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Author Topic: Travel tripod -- quick connector systems???  (Read 1146 times)

TexinAfrica

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Travel tripod -- quick connector systems???
« on: April 12, 2012, 02:40:14 PM »
Based on a variety of learned opinions from this site, I'm setting aside the notion of buying a Benro Travel Angel and will buy a Gitzo Traveler 1542T.  I have, and use extensively a Manfrotto monopod with their monopod head & quick connector.  For the 1542 I plan to buy a Manfrotto 054 Magnesium head with the Q2 quick release  (QR)plate.   It's the same model 200pl plate used on my monopod.  My obvious goal is to uses the same QR system on the monpod and tripod.

I'm seeking comments on the merits of the Manfrotto QR 2 system - which is their their smaller plate.  They also make a larger QR system but i prefer to use the QR 2 if it appears sound.  Manfrotto's site does not give comparative values of the different QR systems.

I'll soon be bolting more expensive toys on top of these kits so I want to have a good feel that the QR system is not a weak link.  The tripod is rated at 17lbs and the  054 head ad 22lbs. In the near future I'll be using 5d MK3 with largest lens likely being a 70-300 L series.
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Travel tripod -- quick connector systems???
« on: April 12, 2012, 02:40:14 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Travel tripod -- quick connector systems???
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 03:46:35 PM »
Honestly, I'd skip the Q2/RC2 plate. 

I have a Manfrotto CF tripod, Manfrotto CF monopod, and had the 488RC2 and 234RC heads, respectively, that use the plate you're talking about.  Obviously, I like their products.  But I felt that the RC2 plate was the weak link in the chain.  Support rating isn't the issue given your requirements - I used the RC2 with gripped bodies (5DII/7D) and big white zooms (100-400, 70-200/2.8 IS II), it held fine.  The issue is that there's a little bit of play in the clamp.  The connection is secure (and there's a supplemental lock), but that play makes critical adjustments a challenge sometimes.

I previously looked at the larger plates, but they all extend beyond the base of the camera and that isn't optimal. 

Personally, I'd recommend getting an Arca-Swiss system.  That's what I ended up switching to - I replaced the 488RC2 head with a Manfrotto 468MG (much nicer than the 488) and the 234RC head with a plain 234 tilt head for the monopod, and to both of them I attached Wimberley C-12 clamps.  I use Wimberley P-20 plates on my lenses with tripod collars, and a Wimberley P-5 plate on the body.  The other advantage is the available of excellent L-brackets (RRS, Kirk) for the AS system that are much better than the generic Manfrotto L-bracket.
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TexinAfrica

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Re: Travel tripod -- quick connector systems???
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 03:54:39 PM »
Hmmmmmmm....stuff to think about.  I'm in Africa and the nearest well stocked camera store is about 1500 miles away - so it will be a while before I can look at, hold and manipulate the options.   

However, the Arca Swiss type head appears to depend on torquing the set screw for adequate tightness whereby the Manfrotto plate is a "clip in" system that is either in our out.   The previous statement made me feel the AS system would be less "certain" of being properly latched down.

I appreciate your comments.  They help. 
Live from the coast of West Africa

neuroanatomist

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Re: Travel tripod -- quick connector systems???
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 04:00:05 PM »
However, the Arca Swiss type head appears to depend on torquing the set screw for adequate tightness whereby the Manfrotto plate is a "clip in" system that is either in our out.   The previous statement made me feel the AS system would be less "certain" of being properly latched down.

Depends on the clamp - some are screw lock (like mine, and I've never had them loosen up), but there are lever-lock versions of AS-compatible clamps, too.  The difference is that with the AS system, the clamps hold the plates tight when locked.  With the Manfrotto system, the clamp closes and locks sufficiently to prevent the plate from coming out, but the clamp doesn't tightly hold the RC2 plate - you can still move the plate by close to 1 mm within the clamp.
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Re: Travel tripod -- quick connector systems???
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 04:00:05 PM »