tripod and ballhead suggestions

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
akjos
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tripod and ballhead suggestions
5 months ago

Ive been wanting good quality tripod for long time now.
Now that i got some camera gear again... after putting 1600$ camera lens combo on pos 30$ old tripod i got for free long time ago i know i NEED one .

Im about 5'9" 5'10" or 175 cm depending on shoes lol

Im looking for best bang for the buck of course and would like to keep it around 200$ range

My top contender is induro at 214... price is right gets raving reviews but im afraid itll be too tall after putting ballhead and camera on it even without center column extended.

Also consider vanduard alta pro 263 but its less sturdy rating wise. Plus id like 4 sections better for more compactness

Also very appealing are mefoto globetrotter and roadtrip

Lastly considering dolica cf tripods which can be had for about 150 with the head but not so sure about quality.

Also found smith victor cf tripods on bh that look ok in this price range.

I dont feel manfrotto offer best value... basically they are overpriced ...

If i get something like induro for 149 im considering smith victor bh5 or hb8 head which looks pretty great for the money.

Ballhead needs to have separate panning lock...

Also saw fancier heads on amazon and new oben stuff on BH that looks good but thats pushing it to around 250 with the legs.

I know purists will say u cant get any good tripod and head for 200 bucks but im not willing to spend 400+ on something ill only use occasionally.

Opened to all suggestions either as a combo or separate legs and head.
Please take in count my height ....tripod should be fully extended with center column down or up to maybe half way up to comfortably reach eye level.

Also ... i dont have anything super heavy lens wise now but
It should hold 70-200 2.8 lens no problem at all in case i decide to get one again in the future...
Thanks !
--
http://www.pbase.com/jps1979/galleries

Photophanatic
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

Suggest you take a look at the Benro line of tripods (http://www.benrousa.com/pages/products.asp). I have one of their since discontinued Travel Angel models and have been very satified with it, particularly for travel, for which it's designed. Their new models look even better. Mine cost $250 complete with ball head.

Good luck - finding the ideal tripod for all purposes is almost impossible.

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Larry de March
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

Benro and Sirui tripods are pretty good value and quality.  The Sirui ballheads are very good for the price.  Be sure to get a tripod that's tall enough for you without extending a center column.

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puttin
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to Larry de March, 5 months ago

Why do tripod makers use center columns if you can't use them. I think it is over hyped not to raise the column, after all it's still better than hand held.

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Photec
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to puttin, 5 months ago

A tripod is only as stable as it's weakest link. IMHO, even having a center column weakens the stability, when it is raised the whole purpose of having a tripod is blown. I suugest using tripods with no center column. FWIW. Good luck.

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Rich Rosen
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to Photec, 5 months ago

Photec wrote:

A tripod is only as stable as it's weakest link. IMHO, even having a center column weakens the stability, when it is raised the whole purpose of having a tripod is blown. I suugest using tripods with no center column. FWIW. Good luck.

Some years ago, I modified my tripod by removing the center post and replacing it with a tripod base made by Markins. I still have the post and parts, but not having a post is no great loss.

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akjos
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to Larry de March, 5 months ago

Thanks... sirui stuff looks pretty nice ... almost looks like oben clone or cousin lol
I wonder if anyone actually reads the full post
Id get induro 214 but im worried itll be TOO tall without center column extended... i might have to go to the store first to get better idea what im preferring and what to expect etc.
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hajagosb
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

I have the Vanguard Alta Pro 263, and it's pretty good. But I use it mostly in studio since I've bought the Velbon Ultra Rexi L:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/743062-REG/Velbon_ULTRA_REXI_L_Ultra_REXi_L_Aluminum.html

I have a Manfrotto video head on this, but looking for a good matching ball head to make it more compact.

It's easy to fold, small, light, and pretty tall.

I'm not shooting long exposure things, and never put heavy lenses on it though. My D800E with a grip and the 14-24 is the heaviest it has to stand.

 hajagosb's gear list:hajagosb's gear list
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cheapguy
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

Don't forget about craigslist. GREAT deals can be had if you're patient.

example: https://lasvegas.craigslist.org/pho/4406096826.html

By the way, I really like your gallery.

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TQGroup
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to cheapguy, 5 months ago

+1 for Sirui.

I have the T-1204X + G10 ballhead which uses the Arca Swiss system. Ohh, I have at least 5 other tripods including 3 biggish Manfrottos.

Honestly, the biggest issue with tripods is lugging them around, especially for those "many hour" events, or worse still, "all day" events! This lightweight carbon fibre tripod is small, fits on a backpack easily and has its own carry bag. Its definitely the one I use most and the only one I travel by plane with.

As to centre columns, sometimes they are needed to get over obstructions and this Sirui comes with a screw-in centre piece extender which I must use for my favourite vantage point for certain fireworks displays.

Finally, always use a remote release or much of the benefit of the tripod is negated and remember to cover the viewfinder to prevent stray light playing havoc with your exposure.

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akjos
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to cheapguy, 5 months ago

Don't forget about craigslist. GREAT deals can be had if you're patient.

example: https://lasvegas.craigslist.org/pho/4406096826.html

By the way, I really like your gallery.

Thanks .and thanks for the tip...i hardly look on CL because im home maybe few days out of the month but obviously there are some good deals right around the corner from where i ( kinda) live lol. When im home next time ill scout the CL in the area...
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RBFresno
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Some tripod and ballhead References
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

akjos wrote:

Ive been wanting good quality tripod for long time now.
Now that i got some camera gear again... after putting 1600$ camera lens combo on pos 30$ old tripod i got for free long time ago i know i NEED one .

Im about 5'9" 5'10" or 175 cm depending on shoes lol

Im looking for best bang for the buck of course and would like to keep it around 200$ range

My top contender is induro at 214... price is right gets raving reviews but im afraid itll be too tall after putting ballhead and camera on it even without center column extended.

Also consider vanduard alta pro 263 but its less sturdy rating wise. Plus id like 4 sections better for more compactness

Also very appealing are mefoto globetrotter and roadtrip

Lastly considering dolica cf tripods which can be had for about 150 with the head but not so sure about quality.

Also found smith victor cf tripods on bh that look ok in this price range.

I dont feel manfrotto offer best value... basically they are overpriced ...

If i get something like induro for 149 im considering smith victor bh5 or hb8 head which looks pretty great for the money.

Ballhead needs to have separate panning lock...

Also saw fancier heads on amazon and new oben stuff on BH that looks good but thats pushing it to around 250 with the legs.

I know purists will say u cant get any good tripod and head for 200 bucks but im not willing to spend 400+ on something ill only use occasionally.

Opened to all suggestions either as a combo or separate legs and head.
Please take in count my height ....tripod should be fully extended with center column down or up to maybe half way up to comfortably reach eye level.

Also ... i dont have anything super heavy lens wise now but
It should hold 70-200 2.8 lens no problem at all in case i decide to get one again in the future...
Thanks !
--
http://www.pbase.com/jps1979/galleries

A few references:

Mansurov: Choosing a tripod

Ron Martinsen Tripod thoughts

RB

 RBFresno's gear list:RBFresno's gear list
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cheapguy
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

Worried about the Induro being too tall?

Keep in mind that you don't have to extend the legs all the way.  A little too tall is better than too short.

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TerryAnderson
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

I went with a Manfrotto PRO 055 3 sectional with a BH3 Kirk head for L brackets. This setup lets me get with in 6 inches of the ground and lets me do both landscape and portrait views without loosening the adjustment knobs.

Manfrotto Pro 055

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSD-hvrqFY4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmenklsAZX8

Kirk Head

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr-wTi8Pq2k

I use this setup for Landscape work, and portraits.

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All the best and keep on shooting
Terry Anderson
Boston West Photography

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RightLight
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

Choosing tripod and ball head got harder for me than choosing camera and lenses! When I went to full frame from my D7000, my old velbon + vanguard ball head had to be replaced. After much research I went with Induro CT 213, a 3 section carbon fiber tripod. I was about to go with similar benro without central column (you may be familiar that there some points against the central column, for example see the Mansurov's suggestion already posted). I however, went for the central column to add a bit of flexibility on height (you pay some stability the more you raise the central column) whenever that is absolutely necessary. I am 5' 4". Its a pretty good tripod - and there is aluminum version at about half the price.

For ball head I ultimately went with Photo Clam PC-34ns for about $165. This is an excellent ball head - very fluid motion and very stable with friction control (I think I can live without friction control). Note that plate doesn't come with this ball - that's extra $30. But I did not need it since I had bought a used RSS plate for my D800. It's been very good combo for my D800 + Nikon 24-70/2.8. I bought this system with the possibility of adding 70-200/2.8 VR II and 300/4 VR.

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akjos
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Re: Some tripod and ballhead References
In reply to RBFresno, 5 months ago

akjos wrote:

Ive been wanting good quality tripod for long time now.
Now that i got some camera gear again... after putting 1600$ camera lens combo on pos 30$ old tripod i got for free long time ago i know i NEED one .

Im about 5'9" 5'10" or 175 cm depending on shoes lol

Im looking for best bang for the buck of course and would like to keep it around 200$ range

My top contender is induro at 214... price is right gets raving reviews but im afraid itll be too tall after putting ballhead and camera on it even without center column extended.

Also consider vanduard alta pro 263 but its less sturdy rating wise. Plus id like 4 sections better for more compactness

Also very appealing are mefoto globetrotter and roadtrip

Lastly considering dolica cf tripods which can be had for about 150 with the head but not so sure about quality.

Also found smith victor cf tripods on bh that look ok in this price range.

I dont feel manfrotto offer best value... basically they are overpriced ...

If i get something like induro for 149 im considering smith victor bh5 or hb8 head which looks pretty great for the money.

Ballhead needs to have separate panning lock...

Also saw fancier heads on amazon and new oben stuff on BH that looks good but thats pushing it to around 250 with the legs.

I know purists will say u cant get any good tripod and head for 200 bucks but im not willing to spend 400+ on something ill only use occasionally.

Opened to all suggestions either as a combo or separate legs and head.
Please take in count my height ....tripod should be fully extended with center column down or up to maybe half way up to comfortably reach eye level.

Also ... i dont have anything super heavy lens wise now but
It should hold 70-200 2.8 lens no problem at all in case i decide to get one again in the future...
Thanks !
--
http://www.pbase.com/jps1979/galleries

A few references:

Mansurov: Choosing a tripod

Ron Martinsen Tripod thoughts

RB

Thanks for the links RB
--
http://www.pbase.com/jps1979/galleries

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akjos
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to RightLight, 5 months ago

Thanks.... so if you ate 5'4 there is no way the 313 is at your eye level all set up... it has to be higher quite a bit with the legs extended anf column down no?
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RightLight
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

akjos wrote:

Thanks.... so if you ate 5'4 there is no way the 313 is at your eye level all set up... it has to be higher quite a bit with the legs extended anf column down no?
--
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Yes. But none gave camera exactly to my eye level unless I went for more sections. Five sections tripod were best fit! I bought it at a local store and tried many there. So I looked for a little shorter ball head instead. I gave sirui a consideration, but it's tad taller that Photo Clam (from the specification given online). I decided to go with 313 because I was looking for more stability in light and thought I can compromise even a couple of inches rather than going four or five sections. In most cases I do not extend fully. If I need, in some cases, I lift my to heel up to level - that's the compromise I made. 313 is best for any one from 5'5" to 5'8" fully extended without raising the center column.

 RightLight's gear list:RightLight's gear list
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leicaman
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Gitzo 3 series Carbon 6X or RRS tripod and without question the Arca Swiss P0 ball head.
In reply to akjos, 5 months ago

Gitzo 3 series Carbon 6X or RRS tripod and without question the Arca Swiss P0 ball head.

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akjos
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Re: tripod and ballhead suggestions
In reply to RightLight, 5 months ago

313 sound almost too tall for that hight... i was considering 214 for my 5'9"... maybe when i go to the store they will have some and i can check it out...
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