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Thread: Tripods - so many choices...

  1. #1
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Tripods - so many choices...

    ...but I think I have finally made a decision!

    I have a small and light tripod for travelling etc that is fine in most situations, but I am looking for something much sturdier. I am not overly worried about it being too heavy (within reason), I just want it to be steady enough to take long exposure photos with my D90 + 18-200mm VR lens.

    I have decided to go for a pan / tilt head rather than a ball head as I will only really be using it for lanscapes etc and don't think i need the flexibility of a ball head.

    So i just want some advice / confirmation by anyone who has had any experience with the following products that it's just about the best set-up for the price...

    Manfrotto 190XPROB and Manfrotto 460MG 3-way Magnesium Head

    I can get it online for about £150.00

    Do you think I can get a better set-up for that price? I do not want to spend mega cash at this stage as I'd rather invest in a WA lens first.

    Thanks for any input and advice / suggestions,

    Tommy

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    ...but I think I have finally made a decision!

    I have a small and light tripod for travelling etc that is fine in most situations, but I am looking for something much sturdier. I am not overly worried about it being too heavy (within reason), I just want it to be steady enough to take long exposure photos with my D90 + 18-200mm VR lens.

    I have decided to go for a pan / tilt head rather than a ball head as I will only really be using it for lanscapes etc and don't think i need the flexibility of a ball head.

    So i just want some advice / confirmation by anyone who has had any experience with the following products that it's just about the best set-up for the price...

    Manfrotto 190XPROB and Manfrotto 460MG 3-way Magnesium Head

    I can get it online for about £150.00

    Do you think I can get a better set-up for that price? I do not want to spend mega cash at this stage as I'd rather invest in a WA lens first.

    Thanks for any input and advice / suggestions,

    Tommy
    The Manfrotto line of tripods are top notch so if they are in working order go for it. The thing you really have to consider is are they equipped for the weight of your camera and lens, they most likely are as the 18-200mm lens cannot weigh more than three pounds. You can always go cheap on a tripod for about $30.00 until you are ready for a more sturdy model, but cheaper tripods have weight limitations which I found out with my 70-300mm Nikkor lens. I wanted a quick and easy tripod so I settled on a plastic model but the weight of my lens causes the head to tilt. I don't regret the decision I made because I can always borrow my friend's sturdier tripod. So consider all possibilities when making your decision.

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    I won't recommend anything to you because I'm on my third tripod in four years (actually had another one quite a few years before).

    The first two of the more recent are Manfrotto 190XPROB and Manfrotto 055XPROB - I still have them. I'm now using a Giottos - the concept is very good for closeup flower work. Note that I said concept - the centre post comes out and can be swivelled up, down and around 360 degrees. Too bad it's not terribly vibration resistant. I'm consdering a fourth.

    It's just so easy (I have the experience) to look at a tripod while looking at the price tag and hoping for the best. The best never seems to arrive.

    However, in lieu of advice, I would suggest reading some or all of the following:
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ra-tripods.htm
    http://www.bythom.com/support.htm
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...ight=vibration
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es..._&_heads.shtml

    If I'd had the advice by Thom, I would be way ahead (probably have a Gitzo).

    Glenn

    PS - if you lived in Victoria, BC, Canada, you could have my 190 for a very good price.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    .Manfrotto 190XPROB and Manfrotto 460MG 3-way Magnesium Head
    Tommy

    The Manfrotto website site gives a 3kg weight limit on that head. If you know you're not going over that, then, in my opinion, you've got as good as your going to get for the money. Don't think you'll be disappointed. I've got the X55PROB with a ball-head and have never been disappointed
    Last edited by Donald; 12th October 2010 at 04:47 PM.

  5. #5
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Many thanks to John, Glenn and Donald for your replies...

    I'm off to go and drop massive hints to my girlfriend as it's my birthday soon!!!

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    ...but I think I have finally made a decision!

    I have decided to go for a pan / tilt head rather than a ball head as I will only really be using it for lanscapes etc and don't think i need the flexibility of a ball head.

    Tommy
    Ball heads are far quicker in use than three-way pan/tilt heads; unlike a three-way pan/tilt head, you only need one hand to adjust/lock all thee axis on a ball head.

    I use a one of these Redsnapper ball heads on my aging Manfrotto legs:
    http://www.redsnapperuk.com/camera-a...Ball_head.html
    Since getting this a few years ago, the pan tilt head hasn’t been used.

  7. #7
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Thanks for this Tim.

    The main reason I don't fancy a ball-head on this tripod setup is because for landscapes n stuff I want to be able to take multiple shot panoramas and things without the ball-ache of ensuring that the ball head is perfectly level before using the pan function.

    Is there a way of quickly getting a ball-head into a level position and ready for a reasonably level pan? Is the solution simply a spirit level?

    I appreciate the input. Cheers

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    Many thanks to John, Glenn and Donald for your replies...

    I'm off to go and drop massive hints to my girlfriend as it's my birthday soon!!!
    Good luck! Hopefully you have stories that you can intertwine in the conversation about the poor guy who had the opportunity for the shot of a life time....by the way, I saw one on sale...

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Have you had a read through this thread?

    Best Tripod and head for stability

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    Thanks for this Tim.

    The main reason I don't fancy a ball-head on this tripod setup is because for landscapes n stuff I want to be able to take multiple shot panoramas and things without the ball-ache of ensuring that the ball head is perfectly level before using the pan function.

    Is there a way of quickly getting a ball-head into a level position and ready for a reasonably level pan? Is the solution simply a spirit level?

    I appreciate the input. Cheers
    You can lock the ball in the position you want and then loosen the lateral locking knob that locks the head laterally; you are then free to rotate the head around the central column. On the Redsnapper one I linked to, it has degree markings too. BTW in the picture on their site, you can’t see the lower lateral knob (it’s on the other side) but you can see the degree markers. A hot shoe mounted spirit level is handy; fortunately for me, my camera has an electronic level

    Ideally, for parallax free panoramas and the ability to make 360VRs, you want something like a Nodal Ninja http://www.nodalninja.com/

    Here’s a D80 on my Ninja
    Tripods - so many choices...

  11. #11
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Tommy

    As you can see, the options are limitless. I note that at the outset of this thread, you made the point that you were working on a budget and didn't want to spend a huge amount.

    It's very easy to get caught up with what others are able to afford and feel that your aims and objectives are inadequate and that somehow you're not aiming to be 'good enough', because you're not spending enough. That's a danger of being involved in a hobby where, if you have the means, you can spend limitless amounts of money.

    Don't let that put you off though. Stick to the limits that you've set yourself. You have a very clear plan in place; i.e. a reasonable tripod and head that will do a job for you (if they didn't, Manfrotto wouldn't sell them) and saving for WA lens(es). You do what's right for you.

  12. #12
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Thanks Tim... ...I like the look of that ninja panoramic head and yes I think a hot-shoe spirit level would be vital anyways...

    @ Donald - thanks for bringing this thread back on course... ...ATM this is my plan and I just couldn't justify spending more than my camera is worth on a tripod + head! Maybe in the future when i have the lenses I want and have upgraded my camera body too! I do not get paid for taking photos, it is just a hobby - albeit one that I am becoming increasingly passionate about!

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
    You can lock the ball in the position you want and then loosen the lateral locking knob that locks the head laterally; you are then free to rotate the head around the central column.
    Unfortunately, you have to level the tripod first, or the angle will change as you pan.

    The better way is to use a ball head with a panning clamp on top ... that way you can use the ball to level the camera regardless of how unevin the tripod it, and then pan it using the panning base.

    This is the one I use (and recommend): http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Cust...%2D55%2DPCL&eq=

  14. #14
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    What about this Triopo stuff... it seems to have pretty good specs at very reasonable prices.

    http://www.triopo.cn/en/products.html

    Is it too good to be true?

    PS Colin that ball head is a work of art!

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    What about this Triopo stuff... it seems to have pretty good specs at very reasonable prices.

    http://www.triopo.cn/en/products.html

    Is it too good to be true?
    Looks like a rip-off of a Benro -- which in turn was a ripoff of a Gitzo.

    If you buy it, be sure to give it the "Colin" test, and report back with photos ...

    Tripods - so many choices...

    Tripods - so many choices...

    PS Colin that ball head is a work of art!
    And built like a tank!

    Tripods - so many choices...

  16. #16
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    Is it too good to be true?
    If it looks too good to be true - it is!

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Unfortunately, you have to level the tripod first, or the angle will change as you pan.


    =
    True Colin, but that is also the case with a three way pan/tilt head too. But regardless, the Manfrotto tripod Tommy said he was considering has a spirit level built in.



    FWIW I had taken Tommy’s budget into consideration, the Redsnapper head costs less than the one he mentioned. I raised the subject of pano heads because he mentioned shooting panoramas.

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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Quote Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
    True Colin, but that is also the case with a three way pan/tilt head too. But regardless, the Manfrotto tripod Tommy said he was considering has a spirit level built in.
    I find tripods a PITA to level if you have to do it via the legs though ... much easier to do it via the ball.

  19. #19
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    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    I agree, but then we are talking much higher budgets.

  20. #20

    Re: Tripods - so many choices...

    Personally, I am such a lazy git that half the time I can't be bothered to carry a tripod (if my wife is with me I make her carry it). I find fence-posts great and they have a flat top. The saddle of my mountain-bike is also good (provided I'm not sitting on it at the time). Or try sitting on the ground with your knees up to near your chin then prop your elbows on your knees for support. Steve (Wirefox) uses a handy burnt-out Audi. Gravestones are good. Get a screw (?) that fits into your tripod connector hole in the camera and tie a piece of string to it with a loop at the bottom for your foot to go through, then hold the camera and pull it tight for stability. Only do arty motion shots so it doesn't matter if they come out blurred (people will think you are really clever).

    Failing all of that, I can't suggest anything useful at all.

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