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Tripods: legs, heads, clamps, plates...anything else?

Started Oct 12, 2013 | Questions thread
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Tripods: legs, heads, clamps, plates...anything else?
Oct 12, 2013

I have scoured the forum, but it's been painful, so forgive me my basic questions.   I am new to tripods and basically a hiker with a Panasonic FZ200.  I would like a lightweight tripod that can fit in my normal hiking backpack and I am willing to pay for lightweight and small.   In the meantime, my friend has lent me her Benro C0691T CF tripod with BH00 head to try out -- but sans a camera plate.

1.  Benro and others offer many AS-compatible camera plates, but they have different lengths.  How do I know what length I need?

2.  I use a Joby Sling strap most of the time.  Are there other camera plates that would allow me to attach my sling strap to the tripod hole and leave the camera plate on?  Or would I always need to remove the camera plate -- in which case, do they make all camera plates with recessed d-rings so you can remove them without a hex wrench?

3.  I was thinking of getting a new ball head:  I like the Arca Swiss PO ball head design.  If I got a camera plate now, would it work on the AS-PO ball head?  It seems like it should, but I see people talking about fit based upon a screw-clamp or lever-clamp, and I wonder if I have to make the camera plate decision based upon which clamp I will buy.

4.  Would any clamp fit on the AS-PO ball head, or do I need a AS clamp?

5.  If I got a camera plate to fit the BH00 on loan (screw clamp), would it work on the AS PO if I got a lever release clamp?

6.  Lastly, I suppose at some point I will either buy my friend's Benro or get something else.  Does getting an AS PO ball head limit what tripod legs it would work with?  Does getting a ball head dictate which mfgr legs you are required to purchase?

I know there must be a simple way to look at this, but it is chicken-eggish to me at the moment.  Thank you for your help,


 janeenadamsmartin's gear list:janeenadamsmartin's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 +5 more
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