July 30, 2014, 02:01:41 PM

Author Topic: Looking for a new tripod and head  (Read 1257 times)

r4ptor

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Looking for a new tripod and head
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:01:35 AM »
Hi guys,

I'm currently looking for a new tripod and ballhead, since my old manfrotto is falling apart.

The heaviest combo that will be mounted is a Canon 7D with batterygrip and a Canon 70-200 f2.8 L. So that's about 3kg.
I've looked around the internet a lot, but I got more confused with the time. Mostly because some manufactures say their tripod will hold 20kg, reviews say it's crap.
Well ok, I'm lost in the jungle ;)

Now the facts: I'm about 190cm tall, fully extraceted the tripod should be that tall, that I can work with  it without breaking my spine. Material is not that important. Weight with ballhead 3-4kg I. In transport position, it should be around 70 cm tall to be mounted on my fstop Tilopa.

The same confusion hits the ballhead. I had some looks at the Sirui and Cullmann ballheads, and of course most people say "go with arca swiss/RRS" and so on. Of course a RRS or novoflex ballhead would be nice, but do i really need it?

Then there is the budget. I plan on spending about 400$ on tripod and ballhead. So Gitzo, RRS and Novoflex look like a no go. Is there any combo out there that would satisfy me with this budget?

I thought about Feisol or Benro for the tripod and maybe a Sirui K-40x for the ballhead?

Any thoughts on that? Thank you :)

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Looking for a new tripod and head
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:01:35 AM »

Gert Arijs

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 03:23:01 PM »
I'd buy a used Gitzo (3540XLS for instance) and re-use the old head from your Manfrotto tripod. And save for a decent ballhead.
Good luck!
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BLFPhoto

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 04:54:25 PM »
I just picked up an Induro CT314 tripod and BHL1 ball head during the recent Induro sale.  I've been a Gitzo and Manfrotto/Bogen guy for 25 years, but this was a great deal so I thought I would try it when a friend gifted me a Pentax 67II and 3 lenses.  The Pentax is a beast of a camera, and needs some stiff support to tame the mirror and shutter.  On the other hand, you can see my Canon gear in my signature.  I also often rent a 400mm f/2.8 for sports.  This Induro setup is super stable and heavy duty enough to handle the 400mm/1D IV or gripped 5D III combination, as well as the Pentax with a 300mm lens.  For lighter gear, like you're talking about with a 70-200 and gripped 5d or 7D, you could easily step down to the 200 series tripods and the 2 series ball heads.   I've only had the Induro for a few weeks now, but would easily put it up against my old Gitzo and Manfrotto stuff.  It's really good, and comes with carrying bag, spiked feet, and tool set.

I looked at the Sirui 3204 and K-40X combination because it was less money, but the deal on the Induro and the experience of a friend with Induro tipped the balance for me.  That and everyone was out of K-40x ball heads at the time.  I have no experience with Sirui, but it seems decent enough, when I've seen it around.  The Induro stuff has always seemed a notch better in my unstudied estimation, though.

The Induro sale is over now, so the prices are not super screaming deals, but still are a lot better than Gitzo for comparable products. 

I have to add, though, that I've never had a problem with my Gitzo Mountaineer, except that it is a smaller model not entirely suited to large combinations like a 400 f/2.8.  I've had my little Manfrotto 190 series for almost 20 years too, but it is really only suitable for small camera/lens set ups.  I'm an old infantry Marine, so I reckon my definition of what I'm willing to carry and call "light" is probably different from most.  I think this new Induro setup of mine is eminently portable.  But my definition of cumbersome involves 81mm mortar base plates and HE rounds.  Most would probably consider the Induro overkill and cumbersome.  Therefore, my rec for the next steps down their lines for adequate gear given your setup.
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brad-man

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 05:26:39 PM »
Being as tall as you are is problematic for getting a stable pod (not raising the column) for cheap. I would recommend the previously mentioned Sirui M3204X. Collapsed it is 21" and it extends to 70". It weighs under 4 pounds and will easily handle your present rig (it's rated at 40 lbs). I have one and it's very well built. Trouble is, the cheapest it can be had right now is $380, and that's a good price. If you can continue to use your old ballhead until you can dig up a little more cash for a new head, you will not be disappointed.

http://www.amazon.com/M-3204X-Carbon-Series-Section-Tripod/dp/B004QC4TG4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392242951&sr=8-1&keywords=Sirui+M-3204x

tolusina

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 06:20:11 PM »
Common wisdom states that we'd like three things of our tripods, inexpensive, sturdy and lightweight but we can only have two of those three at one time.
 
Your $400 budget puts your purchase in the (relatively) inexpensive range, that leaves sturdy and lightweight to choose between.

In my opinion, sturdy trumps lightweight. Forget carbon fiber legs, choose a sturdy aluminum leg set, spend well on a stout head.
With your heaviest body/lens combination mounted to the tripod/head combination and lens zoomed to the max, compose a photo of a distant subject. As you lock the head in place, the head should not allow any sag or drift of your composition.
 
Do aim for Arca-Swiss compatible quick release components, they are as close to an interchangeable standard as is available.

Sorry, I've no specific recommendations as I'm shopping considerably up market for at least one tripod that will last my lifetime.
 
 
 
 

 
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gary

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 07:06:48 PM »
Check out the range of Benro carbon tri-pods. I have found them very high quality and very durable and the price is still good.
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Logan

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 07:26:03 PM »
For christmas I got a benro travel angel with the V2 head (the kit that comes with both tripod and head), it came in just over 500$ canadian, not on sale.  http://vistek.ca/store/ProPhotoTripods/269716/benro-c2692tv2-travel-angel-ii-carbon-fiber-v2-head.aspx

I like the twist locks, you can hold the camera where you want it and let the legs drop to the correct length.

I like the 4 section legs, although it takes more steps to get it set up, I think you can set it up in a much smaller space. yesterday I took some pictures with it set up on my door handle, steering wheel, and center console, and a 3 section tripod would have been very difficult to unfold in the vehicle.

I dont like the tension adjustment on the knob, it works but its easy to move by accident and sometimes hard to get loose if you get it stuck in the wrong place.

the ballhead sags only the tinyest bit, hasn't been an issue and other than that it works great.

it came with a stubby center post, a knob to turn the monopod leg into a walking stick if you want, and some other gadgetry, always nice to have options.

heres a mediocre shot in the rain from inside my truck in the aforementioned setup. if its not crisp its because i had the radio on and 2 people in a springy truck, not because the tripod is wobbly in any way.

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 07:26:03 PM »

Logan

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 07:28:23 PM »
oh not sure if this is a normal tripod feature but the notch in the ballhead allows the camera to point straight down for macro shots, depending on how wide your lens hood is. there is also a retractable hook on the bottom of the center post that lets you hang weights without getting in the way when its not in use.

johnf3f

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 08:10:22 PM »
Just my 2p.
My Sirui K40X is an excellent head but it is overkill. It is not phased by the longest and heaviest Canon production lenses so a smaller version, such as the K30X will be more than adequate for your current gear and allow for expansion.
My other ball head is a Triopo RS3, it is sold in the US under a different brand but I don't know what the name is! The top plate needs to be replaced with an Arca style clamp (I use the Triopo one) so factor this into the cost. If you can live with a single lever that controls all movements (which I like) and no friction adjustment, then get this head. Unless you plan to get a Canon 1200 F5.6 then there is NO current Canon lens that it will not support rigidly + it is very cheap! Not I do NOT recommend using big lenses on any ball head, I am just stating that this one will do it without creep.
As to tripods - bite the bullet and get a good one. I know RRS and Gitzo cost silly money, but you will not be replacing one in a hurry! Don't forget to look at the used market as well, I picked up a used Gitzo G1329 Mk2 Systematic + a carbon center column about $160 in you money. The center column alone was worth that much! Alternatively companies such as Feisol etc make some very decent tripods these days - so they are well worth a look. One point to note is that tripods by Gitzo and RRS tend to have a larger footprint (when set up the feet are further apart) which gives them great stability, other brand tripods tend to have a smaller footprint and can be less stable and more easily knocked/blown over.


r4ptor

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 03:59:11 AM »
Thank you all for your suggestions, man that's a tought decision.

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Re: Looking for a new tripod and head
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 03:59:11 AM »