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Basic question on tripods.


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77 replies to this topic

#61
Ron

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Sportz,

 

I don't have any recommendation on the legs. Whatever you can afford I guess. I'm pretty happy with the Sirui legs I bought although I admit that I haven't really given them a workout yet. On the head... well, I've never had much luck with tilt/pan heads. I've always found a ball head easier to work even if using one does mean that you have to pay attention to what you're doing more than you would with a tilt/pan setup. However, if I were shooting what you usually shoot... namely, sports and action, I would give serious consideration to a gimbal head. I don't have any experience with one but if I had big lenses like you use I would definitely consider one.

 

Here is a short video from B&H that features the Sirui gimbal head. I'm not shilling for Sirui ... I just happened to see it. I'm sure other makers such as Really Right Stuff have much nicer versions.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=oKtdN-jM9X0

 

--Ron



#62
TBonz

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Ron,

 

Interesting that you bring that up...I was just looking at this Manfroto as a possible option...To be honest, I do not plan to use the tripod for sports and I see no need for a head for the top of my monopod since any lens I'd mount to the monopod would have a collar anyway.  The tripod / head would be used for lunar or nature photos...That Manfroto might just be the ticket...anyone ever tried one?


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#63
Ron

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OK, I see. I guess I just naturally thought you'd be using it for sports and action photos. Of course either of these gimbal systems would be an unnecessary burden on a monopod. My bad.

 

My better half hates tripods to begin with but when she does use one, she prefers a tilt/pan head. Goes to show, there are lots of opinions about this. As I said above, my preference is for a large ball head preferably with an Arca style QR system and a Kirk L bracket for verticals. But then I don't use lenses with built in tripod collars. If I did, I might opt for something different. 

 

--Ron



#64
TBonz

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I understand completely!  I'm one of those who hates tripods as well, but, of course, I do see the need for them in certain situations.  My current and quite old tripod (a Quantaray from Ritz camera around 1980 or so!) just can't support the weight of my big lens when I want to shoot the moon or wildlife.  It held it "ok" when I tested but it wasn't stable and I wouldn't have wanted to walk away from it!

 

Personally, I don't like to see anyone with one on the sidelines when I shoot sports.  Many of the schools will have setups in the end zones to film the games that are far enough away, but when someone has one right on the sidelines I always worry that someone - that person or a player - is going to get hurt when they can't get it out of the way fast enough.  Luckily I haven't seen that happen...It is much faster to get out of the way with a monopod and I need all the help with speed I can get when it comes to getting out of the way!  



#65
Ron

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Yeah, if I were shooting sports at the sideline I wouldn't want a tripod either, opting instead for a monopod ... something I can scramble with! LOL

 

I've got a couple of tripods that are at least as old as your Quantaray... and gosh, what ever happened to Ritz Camera? Anyway, tripods seem to be like camera bags. I've never had one that I was completely satisfied with. 

 

--Ron



#66
TBonz

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Ritz is still around selling online...Looks like they may have purchased or merged with Calumet as well.  Kind of strange since Calumet only lists 3 sites and Ritz lists more than 10 and both web sites are still active / different...But, I did a quick check and the Northbrook, Illinois location on each of the sites has the same address...

 

To update my piece of the tripod puzzle, I pulled the trigger on the following:

 

Benro TAD28C Legs

Sirui K-40X Ball Head (thanks Peter for the recommendation!)

Sirui MP-20  (for the monopod so I don't have to mess with removing the quick mount plates from the lenses)

and some extra plates...

 

I had to get an order in as I picked up a few other small things that I needed sooner rather than later but kept myself from ordering until I could decide on the tripod stuff!  More cards (XQD, CF, microSD), an AquaTech eyepiece for my second body, and a decent microSD card reader...

 

Of course, I'll report back when received and when I have the chance to give them a workout!



#67
Thumper

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Nice!!!   Looking forward to seeing it all together and hearing your review!



#68
OTRTexan

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It's the same ball head I got. I've started having some sticking issues with it, hope it's just mine and you don't have the same problem. I'm thinking of switching to a RRS head eventually. I may contact Sirui about it and see what they say. Since this is my first ball head, I'm not sure if it's defective or me..

#69
TBonz

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Well, new goodies arrived as promised shortly after 4PM today.  In addition to the goodies above, I also picked up some additional cards so I have some backups...I also picked up an AquaTech eyepiece ring for the new D4 so that I have one on each and can use either under the cover...Lastly I picked up the correct Trigger Trap cable for my D4 bodies.  I'd had it all setup for my D600 bodies but the D4 requires a different cable.

 

At first glance...everything ordered showed...I've got the cards packed and ready for football tonight and added the other little stuff into my bag just in case...

 

The tripod is quite nice and the head is massive!  Each came with a case.  The tripod with the head fit comfortably in the tripod case if I tilt the top of the head 90 degrees which I was happy to see although I'll still probably cover the head with its case.  Once put together the tripod / head combo seem very secure and I think I'm going to have fun using them.  I pulled out the MP-20 and threw it on my monopod and then grabbed the extra plates.  Put one on each of my lens collars (70-200 and 200-400) and mounted the 200-400 on the monopod - seems fine and I'll give that a test tonight.  Depending on what time I get home and how I feel, I may try to throw the 200-400 / plate onto the tripod.  My guess is that I'll wait on that for another night though...maybe some Halloween moon photos!

 

That's all I got so far!



#70
TBonz

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So, over the last few uses, my monopod has started to slip between the bottom and next section...despite my efforts to deal with it, first time I put it down last weekend (with D4 and 200-400 - not a light load), it dropped over 3 inches...it did hang in for the rest of the shoot and repeated the same each time I closed / re-opened it although I think it went a bit lower each time...it is getting old (maybe 10 years?) and I am probably asking it to support more than what it is rated for, so I decided to replace it when I was putting in an order for some non-camera goodies at B&H.  I ordered a Benro BEMAD49C.  Being short I can probably get away with only using 4 of the 5 sections (which at a minimum should give it more life) and I liked the features / capabilities of the monopod.  I am hoping that my current monopod can survive the weekend (always have a very old metal one if not) and the new one should be here on Monday - hopefully in time for me to take it out to my first high school baseball game of the season!



#71
Ron

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I don't know what type of QR system you use but if you use an Arca type QR system you might be interested in this...

 

Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head MPA-2 B&H Photo Video

 

1332165054000_849711.jpg1332164730000_IMG_245427.jpg

--Ron



#72
TBonz

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Thanks Ron!  

 

Up until October I didn't use anything but the monopod.  Since I finally broke down and got a nice tripod and head along with plates for my gear, I bought "head" (Sirui MP-20) for my monopod.  It works great and I don't have to remove / re-install the plates on my lenses or bodies to mount them on the monopod.  I normally use the monopod with the 200-400 and I will occasionally use it even with the 70-200.  I don't need it with the smaller lens, but sometimes I prefer using it to not using it with that lens.  I also have plate "mounts" on the end of my Black Rapid strap so I can mount body or lens to them.  So far, the setup has worked great other than I knew I would have to replace the monopod at some point.  It will be getting a good workout this spring as I expect to be shooting quite a bit with "my" trinity - 24-70, 70-200, 200-400...hopefully I'll make enough soon to pick up the 14-24 to complete the real trinity!


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#73
deano

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I recently bought the Manfrotto 055, aluminum, as it was on sale and also accepted trade ins to help lower the cost.  It is heavy, but I wanted heavy as I have a carbon Vanguard I use for light weight carrying around shooting. I really like it as it does what is is supposed to do, steady, strong, and stable.



#74
dgeffs

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If you want a high quality American made complete system look at "Really Right Stuff".



#75
Tony

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Yesterday my Chinese crap tripod decided to crumble on me during set up.  The hand crank snapped off as i was trying elevate the center column, and this without any equipment mounted. Cool, huh?  So I got on the Internet and checked out what Best Buy had to offer.  They had Manfrotto, Sunpack and a few other brands I was not familiar with.  The Manfrotto was nice and solid and some really good features for $59.99 USD.  I wanted to purchase that one but noticed a very nice looking Sunpack 6000PG Tripod that had more features and for less money and a limited lifetime warranty.  The Sunpack has a pistol grip with a trigger mechanism for placing a camera in any position you desired with a strong locking mechanism.  Also it has two bubble levels, one on top of the leg mechanism and one just under the pistol grip.  They had a display model and allowed me to use it as I saw fit and decided this is one I want to buy.  At first I thought the legs were constructed with a good quality plastic, however, they are made with metal which I was delighted to discover.

 

I have used it today on the D70 with the self timer and everything went very well.  It is lightweight, no question about that.  However, when I am at the Oregon Coast on windy days, I can hang some dead weight, about 5 pounds and that should take care of that issue. The Sunpack sold for $49.99.  It may not sound like much, but I believe it will serve my needs well.  Thanks for reading.

 

Antonio

 

P.S.  The Sunpack also has rubber feet on ball bearings so they are self leveling, which I thought was a very good, original idea.


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#76
Ron

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I think we looked at the same tripods the last time we were in Best Buy for something else. The pistol grip head seemed really nice. Let us know how it works out for you, Tony.

 

--Ron



#77
Tony

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I think we looked at the same tripods the last time we were in Best Buy for something else. The pistol grip head seemed really nice. Let us know how it works out for you, Tony.

 

--Ron

I have been using this tripod exclusively, no hand held shots.  The pistol grip is truly a work saver.  You can maneuver it in any position you prefer and simply release the trigger, and you are in business.  Having two bubble levels to help out is really convenient.  Best $49.99 investment I have made to date.  Thanks for reading.

 

Tony


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#78
Ron

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Thanks for the report, Tony.

 

If it's the same one we looked at, it's really nice. And my better half seems to like that pistol grip head a lot so I wouldn't be a bit surprised if she doesn't get one soon. Her old tripod is just that... old. And, even as shaky as I am, I can still hold a camera steadier than her tripod. :)

 

--Ron