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Author Topic: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?  (Read 14085 times)

weixing

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2012, 11:10:55 PM »
neuroanatomist, thanks for the info on the RRS gear.  I did settle on the Gitzo GT3532LS and the gimbal from Custom Brackets.  I received very good feedback on it and the one thing that I did like about it was its capability to break down into 4 components for packing in my carryon luggage.  I guess it ultimately comes down to what works for you and I think this will work for me.

I checked on my lens yesterday and my dealer has no word on it at all.  The last ones brought into Canada were brought in last January, yup, that's what he said - I just hope I don't have to wait until January 2013 for mine to show up.

WesternGuy
Got my 600 couple of days ago. Surprising as it seems, it is readily available here in India and took me a 10 day wait to arrive. Waiting for the weekend outing into the forests with the 1Dx.

I also got the Wimberley II and plan to use my Manfrotto 055C with it for now.  Wanted to get a Gitzo with more max load capacity.
Question : I see suggestions for the GT3532... or 42. Why not the GT3531 with center column?  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/569149-REG/Gitzo_GT3531_GT3531_6X_Carbon_Fiber.html  Will the column make it unstable?
    It's more unstable when extend the centre column especially with those big super telephoto lens, but most importantly the centre column prevent you to go low which is important when you want to get a eye level shot of the birds or wild life. That's why most bird/wild life photographer use tripod without centre column.

   Have a nice day.

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2012, 11:10:55 PM »

vkiran

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2012, 11:18:48 PM »
It's more unstable when extend the centre column especially with those big super telephoto lens, but most importantly the centre column prevent you to go low which is important when you want to get a eye level shot of the birds or wild life. That's why most bird/wild life photographer use tripod without centre column.

   Have a nice day.

Oh yes, thanks for pointing it out the low level requirement.  I have shot mainly sitting or upright as the animals birds here tend to stay higher.  Still, there are some aqautic and floor level ones too that I have ignored, time to get down! :-)

neuroanatomist

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2012, 11:19:19 PM »
Question : I see suggestions for the GT3532... or 42. Why not the GT3531 with center column?  Will the column make it unstable?

Yes - a center column is 'for emergencies only', raising it eliminates much of the stability you're using the tripod for in the first place.  You should select a tripod that's tall enough without considering the center column in the height, and for a supertele, skip the center column altogether.  The center column also prevents you from shooting close to the ground.

One suggestion for you and WesternGuy - I recommend getting a leveling base for use with the gimbal.  With a ballhead, you can level the camera/lens with the ball, but with a gimbal you need the platform where the base of the gimbal sits to be level.  If you have to do that by adjusting the tripod leg extensions, it's a real pain - the leveling base means you don't have to worry about uneven ground, just grab the stem and level it (can easily be done with the lens mounted, try fiddling with the legs like that...).
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Greatland

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2012, 11:44:28 PM »
I am so jealous!!!!! :-\

WesternGuy

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2012, 02:10:37 AM »
Question : I see suggestions for the GT3532... or 42. Why not the GT3531 with center column?  Will the column make it unstable?

Yes - a center column is 'for emergencies only', raising it eliminates much of the stability you're using the tripod for in the first place.  You should select a tripod that's tall enough without considering the center column in the height, and for a supertele, skip the center column altogether.  The center column also prevents you from shooting close to the ground.

One suggestion for you and WesternGuy - I recommend getting a leveling base for use with the gimbal.  With a ballhead, you can level the camera/lens with the ball, but with a gimbal you need the platform where the base of the gimbal sits to be level.  If you have to do that by adjusting the tripod leg extensions, it's a real pain - the leveling base means you don't have to worry about uneven ground, just grab the stem and level it (can easily be done with the lens mounted, try fiddling with the legs like that...).

neuroanatomist, interesting comment on the levelling base.  I have asked a few folks about that, and I have gotten mixed responses - a couple of folks have suggested that it is a "good thing" and others have indicated that it was "unnecessary".  I guess time will tell, although, I have no recollection of seeing anyone with a gimbal on a Gitzo that had a levelling base.  I will go without for now and see if it does become a requirement as I can always add it later

WesternGuy

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2012, 02:12:45 AM »
vkiran, congrats on getting the 600 - I am jealous  ;D - well not really - well maybe just a bit.  ;)

WesternGuy

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2012, 08:07:29 AM »
Vkiran,  Congrats on the new lens!

One more point to add about the center column is that it also adds some additional weight when hiking and it also doesn't fold down as short, unlesss you remove it, but then it also takes longer to setup, ok so that was two points. :)

I can also definitely confirm that a leveling base would be nice with the super-telephoto.  It's a PITA to adjust either one or two legs when on uneven ground (which is most of the time) with the heavy lens on the tripod, and even then (pun intended) it's still hard to get the tripod level.  I don't have one yet but I do plan on purchasing one from RRS.

Rich

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2012, 08:07:29 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2012, 09:41:38 AM »
neuroanatomist, interesting comment on the levelling base.  I have asked a few folks about that, and I have gotten mixed responses - a couple of folks have suggested that it is a "good thing" and others have indicated that it was "unnecessary".  I guess time will tell, although, I have no recollection of seeing anyone with a gimbal on a Gitzo that had a levelling base.  I will go without for now and see if it does become a requirement as I can always add it later

Yeah, perhaps 'need' is too strong a word.  It depends on your shooting style, in part.  If you are a 'go out, set up once, take lots of shots, tear down, go home' shooter, there's not much advantage.  I often grab the setup and move a few feet (or tens of meters) then set it down again.  To have to re-level each time using the legs would be a real pain, as Rich states.

I suppose there are three options:

1) Leveling base.

2) No leveling base, just level the legs each time - that's hard to do with a supertele mounted on the gimbal, and there's a risk of tipping the whole thing over while lifting a leg to extend it.

3) Don't level the platform.  Whether or not this matters depends how and what you shoot.  If the base of the gimbal is tilted, your shots will be tilted, too.  Now, if you're mainly using the gimbal for vertical movements of the lens, you can loosen the tripod ring and rotate the lens to straighten the frame.  But if you pan horizontally, you will get progressively more tilt as you pan, unless you're leaving the tripod ring loose and rotating the lens as you pan (possible, but probably not easy to do well).  If your framing is loose, you can level in post - but I prefer getting it right in-camera, so you don't find yourself having to crop out something you want as you level the image.

I wonder...of the people who indicated that it's unnecessary, how many of them have used one?  I know a few people who have claimed that a gimbal is 'unnecessary' for a supertele, because as long as your ballhead supports the weight, that works fine.  Then they actually try a gimbal and.....

Having said that, it does make sense to try without first, then add if you think it would help.

I spent a little while yesterday afternoon at the edge of a copse of trees and bushes with a lot of small bird activity.  I had to frequently move the tripod around on pretty uneven ground to get better angles, depending on the activity.  The leveling base made that a lot easier to do.

I can also definitely confirm that a leveling base would be nice with the super-telephoto...I don't have one yet but I do plan on purchasing one from RRS.

Rich, do you also have a ballhead that you use with that set of legs?  If so, you might look at the RRS leveling base w/ clamp.  The TH-DVTL40 plate is sized for the Wimberley II base.  The clamp not only makes switching from gimbal to ballhead easy, it also makes setup/breakdown faster.  Also, you can get away with no ballhead if bringing a standard lens along - the RRS side gimbal can mount an L-bracket to use a standard lens, but the full gimbal and Wimberley cannot.  But, the leveling base clamp is a standard AS clamp, so you can just clamp in a camera base plate or L-bracket - granted, you have limited position control - but it can save weight on a hike...
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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2012, 10:04:49 AM »
neuroanatomist, interesting comment on the levelling base.  I have asked a few folks about that, and I have gotten mixed responses - a couple of folks have suggested that it is a "good thing" and others have indicated that it was "unnecessary".  I guess time will tell, although, I have no recollection of seeing anyone with a gimbal on a Gitzo that had a levelling base.  I will go without for now and see if it does become a requirement as I can always add it later

I suppose there are three options:

1) Leveling base.

2) No leveling base, just level the legs each time - that's hard to do with a supertele mounted on the gimbal, and there's a risk of tipping the whole thing over while lifting a leg to extend it.


This is the option I go with using the Gitzo legs. With the quick 1/4 turn lock it is very easy to adjust and level the set up. 3 years using the Gitzo and haven't dropped mine yet. Honestly have never thought "Hey, I need a leveling base".

My comment is from a Gitzo perspective. If you have RRS or other brand, and the lock feature doesn't work as well, I might reconsider my position.

vkiran

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2012, 10:05:23 AM »
vkiran, congrats on getting the 600 - I am jealous  ;D - well not really - well maybe just a bit.  ;)

WesternGuy
Thanks, just lucky to get one fast...

PackLight

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2012, 10:11:45 AM »
neuroanatomist, interesting comment on the levelling base.  I have asked a few folks about that, and I have gotten mixed responses - a couple of folks have suggested that it is a "good thing" and others have indicated that it was "unnecessary".  I guess time will tell, although, I have no recollection of seeing anyone with a gimbal on a Gitzo that had a levelling base.  I will go without for now and see if it does become a requirement as I can always add it later

3) Don't level the platform.  Whether or not this matters depends how and what you shoot.  If the base of the gimbal is tilted, your shots will be tilted, too.  Now, if you're mainly using the gimbal for vertical movements of the lens, you can loosen the tripod ring and rotate the lens to straighten the frame.  But if you pan horizontally, you will get progressively more tilt as you pan, unless you're leaving the tripod ring loose and rotating the lens as you pan (possible, but probably not easy to do well).  If your framing is loose, you can level in post - but I prefer getting it right in-camera, so you don't find yourself having to crop out something you want as you level the image.

"unless you're leaving the tripod ring loose and rotating the lens as you pan (possible, but probably not easy to do well)." That is the ticket, and yes that is how I do it if I am in a hurry.  :). With a quick turn you can easily lock it right back to where you need it for a still shot.

vkiran

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2012, 10:13:34 AM »
Vkiran,  Congrats on the new lens!

One more point to add about the center column is that it also adds some additional weight when hiking and it also doesn't fold down as short, unlesss you remove it, but then it also takes longer to setup, ok so that was two points. :)

I can also definitely confirm that a leveling base would be nice with the super-telephoto.  It's a PITA to adjust either one or two legs when on uneven ground (which is most of the time) with the heavy lens on the tripod, and even then (pun intended) it's still hard to get the tripod level.  I don't have one yet but I do plan on purchasing one from RRS.

Rich
Thanks to You and neuroanatomist's inputs , I have fixed on GT3532LS. I can see the leveling base is greatly useful but will have to make do, as it is unavailable in this part of the world. Will have to get shipped it from the US.

neuroanatomist

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2012, 10:25:08 AM »
My comment is from a Gitzo perspective. If you have RRS or other brand, and the lock feature doesn't work as well, I might reconsider my position.

The RRS locks have the same 1/4-turn, and an air cushion in the legs so there's not a dramatic change when you unlock a leg with a load on it. 

Out of curiousity, do you adjust the top joint (meaning you've more fully extended the lower sections), or do you drop to near ground-level to adjust one or two of the bottom joints?
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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2012, 10:25:08 AM »

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2012, 10:38:10 AM »
My comment is from a Gitzo perspective. If you have RRS or other brand, and the lock feature doesn't work as well, I might reconsider my position.

The RRS locks have the same 1/4-turn, and an air cushion in the legs so there's not a dramatic change when you unlock a leg with a load on it. 

Out of curiousity, do you adjust the top joint (meaning you've more fully extended the lower sections), or do you drop to near ground-level to adjust one or two of the bottom joints?

 You’re supposed to adjust the bottom joints.
But, do we always do what we are supposed to. ::)
Usually a person sets up his legs first and levels, then mounts the lens.
Then if you pick up and carry you are forced to re level. I cheat and do the top legs. The Gitzo is so sturdy that I never notice a difference.

I have never had a RSS tripod in my hand, so I couldn't say it would be a good or a wise way. To and individual if it feels uncomfortable at all adjusting legs no matter what brand, then a leveling base makes sense.

Edit; to clarify a bit. My bottom sections are usually not fully extended. About half distance is the standing height I use. Top sections start at full length, I tune with the top leges from there.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 10:40:20 AM by PackLight »

neuroanatomist

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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2012, 10:49:15 AM »
Ahhh, well then.  I don't cheat.   ::)   ::)   ::)

My bottom sections are usually not fully extended. About half distance is the standing height I use. Top sections start at full length, I tune with the top leges from there.

Makes sense.  On my RRS TVC-33, I only need to extend 4-6" of the bottom segment to get the VF to eye level, with the middle section fully extended.  Fine if I want to lower a leg, but raising a leg is a bit more of a pain, since that means reaching to 6" off the ground.  I could do it, I suppose, but the leveling base means not having to.   ;)

I've use both Gitzo and RRS legs, they're comparable in terms of use and sturdiness, but for me the RRS is a bit better spec'd (extends a little taller, collapses a little smaller, is a little lighter - but really, all the differences are pretty minor).  The respective heads are a different story - while Gitzo makes great legs, their heads are not that good, IMO.  I'll take an RRS ballhead over a Gitzo any day of the week.  Seems to be a common viewpoint - some guy has been trying to offload a Gitzo ballhead on my local Craigslist board for close to two years now (too stubborn to drop the price, apparently).
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Re: New 600mm f/4L IS Mk II - availability?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2012, 10:49:15 AM »