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Thread: Help:need tripod advice

  1. #1
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    Help:need tripod advice

    I have a mature Majestic, I like everything about it, but its weight. I plan to keep it for the 8x10, 4x5 and Bronica days BUT, when I go traveling with the Nikon d700 and my assortment of primes, the largest being 300MM 4lb.I want a platform that is a minumum of 60" to a max of 72" at extension, preferable with an arm that gives me some lateral projection, a minimum height of 22"-25", rock steady in a wind, and an all up weight, head and all 3lbs-5 lbs.

    Which leads me to the next question which head? I can imagine that I have asked for contradictory things, But I really like my Majestic, but I have had a Conquerst Star D for 40 years. On the last trip I fought the tripod and in a fit of pique left the beastly spawn of the devil in Florida with a cheerful note attached. Joe

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Not sure of your budget but you might want to take a look at the Gitzo Explorer range such as the GT2531EX or GT2541EX.

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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Not sure of your budget but you might want to take a look at the Gitzo Explorer range such as the GT2531EX or GT2541EX.
    Thank you, I never want to say unlimited, but largely so. I just want a tripod I won't mind carrying around. My camera and lenses in my case weighs 13 lbs, so weight is starting to be an issue. I must be getting old. I do not do wildlife nor do I do landscapes so the trekking part is relatively short, and I typically shoot small numbers in a day., 250 exposures in one day is my all time high. 1250 in 10 days, but there was 100 pictures at a koi pond inflating these numbers.and 350 were tourist pictures. I probably did 200 total setups in 5 days, Multiple shots fighting wind and an old tripod. I probably have 20 display pictures out of the 800 exposures, or 200 different setups. I need the tripod, head and quick release gizmo for the d700 nikon and one for the 300mm lens.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Really Right Stuff, in San Luis Obispo, makes really nice tripods. RRS sells Gitzos as well, so you can compare the two on the RRS site, here: http://reallyrightstuff.com/Items.as...RIPODS&key=cat

  5. #5
    tetsrfun
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    There may have to be some give and take in the "specs" listed. Max height, folded length, weight and "rock solid", etc. Compare specs of Gitzo 3541ls, 3541xls, and RRS TVC-23 with/without column and RRS BH-40 ball head, as a starting point.

    Steve

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    I think the RRS 24 is the tripod to compare to the four section Gitzos.

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    Member RGoldman's Avatar
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Not sure of your budget but you might want to take a look at the Gitzo Explorer range such as the GT2531EX or GT2541EX.

    I can second taking a look at the explorer. I have the aluminum(yes, I know it's not as cool as the CF version) model and it has by far been the best ripod I have ever used. On sale right now for $299 as well! The two unique features are the offset center column and the independant leg locks that go from 0-90 degrees.

    Ron

  8. #8
    tetsrfun
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I think the RRS 24 is the tripod to compare to the four section Gitzos.
    Except for his max height spec. the TVC-24 trades max height for improved folded length. I am currently debating between the 23 and 24 for use as a traveler.....

    The 3541XLS probably comes closest to his specs.

    Steve

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    tokengirl
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jsf View Post
    On the last trip I fought the tripod and in a fit of pique left the beastly spawn of the devil in Florida with a cheerful note attached.
    Where exactly in Florida?

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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Thank you Steve,Ron, Stephen and Graham, I am now looking seriously at the 3541XLS as a real possible, I need to figure out a head for it and a good quick release. Thank you for the advice, too many choices. To Tokengirl, I left my tripod in Sarasota. I went to Leu Gardens in Orlando for a couple of days and then we stayed and visited my wife's mother. My wife grew up on one of the Keys off of Sarasota and mom (89, next week) still lives there. Selby Gardens in Sarasota is a really nice place to photograph also. Joe

  11. #11
    tetsrfun
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    I need to figure out a head for it and a good quick release.
    ********
    The "favorite" head on this site is the "Cube" but if you don't need geared movements or don's want to spend $1600 then an RRS BH-40 might be a good choice if weight is a primary concern. The 3541XLS combined with an RRS BH-55 ball head is more than adequate for your MF gear and possibly the 4x5.

    Irrespective of your ball or other head choice, the RRS Quick Releases and plate systems are hard to beat.

    Steve

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Regarding heads, if weight is a serious factor then take a look at the Acratech heads. They are Arca compatible and very lightweight yet strong. RRS, Markins, Kirk and many others make excellent heads too. If smoothness and weight capacity is important then I would highly recommend the Arca Swiss heads. I know that this is tantamount to religion but my Arca's have always made the RRS BH-40 & BH-55 feel a little rough and notchy by comparison - I'm certain that others will think I'm a heretic for saying so ...

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    Member RGoldman's Avatar
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    I am about to post my Markins M-10 and my Bogen 410 geared head in the B&S forum. The 410 has the Kirk plate that makes it compatible with arca style plates. They are both great heads but after picking up a multiflex, I don't see myself using either of them much anymore.
    For what I shoot, I find that a geared head really is what I need even with the added size and weight over a ballhead. If you are going with a ballhead, definitely take a look at Markins and Photoclam. Both very nice for the size to weight ratio.

    Ron

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    I wouldn't understand a recommendation for a Gitzo 3-series and an RRS BH-40, if you need one then the other isn't suitable. The BH-40 is specced for 200mm lenses for which the 2-series is more than sufficient. If you need a 3-series then whatever made you need the extra stability has already counted the BH-40 out.
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    Re: Help:need tripod advice

    Thank you, to all who have weighed in on this, it has been very helpfull.
    The 3541xls seems to duplicate the abilities of my Magestic, 72" is useful, I would love a side arm, but most of all I need a tripod when I carry it and the 13lbs, of camera gear I don't want another 13lbs which the Majestic weighs in at. I did that a Gladding McBean weekend shoot and I was impressed how tiring that is. So the camera with a 300mm weighs about 6 lbs and I was thinking another 6 pounds would be okay, But what I have liked about the Majestic is its steadiness in a high wind, I really need that and some ease of handling from the tripod and I will be home free. The usual weight will be with one of my primes, 28mm, 55mm, 105mm, or 200mm, which are very light. Old Nikon glass, what a pleasure to use them Joe

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