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Thread: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

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    Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    As some of you are aware I recently got Hasselblad H4d and have also got the 50-110 zoom lens - I am looking for some recommendations for a suitable tripod and head to hold this outfit steady.

    I found myself last night wanting an 8 second exposure for the background, lighting people to f8 with quadras ith 20 degree grids in the foreground and wanting to use true focus and found the use of an old manfrotto junior head somewhat limiting. Then one of the leg joints started moving (Its an old tripod)

    So I think its time to buy a new one - The legs need to be reasonably solid and stable whilst being light enough to carry as for heads your reccomendations please

    Tim

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    on this forum?
    The Arca Cube and a large Gitzo ...

    as to the head you might also consider the new Arca D4 head
    (look at the PDF in the first post of this thread: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...arca+photokina )

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    My recommended Medium Format tripod and head combination is:
    Heavy duty: Gitzo GT3541XLS
    Light Duty/Travel: Gitzo GT2541L

    My favorite head bar none is the Arca Cube.
    I am eagerly waiting to try their new geared head but have not yet been able to get my hands on one.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    There have been several prior discussions of this, most recently last week: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...ghlight=tripod

    I suspect that tripods are like cameras: we become fans of a particular brand. I have a Really Right Stuff TVC-33, and use it with their leveling base and panning clamp; no head. See http://reallyrightstuff.com/Items.as...odsRRS&key=cat

    RRS makes very nice products, and provides good service if you have questions or need support. In addition to their own products--head, clamps, etc--they sell Gitzo tripods. Their website has a lot of information, and is worth looking at, whatever you end up buying.

    Edit: I was going to say that you'll probably be told to look at the Arca Cube. In the time it took to write my post, it was done. I'm not sure that the Cube is the best choice for photographing people, but I've never used one.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    My "hasselblad" tripod was a set of Manfrotto CF legs (can't remember the model at the moment, but the current ones of similar weight/elevation spec would be the 055 series) and a Kirk Photo BH-1 head with RRS lever action clamp. I equipped my Hassels (903SWC and 500C/M) with bolted on plates to replace their original mounting feet). This was a very stable setup and handled the 150mm and 210mm lenses very nicely while not costing thousands of dollars.

    I upgraded those legs to a set of Feisol CT3442 Tournament legs a few years ago. Lighter, more load carrying capacity, more elevation although a little slower operating in the field. I've also sold that head in preference to the lighter Acratech Ultimate Ball Head and Markins Q3 Emilié since my current gear is lighter weight and less prone to mirror induced vibration. I use a set of the lighter, smaller Manfrotto 190 series CF legs as well for less demanding situations. Both of these tripod setups are good field kits and would work fine with the Hassels if you're not using overly long or heavy lenses.

    The Manfrotto CF190pro3 + Markins Q3 assembly weighs 3lbs 2oz complete.
    The Feisol CT3442 + Acratech UB assembly weighs 4lbs 3oz complete in its carry bag.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Arca z1 head is IMHO the best ballhead on the market bar none except the cube. I tried pretty much all the heavy heads and this one is rated at 130 pounds it's that strong. Never seen any other head rated that high. At least to my knowledge. Frankly these last for years and well worth the money to invest in the high end realm. Yea the initial bite may hurt but shooting MF digital there is no room for movement. 30 second exposures will show any weakness in your setup. Legs I use Gitzo XL 3541 series. Again another rock and most folks that come to our workshops shooting MF use nothing less. If your doing any long exposures don't cut corners here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    If RRS had offered their TVC tripods earlier, I would have considered it. I use a Gitzo 5541LS and Arca Cube, which is great in and out of sutdio, but would not recommend the Cube for people. I use an old Cullman Titan CT100 and ballhead for groups/people---and have never seen a tripod set up as quickly.

    I'd take a close look at Gitzo and RRS for tripod legs. RRS has similar specs to the Gitzo, but look at the weight, which is much lighter and a big plus.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I have a Really Right Stuff TVC-33, and use it with their leveling base and panning clamp; no head.
    ********
    My support system evolved into the same configuration. Main advantage for general landscape photography is simplicity and ease of very accurate leveling.

    Steve

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I'm personally leaning towards the Gitzo GT3541XLS and the Z1 myself. We'll see what the new year brings...

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Wow never thought I would get so many answers so quickly obviously people are very proud of their kit - So it looks like I need to be viewing Arca, Gitzo and RRS ranges

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by symbolphoto View Post
    I'm personally leaning towards the Gitzo GT3541XLS and the Z1 myself. We'll see what the new year brings...
    Great choice. I would consider the RRS legs also but the head have not used anything better
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I don't know the Arca z1 however I use the Burszynski head. It would be nice to compare the 2 because in my view there is no better ball head than the Burszynski, especially when used with something like the GT3541XLS without center colom. The head falls really nicely in between the legs.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I would love to try one but I think they are very hard to get in the US but I do hear they are very good.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member ceh's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Cube + Gitzo 3540 LS
    .......................

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by ceh View Post
    Cube + Gitzo 3540 LS
    .......................
    Boy does that setup look nice!

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I would love to try one but I think they are very hard to get in the US but I do hear they are very good.
    You need to order them from Germany and have Isarphoto send it to you. I think if you really want one mr. Klaus Bothe has no problem sending it to you. I can recommend Isarphoto. The head also used to be pretty inexpensive.

    Here an image with the Burzsynski head on top of the GT3540XLS. The panorama clamp on top is the RRS PCL-1.


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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    "You need to order them from Germany and have Isarphoto send it to you."

    If you don't mind paying $200 for shipping to the U.S.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I don't know if it is that expensive to ship to the US. If I would be shipping from here it would cost you 30USD and it will be insured up to 500USD.

    I could start a little business if shipping from Germany is that much more expensive In general most shipping has become quite reasonable. I have stuff sent to me from many different regions without getting into shellshock over shipping costs.

    On most items that are imported I get only charged VAT which is refunded. On rare occassions I get charged customs duty which is deductible instead of refunded. The administration costs are usually no more than 13USD. (I work in euros but have converted these roughly into USD in this post).

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    My recommended Medium Format tripod and head combination is:
    Heavy duty: Gitzo GT3541XLS
    Light Duty/Travel: Gitzo GT2541L

    My favorite head bar none is the Arca Cube.
    I am eagerly waiting to try their new geared head but have not yet been able to get my hands on one.
    +1

    Exactly what I use as well.
    wayne
    My gallery

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Whatever you get, the RRS L plate is the best thing around for attaching a Hasselblad to a tripod
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Whatever you get, the RRS L plate is the best thing around for attaching a Hasselblad to a tripod
    +1

    That one is pretty much mandatory. I leave mine on the body pretty much always.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Ok so looking at this (Forgive me being naive but had previously though bogen / manfrotto were top tripods.

    1. I think I am right in assuming that the ARCA (Swiss) mount is more or less standard across most of the main players.

    2. The RRS L bracket allows for mounting both ways on the Arca Mount.

    3 RRS and Gitzo legs seem to carry the majority of your kit and need to be looked at - Gitzo is much more commen in the UK so need to find a good dealer - question do any of you use center columns or tripods without center columns? I assume without gives stability but in the past all have had central columns.

    5. Heads seem a much more personal question I know tthe weight I need to carry and the weightings , I still want to be able to use Hassleblad true focus and recompose quickly and locjk the head - so please keep the reccomendations for this type of work coming.

    Tim

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I think it depends a little if in the end you want to use one ore two tripods. If it is only one the Gitzo 3 series is great, however for me to really carry it a lot it is to heavy and I prefer the 2 series and for other work I think the 5 series is even much better compared to the 3 series.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Tim. You're right.. "abandon hope all ye who enter"

    Where many dream of a high-end DSLR kit like Canon EOS 1DS or Nikon D3x on a Manfrotto carbon tripod with an 85mm f1.2/1.4 lens, once in the realm of medium format that's all seen as toy town stuff. And don't even start on Strobist stuff with Cactus triggers.

    Suddenly it's a list of brand names many have never heard of. Arca Cube heads, Gitzo Systematic legs, Cambo, Schneinder, Phase One, Alpa, Rodenstock and more.

    For me, I love my Gitzo Systematic 3540XLS legs but not the Gitzo ball head so much as it doesn't come with an Arca plate system. So I find the normal Gitzo plate twisting a bit on the bottom of the camera. I'm looking at buying an Arca monoball head (in UK from Warehouse Express or Robert White). Then you need a plate to match your camera.

    Welcome to the bottomless pit of throwing money at your camera kit. When only the finest will do. It's addictive.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Well the one thing not mentioned but really should be priority thinking is this at any given moment you may have upwards of 40 grand sitting on that tripod. It's something not to ignore. I regard tripods as never enough overkill
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by adamduckworth View Post
    Tim. You're right.. "abandon hope all ye who enter"

    ....

    Welcome to the bottomless pit of throwing money at your camera kit. When only the finest will do. It's addictive.
    Ain't this the truth!

    Tim, honestly---you could choose from any of the kits mentioned above and not go wrong.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    really should be priority thinking is this at any given moment you may have upwards of 40 grand sitting on that tripod.
    *********
    If you carry that 40 grand over your shoulder on a Gitzo, get the safety plate. It's cheap insurance.

    Steve

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by tim driver View Post
    ...
    3 ... question do any of you use center columns or tripods without center columns? I assume without gives stability but in the past all have had central columns.
    ...
    My Feisol CT3442 legs can be used with and without center column by exchanging the column mount for a flat plate mount for the head.

    Without is steadier (and lighter) but I usually leave the center column fitted as it allows small elevation adjustments more easily than readjusting the leg extensions all the time. A fully extended column compromises stability a bit, but there's little loss if you're basically using the column for fine adjustments and don't extend it more than an inch or two.

    That Burszynski head looks lovely, but remember that if you DON'T have an L-bracket of some kind you will not be able to do portrait oriented photos (unless you are working with square format or have a Pentax 645, which has tripod/adapter plate mounts on both bottom and side).

    I considered buying the Kirk universal L-bracket, but it's darn bulky and fussy in use. The RRS L-brackets I've had for the Olympus E-5, Canon 10D and Pentax K10D are superb, I'm sure the one for the Hassel is too.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Gitzo is much more commen in the UK so need to find a good dealer..
    **********
    RRS has no dealer network and is direct buy form CA. (I have heard "rumors" of an RRS distributor in the EU I but can't find a real reference). You can download their 2011 catalog here:

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/WebsiteInfo.aspx?fc=91

    Steve

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by tetsrfun View Post
    really should be priority thinking is this at any given moment you may have upwards of 40 grand sitting on that tripod.
    *********
    If you carry that 40 grand over your shoulder on a Gitzo, get the safety plate. It's cheap insurance.

    Steve
    The Safety plate is a must-have with the Gitzo: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...for_Gitzo.html

    The 5 series requires a different plate.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Sort of off topic
    but I just noticed that Markins is now producing a dedicated "L" Bracket for the Hasselblad
    H series.
    (along side the D700 and 5D2)
    if anyone is interested.
    am

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    This forum. Costing me more money...

    Couldn't resist so ordered a Arca Swiss Z1 Dp with Quicklock yesterday from the ever so helpful Robert White. It just arrived, Xmas eve. Great service.

    Ho, ho, ho and all that. It looks and feels very nice. Also bought a Kirk plate for my Nikon D3X, too. Also nice.

    Wish I'd have invested in the Arca style heads years ago instead of messing with Manfrotto and Gitzo.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Lol . I give good advice don't I. That head is pretty damn cool
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by adamduckworth View Post
    This forum. Costing me more money...

    ...

    Wish I'd have invested in the Arca style heads years ago instead of messing with Manfrotto and Gitzo.
    Hee hee, another good job by GetDPI.

    The last paragraph should be on a testimonial in every decent camera store that sells Manfrotto and other plates with handscrews on the bottom. Once you go over to Arca style plates, either made specifically for your camera body or bolted to your camera, there really is no going back to one of those other systems that unscrew or twist when you don't want them to and generally feel feeble by comparison. (To be fair, it's the plate/camera mount that lets them all down and not the head mount per se).

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I read this thread this morning and remembered to check B&H for the Arca Cube - and alas, it was in stock. So I ordered one and the GT3540XLS to boot.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Can't tell you about tripods since I'm still using some old Manfrotto I bought 15-18 years ago. But when I got my H3d2/39 and 4 lenses, I used the same head on my tripod and my studio camera stand, a Gitzo off-center head 1376M Quick Release, I used with my Canon gear. I love it. Fast, steady, works well. They've replaced that model with a new one and I'd buy that today. I love the off center head in the studio.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I use a Gitzo GT3541LS with the Burzynski head (with the Hy6). Sometimes I also use a Berlebach Reporter with an old Arca Swiss B1 head.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Gitzo GT3541LS with Photoclam Multiflex head. On monopod, an old Benbo monopod with a Kangringpoche ballhead. Sometimes I wish I had the geared center column...makes it easier to adjust height, but am not sure if I can bear the compromise to stability it brings.



    Shown above...fairly typical macro setup...2 extension tubes, HC2.8/80, but more typically HC4/120 Macro, on Manfrotto macro rail, head, tripod. Pocketwizard flash trigger.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Peter---bubble-wrap still on the tripod legs? My kids would have had a field day popping all those bubbles!

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    I really like the idea of the geared ball head shown at Photokina - now if only someone would review it and B&H would stock it.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Peter---bubble-wrap still on the tripod legs? My kids would have had a field day popping all those bubbles!
    :-)...yes...I liked it on...to uglify the tripod...also to prevent small scratches...the tripod is more than a year old...and have travelled almost twice round the world with me.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Yup, it's tall and awesome. You should have seen the look on my face when I fully extended it. GT3541XLS with Arca C1.




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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Whatever you get, the RRS L plate is the best thing around for attaching a Hasselblad to a tripod
    I actually prefer the Kirk bracket: http://www.kirkphoto.com/L-Bracket_for_H3.html It attaches to the side of the body as well as the bottom making it very rigid and secure. The RRS L plate extends a long way from the body and has a slight amount of flex. The only downsides of the Kirk bracket are that the lever to release the back is slightly hard to reach, and of course you can't use the gps attachment because the bracket screws on to its space.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Hi
    There is actually a 3rd option for the Hasselblad H series now.
    Markins makes a dedicated L-Bracket as well.

    http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/LH-4.php

    I've never seen or used it, so no idea on how it performs.
    am

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    I actually prefer the Kirk bracket: http://www.kirkphoto.com/L-Bracket_for_H3.html It attaches to the side of the body as well as the bottom making it very rigid and secure. The RRS L plate extends a long way from the body and has a slight amount of flex. The only downsides of the Kirk bracket are that the lever to release the back is slightly hard to reach, and of course you can't use the gps attachment because the bracket screws on to its space.
    I have the Kirk too, and would recommend it. But in addition to making the back release lever hard to reach, it also partially blocks the flash sync socket on the body., making it a bit more difficult to access. The bracket also makes removing and attaching the shoulder strap a bit more cumbersome.

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Thanks everyone - have gone for some Feisol legs and a Z1 head

    Tim

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Tim like to hear how you like the Z1
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Markins found a unique mirror-image H camera to mount to!

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    Markins found a unique mirror-image H camera to mount to!
    Yes bug me to no end

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    Re: Tripod and Head Reccomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    on this forum?
    The Arca Cube and a large Gitzo ...

    as to the head you might also consider the new Arca D4 head
    (look at the PDF in the first post of this thread: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...arca+photokina )
    Does anyone know when the ARCA SWISS D4 will be available ? ? ?
    I searched the net and can't find anything .

    Does anyone know a link to an ARCA SWISS catalog ? ? ?
    It is a pitty that Arca does not have a homepage .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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