June 24, 2018, 01:09:53 PM

Author Topic: tripod head advice  (Read 1990 times)

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
tripod head advice
« on: May 20, 2018, 06:27:31 PM »
I have a Sunpak Ultra 6000PG tripod. It came with a trigger head. Until now it seemed convenient and adequate to my needs.

A few weeks ago I got a 100-400mm II lens, and used it handheld at first. When I tried it on the tripod, however, the trigger worked OK for gross adjustments, but at 400mm I had a lot of trouble getting the composition just right. When I let go of the trigger, the weight of the lens, I guess, would change the aim. With practice, I could get closer to what I wanted in 3 or 4 tries, but it was still a pain. Of course the tripod was screwed into the foot on the lens, not the camera.

While the tripod is relatively lightweight, but it seems to support the 6D2 with that lens OK. So I think I need just a different kind of tripod head to use with the telephoto lens, maybe something with micro adjustments, or at least something that will lock where the lens is, rather that moving around when I let go.

Would any of you recommend any particular type of head for this purpose? Is the screw something standard, or would I need to get a head that was specifically compatible with the Sunpak?

canon rumors FORUM

tripod head advice
« on: May 20, 2018, 06:27:31 PM »

Hector1970

  • EOS 5DS R
  • ******
  • Posts: 787
    • Flickr
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2018, 06:50:14 PM »
Sometype of a ball head would be best I reckon.
It all comes down to price.
Gitzo and Really Right Stuff and Acratech make lovely ball heads but they are expensive.
Sirui make very good value ball heads.
Weight is relative I suppose. I don't find the 100-400 II the heaviest lens to use.
It doesn't need a heavy duty tripod / Tripod Head.
But in general with Tripods and heads  I think its best to buy once and make it a good one

No idea about a Sunpak tripod but usually they are a standard screw site and often come with an adapter for the small size connections. A common standard for base mounts on photographic tripod equipment is a 3/8-16 screw (a screw that is 3/8 inches in diameter, with 16 threads per inch) on the tripod legs, and a matching receptacle on the tripod head.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 06:55:54 PM by Hector1970 »

Don Haines

  • Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 6869
  • posting cat pictures on the internet since 1986
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2018, 07:13:43 PM »
Have you ever used a gear head? Look up the Manfroto 410 gear head..... great for tiny adjustments....

I use mine with a Tamron 150-600 and it is easy to do fine adjustments. We have 6 of them at work, not for photography, but for fine aiming of antennas in the labs....
The best camera is the one in your hands

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2018, 08:07:16 PM »
Thanks, guys, I'll check those out.

I like using the lens handheld. It's a lot a "just because I can" thing. With four stops of IS and a wide usable ISO range in the 6D2, that works surprisingly well, until my neck and/or hands get tired.

But I made a time-lapse movie of the bird feeder next door. I obviously needed the tripod for that. And it did involve just getting the aim right in the first place, but it cost me valuable time when the birds were there in good numbers. And even though I was relatively far away, the more fuss I made with the camera, the more birds I spooked.

I tried shooting a nearly full moon handheld. It was high enough in the sky that the weight of the lens on my head made it tough to focus manually. Luckily the AF shots came out great. A tripod and using the flippy screen would have been much more convenient. This is a 100% crop converted to JPEG for the web. I didn't apply any corrections such as for CA. Perhaps ACR did something behind the scenes before I saw it. In my experience, a full moon is just about a worst-case scenario for CA.

Valvebounce

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 3760
  • Doing my best to get all of this to work together.
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2018, 08:40:28 PM »
Hi Steve.
If you are doing things like moon shots or other static targets I’ll give another vote for the Manfrotto 410 geared head, I use mine for the 100-400 L II with either a 1DsIII or a gripped 7DII a friend has the newer MHXPRO-3WG which is made from a techno polymer (plastic ;D ) it has triggers for the gear release for coarse adjustment instead of twisting the outer knob, he prefers this due to having arthritis in a couple of finger joints, I dislike it for its cheap plasticy feeling and for using an RC2 (200PL) plate. The 410 geared head uses a 410PL which is a much larger plate with a better locating system than the 200PL, I have an Arca Swiss clamp screwed to mine!
For moving targets I have a gimbal head which is also fairly good at not sagging or creeping when locking it off if you want a one size fits both solution I would go with the gimbal, mine is a Benro GH2, moderately expensive but not up with the Wimberley!
I suspect some of the sag may be the tripod, this looks very like the tripod and head my friend used to have, it is a very light support and while you are holding the trigger grip you are supporting the bulk of the load, letting go of the handle returns all of the weight to the tripod causing some flex in the legs! The gear head will eliminate most of this effect.

Cheers, Graham.

I have a Sunpak Ultra 6000PG tripod. It came with a trigger head. Until now it seemed convenient and adequate to my needs.

A few weeks ago I got a 100-400mm II lens, and used it handheld at first. When I tried it on the tripod, however, the trigger worked OK for gross adjustments, but at 400mm I had a lot of trouble getting the composition just right. When I let go of the trigger, the weight of the lens, I guess, would change the aim. With practice, I could get closer to what I wanted in 3 or 4 tries, but it was still a pain. Of course the tripod was screwed into the foot on the lens, not the camera.

While the tripod is relatively lightweight, but it seems to support the 6D2 with that lens OK. So I think I need just a different kind of tripod head to use with the telephoto lens, maybe something with micro adjustments, or at least something that will lock where the lens is, rather that moving around when I let go.

Would any of you recommend any particular type of head for this purpose? Is the screw something standard, or would I need to get a head that was specifically compatible with the Sunpak?
7DII+Grip, 1DsIII, 7D+Grip, 40D+Grip, EF 24-105 f4L EF-S 17-85, EF-S 10-22, EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS II, EF 1.4xIII, 2xIII, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6l IS II, Σ17-70 f2.8-4 C, EF 50mm f1.8, YN600EX-RT, YN-E3-RT, Filters, Remotes, Macro tubes, Tripods, heads etc!

1DsIII, 20D, 24-105, 17-85, Nifty 50 pre owned

Durf

  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • ****
  • Posts: 130
    • Durf's Journal - Photography Art
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 09:32:01 PM »
I have a Sunpak Ultra 6000PG tripod. It came with a trigger head. Until now it seemed convenient and adequate to my needs.

A few weeks ago I got a 100-400mm II lens, and used it handheld at first. When I tried it on the tripod, however, the trigger worked OK for gross adjustments, but at 400mm I had a lot of trouble getting the composition just right. When I let go of the trigger, the weight of the lens, I guess, would change the aim. With practice, I could get closer to what I wanted in 3 or 4 tries, but it was still a pain. Of course the tripod was screwed into the foot on the lens, not the camera.

While the tripod is relatively lightweight, but it seems to support the 6D2 with that lens OK. So I think I need just a different kind of tripod head to use with the telephoto lens, maybe something with micro adjustments, or at least something that will lock where the lens is, rather that moving around when I let go.

Would any of you recommend any particular type of head for this purpose? Is the screw something standard, or would I need to get a head that was specifically compatible with the Sunpak?

If you're on a budget (like me) the Joby X Ballhead works great and is only 50 bucks. I have two of them on two tripods and they are surprisingly well built and strong. They hold the Sigma 150-600mm lens on both my 80D and 6D2 just fine, and even smaller lenses even better. I have them mounted on my Manfrotto 290 dual tripods and they are actually the best ballheads I've found at this price range and beat out several other even more expensive ones (I've been through a few).

I actually figured this out by accident.....I kept buying cheap ballheads trying to find a strong one and ended up pulling the JobyX head off my big gorilla pod one day and mounted it to my manfrotto tripod....it's been on there ever since! It worked so great I ordered another one for my other manfrotto tripod.

Here's the link....

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/680971-REG/Joby_BH2_01EN_Ballhead_X_Black.html?ap=y&gclid=Cj0KCQjwuYTYBRDsARIsAJnrUXBRR5Rw2YKKx__EyRK3hnu3q5GsmQUss3Sn4Enfnu02bNn84MPVSlEaAhZPEALw_wcB

6D2 | 80D | T6i | 16-35mm f/4L | 50mm f/1.8 STM | Tamron SP 45mm & 85mm f/1.8  | 100mm f2.8L Macro | 70-300mm IS USM ii | Sigma 150-600mm | 
Pentax K1000 | Vintage Glass: Takumar-Pentax-Helios |
www.DurfsJournal.com

Mikehit

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2536
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2018, 04:25:55 AM »
Having looked at the tripod you mention on Amazon, that ballhead looks way too small for the size of gear you are putting on it - I would go for a midi-sized ball at the very least.

Trigger heads are fine for the sort of think you want to do but make sure you go for a 'heavy duty' version. For relatively stationary subjects is the geared heads that others have mentioned.
One left field option is a gimbal head - you have slider plates that enable you to set the camera on the centre of gravity and when you release the camera it stays exactly where you left it, no matter what position it is. These range from $40 to several hundred but even the cheaper ones are pretty good: I have a generic one costing $50 (Beike BK-45, but they come under many brands) and a Lensmaster one three times as much and each has pros and cons. 

canon rumors FORUM

Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2018, 04:25:55 AM »

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2018, 04:54:15 PM »
Having looked at the tripod you mention on Amazon, that ballhead looks way too small for the size of gear you are putting on it - I would go for a midi-sized ball at the very least.

Thanks for looking. Yes, I've since found stats that suggest my tripod is good up to 11 lbs., but that trigger head is similar to one I saw rated for 3 1/4 pounds. The lens weighs more than that by itself, so you are quite right.

No more than I plan to be shooting with this lens on a tripod, I don't see going with the pricier suggestions, ideal though they might be for the task. That's not to say I won't upgrade further if I later find myself using the tripod/lens combination more than I expect now. I'll save all these suggestions even after I get something I think appropriate for now.

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2018, 04:55:45 PM »
I was tempted to say earlier about my ignorance concerning tripod heads, that I didn't know the difference between gimbals and Macy's.

pwp

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2473
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2018, 08:45:42 PM »
If you go for a ball head, I'd strongly advise against Induro. Even the bigger ones, at full lock tend to drift. It's inexcusable. What I would suggest in the ball head line is Sirui. I have a couple. They're beautifully made, lock precisely and firmly and are very modestly priced.

I may have mentioned it here on previous posts, but Sirui used to manufacture for KIRK before breaking out on their own. Their manufacturing levels are a match for Kirk's very high standards.

Trust Sirui. Read some reviews.

-pw

johnf3f

  • EOS 5DS R
  • ******
  • Posts: 867
  • Canon 1Dx
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2018, 06:50:08 PM »
I would echo PWP's comments. Sirui make some great ball heads. Look at their KxxX range, I use the K40X and it will cope with anything Canon/Nikon currently make. No ball heads are not ideal for the largest lenses but my K40K does not creep with my Canon 800 F5.6 L IS.

Have a look at the K30X - this would probably suit your needs nicely.

P.S. Consider a better tripod when you can afford it.
Canon 1DX, 7D2, 16-35 F4 L IS, 24-70 F2.8 V2, 100 F2.8 Macro, 100-400 L IS Mk2, 300 F2.8 L IS, 800 F5.6 L IS, Holga Pinhole lens.

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2018, 10:54:50 AM »
Thanks for all the good advice and wide range of options. After considering them, I have ordered a Sirui K20X. With the holiday weekend, it is supposed to arrive here on Thursday. With a class reunion and houseguests, it might be a couple weeks before I have time to give it much of a tryout.

It is quite possible that the tripod will indeed flex some, so there can still be some shifting. If I ever decide to get really serious about telephoto photography, I won't hesitate to invest in heavier gear. The current tripod is rated for 11 pounds, and that's probably more than I want to carry around these days as it is.

My photography lifestyles mirror my retirement activity modes. I travel, leave my DSLRs at home, and shoot a lot of pictures with my G7X II. Otherwise, I stay home, go to concerts, plays, sports, and lectures at the college; do projects on the computer, including post on those pictures I took while gone and my 78 rpm project for the neighbor's 90th birthday; and do photography projects with all my good gear or just mess around with them and sometimes luck into some nice pictures. I do hope to do a "staycation" with a rented TS lens (probably the 24mm), and maybe even include some day trips within that week. The tripod, and probably the new ball head, will be essential for that.

And I have collected these messages on my computer so if/when I am ready for an upgrade, I'll have good recommendations to start from. Thank you all.

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2018, 10:49:13 PM »
I got through the reunion weekend, and my guests have left. So after a late afternoon concert and reception, I went out about 8pm with the new K20X on the old tripod and tried working with the K20X. It is a vast improvement over the trigger head. There is still a little drift, probably, as suggested above, by the tripod settling a bit when I'm no longer supporting the lens with my hand. This improved with practice on my part, also. I can live with this set up for a while.

Here are a couple of 100% crops of shots of cardinals. I didn't do much of anything to lessen the noise from the high ISO and nothing to sharpen beyond the ACR default. Noise will appear even worse, since, at least on my computer, the pictures are shown enlarged further.

400mm f/6.3 1/320 sec. ISO 12,800



400mm f/5.6 1/320 sec. ISO 10,000



For a close focusing test, I chose a knot on my deck. This is the whole frame reduced in size for posting here.

400mm f/16 1/60 sec. ISO 40,000



Thanks again for the help and suggestions.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2018, 10:49:13 PM »

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2018, 11:08:54 PM »
One more that was at a lower ISO, so less noise:

400mm f/5.6 1/40 sec. ISO 3200


slclick

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2534
Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2018, 11:47:07 PM »
Induro is a good value. Kirk is a better head and still a good value while not as much as the top tier heads such as RRS and Gitzo. (closer to the buy once and cry once method) Check out Feisol, underrated and high performance.
I wear my 'I don't shoot video ' badge proudly

canon rumors FORUM

Re: tripod head advice
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2018, 11:47:07 PM »