Tripod Help

Started Mar 30, 2007 | Discussions thread
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ClaudioG Regular Member • Posts: 110
Tripod Help

Hi, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy a good tripod. I tried to read many of the available threads on this and other forums as well as the very well written article by Thom Hogan on tripods and his reasoning on why it make sense to spend a lot of money from the getgo rather than spend even more at the end. Again it makes sense.

My camera is a d200 with a mb200 battery pack. I like to photograph nature scenes as landscapes or particulars. The lenses find myself using the most are a 18-70 dx kit lens and a 70-200 f2.8 vr. I have a very lightweight velbon maxy tripod that allows me to take decent pictures if I use mirror lock up and timer and a weight to stabilize the whole contraption.

I recently had the pleasure to accompany a friend pro photographer on a nature photo shootout and I could use one of his tripods. What a difference it was. The ball head was an old arca swiss. very smoth and easy to use. I do not know the brand of the legs, they were heavy aluminum, without center column but again night and day difference form my velbon. I could actually trip the shutter without having the whole thing shaking as usual.

Now I am left with the formidable task of choosing a tripod. Money is an issue, but I do not mind spending a little more if there is a good reason for it.

I would like to concentrate on the head at first. From what I read on this and other forums it seems that there are 3-4 favorite heads:

RRS BH-55 LR $455
Markings Q-Ball M10 $339
Arca Swiss B1 $399
Arca Swiss Z1 $339

All of this heads have quick release clamps and use standard arca swiss plates.

Each one of them seems to have strong proponents and I haven't read really anything bad about any of the above. The exception being the Arca Swiss lock problem but it seems to be a thing of the past not affecting the new models.

There is a lot of enthusiasm about the BH-55. Is it really so much better to justify the extra $120 compared to a Markings M10 or the Arca Swiss Z1?

It is so hard to make a decision without having the possibility to actually touch and work a little with any of these products.

I would really appreciate any help on making this decision.

If you have any of these heads or better if you used more than one, would you like to elaborate on what you did like and what you didn't.

Once i settle on the head I would also appreciate tremendously some help on the even more confusing issue of purchasing the right legs.



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