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Thread: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    As a recent owner of a Panny G1, I've been able to give new life to a 15+ year old Gitzo Reporter Performance aluminum tripod (model 226 I think) that has been languishing in my closet for years. As it happens, this turns out to be an excellent tripod for the G1. This little Gitzo is a small, 4 section, lightweight tripod that I originally purchased for macro photography with my Pentax MX when using a Pentax bellows and 100mm bellows lens many years ago. As such, I didn't need eye level height and the maximum height of this tripod is about 36 inches (without extending the center column) which is about waist level for me. I have a Bogen 486RC2 quick release ball head mounted on it.

    What's really neat about this is I am now using the G1 and this tripod as I did with my waist level view finder Mamiya TLR. I pull out the G1's LCD, angle it up towards me and it's a very natural feeling....no need for looking thru the eye level view finder (unless I really want to stoop over and peer thru it). Now I've ordered the Panny remote electronic cable release for the real deal.

    So......what tripod and head are you using with your 4/3, m4/3 or other small sensor cameras?

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 23rd December 2009 at 19:02.

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Gitzo 1550T - very light folds small great for travel. I have a couple of different heads. Right now I'm using the Gitzo 1780 and an RRS Pano clamp. I have a smaller head if I want to go even smaller/lighter.

    I use the G1 on a tripod similar to you. Perhaps not down as low but with the LCD tilted upwards. I have the remote release.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    G1, small Gitzo tripods, Tamrac Aero 70......I think we're on the same wave length here.

    Have you got an old Nikkor non-AI lens mounted on your G1 too?

    Gary

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I like that 1780 head.......I wonder if it's too late to ask Santa for one.

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I got the version without the quick release.



    and this on top


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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Sweet setup! One thing I don't like about the Bogen 486RC2 is that it only has one control/lock knob for both pano and other adjustments. Nice to have a separate pano adjustment.

    On the other hand....the Bogen was "cheap", in comparison. We get what we pay for.

    Gary

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I use my old Sony VCT-R640. It's pretty compact and light, and stable enough for what I need right now. No fancy heads or anything, so perhaps in the future I'll get something more advanced =).

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    No fancy heads or anything, so perhaps in the future I'll get something more advanced =).
    Be careful, very careful.....it's a slippery slope! One day you've got a Bogen head, then a Gitzo and finally, that little small sensor cam is sitting on top an Arca Cube.

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 23rd December 2009 at 20:02.

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Just to be clear, my head and clamp can handle my Sony A900. For just a G1 solution, I would go smaller.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    ...For just a G1 solution, I would go smaller.
    Unless you've got a Canon 300mm lens hanging off the front of it, like Pellicle?

    I've got my eye on a Leica R 250mm lens for the G1. In which case, my little Gitzo might not cut the mustard.

    Gary

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    Senior Member JBurnett's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I'm using a Manfrotto 190XPROB with a Gitzo 1178M head. The legs seem to be a good blend of stability, versatitlity (3.3" min., 57.5" max, horizontal column), weight and affordability. The head is more expensive than the Manfrottos, but the QR plate is smaller (and I happened across a good deal). It doesn't overhang the body except a tad at the front, and it doesn't block the battery door.

    I moved to this setup from a larger, heavier Manfrotto legs & head. No regrets so far. BTW, Manfrotto also make a carbon fiber version that weighs less.
    Best regards,
    John.
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Be careful, very careful.....it's a slippery slope! One day you've got a Bogen head, then a Gitzo and finally, that little small sensor cam is sitting on top an Arca Cube.

    Gary
    I don't even know what all those things you mentioned are, but I want them already =).

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    It isn't a full height solution but I love the Joby focus:
    http://joby.com/gorillapod/focus/

    I have an RRS clamp on it and an Archatec plate on the GH-1.

    It is a nice, strong, stable and compact set up.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I've often thought about and looked at these Gorillapods, but haven't convinced myself yet that I would actually find things to wrap it onto in the kind of shooting I do. Seems as often as not, I'm just standing out there with not a tree, branch or railing around. They're pretty inexpensive, so maybe I should just get one and carry it with me for awhile to see if unexpected opportunities to use it present themselves.

    Gary

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I use the Leica mini tripod with the large and small ball heads.
    I forget the code numbers but it's easiily found....

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    The Slik Sprint Pro II is an amazing bargain in price/weight/features for the m43 cameras at the moment. About $90 and you get a ball head with QR-plate, decent working height, compact legs, removable/reversible/shortening center column, legs that spread as wide as you want for low angle work. Comes in at just about 2 lbs. I tried to find a way to put together a comparable system from "better" parts but it always ended up being more expensive and heavier. That said, I'd love someone to make a small set of carbon legs - I'd probably just slap the Sprint Pro II's head on those as it is the smallest, lightest QR ball head I've ever found (you definitely wouldn't want to use it on anything larger than the m43 though).

    Actually, maybe someone already makes small carbon legs - off to the B&H website right now...

    Ken

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I also like using the G1 with LCD on a small waist level tripod. Using a Gitzo 1027 MKII with Gitzo 1178M QR.


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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    The Slik Sprint Pro II is an amazing bargain in price/weight/features for the m43 cameras at the moment. About $90 and you get a ball head with QR-plate, decent working height, compact legs, removable/reversible/shortening center column, legs that spread as wide as you want for low angle work. Comes in at just about 2 lbs. I tried to find a way to put together a comparable system from "better" parts but it always ended up being more expensive and heavier. That said, I'd love someone to make a small set of carbon legs - I'd probably just slap the Sprint Pro II's head on those as it is the smallest, lightest QR ball head I've ever found (you definitely wouldn't want to use it on anything larger than the m43 though).

    Actually, maybe someone already makes small carbon legs - off to the B&H website right now...

    Ken
    I have the Sprint Pro II GM which came with the SBH-100DQ ball head with quick release plate. The setup is certainly very compact and a nice light weight and both the tripod and ball head are rated for 2kg (although some specs put the ball head at 1.6kg). The weak link is the SBH-100DQ which is just far too small. With my E-P1 and Olympus OM adapter and OM 200mm f/4 lens it wobbles like a jelly on springs.

    The solution has been to relagate the SBH-100DQ to my monopod and use the 2 way pan head from an ancient Slik Goodmans S5 tripod.

    I have been fortunate that Santa has given me a $100 voucher from a camera store and part of that will be used for a SH-705E 3-way pan pan head which is rated for 4.5kg and has a larger platform for the camera. That should stop the jelly quaking without going too far overboard with the head.

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    The weak link is the SBH-100DQ which is just far too small. With my E-P1 and Olympus OM adapter and OM 200mm f/4 lens it wobbles like a jelly on springs.
    Yeah I can definitely imagine that any of the heavier adapted lenses are just too much for the tiny Slik ballhead/QR plate. Works beautifully with my micro-4/3 lens collection (7-14,14-45,45-200) since they are so light and apply minimal torque to the setup. My Canon XTi and any of my L-glass is really just too much for it.

    So yes, thanks for adding the important clarification. That ballhead is really only appropriate for the light weight m43 lenses - and it will need a cable release or timer when used with the 45-200 at the long end. For me it has been the perfect trade off in weight/size vs. performance since I hike with my gear.

    Ken

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    I have a Gitzo 226 (vintage 1997) in my tripod closet, kept it as backup for thr G1128 Mountaineer (vintage 2002) which is a great little setup. I use the 1128 for travel, with DSLR and with my 6x9cm large format camera - yes that makes this off-topic hehe. Anyways it's not so much sensor size that decides choice of tripod, as much as camera weight and field of view. thr G226 and G1128 max out at about 2kgs for up to short tele lenses.

    Both tripod use no center column, and are matched with a small ballhead - currently a Linhof Profi.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I got the version without the quick release.



    and this on top


    Hi Terry:

    I have the same Gitzo ball head on order.
    Can that round non-QR platform be removed allowing the RRS clamp to be fastened directly to the stem?

    regards
    Santo

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangio View Post
    Hi Terry:

    I have the same Gitzo ball head on order.
    Can that round non-QR platform be removed allowing the RRS clamp to be fastened directly to the stem?

    regards
    Santo
    I'm not sure and it is in SF and I'm in NY. I'm not sure why you would do that. The platform does give it stability without adding much to the height.

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I'm not sure and it is in SF and I'm in NY. I'm not sure why you would do that. The platform does give it stability without adding much to the height.

    Yes, I was hoping to minimize the height. It sounds easier to just attach it on top of the round platform, so I'll probably do that.

    thanks
    Santo

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    "I have a Gitzo 226 (vintage 1997) in my tripod closet...."

    Lars, you need help. You have a tripod closet? I thought my owning three tripods was bad. I'd better go shopping.

    Steve

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    Re: Tripods for small sensor cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    "I have a Gitzo 226 (vintage 1997) in my tripod closet...."
    Lars, you need help. You have a tripod closet? I thought my owning three tripods was bad. I'd better go shopping.
    Steve
    Wish I had an extra closet for mine. But more to the point, yes Steve, you need to go tripod shopping, immediately!

    I don't know how you manage with only three. I gave two Bogen tripods away recently....that brings me down to seven tripods on hand....plus two monopods.

    After all, a really serious photographer can never have too many tripods.

    Gary

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