decrease of barely 1/2 a pound in weight can easily mean an increase in cost of $200.00 or more if it means going with carbon fiber vs. aluminum. Even when both versions are the same model from the same manufacturer.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    Official ruling: That would be 3 1/3 tripods owned.
    I'm not sure if the ruling will stand up on its own....

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    Hi guitarbts,

    Could you do me a favour please?
    We much prefer to work on a first name basis here at CiC, makes the place so much nicer
    Could you Edit your Profile and put your first name in the Real Name field and where you are (roughly) in the Location field? - thanks.

    We do, as others have said, need more information.

    For example, I have an old aluminium Cullman model from decades ago when I shot film and video, as such, it has a separate pan and tilt, rather than ball head, but it also has a flip on one side to attach the camera and, if necessary, shoot in portrait orientation. The problem is, when I try that with the 70-300mm telephoto zoom, which doesn't have a tripod collar, I find it impossible to attach the camera well enough to stop it drooping (rotating around the tripod attachment screw)
    So although it holds the weight fine when in landscape orientation, it's not so good on its side - things like this are why it would be helpful to know not only what you want to shoot, but what kit you have too.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

  9. #9
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    I recommend an Arca-Compatible Q/R Clamp

    Whatever brand tripod you use (Manfrotto, Gitzo, Benro, Gottos, etc); I am a firm believer in the use of a tripod head incorporating an Arca Compatible (A/C) quick release system...

    If you are shooting with a lens that includes a tripod ring, you are able to switch your camera from horizontal (landscape) positon to vertical (portrait) position while keeping the camera/lens directly over the tripod head.

    However, if you are using a non-tripod ring equipped lens, and are using a non A/C quick release, you must cantilever your camera over to the side in order to switch from landscape to portrait pocition. This is inherently quite unstable and IMO requires a heavier duty tripod and head.

    If you are using an A/C quick release with an L-bracket; you can switch from landscape to portrait positions keeping your camera directly over the apex of your tripod, ensuring the best stability.

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/WebsiteInfo.aspx?fc=80

    Even if you are using a tripod ring equipped lens, an A/C quick release system will allow you to use a longer lens plate so that you can adjust the camera/lens back and forth to achieve the best balance for the unit.

    It stands to reason that a tripod/head supporting a balanced rig will be more stable than trying to support an unbalanced setup using the weight/strength of the tripod and head to support the rig!

    A/C quick release systems tend to be a bit more expensive than non A/C systems but, the A/C quick release is well worth the extra money.

    Many tripod heads with other than A/C quick release systems can be converted to A/C capablity by the simple addition or substitution of an after-market A/C clamp such as the Kirk or other manufacturer's clamp...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-25-clamp-4...item4d05c75a55

    BTW: I have always purchased my RRS camera L-plates used; saving a few dollars over a new plate. They are fairly indestructible and the ones that I have purchased were in great condition...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 29th January 2013 at 12:07 AM.

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    Re: I recommend an Arca-Compatible Q/R Clamp

    As previously mentioned, more information about budget and actual useage (subjects photographed) would prove helpful.

    For serious work, mostly landscapes and wildlife, I use a Manfrotto. The 055 range; and for wildlife work I like a ball head which is quick and easy to position with just one hand, instead of fiddling with two adjustment screws.

    But other uses may favour alternative heads.

    I recently purchased the carbon fibre model to save weight on my back when walking a couple of miles along cliff tops or through woodland etc. But I kept my previous aluminum model.

    With the new tripod, I got the Manfrotto 468MGRC4 Hydrostatic Ball Head which seems to have unlimited weight carrying ability without any slip.

    But these options aren't cheap and the tripod assembly is 30 ins long when folded up so can be a little cumbersome to carry around. Good for stability though.

    For easy carry around occasional use, I also have the Velbon Luxi L tripod which folds up to 14 ins and comfortably fits inside my backpack. A good cheaper alternative, but the Manfrotto is my tripod of choice for serious work.

    There are, however, several other tripod manufacturers who produce equally good products.

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    Re: I recommend an Arca-Compatible Q/R Clamp

    i carried all my equipments to the shop, set them all up on a tripod. tap it and look whether it is stable and strong.
    Information and number is the first step to look for. And it is only referring to tripod itself.
    After you set up with your ball head, flash bracket, long lens, flash, you will know what you want.
    I eventually picked Gitzo GT2541

    From that time onward. I also bring my equipments for a camera bag.

  12. #12
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Personally, I own three tripods (four if you count the monopod).
    3-1/3? Sorry, Manfred, someone had to do it ;-)

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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    Official ruling: That would be 3 1/3 tripods owned.
    Someone did...

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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    I believe there is a rule of thumb with anything you buy. Your budget will determine what you can afford to buy. If you want the best you will have to save until you can afford the best. Have a look at this one.

    Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod + MH054M0-Q2 Ball Head Kit.

  15. #15
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    I would like to suggest something... Although I haven't used an Adorama Flashpoint Tripod, I do use an Adorama Flashpoint F-1 ball head with their Arca Compatible ball head on my lightweight travel tripod. This little head is well built and reasonable in price. I must admit that the price of this head has increased (what hasn't) in the couple of years since I purchased the unit.

    What brand of tripod?

    It is priced at $50 (USD) and supports my Canon 1.6x bodies with 70-200mm f/4L IS lens quite well. It weighs only an amazing 11.6 ounces (about 328 grams).

    What brand of tripod?

    This head would not be my choice for an all around tripod (I use it on my super lightweight travel pod). However, I am mentioning it only to state that I am quite happy with the build of this head and that Adorama has a full line of larger and more sturdy heads as well as tripods.

    They seem to be at decent prices and considering the quality of my little F-1 head, the larger heads and tripods might be a consideration and might bear some research.

    http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/de...shpoint+tripod

    Finally, when reseaching tripods, some manufacturers seem to state the maximum height with the center column extended all the way. I wish that all (some do) manufacturers would state the height of their ripods without the center column extended. That is the way that I usually work with my tripod. Extending the center column all the way is cartainly not the ticket for maximum stability...

  16. #16
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    After reading the comments posted, my initial reaction is to much information all at once. Several comments did stand out:
    it is best to determine what you are going to use the tripod for, also the weight of equipment (camera/lens) is a factor; in addition is the cost that you are willing to pay. Finally, whether you will be carrying the tripod around a lot plays in as well.
    If my memory serves me well there is a tutorial (sp?) on this website about choosing a tripod. Go to the home page, select tutorials, and then "Using Camera and Equipment". You will find a lesson on tripods. Hope this helps answer your question. Bruce
    Last edited by Digital; 2nd February 2013 at 08:21 AM.

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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    After reading the comments posted, my initial reaction is to much information all at once. Several comments did stand out:
    it is best to determine what you are going to use the tripod for, also the weight of equipment (camera/lens) is a factor; in addition is the cost that you are willing to pay. Finally, whether you will be carrying the tripod around a lot plays in as well.
    If my memory serves me well there is a tutorial (sp?) on this website about choosing a tripod. Bruce
    It also depends on the length of the exposures and the degree to which the legs are going to be splayed.

  18. #18
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    Re: What brand of tripod?

    I've got to agree with the budget considerations here, followed closely by the head spec considerations.
    I thought I'd done my research well and bought a Manfrotto joystick head which seemed to fit my requirements exactly. To my great disappointment it just would not hold my D2Xs / Sigma 150mm macro combination, despite the friction adjustment. Having run out of budget I bought a cheap 40mm ball head for about 30. It is rock solid.

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