Tripod and Head recommendations

Started Dec 27, 2012 | Questions
Philljp
Forum MemberPosts: 81
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Tripod and Head recommendations
Dec 27, 2012

Hi all,

I've had a read through the forum, and picked up a few bits and pieces, but not specific to what I'm looking for.

I need a tripod thats as light and compact as possible for landscape and macro photography.  I need to be able to mount the camera at all manner of angles and as low as possible to the floor.  I think a horizontal arm would help here?

I need to be able to use it on very uneven surfaces such as rocks, and I need it to be rust proof as I often get wet during seascapes.  Maybe I need carbon fibre/plastic?

I'd like to be able to make fine adjustments for macro photography and quickly and easily lock and unlock the legs.

Price wise, Im interested in the options to be honest.  If it looks like I have to pay alot for what I want, then so be it

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shagnat
Junior MemberPosts: 33
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Re: Tripod and Head recommendations
In reply to Philljp, Dec 28, 2012

I'm quite interested in the same. I have a very old Slik U-212, but looking for something else.

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BobVell
Regular MemberPosts: 129Gear list
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Re: Tripod and Head recommendations
In reply to Philljp, Dec 28, 2012
I need a tripod thats as light and compact as possible for landscape and macro photography. I need to be able to mount the camera at all manner of angles and as low as possible to the floor. I think a horizontal arm would help here?

I need to be able to use it on very uneven surfaces such as rocks, and I need it to be rust proof as I often get wet during seascapes. Maybe I need carbon fibre/plastic?

I'd like to be able to make fine adjustments for macro photography and quickly and easily lock and unlock the legs.

Price wise, Im interested in the options to be honest. If it looks like I have to pay alot for what I want, then so be it

I've just made my decision on a tripod: Not quite the same criteria as yours, but I'd recommend looking at Gitzo. They do have an optional arm, they do have models that get low to the ground. The two that are most often recommended are the Mountaineer and the Systematic.

However, they have a new line announced: the Ocean series, specifically designed to withstand saltwater: http://www.gitzo.ca/news+%26+events/news/Gitzo+introduces+the+new+Ocean+Tripods+Collection./26751144

I haven't seen any reviews of the latter.

FWIW, I've decided on a Mountaineer: GT2542L

The 4 legs make it fold up smaller; the L makes it taller so I have to stoop less; it is cheaper than the Systematic (which holds more), and it is a good trade-off (for my purposes) between weight and amount it will support.

For ball head, the absolute best appears to be RRS , either BH40 or BH55 depending on the weight of your gear. To me, their tripods are slightly better than Gitzos, but given the cost differential, not sufficiently better to make me spend the additional money. (Especially given that you have to buy direct from them and deal with international deliveries rather than buying domestically.)

 BobVell's gear list:BobVell's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +1 more
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momartz
Junior MemberPosts: 30
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Re: Tripod and Head recommendations
In reply to Philljp, Jan 3, 2013

I use: Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 (legs)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=orderHistory&A=details&Q=&sku=584476&is=REG

and Benro B2 ballhead

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=orderHistory&A=details&Q=&sku=743913&is=REG

Easy to use, sturdy, carbon-fiber, built-in low angle adapter in the center column for ground level shots, multiple leg angles.  I bought extra quick release plates so I can quickly go from camera-attached to lens collar-attached.

~cheers

jEan

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Osvaldo Cristo
Senior MemberPosts: 2,355Gear list
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My requirements were like yours
In reply to Philljp, Jan 4, 2013

My requirements were like yours and I went to Gitzo GT2531EX and Acratech Ultimate ballhead. It is 2,020 grams "burden" and worths its weight.

The tripod has a movable arm and surprisely it maintains sturdy. I use it for hiking for landscape, macro, panoramics. Also indoors for stills/macros.

The head is great to use weighting less than 1 pound. My Ultimate ballhead is around ten years old and I used it in two different tripos. It is dented and scratched but perfectly stable as when I received it. Acratech has today a broader portfolio offering other ballhead models - I would expect at they are at the same level of quality.

I am very satisfied with my setup - and I recommend it.

Regards,

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O.Cristo - An Amateur Photographer
Opinions of men are almost as various as their faces - so many men so many minds. B. Franklin

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wazu
Senior MemberPosts: 1,226
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Re: My requirements were like yours
In reply to Osvaldo Cristo, Jan 6, 2013

Very sound advice Oswaldo!

I have two Gitzo traveller tripods (GT1541/GT2542L) which I'm very happy with and almost bought the Acratech GP-s but found a used Arca-Swiss P0 which like the Acratech heads allows you to level the top of the tripod for perfect panorama captures. The larger tripod has a RRS BH-30LR which I sometimes attach a Novoflex Castel-Q focusing rack for fine adjusting focus on macro shots.

Most of the gear I purchase is ultra-light for hiking. However the best tripod head I've bought is the Manfrotto 410 geared head. It is far easier to exactly position the lens in minute increments. Using it and the macro slide makes setting up exacting angles in the miniature world of macro a breeze.

There are of course lots of asian knock-off copies of  Gitzo RRS Manfrotto etc. which I think would suffice for a limited time. The quality and follow-up on any guarantee is worth the extra price for original manufacturers products. Also by buying the pirated equipment you fail to support further development of the innovative manufacturers.

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There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen

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