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Thread: Tripod questions

  1. #1
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    Tripod questions

    I've recently decided to invest in a tripod and I've been reading up on my options here and on other sites, but I wanted to get some opinions before I pull the trigger.

    Due to my working hours I'm kind of restricted to a lot of night photography and my E-510 doesn't really cut it. I'd rather not buy a D90/D700. There are a lot of opportunities here in Tokyo to pull a tripod out so it seems like a good investment. It has to be fairly light and compact since I'll be carrying it everywhere. Probably the biggest thing I'd be putting on it is something like the E3 w/ 50-200.

    Are Gitzo's 1 series too light for that? I'm getting that impression from what I read. It seems like the GK2580TQR or GT2541 would be a better choice. Has anyone used the former?

    They are more money then I'd like to invest, but I don't want something that I'll be unhappy with either. I saw Guy recommended the Induro. I'm guessing the best choice for me would be the C214?

    Is there anything else you'd recommend that isn't quite as pricey as the Gitzo, but still pretty good performance?
    Charles - flickr

  2. #2
    ddk
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    Re: Tripod questions

    You should also look at Slik, I know that the brand doesn't have the caché of European products but they make some very good light weight tripods. Its also Japanese so it would cost you less as well.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    The manfrotto tripods are actually very good, 2nd to Gitzo IMO. Worth a look.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Tripod questions

    My most used tripod is a set of Manfrotto 190CXpro3 legs fitted with a Markins Q3 head. Very light (about 3.2 lbs), very sturdy for its size and weight, very quick to use in the field.

    When folded, it's about 27 by 3.5 inches and straps onto the bottom of my shoulder bag very neatly, doesn't get in the way too much at all.

    It's held an E-1 plus EC14 plus 50-200mm at full tele with the column fully extended very steadily. That's more than I would normally ask of it, of course, but it does it well in a pinch.

  5. #5
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Tripod questions

    DON'T LAUGH!!! ...

    ... for the last few months I have not been carrying a traditional tripod -- been carrying a little Joby in my purse, use it all the time with my Ricoh subcompact cameras. They also make a larger size gorilla pod. I have yet to be in a situation where there was not something close by that I could wrap or attach the GorillaPod onto. The raised ridges are rubber -- it'll cling to a glass wine bottle. All plastic, extremely light weight. They come in 4 sizes, will support up 5kg (dSLR + zoom lens). Compared to a traditional tripod ... cheap! Available in Nihon. Find 'em at some camera stores but cheaper to buy via mail order in Nihon than in the US -- and Joby is a SF Bay Area company.

    http://joby.com/










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    Re: Tripod questions

    Thanks for all the tips. I did go out and look a bit more yesterday. I think I like the Silk tripods a bit more than Manfrotto. I'll sit and think on it a bit longer. I do have the large Gorilla pod I forgot about, just haven't used it much. I've found getting it level to be a pain, as well as attaching and removing it from the camera. I might invest in a head with quick release for it first and see about the tripod later.
    Charles - flickr

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    Re: Tripod questions

    I have the 2541 and the 1150T from Gitzo. I've used the 1550 with a full sized dslr. Is it the absolute best, no. Does it work just fine? Yes! I swapped the ball head that came on it to the gitzo 1780 which holds more. The 1550 is great because it is small and light and folds up quite nicely. This is definitely not a low priced option but it is my favorite tripod between the two because I'm more inclined to carry it more often.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    I just loved that 2nd and 3rd photo of the camera with gorillapod LOL--surreal. For some reason they reminded me of those little robots in the WAll-E movie

    I have 2 Manfrottos--a big heavy one I used for commercial work, but rarely pull out now. I have the same 190 legs Godfrey has and I have the heavier Markins head--10L I think--have had it for a longish time and really like it.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Thanks again for all the advice. The recent thread in the MF forum has been useful too. I think I'll grab a ball head for my Gorilla pod first and see how that works out. I almost bought a cheap one, but didn't seem worth it. I'll probably try getting the Gitzo 1780 since that seems to work well on their travel tripods too. After much deliberation I'll probably purchase the GT1541T or GT1550T in the future. Probably with a preference to the latter. I could likely fit that in my bag which would be even better. Weight in particular is important, or I just won't use it. There are a still a few interesting alternatives out there I'll keep my eyes on and see if I can find them in Tokyo to look at.

    I appreciate all the help!
    Charles - flickr

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    Re: Tripod questions

    I have one Manfrotto tripod and then i bought 4 Gitzo tripods after that and i forgot Manfrotto completely.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Interesting "new" Traveler tripod from Gitzo... a "two" series?

    http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitzo/pid/4765?kindOfProductCollectionRequest=productDetail& productCode=GK2580TQR&productDescription=SER.2%206 X%20TRAVELER%20KIT&curBrandId=BGI&market=MKT1&actu alPathCategoryKey=1CAT:AAA1:2CAT:BB59:3CAT:CC49:4C AT<img src=

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Yikes - it is a weeeeee bit pricey even for a cube owner!


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    Re: Tripod questions

    Yea but that is with a head
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yea but that is with a head
    Yes, but some like my 1550T were only sold with the head. This one is not listed headless (at least at B&H). The 1541T I've seen sold just as the legs.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    I just bought the GT1550T during lunch this afternoon. It even fits inside my UD35 w/ my 7-14, 12-60, 50-200, EC-14 and E-510. That probably won't be the base once I upgrade the head.

    On a different note, Kirk, Arc Swiss and some other plates and clamps are compatible with Real Right Stuff, correct? I'm not sure I want to put in a RRS order until I upgrade my body, but I'd like to keep stuff fairly compatible if possible.
    Charles - flickr

  16. #16
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    Re: Tripod questions

    I suppose it would be good to start with a good one right from the very beginning. When i started out, I purchased two so-so ones, thinking on skimping out on cost from the beginning. In the end, it all adds up and could have been spend on a Gitzo or Bogen. I spent many hours in the store and basicly touching and lifting the tripods from many vendors, seeing which ones felt good and was not too heavy. Ultimately devided on a Gitzo 3530LS. I wanted something sturdy and one that will last.. I didn't care for the center column and glad that I pulled the trigger on it.

    Essentially, in recommending a tripod to someone, I would say, save up and buy a good one from the start. Visit a store and see which one "feels" good and fit your style.
    Last edited by ALau; 7th October 2009 at 21:05.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post
    On a different note, Kirk, Arc Swiss and some other plates and clamps are compatible with Real Right Stuff, correct? I'm not sure I want to put in a RRS order until I upgrade my body, but I'd like to keep stuff fairly compatible if possible.
    Actually, both RRS and Kirk are compatible with (and modelled after the) Arca Swiss.

    Cheers,

  18. #18
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    Re: Tripod questions

    Yikes.. It seems that with every new model Gitzo replaces, the price also heads North.
    Easily falls in the neighborhood of a nice piece of glass.

  19. #19
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    Re: Tripod questions

    I built a table for my heavy de vere enlarger,solid as a rock,.......couldnt get a sharp print.After much messing around realised the obvious,vibration from traffic and ,possibly,the local train.So I unbuilt the table ,made a base from concrete blocks and the table top from a stack of 3 paving slabs sandwiched with foam backed carpet between each slab.This worked perfectly.
    Is this a problem in the tripod world,I imagine it must be ,and is there a solution that is a little lighter and more portable than that for my enlarger?

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Nei1, we deal with this with photo-microscopy commonly – layering concrete, heavy steel plates, very thick rubber mats, etc. One must find the right combination to isolate the microscope from terrestrial and other vibrations. I've had far fewer problems with conventional photography when using quality tripod, head and weight.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Is this a problem in the tripod world,I imagine it must be ,and is there a solution that is a little lighter and more portable than that for my enlarger?
    Carbon fiber seems to be the best compromise -- it has excellent vibration damping properties and is light. As for isolation, I added the Gitzo combo spike and rubber feet to my pod. These give you the option of the ideal choice based on shooting location. Rock-solid pavement or mountain granite, I use the spikes; inside buildings that move and vibrate, I use the rubber feet.
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    Re: Tripod questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ALau View Post
    Yikes.. It seems that with every new model Gitzo replaces, the price also heads North.
    Easily falls in the neighborhood of a nice piece of glass.
    Yeah, it's about as much as three of the lenses I own. (each) For me the size and weight was important enough to spend the money and I haven't regretted it yet. I get a lot more use out of it than if I bought any other tripod, mainly because it fits in my UD35. In these days of IS and high ISO tripods may not be as needed as they used to be, but when I need something stable it comes in useful, and I have it with me.
    Charles - flickr

  23. #23
    nei1
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    Re: Tripod questions

    Thanks Dale,Thanks Jack,certainly makes sense about the carbon fibre.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    "My sharpest lens is a sturdy tripod."

    A good tripod is a long term investment. Buy one which is sturdy, which is light, and which you will use. It's worth much more than a premium lens, actually, and thus is a bargain at $300-800.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    I really prefer a couple of tons of granite floating in a mercury bath in a temperature controlled room where the slab has been carefully shielded from air currents.
    If that is not available, then a good large gitzo carbon fiber tripod is the closest I have found.

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I really prefer a couple of tons of granite floating in a mercury bath in a temperature controlled room where the slab has been carefully shielded from air currents.
    If that is not available, then a good large gitzo carbon fiber tripod is the closest I have found.
    . . . is that for mounting a camera or keeping the Hendrick's from sloshing about?

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    Re: Tripod questions

    Charlie:

    Hendricks is on me in Oregon!
    Jack
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