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Author Topic: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head  (Read 1707 times)

stuDoc

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Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« on: March 25, 2013, 11:12:37 PM »
Just nabbed a used Manfrotto 393 Heavy Duty Gimbal Head for about $75 shipped. I plan to use it for raptors/nature with a gripped 7D + 400/5.6 lens. I realize that for this setup the gimbal is probably overkill, but I intend to buy/rent the 300mm 2.8L IS II + TCs in the future and figured I'd get some practice in the meantime. 

I need advice on a decent pair of legs to match with the gimbal head that can support a modestly heavy setup. I'd prefer either center-columnless or removable center column, but cannot afford the Gitzo/Feisol/RRS pricepoint.  Are there any options from Manfrotto or Induro under $200 that you would suggest?

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Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« on: March 25, 2013, 11:12:37 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 11:46:49 PM »
I'm a huge fan of the Manfrotto 3021BPRO legs. Huge, huge fan.

I've also got the replacement model, the 055XPROB...but, honestly, I only use it when I need two tripods at the same time. Otherwise, I'm always grabbing the original.

It's not the lightest tripod in the world, but it's not excessively heavy. It's amazingly configurable, and as steady as you're going to get in a portable tripod.

And it's well within your price range.

Cheers,

b&

P.S. It'll hold your gear and then some. I regularly use mine with a gripped 5DIII hanging off a 400 f/2.8 attached to a Wimberley head. Solid as a rock. Once you get the rig balanced, the lightest touch positions the camera and it just stays wherever you point it. b&
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 12:37:03 AM by TrumpetPower! »

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 12:45:05 AM »
I'm a huge fan of the Manfrotto 3021BPRO legs. Huge, huge fan.

I've also got the replacement model, the 055XPROB...but, honestly, I only use it when I need two tripods at the same time. Otherwise, I'm always grabbing the original.

It's not the lightest tripod in the world, but it's not excessively heavy. It's amazingly configurable, and as steady as you're going to get in a portable tripod.

And it's well within your price range.

Cheers,

b&

P.S. It'll hold your gear and then some. I regularly use mine with a gripped 5DIII hanging off a 400 f/2.8 attached to a Wimberley head. Solid as a rock. Once you get the rig balanced, the lightest touch positions the camera and it just stays wherever you point it. b&
Are you referring to 055XPROB?
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 01:07:23 AM »
Are you referring to 055XPROB?

Either. The ergonomics are different between the two, but the basic build is the same.

I much prefer the ergonomics of the 3021BPRO, especially the fact that I can quickly completely remove the center post, making it really easy to basically convert it into a tabletop tripod. I seem to remember having better options for hanging a weight off of the 3021BPRO for additional stabilization, but I wouldn't swear to it.

But both will support the heaviest of loads equally (very) well.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 06:00:05 AM »
Are you referring to 055XPROB?

Either. The ergonomics are different between the two, but the basic build is the same.

I much prefer the ergonomics of the 3021BPRO, especially the fact that I can quickly completely remove the center post, making it really easy to basically convert it into a tabletop tripod. I seem to remember having better options for hanging a weight off of the 3021BPRO for additional stabilization, but I wouldn't swear to it.

But both will support the heaviest of loads equally (very) well.

Cheers,

b&
The reason I asked that question was bcoz I use 055XPROB but it is build to handle only up to 15.4lbs (7kg) load ... but the 393 Gimbal Head is built to carry up to 44lbs (20 kg), so isn't that kinda mismatch? Ideally one would want to buy a tripod and head with identical or similar load capacities.
Of course, I have to admit that I don't know the load capacity of 3021BPRO
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 10:12:44 AM »
Are you referring to 055XPROB?

Either. The ergonomics are different between the two, but the basic build is the same.

I much prefer the ergonomics of the 3021BPRO, especially the fact that I can quickly completely remove the center post, making it really easy to basically convert it into a tabletop tripod. I seem to remember having better options for hanging a weight off of the 3021BPRO for additional stabilization, but I wouldn't swear to it.

But both will support the heaviest of loads equally (very) well.

Cheers,

b&
The reason I asked that question was bcoz I use 055XPROB but it is build to handle only up to 15.4lbs (7kg) load ... but the 393 Gimbal Head is built to carry up to 44lbs (20 kg), so isn't that kinda mismatch? Ideally one would want to buy a tripod and head with identical or similar load capacities.
Of course, I have to admit that I don't know the load capacity of 3021BPRO
Regards

A quick search suggests that the 3021BPRO has an official load capacity of a bit over 13 pounds.

However...that doesn't seem to have much bearing on anything in reality.

I've often put the post horizontal, extended all the way, with a gripped body and medium telephoto (such as the 180 macro) pointed straight down, and a lot more than 13 pounds hanging from the center to keep it from tipping. Never even a hint of a problem, except that you have to watch out for vibrations...I only do this in the studio with flash, where not only is there nothing to cause vibrations but the flash itself eliminates the problem.

I suppose in its least sturdy configuration...say, legs fully extended and fully splayed, with the center post sideways, then it might have a problem with a 13 pound load...but, even then, such a failure would really surprise me.

That, and it's a bit of a challenge to get a load that heavy in the first place. The 400 weights 8 1/2 pounds. The 5DIII is another two pounds; with the grip, it's three. The Wimberley head is three pounds, which brings you right up to the official limit -- and, again, my setup is so rock solid that it wouldn't even occur to you that there's even a theoretical possibility of a problem.

Lastly, manufacturers are notorious for specifying bogus weight limits. For example, RSS conservatively rates their BH-40 at a mere 18 pounds, even though it'll support twice that without problem. It just won't be a very pleasant experience working with much more than a 300 f/4 on a ballhead that physical size. The competition would go ahead and rate a similar ballhead at 35 pounds.

For me, that's what the 13 pound specification means for the 3021BPRO: works great with a 13 pound load -- and it does. If you're regularly going to put a heavier load on the legs -- such as a studio video camera -- then the tripod isn't for you. But you're also not looking for a tripod such as this in the first place.

Cheers,

b&

stuDoc

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 10:44:28 AM »
Thanks TrumpetPower, I will take a look at the 055XPROB/3021. 

I have seen a couple ads for the 055XB and 055XV models out there on the used market as well.  Am I correct in assuming these have roughly the same specs as well as the capacity to remove the center column so I can thread the gimbal head directly on the tripod?

Also, will the XB have more stability than the XPROB since the former does not have a hinge allowing horizontal positioning?

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 10:44:28 AM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 12:14:07 PM »
No, as far as I know none of the 055 series tripods have removable center columns that will give you the functionality you are looking for, that is screwing the gimbal direct to the legset.

You sure about that? I wouldn't swear to it, but I think you can, just not as easily and quickly and conveniently as you can with the 3021BPRO.

b&

stuDoc

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 12:56:38 PM »
Thanks for the pic PBD. I looked at similar Induro tripods and although they had removable center columns, there was no simple way of achieving this with them either.  I can live with a center column, but was hoping for the weight savings.  Thanks guys.  I think the Manfrotto 393 and 055XPROB will make a fine match.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 02:21:55 PM »
Well, I stand (sit) corrected.

It's easy enough to remove the 055XPROB's center column entirely, but no way to make it short. But with the 3021BPRO, the business end of the center column unscrews from the rest, leaving you with nothing that sticks down below the pivots of the leg joints.

You can literally stick the 3021BPRO's legs horizontal and still have the center post stick straight up, with the base of the camera about 6" off the dirt. And it's relatively straightforward to put the camera at any hight between that and about 6' off the ground, though it's not quite so stable fully extended. And you can just about put the camera on the dirt if you switch the center post to horizontal. That's why I love it...it's not just a regular tripod, it's also a macro tripod, and a large tabletop tripod, and it's plenty strong enough to hold a 400 f/2.8, and it's not all that heavy. And it doesn't vibrate. And it's cheap! You can pick any tripod out there and it'll be better at one spec, but the 3021BPRO will be better at most of the rest. Pick another tripod, and same story but with a different spec.

So, yeah. You'd need a second, smaller center post for the 055XPROB, which rather defeats the purpose. But the center post of the 3021BPRO would probably work just fine, though you wouldn't be able to do the quick pivot trick that you can with the 055XPROB.

Me? I really, really prefer the old design of the 3021BPRO, which is why it's my go-to tripod. I hate to think of what I'll do if anything ever happens to mine....

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 02:47:19 PM »
Are you referring to 055XPROB?

Either. The ergonomics are different between the two, but the basic build is the same.

I much prefer the ergonomics of the 3021BPRO, especially the fact that I can quickly completely remove the center post, making it really easy to basically convert it into a tabletop tripod. I seem to remember having better options for hanging a weight off of the 3021BPRO for additional stabilization, but I wouldn't swear to it.

But both will support the heaviest of loads equally (very) well.

Cheers,

b&
The reason I asked that question was bcoz I use 055XPROB but it is build to handle only up to 15.4lbs (7kg) load ... but the 393 Gimbal Head is built to carry up to 44lbs (20 kg), so isn't that kinda mismatch? Ideally one would want to buy a tripod and head with identical or similar load capacities.
Of course, I have to admit that I don't know the load capacity of 3021BPRO
Regards

A quick search suggests that the 3021BPRO has an official load capacity of a bit over 13 pounds.

However...that doesn't seem to have much bearing on anything in reality.

I've often put the post horizontal, extended all the way, with a gripped body and medium telephoto (such as the 180 macro) pointed straight down, and a lot more than 13 pounds hanging from the center to keep it from tipping. Never even a hint of a problem, except that you have to watch out for vibrations...I only do this in the studio with flash, where not only is there nothing to cause vibrations but the flash itself eliminates the problem.

I suppose in its least sturdy configuration...say, legs fully extended and fully splayed, with the center post sideways, then it might have a problem with a 13 pound load...but, even then, such a failure would really surprise me.

That, and it's a bit of a challenge to get a load that heavy in the first place. The 400 weights 8 1/2 pounds. The 5DIII is another two pounds; with the grip, it's three. The Wimberley head is three pounds, which brings you right up to the official limit -- and, again, my setup is so rock solid that it wouldn't even occur to you that there's even a theoretical possibility of a problem.

Lastly, manufacturers are notorious for specifying bogus weight limits. For example, RSS conservatively rates their BH-40 at a mere 18 pounds, even though it'll support twice that without problem. It just won't be a very pleasant experience working with much more than a 300 f/4 on a ballhead that physical size. The competition would go ahead and rate a similar ballhead at 35 pounds.

For me, that's what the 13 pound specification means for the 3021BPRO: works great with a 13 pound load -- and it does. If you're regularly going to put a heavier load on the legs -- such as a studio video camera -- then the tripod isn't for you. But you're also not looking for a tripod such as this in the first place.

Cheers,

b&
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Re: Tripod Legs for Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Head
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 02:47:19 PM »