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Author Topic: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)  (Read 1125 times)

KurtStevens

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New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« on: June 09, 2012, 11:08:52 PM »
Hello, I currently have a Manfrotto 3 second tripod with joystick head (terrible combination, doesnt' even hold the weight of my 5d3 and grip.  I recently had it blown over by the wind and now I need to send my 16-35 in for repair. 

I'd like to get a new tripod, I think my current budget allows for $400 but want to hear options for a nice tripod (I want carbon fibre along, I like Gitzo's leg locking system, the G-lock system) and a ball head or off center ball head but my experience with tripods is limited. 

Can I have some help searching for a new tripod?  Thanks a bunch!


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New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« on: June 09, 2012, 11:08:52 PM »

YellowJersey

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 12:57:01 AM »
As for a head, have you considered a geared head? It all depends on what you're shooting. I do landscapes and nature, so I usually have time. I use the Manfrotto 410 junior geared head... it's a bit heavy, but it allows for very fine adjustments. I can't imagine using anything else.

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 11:16:57 AM »
Manfroto has two versions of their joystick grip.  Only the more expensive one (PRO?) works reasonably well, but I only use it in my studio physically bolted to my light table (I use the horizontal one, not the vertical which is a problem device for sure).
 
Two issues about tripod use.
 
1.  Never extend the upper column, it makes a tripod unstable, and at best, it vibrates enough that you will get motion blur.  This means you need to select a tripod tall enough to use without extending the center column.
 
2.  Hang a weight on the underhook, usually a camera bag.  That takes the play out of the lens and stabilizes the tripod.  If your tripod does not have a underhook and you can't add one, improvise until you can afford one that does.
 
Just doing those two things will help a huge amount.
 
Then, of course, get a good head, there are several out there, but plan on paying $$$ for it.

neuroanatomist

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 11:28:37 AM »
I think my current budget allows for $400 but want to hear options for a nice tripod...

That will get you a nice tripod, a nice head, or a midrange tripod+head.  A 'nice' tripod+head will run you closer to $1K...
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KurtStevens

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 02:14:11 PM »
I decided on what I was going to get. I looked around and did a bit of comparing.  I came up with a gitzo gt 2830 3 section for the legs.  Supports the weight, has the hook and leg,locks I want.  For the head, I found the gitzo gh3750.  Off center ball head looks pretty good.  Total would be 480.  Think I'll buy today.     
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neuroanatomist

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 02:18:36 PM »
For the head, I found the gitzo gh3750.  Off center ball head looks pretty good.

I don't speak from personal experience, but while Gitzo legs are the best out there, Gitzo ballheads are not highly regarded.  One poor sap on my local Craigslist has been trying to sell one for almost two years, keeps re-listing with a slightly lower price, which is very reasonable compared to new, but still no takers.
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KurtStevens

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 02:44:39 PM »
So I've been told. They look great and I had hands on ages ago so I don't know for sure. I'll test it out and if I don't like it I can always return it right?  Just a pain to do that.
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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 02:44:39 PM »

Jamesy

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 02:52:28 PM »
I have a Gitzo 2531EX carbon fiber three section tripod, Markins M10 ballhaed and RRS clamp. Incredible setup but it was well north of $1000 by the time I got an L-Bracket, generic plate, lens plate, bag, etc. Closer to 1500 CDN if I recall.

That said, I bought a Benro Travel Angel for a European trip last year and picked up a C1681 carbon fiber model that comes with a nicely padded bag and ballhead included for roughly $300 off of eBay. The same one local in Toronto or B+H was close to $500. It also transforms into a mono-pod - sweet!

You could look into their 2-Series and it would be closer to my Gitzo setup. I find the Benro legs are very Gitzo like - it is clear it is a 1:1 design rip-off.

If I had it all to do again, I would have saved loads of money and bought the Benro out of the blocks.

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Re: New Tripod (Help me spend my money)
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 02:52:28 PM »