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Thread: which tripod

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    which tripod

    I want a tripod which works well for my Hy6-system, and also ocassionally for my D3 (biggest/longest lens would be the 200/2.0VR + TC however I use it mainly handheld) - so main use for Hy6.
    Main use for landscape stuff.

    I am not sure to either go:
    2542 or 2531-explorer (would give me some flexibility for Macro things or also for eventually repro)

    3541L or 3541 XLS: more stable, in case of the 3541 XLS even high enough to use without middle extension, but I find it pretty long to carry around (I like hiking)

    Head I thought to go for the 2780.

    Do you think the 2 serious is fine or should I go for a 3-series tripod?

    Any experience regarding the head?

    Thanks for any ideas or feedback, Tom

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    Re: which tripod

    Somewhere in your post it should probably say "Gitzo"

    While I love the Gitzos, the Berlebachs always seem to score better in those tests where they attach a laser pointer to the bottom of the head/column, pointing down, and record the pattern when the floor/tripod is bumped...
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    Re: which tripod

    Tom as far as the legs I use the 2541L and it seems to be just fine with MF gear but Jack uses the 3 series I think it is the 3541 XLS . Jack is much taller than me to start and his tripod is very nice but certainly bigger than mine. There is also a hook on mine at the bottom of the column to attach a bag or a weight if needed . I never used it myself but sometimes I do feel light in the shoes although it never let me down either. There light because of the carbon fiber and I think that is deceiving because you would think heavier would be better. Here sometimes going to a store and feeling the difference may not be a bad idea but seriously have not had any trouble with the 2541L .

    Now the heads the Gitzo 2780 I have and can't recommend enough it may even hold me. LOL I have the one with a center thread and bought a RRS pano head for it. Best setup I ever had and i had all the RRS ball heads at one time. Here is exactly my setup

    Gitzo tripod this one is not the L , not sure why it is not listed but here is the normal one http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...6X_Carbon.html

    Ball head http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Ballhead_.html

    RRS Pano clamp http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...CL%2D1&eq=&Tp=
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: which tripod

    Tom one thing , if you are using the WLF on the camera than you need to be above the camera to view so your tripod will most always be lower than you so you can see down into the WLF. With a 45 or 90 degree finder you are more level with the camera. This is one reason i don't care for WLF is if your short than it is hard to get tall with your tripod without a step stool or something like that. So something just to keep in mind on what you use and how you work.
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    Re: which tripod

    Off to a pre dawn shoot , see how it hold up. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Tom one thing , if you are using the WLF on the camera than you need to be above the camera to view so your tripod will most always be lower than you so you can see down into the WLF. With a 45 or 90 degree finder you are more level with the camera. This is one reason i don't care for WLF is if your short than it is hard to get tall with your tripod without a step stool or something like that. So something just to keep in mind on what you use and how you work.
    Thank you for the help.
    I think I should get a tripod which allows to work with both compfortably, WLF as well as normal viewfinder, and yes, for use with WLF I then would not have to fully extend the tripod.
    I dont know if the total height difference between WLF and "eyelevel"finder makes a big difference for landscapes, I am tall anyways.
    Regards, Tom

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: which tripod

    Tom for me about a whole foot difference since I need to be pretty well above the waist level to see since I need reading glasses to see the waist level and the finder i don't . Actually just got back from shooting and had to focus , compose than send the camera up over my head to shoot. My Phase body has a cool feature which maybe others as well is that I can use the lock up feature for the mirror hit the button the mirror locks up than hit again with self timer on and put a 3 second delay and it fires which eliminates a cable release or in my case this morning run away from the camera to get my shadow out of the shot. LOL Pretty funny actually having to run away from your camera to get out of the darn way. Anyway just something to think about . I know if i had a WLF i would certainly want a 90 or 45 degree finder as well.

    I guess i am vertically challenged at 5'8". LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    Tom, I LOVE my Gitzo 3541 XLS and I hike as well. I do not have a center column and find it tall enough without it. It's not a "back packing" tripod, but is remarkably light. I shoulder it, cradle it, strap it to the pack... whatever. The broad "shoulders" or "boss" is the only size factor in packing for me, in that it's not terribly compact at that area.

    Like Guy, I'm very tall (about 5' 8" or so), so the 3541 XLS is perfect. Actually, for me the real advantage is the long leg reach on steep or rocky ground. I could not be happier.
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 9th December 2008 at 10:41. Reason: typo

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    Re: which tripod

    Hey Tom,
    I use the 2541 (or 31, I don't remember) with the Hy6, and find it is enough to keep it steady unless it is very windy, in which case nothing but mass will help you. Generally, I find the best thing is to have two tripods (which I do not at the moment!), one heavy bastard that you can throw in the car or use in the studio -- something that will keep it steady as a rock in all conditions, and then a very light, but still strong tripod like the Gitzo CF models with a RRS BH-40 or similar light, but strong head. They are the ones you will use the most, pack with you and not worry about their weight.

    Always keep in mind that a heavy camera and a light tripod, even a very rigid one, can be blown over. I was photographing in Iceland in 50mph wind. I was using a 6008AF and 180mm Tele-Xenar. I figured the camera is so heavy (6 or 7 lbs? Maybe more), there is no way it can blow over. I went to get something from the car and I hear a crashing sound. The camera blew over onto a section of gravel, lens first. Luckily the Rollei stuff is built strong -- no real damage, just some scratches on the lens body.

    This was taken at the same time (with an xpan though...).
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: which tripod

    Tom,

    All things being equal, it's probably better to buy a three segment Gitzo. (I have a GT2530.) The smallest leg segment is beefier, and the tripod is said to be a bit more secure as a result.

    Steve

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    Re: which tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Tom,

    All things being equal, it's probably better to buy a three segment Gitzo. (I have a GT2530.) The smallest leg segment is beefier, and the tripod is said to be a bit more secure as a result.

    Steve
    I also went this route. I am using the GT2530LVL.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: which tripod

    You don't have to use the last leg fully extended until you need the height. I regularly leave only 6" of the last leg on my 3541XLS out -- to help keep grit out of the other lock mechanisms -- and I can assure you that doesn't decrease the stability of that pod at all. Finally, I submit that the 4th legs on any pod are still going to be more stable than extending a center column...
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    Re: which tripod

    Re. the potential for weakness in a fourth leg section: this has always been a concern of mine in compact tripods, so I paid extra attention to this in my process leading to the purchase of the 3541 XLS. I posted the question in another section here and got good feedback from Jack and others.

    First, the last section on the 3541 XLS is not at all spindly. It's larger than some tripods' third section. Second, depending on your "normal" height requirements you may not need to access the last section often (as Jack describes above). I use that section last, but do find that I use it often, especially on uneven terrain. These CF leg sets are so light that the extra weight of that last section is not of consequence to me.

    While Jack is a "full-sized" grown-up, I am less so. For me, the 3541 XLS with the first three sections fully extended puts the Mamiya AFD II viewfinder precisely at eye-level (if I don't slouch) when mounted via the RRS BH-55. I love that I can shoot at full height (or over something in the foreground) and still have enough extra leg-length to stabilize if one leg needs additional reach, etc.

    A trade-off to consider might be that the collapsed leg-length is a bit longer than some and therefore requires a bit more room when using it in a squat posture. The minimum footprint is a bit wider when used low and wide.

    I do have other tripods which are more compact, but this one is now the one that I much prefer to have along. Still, for a hike involving backpacking more than a few miles I would look to smaller, lighter choices.

    Each person has different requirements or preferences. If there are specific dimensions of this particular model that you would like to have, feel free to ask. I'll do what I can to measure them for you.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: which tripod

    I still have a charmed life when the wind is not out .

    10 seconds over my head center column extended . But still may get a 3 series anyway for when you run into this stuff. Life is not always this easy

    Well off to do more shooting and sunset stuff for this client.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    Jack 1.15 Mil and I LIKED this one better. Nice office space

    Going to shoot the kitchen and master bath now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Jack 1.15 Mil
    Finally, you find me a BARGAIN!

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    Re: which tripod

    thank you for all the great feedback.
    Like allways in life a compromise to make another time.
    I think the 2-serous would work fine but I would feel safer with a 3 serious, but then the 3541xls is quite long when colapsed but then I wouldnt have to use a center column. I am not that concered regarding the 4 sections any more though from what I read.
    The 2542 is lighter so I might carry it more often....
    I dont think the hot red whine on the christmas market tonight helps to make a decission.
    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: which tripod

    Mmmm, glüwein!
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: which tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I dont think the hot red whine on the christmas market tonight helps to make a decission.
    Cheers, Tom
    Oooh. Drinking and on-line shopping = a dangerous combination.

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  21. #21
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    Re: which tripod

    Hi Tom,

    I second the advice of Carsten: My Berlebach is more than 20 Years and still not shaking

    But the Gitzos are also very nice (and expensive!).

    Regards,
    Claus

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    Re: which tripod

    If I went with another tripod i think it would be a three series but I like a center column for those times i do need it way over my head (not hard to do) but don't have the access to get me up that high. Not sure which one would be better than my 2541L series or taller
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    If it is a landscape, can't you just frame and focus, and then ratchet it up and shoot blind?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: which tripod

    That is what i do today Carsten. I actually did that a lot yesterday shooting a house. Frame , focus and adjust at my height than just lift the column straight up over my head. The 2 series is great but when getting it that high and if any wind it could cause some issues since it is pretty far from the center of gravity. I have been getting by pretty well actually but there are days a heavier rock would maybe just feel better. You saw that one 10 second image and that worked fine, more worried about the 30 second image though.
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    Re: which tripod

    Can you not hang your camera bag from the hook at the bottom of the column for a little extra stability?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: which tripod

    Yes there is a hook for that and it does help
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    If you want quality on budget I can recommend Feisol tripods. Feisol is a company that were making carbon fiber rods for airplanes and started producing Gitzo like tripods. The tripod is solidly built and joy to use. I've used the tripod/ballhead with my 1DsII with lenses up to 500/4. There's simply no comparison between the Feisol and my former Manfrotto when using the 500mm lens. I've also used the Feisol with Mamiya RZ67 and Seagull TLR.

    Best, Hrannar
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    decision

    Thanks again for all the good input.
    I decided for the 2542L. I checked and it is high enough to shoot at eyelevel without using the center column, and to shoot with WLF without having to use the 4th leg section.
    Its 1,4 kg vs the 3serious being more around 2 kg.
    I might one day add a 3541XLS if I feel I dont get along with the 2542L.
    But after looking and Gitzos in a store I felt that the 60cm-1,4kg 2542L would just be more portable for Hikes and stuff and therefore I hope that I would bring this tripod more often than a bigger one. From what I read here I am even confident that it might be strong enough for all my applications (since my longest lens (Nikon) is 200mm and only very few times the 200+TC.)
    The tripod will be used with the Hy6 mostly anyways, where I also would not use longer focal length.
    Best Regards, Tom

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    Re: which tripod

    Should be fine Tom since I think it is exactly like my 2541L and i get along with it very well. I do love there 2870 center post head also with the Pano head from RRS
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    Re: which tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Should be fine Tom since I think it is exactly like my 2541L and i get along with it very well. I do love there 2870 center post head also with the Pano head from RRS
    For what reason / purpose do you add the Pano head?

    I was wondering if I should not just add the 2780 version with the integrated Quickrelease to save additional weight compared to adding another quick-release/ Pano plate (I have the Q-base plate for the Hy6 because the Hy6 has that system mounted on the camera body allready - but that q-base plate is pretty heavy)

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    Re: which tripod

    Tom reason was the plate mounts on the Gitzo heads are kind of weird they don't fit the Arca mount without an adapter, so i went for the Pano head. On the Hy6 this is something you may want to check first before ordering there clamp head. I do not know Q-base setup for it myself. Maybe check Gitzo site and do a little research on there clamp heads.
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    Re: which tripod

    Couldnt you just screw the Gitzo clamp on your camera body?

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    Re: which tripod

    Sure but you lose the quick release i have this one http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Ballhead_.html

    Than they have one with quick release the question is will it work with your Hy6 plate
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...head_with.html

    See they sell a Adapter plate for the Arca mount. This bugged me so i went with center and Pano
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    Re: which tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Sure but you lose the quick release i have this one http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Ballhead_.html

    Than they have one with quick release the question is will it work with your Hy6 plate
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...head_with.html

    See they sell a Adapter plate for the Arca mount. This bugged me so i went with center and Pano
    Mmmh, I meant why do we not just screw a Gitzo plate under our camera and then can connect the camera with the Gitzo plate into the Gitzo quickrelease?

    The qbase which accepts the original plate from my Hy6 ( http://www.novoflex.de/html_d/produkte.htm ) but it adds 265g to the equation.

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    Re: which tripod

    You can do that . I just have all RRS L brackets on camera and Arca style lens plates on the long glass, so for me I needed to stay in the Arca style camp
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: which tripod

    Guy, the 2541L has been replaced with the 2542L with no changes I can see rather than being more expensive (of course), I have the 2542L, absolutely love it, but wouldn't put anything heavier than a 35mm DSLR with 70-200 on it, however steady a tripod is, when you have something that tall and that light, you can't overdo it.
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  37. #37
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    Re: which tripod

    Thanks Ben . Actually my Mamiya system is about the same weight as a D3 and a longer zoom.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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