October 21, 2014, 08:59:58 PM

Author Topic: Help picking a Tripod  (Read 6612 times)

newxmatrix

  • Guest
Help picking a Tripod
« on: July 25, 2012, 09:41:32 PM »
Hello!!!

I just bought Canon 5d mark iii.  I am looking for a good tripod. 

sometime i need to travel so i need to bring it.  sometime i do movie stuff.

Please help me pick one.

Thank

canon rumors FORUM

Help picking a Tripod
« on: July 25, 2012, 09:41:32 PM »

NormanBates

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 489
  • www.similaar.com
    • View Profile
    • www.similaar.com
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 03:07:08 AM »
not much thought about portability there, but check this lengthy thread:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?266905-500-Tripod-suggestions-for-60d

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 05:08:23 AM »
Hi Newxmatrix

There are a couple of things to address here, the main one being that there is no tripod that will tick all the boxes you require.

Are you buying a tripod with the hope of using it for stills and for video?

How serious are you about video?

What kind of travelling do you intend to do?

Would you consider a tripod system, rather than one single tripod?

A little bit about video tripods:

Video is almost always shot in landscape orientation.  As such you are going to struggle to find a video tripod or tripod head that permits shooting with the camera in the portrait orientation (lenses with tripod rings get round this, but this tends to be only telephoto or telezoom lenses)

If you want something that will do both stills and video well then I'm afraid it means you are looking at two tripods, or at least two tripod heads.  There are video / stills heads available (i.e. manfrotto 390RC) but they tend to be basic and / or compromised.

A good video head will have fluid dampened movements the resistance of which can be altered (drag), a sliding plate for positioning and balance, and ideally some form of counterbalance to permit the smoothest of movements.

I bang on about counterbalance all the time, when you've used a properly set up counterbalanced tripod you will be amazed at how little effort is required to move even very heavy cameras and much easier it is to get smooth ramping into your pans and tilts.

Ideally a good video head will sit atop some form of levelling device, this is most commonly dedicated video tripod legs with a bowl or minibowl mount, but can also be a special column or a levelling head between the tripod and the video head.

The benefit of this is that you can quickly set up a level base to ensure that the camera stays level throughout your pan.  With a conventional tripod such a set up can be time consuming and frustrating.

There are some video tripods on the likes of amazon which on paper seem to tick the above boxes for reasonably low prices, I have not used any and so cannot vouch for them, there are some who use the forums who have and who may wish to offer an opinion here.

I use a couple of tripods, one built around a set of Manfrotto 055 legs with a 438 level head and a 501HDV head.  This is large, heavy, but gives a great low and max height, and the head can be easily switched for a stills head or my timelapse panning head when required.

I recently got hold of a Sachtler Ace, which ticks all the boxes and gives the smoothest movements I've used on any tripod aside from the adult Sachtlers I use with ENG cameras.   The benefits of the ACE is that it is reasonably compact (in video tripod terms) has an excellent counterballance system which is staged to suite DSLRs to HDV type cameras, and has steppable drag so you can repeat movements easily.

It isn't the cheapest on the market, and it really isn't stills friendly at all, but it is very good and despite the higher price, excellent value.  You get everything you need in one box (including bag) the MS version is more practical for outdoors use (mid level spreader)

So that is the two options I would recommend..

Manfrotto 190 or 055 legs (190 more compact, lighter, cheaper and up to job for DSLRS)
Manfrotto 438 leveller
Manfrotto 501HDV (or ideally the newer MVH502 head)
Add in a stills head (804RC2)

and you have a decent versatile system, or a Sachtler ACE, for video only, which works superbly out the box.

The cost of each option works out about similar, maybe the ACE is a little more expensive, but it's what works for my DSLR kit.


neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14712
    • View Profile
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 07:43:20 AM »
If you want something that will do both stills and video well then I'm afraid it means you are looking at two tripods, or at least two tripod heads.

Or one tripod, one head (fluid for video), and an L-bracket for the camera for portrait orientation stills.  Manfrotto has a new-ish universal L-bracket for their QR system, but I'd say get a fluid head without a clamp, add a Wimberley C-12 to it, and look at Kirk or Really Right Stuff for a camera-specific L-bracket.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 07:51:04 AM »
Quote
Or one tripod, one head (fluid for video), and an L-bracket for the camera for portrait orientation stills.  Manfrotto has a new-ish universal L-bracket for their QR system, but I'd say get a fluid head without a clamp, add a Wimberley C-12 to it, and look at Kirk or Really Right Stuff for a camera-specific L-bracket.

There is a good chance that would exceed the weight capacity of many tripods (even the 055 series) and almost certainly will exceed the weight capacity of the video head.

Gimbals are great for action photography where the end result is discontiguous, I wouldn't really rate them for situations where ramping control or dampening control (on tilt and pan) or repeatability of movement are required.  The OP did also state that travelling was a concern. 


neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14712
    • View Profile
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 08:31:21 AM »
Quote
Or one tripod, one head (fluid for video), and an L-bracket for the camera for portrait orientation stills.  Manfrotto has a new-ish universal L-bracket for their QR system, but I'd say get a fluid head without a clamp, add a Wimberley C-12 to it, and look at Kirk or Really Right Stuff for a camera-specific L-bracket.

There is a good chance that would exceed the weight capacity of many tripods (even the 055 series) and almost certainly will exceed the weight capacity of the video head.

Gimbals are great for action photography where the end result is discontiguous, I wouldn't really rate them for situations where ramping control or dampening control (on tilt and pan) or repeatability of movement are required.  The OP did also state that travelling was a concern.

Sorry, did I miss something?  I didn't say Wimberley II, I said C-12 clamp.  A Wimberely C-12 clamp is a small, flat Arca-Swiss-type QR clamp that weighs 4.5 oz., because there really aren't stock video heads that are AS-compatible, and the good quality L-brackets use AS-type QR attachments.  An L-bracket is a one-piece aluminum bracket that attaches to the camera, allows mounting in landscape and portrait orientation to a tripod head without a drop slot, and weighs 4-5 oz.

What's all this confusing and tangential talk about exceeding weight capacities and gimbal heads??
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 08:37:00 AM »
Quote
What's all this confusing and tangential talk about exceeding weight capacities and gimbal heads??

I think as you well know I made a wrong assumption, which led to the bit that confused you so.

I'll readmoreclosely and reply     more      slowly       next          time.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 08:37:00 AM »

acoll123

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
  • /
    • View Profile
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 10:48:27 AM »
Can we help you pick your spouse as well? It is the same kind of vague question.

I currently use a gitzo basalt tripod:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=662851&Q=&is=REG&A=details

I got it because I wanted something light-weight, smaller and less expensive than carbon fiber which this is. I now regret not getting a taller tripod and plan to trade up as soon as I can. I will probably stick with Gitzo.

I suggest you take the max height of whatever you look at then add the height of a head (if you choose to use one) and then the height from the bottom or side of your camera to the center of the viewfinder. The result should be at least equal to the distance from your eyes to the ground so you don't have to bend over when you are using it.

Some people also don't like using a center column because it is less stable - not sure how critical your work is but I haven't found the center column to be a problem.

I also regret getting the gitzo ball head - mine came as a package with the tripod (cheaper) and I wish I had gotten a different one so I could use the more ubiqitous Wimberly plates.

Jamesy

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 726
    • View Profile
Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 07:02:37 PM »
You didn't specify a budget. I have a Gitzo 2531EX carbon fiber tripod, Markins M10 and RRS QR clamp Arca Swiss setup which cost roughly $1200 plus a bag and L-Brackets and lens plates.
I also bought a Benro 1681 Travel Angel travel tripod that is super small and light - it also doubles as a monopod and it came with an Arca Swiss ballhead - fantastic rig and it was only $300 from eBay, which next to the Gitzo is cheap.
If I had it to do all over again, I would go Benro all the way. They are nice tripods, very sturdy and well made. They have much cheaper aluminum models that won't break the bank.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Help picking a Tripod
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 07:02:37 PM »