Did they fix the black AF points issue in this update?
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That photo is taken by Rarindra Prakarsa. Love his work. You can find more info about his style in Facebook and photo.net I believe. I think there are tutorials and articles explaining his workflow, I can't remember where i saw it but google can help you there.
Has Andre Arment got two names then ?
Undoubtably a Rarinda Prakarsa inspired photo
I dislike the center column they have in Manfrotto 055XPROB for which I really cannot lower pod than the column permits (unless I shoot upside down).
That isn't true, the Manfrotto 190/055 legsets are very adaptable, they allow for both ground level, and cantilevered over table type setups very quickly, easily and securely.
Here is a shot with the 055CXPRO3 set at ground level, just slide the column to the horizontal position.
After lots of use, time and research, I ended up with this as an ultimate in usefulness, flexibility, functionality and efficiency.
An Acratech GP head, if you mount it upside down you don't need either a leveling base or a panning plate (PCL-1), this saves much money and weight.
I didn't get the MPR-CLII, I got the MPR192 and a set of the Mini Clamp Package (http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=Mini-Clamp-Pkg&type=4&eq=Mini-Clamp-002&desc=Mini-Clamp-Package&key=ait )
Doing this vastly increases functionality over the MPR-CLII, for instance you can set the camera anywhere along the 192, this means you can use it as a workable macro rail with effectively twice its length. You can use it on axis so you can do panos with a plate in the lens orientation, you can use the 192 on its own as a lens or body plate so you can get anything you don't have a custom plate for onto your A/S head clamp. You can use one of the mini clamps with a Blackrapid style strap and keep your A/S plate on your camera. You can use one of the mini clamps on a monopod to maintain A/S functionality without getting a dedicated head.
The more you think about it the more flexibility the 192 and extra clamps have over the CLII.
All in all I am very happy with my setup, it is light, flexible and does pretty much everything I could need. Of course it doesn't do parallax free multi row panos, only single row, it isn't the greatest macro rail, but certainly good enough for 1:1, etc etc. Each discipline could use a more specialised tool if you really need that last 5%, but I haven't found my simple little package wanting yet and it's flexibilty has got me out of several difficult situations.
But to pay $235 for a PCL when the Acratech GP has one, and a leveling base, included for free, makes no sense for single row panos.
The great thing about RSS is that there's more than one way to do it. You can mix and match all sorts of things to come up with very flexible solutions for just about anything you can imagine.
The bad thing about RSS, of course, is what winds up happening to your bank account after you discover all the really neat stuff you can do with their gear....
That setup will work very well for single-row panos. You'd need something more elaborate (and RRS has them) for multi-row panos.
For a tripod, I'd go with the Versa 2 series, but 23 vs. 24 vs. 24L will depend on your height and your needs for travel (4 sections means shorter collapsed length).
For the head, you might also consider the Acratech GP - it functions as a standard ballhead, but it's designed so that it can also be used upside down to function as a panning base.
A grip is available from Vello and it works fine. But do you plan to use it with an L bracket? Third party grips are not compatible with L brackets so this killed the deal for me.
The issue I have with grips is strength. If it is flexible, this means its going to be a issue if mounted on a tripod. At least the Canon grip is now metal, so they have tried to address this. All the third party ones are plastic, at least, the ones I'm aware of.
If you only plan to hand hold it, then the only remaining issue is the lockups that several users have reported.