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Author Topic: [advice] My last tripod  (Read 8158 times)

polarhannes

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[advice] My last tripod
« on: May 08, 2013, 11:46:35 AM »
Hello CR,

I am quite satisfied with my current gear (5D3, several L's) but I am lacking a good tripod.
I used my father's old tripod for a long time because of sentimental reasons (I mean, it's my father's tripod!).

However, I have a feeling it is about time to upgrade.
Budget is not really an issue - I prefer buying once over buying something cheap(er) and being not satisfied afterwards. Eventually you'll end up buying two times.

Main use will be landscapes (85%) and cars or other static objects.
Heaviest gear combination will be my 5D3+70-200 2.8 II or 5D3+100-400 (although the 16-35 and 24-70 will certainly be used much more often). I am 196 cm tall (I guess that is 6.43 feet? Quite tall). Stability is more important for me than transportability. I do use Arca-style RRS plates on all my gear (I use my Gitzo monopod very much, hence the plates)

What do you think of the RRS BH-55 as a head and the Gitzo GT3542LOS or GT3532LS as a tripod? Is it way too much for my needs? I'd prefer a 3-section tripod over the 4-section series, but there unfortunately is no 3-section ocean series from Gitzo.

I highly value your opinions and would appreciate if you share your thoughts. Thanks in advance!


tl;dr? Here is a short summary:

Tripod + head in need,
- stability > transportability
- budget: not a real issue
- main use: landscape and other stills
- I am 196cm tall (6.43 feet)
- Arca plates
- Heaviest combination: 5D3+70-200 2.8 II or 5D3+100-400 (although the 16-35 and 24-70 will certainly be used much more often)
- I am a bit RRS / Gitzo focused, but other opinions are still very welcome
"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

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[advice] My last tripod
« on: May 08, 2013, 11:46:35 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 01:09:48 PM »
RRS TVC-34L and BH-55 LR, with the quiver bag.  Done.

You really can't go wrong with either Gitzo vs. RRS legs, I just think the RRS is a half-step up (aluminum parts are anodized on RRS vs. painted on Gitzo, the RRS teardrop feet are great, etc.).

If you shoot single-row panos, you might consider the Acratech GP head (regular ballhead that can be inverted for pano shots).
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rpiotr01

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 02:36:42 PM »
Was in a similar situation, with similar - maybe a little lighter - gear: 5DIII, 17-40, 70-200 F4IS (plus shorter primes). I wanted more of a balance between size, strength and weight, so I went with the RRS BH-40 and 24L. Perfect so far. What I didn't appreciate until I got it was that, even with the 4th leg section giving the 24L a good amount of height, with only the first three parts extended it's a very workable and usable height. Only minor complaint is that I would like the main switch on the ballhead a lot better if it was a round knob like on the BH-55 rather than the lever style - but like I said, minor.

I did consider the BH-55 and TVC-33 but wanted to go a little lighter. If you want strength only you can't beat that, or even the 34L and just don't extend the fourth leg section. You'll be set for life.

brad-man

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 04:20:52 PM »
 I would suggest a Gitzo GT3542XLS with a Markins Q-10 on top. Without using the last leg section, the eyepiece will be around 169cm. It is incredibly stable (like Neuro, I have hung from it :) ) and you have the last leg section in reserve for very tall things and uneven ground. The Markins Q-10 will easily handle your present and likely future gear. I'm really not familiar with the ocean series though.

polarhannes

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 07:04:40 AM »
This is why I like CR so much - Thanks everybody for your great advice!

I agree with neuro on the feet. I think the RRS feet are much better. In fact I replaced the foot on my Gitzo monopod with a foot from Monostat.
A Gitzo salesman will be around my local photography gear dealer on May 15th.
As the Gitzo Systematic Ocean (eg http://www.gitzo.us/ocean-systematic-series-3-carbon-tripod-anti-corrosion-4-sec-gt3542los ) tripod has different feet and a different base compared to the usual Gitzo tripods, I will give it another chance and compare it to the RRS 34L and the GT3542XLS which brad-man mentioned.
It seems that the Ocean series tripods handle water, dust and sand quite well - does anyone have experience with RRS in extreme conditions?

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neuroanatomist

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 07:31:17 AM »
I've used my TVC-33 in pretty harsh conditions (on a beach as a hurricane approached, in the rain with windblown sand and salt spray).  Water definitely gets in the leg tubes on the RRS - those 'ocean locks' on the Gitzo look nice.  The RRS legs (like Gitzo, although not sure about the Ocean series) are field-strippable and easy to take apart to rinse/dry.
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MaxPower

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 09:06:26 AM »
- stability > transportability

http://www.berlebach.de/

I think is a great choice for long time exposures, but for my own taste there are bit too heavy.

Personnaly I'm really happy with my triopo combo. Good quality for little money.
I was really impressed, its not the usual "made in china" crap.
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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 09:06:26 AM »

9VIII

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 11:20:40 AM »
I've been using an Induro AT413, it's an aluminum tripod that'll support supertelephoto lenses and costs a little over $200.

My purposes were telephoto and macro (very vibration sensitive) so I replaced the default rubber interface on the tripod head mount. It was a little involved so just getting a new center column (Benro ELC4) sounds like a better idea (if the rubber bothers you).

If you want heavy duty on a budget it's probably the best option out there.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 11:41:26 AM »
If you want heavy duty on a budget it's probably the best option out there.

The OP said budget wasn't a real issue and is considering the Gitzo Ocean 3542, a $2100 set of legs.  So it seems like 'heavy duty on a budget' isn't desired.
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dickgrafixstop

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 01:04:50 PM »
Nothing fancy, just rock solid and functional.  Bit heavier than some of the carbon fiber types, but good design
overcomes a lot of obstacles.  Leitz Tilt-All - manufactured by someone else now but not too much over a
hundred bucks.  Durability?  Mine's over 50 years old without a problem and relatively "heavy" use.

noisejammer

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2013, 10:57:55 AM »
You might consider whether the BH-55 is a bit overkill. I've used one - with a Wimberley Sidekick - to carry a 400/4DO and teleconverter. It does this with ease. The critical issue to vibration damping is the torsional stiffness of the tripod. This makes the BH-40 is more than sufficient for a lens like a 70-200 or 100-400.

Personally, I do not like the quick release clamps offered on the RRS - there is too much chance for something catching leading to calamity. This too depends on how you envisage using your tripod. I chose to go with the Pro-2 clamp.

On the choice of tripod, I've read multiple cases of Gitzo tripods losing feet. It may be a resolved issue but the RRS kit I have is excellent.

Ben Taylor

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2013, 12:34:03 PM »
Neuro's choice is spot on as far as I'm concerned. I used the BH55 LR and TVC 34L combo and I will never need to upgrade unless I want to use a wimberly style head. I would recommend a levelling base for pure convenience as well.

I also use the RRS BH 30 on a gorillapod focus for travelilng (currently what's I'm using) and it's a surprisingly good combo.

I haven't had any issue with the lever releases as Noisejammer mentioned. The lever sits quite flush to the camera body's profile once closed so it doesn't stick out very much in my opinion. You also won't fully open the lever if something catches, there's a bit of a friction point (for lack of a better word) that requires you to move the lever a bit further beyond it to open the plate completely. Hard to describe but the chances are small.

Not sure if the mods here like external links but if you use your trusty internet searching tool and search for RRS TVC-34L review you'll find a quick review I did on the combo on another forum of the TDP variety.

Ben
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 12:47:32 PM by Ben Taylor »
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RMC33

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 01:14:18 PM »
RSS PG-02 + a MPL 192 slide and RSS TVC34 if you do a lot of panno's and landscape. I only use my BH 55 for studio work anymore.

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 01:14:18 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 01:45:01 PM »
Links are fine, Ben.  ;)

http://community.the-digital-picture.com/showthread.php?t=5705

Your review is one reason I went with the TVC-33 - thanks again!

I have the Gorillapod SLR Zoom (bought when I had a Rebel T1i/500D) and the Joby ballhead (a bit annoying due to the dedicated 1/4"-20 plate), I have been considering replacing it with the Focus, and I like the idea of using a BH-30 on it (especially since I have one on my TQC-14).

Incidentally, at a brick and mortar shop a few months back, I ran across (and bought) a Joby SLR-Zoom Flash Clip, a cold shoe that clicks into the BH-1 ballhead that I have on the SLR-Zoom.  So I'll be able to use that with a 600-EX RT as a more flexible Justin clamp.
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jasonsim

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 03:24:04 PM »
Since you want a 3 section, I'd strongly recommend a Gitzo GT3532LS systematic version 2.  It has the latest tech and new features that have won many industry awards.  RRS is great too, but the Gitzo is just as good for less and they have a $150 rebate running now!

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Support: Gitzo GT4542LS/G2258, RRS BH-55, Wimberley WH-200

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Re: [advice] My last tripod
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 03:24:04 PM »