December 18, 2014, 02:49:38 PM

Author Topic: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead  (Read 1871 times)

fugu82

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Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« on: July 25, 2014, 03:34:35 PM »
I have come to the point that I want to upgrade from my current tripod. I have a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 with an 054 head converted to A/S that is getting pretty beat up. I use it primarily for landscape and night photography. Heaviest rig is a 5D3 and 100-400. I am a 5' 4" older lady, and don't need a bunch of height or weight.

So I need advice from the RRS gurus out there. What height of legs should I consider? I like the travel-friendly TVC-24, but am afraid that it would be too short even for me on uneven ground. Would it?

What RRS [or other] ballhead? I used to have a BH-40 but it seemed to have a lot of creep. Maybe I was too afraid of over-tightening. A screw-knob clamp might be better than a lever for me, since I have plates and L-brackets from everybody.

Thanx in advance for your help!

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Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« on: July 25, 2014, 03:34:35 PM »

quod

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 04:37:51 PM »
Your next (and only) ballhead option in the RRS chain is the BH-55.  I have it.  It is very stable and is sufficient for the 100-400mm.  It's not the most travel friendly ballhead, as it is big and heavy.  Markins and Acratech make quality heads that are also light weight.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 04:40:47 PM by quod »

nonac

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 04:48:08 PM »
If the 100-400 is the heaviest lens you have (or will have), you can easily get by with the RRS BH-40.  I've had mine for about 5 years using a 40d with a 100-400 up through a gripped 5d III with a 100-400.  I've had no issues with the BH-40 with these combinations.  I would suggest buying the L-plate from RRS for your body, really nice plate. That said, I'm looking to buy a heavier lens in the near future, at which time I'll have to upgrade to the BH-55.
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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 05:35:11 PM »
I'm 5'8" and have the TVC-24L.  It is a bit longer than the TVC-24, but I rarely extend ANY leg fully even on uneven ground.  There isn't a big price difference between these tripods, so it really comes down to how compact you want the folded up package to be and weight (~0.6 lb difference).  If you travel a lot (carry on luggage), then the 24 (or the 14) will suit you better becuase you might be able to get in into a carryon.  If you travel by car a lot then the weight and length penalties don't count as much, and I'd opt for the 24L even if you only use 3 out of 4 sections of it most of the time.

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 05:48:37 PM »
The 24L + BH-40 LR may be the best choice.  Personally, I have the TQC-14 + BH-30 LR for travel (in the RRS quiver bag it fits within my Storm im2500 carryon hard case), and I have the TVC-33 + BH-55 LR for near home, which I often use with the PG-02 LLR gimbal instead of ballhead (the leveling base with clamp makes swapping a breeze), to support my 600/4L IS II.
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sagittariansrock

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 04:41:51 AM »
I have come to the point that I want to upgrade from my current tripod. I have a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 with an 054 head converted to A/S that is getting pretty beat up. I use it primarily for landscape and night photography. Heaviest rig is a 5D3 and 100-400. I am a 5' 4" older lady, and don't need a bunch of height or weight.

So I need advice from the RRS gurus out there. What height of legs should I consider? I like the travel-friendly TVC-24, but am afraid that it would be too short even for me on uneven ground. Would it?

What RRS [or other] ballhead? I used to have a BH-40 but it seemed to have a lot of creep. Maybe I was too afraid of over-tightening. A screw-knob clamp might be better than a lever for me, since I have plates and L-brackets from everybody.

Thanx in advance for your help!



IMO the TVC-24 will not be too short for you, and if you use the excellent leveling head, it will raise the camera further and mitigate some of the issues with (slightly) uneven ground.
In the image below, you can see the second guy from left (5'6") using a TVC-24 while slightly bending forward.
Couple of things I have noticed:
1. It is better to have the camera a bit lower than otherwise- it sucks if I can't peek at the top LCD because it is too high.
2. It is a major pain if you don't want to extend the legs all the way- it takes a lot of time to set it up and level. (for example, when you are extending all 4 sections, but one section part way; if you are extending three sections and keeping one unextended that works okay, but I think if you do that with the 24L it will be as low as the 24).
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fugu82

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 09:15:34 AM »
Thanks so much for all the insightful replies; still somewhat undecided. It is tough to buy something like this sight unseen.

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 09:15:34 AM »

Ophthaltographer

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2014, 11:07:01 AM »
I have a TVC-24L / BH-40LR and am 5'10".  The BH-40 was recently updated a few months ago (1 notch instead of 2 and smaller T lever) and I doubt you would have any problem with drift.  Having had both, I much prefer the lever to the screw clamp.  Your eye height is 64-4=60".  The TVC-24 is 49.2" + 7"(ball and camera) = 56.2".  So on a flat surface you would have to bend down 4".  You can try it at home by setting up your current tripod with the camera eyepiece 56.2" above the floor.  I tend to bend over 2-3" when shooting so it's doable but not ideal.  Oh and don't bother to ask RRS to cut down a TVC-24L a few inches, they won't.  That all said, I find the TVC-24L, BH-40LR in the TQB-72 bag remarkably compact.
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87vr6

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2014, 11:09:27 AM »
I shoot with a 5D3 and my heaviest lens(es) are the 70-200 IS II and the 70-300 L.. I've also shot with a 300 2.8 IS II.

This was/is all used on a RRS BH40 and manfrotto 55X:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/504845-REG/Manfrotto_055XPROB_055XPROB_Aluminum_Tripod_Legs.html

That combo handled my equipment just fine.

sagittariansrock

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 12:25:18 PM »
Thanks so much for all the insightful replies; still somewhat undecided. It is tough to buy something like this sight unseen.

Sorry, forgot to put the image in my post. See the second person (5'6") with the TVC-24 and TVC-24L. The L is much taller, of course, but with only three sections extended it's the same as the 24. With all the sections extended it is much taller than you want, and partially opening one section and leveling the tripod- well, just try it with your manfrotto and see how it feels- it felt very clunky to me.
It seems the 23 might not be a bad choice...
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 12:27:04 PM by sagittariansrock »
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fugu82

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 11:15:17 PM »
Hmmmm. The 23 is starting to like a Goldilocks height for me......

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Re: Advice on Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 11:15:17 PM »