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Thread: Tripod Suggestions Please

  1. #1

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    Tripod Suggestions Please

    Dear Folks:
    I do some evidence collection work for a law enforcement agency and often have to take close-up photos of fingerprints from all types of surfaces, i.e. walls, tabletops, etc. and in all kinds of conditions. I need advice on what type of tripod and accessories are best for QUICK adjustment and setup. (Moving from one room to the next, changing from a wall to a door to a tabletop). Sturdy is good and weight is not so much a concern. I will also need to photograph items on the ground so a horizontal arm should figure into this equation. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Dave

  2. #2
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Homer

    Re: Tripod Suggestions Please

    You might want to look into one of the 'octopus' tripods. Cheap, light weight and very fast to set up. I don't have enough exeperience with them to recommend a brand, but there a plenty available.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=octop...rchBox&ie=&oe=

  3. #3
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod Suggestions Please

    Check out the Manfrotto 055XPROB. Aluminum, 3-section legs, very sturdy and stable, maximum height a little over 6 feet., minimum height about 8 inches, folded length is about 30 inches (if that matters). The leg adjustments are simple and fast, and there are a variety of head types available, depending on need and preference. The center column can be turned 90 degrees to become a lateral arm. Plenty of accessories and options available, weighs about 7 pounds (3 kg). I use one all the time, and have no compliants at all. Whatever you consider, be sure to check the feet... some tripods designed for outdoor use have spiked feet, and a lot of your work is clearly done indoors.

  4. #4
    rob marshall

    Re: Tripod Suggestions Please

    Quote Originally Posted by Snarkbyte View Post
    Check out the Manfrotto 055XPROB. Aluminum, 3-section legs, very sturdy and stable, maximum height a little over 6 feet., minimum height about 8 inches, folded length is about 30 inches (if that matters). The leg adjustments are simple and fast, and there are a variety of head types available, depending on need and preference. The center column can be turned 90 degrees to become a lateral arm. Plenty of accessories and options available, weighs about 7 pounds (3 kg). I use one all the time, and have no compliants at all. Whatever you consider, be sure to check the feet... some tripods designed for outdoor use have spiked feet, and a lot of your work is clearly done indoors.
    Yes, I have one of those and it's very good. The lateral arm is very useful, which you can get very close to the ground.

  5. #5

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    Re: Tripod Suggestions Please

    What camera/lens set up are we considering, Dave?

    That Manfrotto is certainly sturdy and able to raise to a decent height but I find it rather difficult to use for close to the ground work.

    I do a lot of insect photography and trying to splay those Manfrotto legs then get the centre column into a usable position isn't easy. It may work well enough where there is plenty of space but not in confined locations.

    Possibly, for your situation, I might be tempted to try sawing off part of the lower section of the centre column so that the head can get closer to the ground without having to swing it horizontally.

    But probably the best answer would be 2 tripods. A Manfrotto for higher work and one of the Mini Tripods for really close work where access is restricted. It is only one easy to use screw which attaches the camera/lens to the tripod head so they can be simply interchangeable.

  6. #6
    William W's Avatar
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    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Tripod Suggestions Please

    Quote Originally Posted by acroreef View Post
    I do some evidence collection work for a law enforcement agency and often have to take close-up photos of fingerprints from all types of surfaces, i.e. walls, tabletops, etc. and in all kinds of conditions. I need advice on what type of tripod and accessories are best for QUICK adjustment and setup. (Moving from one room to the next, changing from a wall to a door to a tabletop). Sturdy is good and weight is not so much a concern. I will also need to photograph items on the ground so a horizontal arm should figure into this equation. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Dave
    From my little experience in this type of work - only a few days on contract, assisting a Forensic Science Team teaching them some Photography Skills – a Macro Lens and a Macro Flash Head is the staple item used – we never used a tripod, nor a monopod, but I took both but didn’t use either.

    I used the Canon MT24 Twin Heads

    WW

  7. #7

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    Re: Tripod Suggestions Please

    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    Dave

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod Suggestions Please

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    From my little experience in this type of work - only a few days on contract, assisting a Forensic Science Team teaching them some Photography Skills – a Macro Lens and a Macro Flash Head is the staple item used – we never used a tripod, nor a monopod, but I took both but didn’t use either.

    I used the Canon MT24 Twin Heads

    WW
    It wouldn't bode well if you are adding your DNA to the crime scene so the less contact with surfaces the better.

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