October 25, 2014, 11:07:30 PM

Author Topic: ANOTHER tripod topic!  (Read 6410 times)

Leopard Lupus

  • Guest
ANOTHER tripod topic!
« on: January 01, 2012, 11:59:12 PM »
I know there are countless forums of this topic, but I would like to hear some opinions from others that may not have been mentioned (or i just can't find them) on previous forums.
I have been using a basic low-budget tripod for some time now, but not often. I want to play around with this type of stability, and have the equipment ready for use. What I am looking for is:

1.Tripod that can support 5D mk ll and 135mm f/2 L + mounted flash

2.Not necessarily lightweight, but portable

3.Ability to shoot scenic as well as portrait while still mounted on the tripod

Should I be looking for a ball joint tripod? A specific brand? I went into my local camera shop and asked, but i regret to say they knew little and were just focused on selling me the most expensive gear I knew I didn't need...
Thanks in advance!

canon rumors FORUM

ANOTHER tripod topic!
« on: January 01, 2012, 11:59:12 PM »

dr croubie

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Too many photos, too little time.
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 12:25:44 AM »
I've been also looking, and my current choice is between the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 and Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT, $305 and $330 at B+H respectively. You can also check out the CXPRO4 and 284CT for the 4-section versions, they'll pack a bit smaller for a tiny trade-off in stability.

Also consider the Velbon EL545A, 1.3kg and packs to 43cm, still takes 6kg they say, or the 535A too. The Manfrotto 190CX-variants are also light and portable, just shorter than the 055-series and a bit cheaper too
Too much gear, too little space.
Gear Photos

Michael_pfh

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 12:45:38 AM »
I am using the Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 with a Manfrotto 498RC4 ballhead with almost all of my lenses (plus flash when needed) and a Manfrotto 393 for my 400F2.8L. I have been more than happy with the light weight and compact yet very sturdy tripod.

However, the 055CXPRO3 might be a better choice for you if you do not plan to use heavy super teles with it.
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L IS II | 500 4.0L IS

PeterJ

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 342
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 01:47:40 AM »
My first decent tripod purchase was a Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod + 808RC4 Head. The legs have a good range of adjustments and let me get about as high as I'd normally want without needing to extend the top column (which loses a bit of stability) and the top column can be made horizontal for easy straight-down shooting at table-tops etc. For me the legs are a good compromise of weight, size and price. They are probably a bit large for frequent air travel but no problems carrying one in a car and relatively short distances.

That head allows quick adjustment between portrait and landscape and personally I find them a bit easier and more convenient than a ball head because it has the long levers to hold onto which I prefer to holding the camera. One drawback is they aren't very good for precise framing, I recently picked up a Manfrotto 410 geared head which is excellent for precise framing, but not for panning so I'll keep the pair. The 410 might also be a bit tedious for portraits, but that depends if they are 'setup' type situations or somewhat candid where it would be a bit slower to frame the shots.

Those options will easily cope with that setup, and give you a bit of headroom for heavier lenses apart from from some of the bigger super-teles (ie you'll be OK with any of the < $3K lenses).

Flake

  • Guest
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 04:05:33 AM »
Again, (from other posts) avoid the Manfrotto legs which have been cheapened to a point where they're not very good & require lots of accessories to bring them to the spec of competitor models.

Consider Giottos, or Induro, Benbo, and if you're feeling rich Gitzo.  Manfrotto heads are still made to a reasonable standard and will work with other manufacturers legs.  A ball head is best for action photography, sports or wildlife, the 3D types are better for landscapes & portraits, as each plane can be set individually & then locked.

If you attempt to shoot portrait with the 135mm f/2 L and the flash attached you will run the risk of casting shadows by the lens, consider and off camera flash cable, it doesn't have to be the stupidly expensive Canon own brand one (shows how much they rip us off!), but you do need to get the flash above the camera to light properly.

Michael_pfh

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 04:16:30 AM »
I seem to be extremely lucky that my Manfrotto carbon fibre legs are from a rare good batch. Cam, battery grip, head and super tele weigh more than 8kg combined but the results are everything but shaky...
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L IS II | 500 4.0L IS

Kernuak

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1108
    • View Profile
    • Avalon Light Photoart
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 05:10:40 AM »
The main weak point on Manfrotto tripods, aren't so much the tripod legs, but the catches that allow the angle of the legs to be adjusted. I saw one break on the 055 series just by normal setting up in cold, but not exceptionally cold weather (well above freezing). I have the 190 MF3, as it is handy for air travel, but I since got the Giottos 8271, for my 300mm f/2.8, that one has metal catches to adjust the angles, just like Gitzo has. They also have a twist grip leg height adjustment option, as well as the levers too.
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

canon rumors FORUM

Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 05:10:40 AM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14758
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 06:18:42 AM »
I've been very happy with my Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 - pretty light, very stable even with heavier combos (gripped body with 70-200/2.8 or 100-400).  I started with the 488RC2 head, but in my opinion the 'weak point' of the Manfrotto system is the RC2 plates/clamp.  The RC4 is much better, but the large hexagonal plates are bulkier than I'd like. I ended up with a 468MG head (a great and sturdy head that locks down tightly) with a Wimberley C-12 clamp and Arca-Swiss type camera and lens plates.  For switching to portrait orientation, I'd recommend an L-bracket - there, the Arca-Swiss compatible offerings (Kirk, Really Right Stuff) are much better than Manfrotto.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

torger

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 221
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 08:26:55 AM »
I guess it depends a bit on shooting style and quality expectation. Overkill stability is the thing to have for long exposures or windy conditions, or else there will be reduction in sharpness. If you're the type of guy that strives to max out sharpness you'd want to spend quite some money on the tripod. I find large height also helpful, I often find standard height tripods to be too low when on uneven ground or looking for unusual perspectives. I use a Gitzo G3541XLS which I'm very happy with, except for macro photography when the lack of center column is a bit of a pain (often want to do micro-adjustment of height when doing macro).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 08:29:04 AM by torger »

traveller

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 658
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 08:44:21 AM »
Having used it for six months, so far I can add my recommendation for the Manfrotto 055CXPRO series (I have the 4 section for compactness -get the 3 section if you value set-up speed and stability higher).  I tried out the tripod against a Gitzo GT1542 series tripod at Mifsuds in Brixham (from whom I bought mine); I would recommend trying a tripod in a high quality camera shop such as this before buying, nothing beats handling it for yourself. 

FWIW the Gitzo was better in every respect except for price (basically, is it worth the 75% price premium for you?): I prefer the leg locks (but others don't); it is slightly better built; I like the fact that you can remove the extending centre column (but others may prefer the Manfrotto system e.g. for macro shooting).   

Whilst high wind stability is an issue for all the lighter carbon fibre tripods, they do damp wind induced oscillations better and are lighter.  I would highly recommend a carbon tripod if your budget allows, if not then I'd probably go for a slightly heavier duty aluminium model, such as the Manfrotto 055XB or 055XDB. 

If you want an even lighter and more compact tripod, I did try the 190CXPRO series as well and on the basis of my in-shop handling only, would second Neuroanatomist's recommendation.  They are considerably smaller than the 055s, very well built and much taller than my Slik PRO340DX -don't overlook this last specification. 

If you're looking for a tripod to mount super-teles, then you're looking for the Gitzo 35XX series upwards.  I can't pass any judgement here, but would recommend that you read Arthur Morris' site for assistance (http://www.birdsasart.com/).  You might also try http://www.bythom.com/support.htm if you can cope with a Nikon based site (not that this matters for tripods!).

The exception to my Manfrotto recommendation is the RC2 plate that I have mounted on the 498 head I bought for the tripod: again I agree with Neuroanoatomist, it is poor! Even the Slik quick release plate is superior! Personally, I'm not sure if a ballhead is right for my (landscape) needs; I find it difficult to use a hotshoe level without altering my composition.  Perhaps I need a pan and tilt, or maybe a better ballhead.  I cannot give an overwhelming recommendation for the Manfrotto ballheads, but at least they are relatively cheap!

Sorry this is a bit long, but I hope it helps...

RC

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2012, 10:09:22 AM »
I know Manfrotto and Gitzo are the big names out there but I went with Vanguard.  Honestly it is not a name I would have given much attention to but when I was in an out of town camera shop (Raleigh, NC), the dealer had a great selection so I was able to put my hands on them and play around.  Seriously I think Vanguard is worth checking out, a good solid HQ product without the excessive priced tag.  My photography allocated money is always limited and I'd rather (at least right now) put it towards L glass.  My main support is rock solid sturdy, but yet not a monster so it's what I carry around unless I'm backpacking or have limited travel space.  The ball heads are solid, smooth and dampened allowing for precise adjustments.

I have the following:

Main Support
Alta Pro 264AB (15.4 lb load cap.)
SBH-100 ball head (22 lb load cap.)
Q3-39 shoe (comes with 2)
Multi-Angle Central Column (for Macro work)

Travel/Back Packing Support
Alta Plus 235AP (6.6 lb load cap.)
PH-22 Pan head (6.6 lb load cap.)
QS-50 shoe(comes with 2)
Total weight w/ head 3.25 lbs

Mono Pod
Tracker AP-284 (18 lb load cap.)
SBH-30 ball head (11 lb load cap.)
Q3-39 shoe (comes with 2)

Often these guys have the best pricing:  http://www.opticsplanet.com/s/vanguard+tripods/









« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 11:59:13 AM by RC »

scottkinfw

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 770
    • View Profile
    • kasden.smug.com
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 10:11:14 AM »
I have the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 + 468MGRC2 Ball head.

I find that the tripod is strong and will handle my lenses including the 70-200 2.8 IS II, no problem.  It is stable.
I like the easy/fast adjustable legs.  I have had to tighten the bolts several times with the included wrench, and twice over the last year the leg came undone (fortunately, no damage). I have taken the tripod out in the field and it is versatile as well. My only heads up is that it is rather large even when folded (circumference of three legs/adjusters), and a bit heavy, which may pose problems for stowing overhead on planes.

Regarding my ball head.  Took some time to get the hang of it but like it well enough now.  I agree that the quick release takes some getting used to as well.  I get a slight bit of drift with larger lenses.

Hope this helps.

sek

I've been also looking, and my current choice is between the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 and Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT, $305 and $330 at B+H respectively. You can also check out the CXPRO4 and 284CT for the 4-section versions, they'll pack a bit smaller for a tiny trade-off in stability.

Also consider the Velbon EL545A, 1.3kg and packs to 43cm, still takes 6kg they say, or the 535A too. The Manfrotto 190CX-variants are also light and portable, just shorter than the 055-series and a bit cheaper too
sek Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, EOS M  Lenses:  24-70 2.8 II IS, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8 Flashes: 580 EX II600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4522
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 05:13:55 PM »
as i've mentioned before Benro cannot be beaten for value for money
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Benro-A2691FB1-Travel-Angel-Tripod-Kit-A2691-B1-T139-/120730289734?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item1c1c160646
I use the carbon fibre one which is $150 more that this Aluminimum one. the CF one isnt a whole lot lighter either. Build quality is excellent and it can hold quite alot of weight. the money you save with one of these can pay for another lens :D
APS-H Fanboy

canon rumors FORUM

Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 05:13:55 PM »

Harley

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 165
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2012, 06:29:59 PM »
@Leopard Lupus:  Here is the string from a similar post I had recently which covers a lot about tripods.  Hopefully it's helpful. 
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,2487.0.html
EOS 7D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX, FD TS 35mm f/2.8, FL 55mm f/1.2, FD 300mm f/2.8 L

kirispupis

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 308
    • View Profile
Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 07:52:50 PM »
Personally I have two Gitzo tripods and I am very pleased with them.  I originally bought a 1348 because I did not want a center column and needed something very stable and that can go quite high (because I am tall).  It was purchased with the idea of using it with supertelephotos.  I have a Markins M20 ball head on top.

I later bought a Gitzo 2541EX for use with macro and put an Acratech GP ball head and two RRS macro rails on it.  This is probably the best setup you can get for macro - though if I could do it again I would get the geared version.

For a monopod I have the Gitzo 5541 with a RRS tilt head attached.

You can't really beat Gitzos for the stability and light weight they provide.  They have also thought of nearly anything.  I do agree that you can find very suitable tripods for less money, but IMHO the premium is worth it.  Once you purchase one Gitzo you'll find that you have no desire for anything else.
5D3|TS-E 24 II|TS-E 17|TS-E 90|200-400/1.4x|MP-E 65|100/2.8 IS Macro|70-200/2.8 IS II||16-35/2.8 II|EOS M

canon rumors FORUM

Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 07:52:50 PM »