Visitor Needs Some Tripod Advice

Started Jul 26, 2007 | Discussions thread
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rzarbo Senior Member • Posts: 1,059
Visitor Needs Some Tripod Advice


I hope you all don't mind offering a forum visitor some advice. I have been searching for weeks for info on triipod legs and almost all the threads that I can find lead me back to this forum! It seems as though this forum has some real tripod experts so I am hoping someone can help.:) I apologize for adding yet another tripod thread, however.

As briefly as I can, this is what I need.....

I have a Pentax k10d with grip and the heaviest lens will be the new DA*60-250 f4 so the total weight will be about 7lbs.

I like to shoot landscape and portrait.

I do not travel so weight/size is not as important but I am a small woman and don't want to have to tote something very heavy.

Those are the basics. The specifics make it a little more complicated.

I frequently walk with my daughter who is handicapped. We walk as part of her physical therapy but we encounter many great photo opportunities on these walks and I have discovered that she enjoys getting involved with the picture taking. She actually tried to say the word "picture" which was AMAZING! So I want to do what I can to encourage this and get myself a really good tripod as well.

When I am walking with her she has to hold on to my arm. My old tripod, a $100 cheapie, was a nightmare. I had to sit her down on the wet ground in order to get the tripod set up. She ended up with a wet bottom and I was sweating and frustrated. I need EASY!!.

I also need fairly sturdy because she tends to hold on to a leg for balance. She doesn't actually exert much force against the leg but I can help but think that the sturdier the better even if the camera equipment doesn't require it. I know, of course, that her holding on to a leg will degrade picture quality but that is not the point with her.

So I have been looking at the followiing legs:

Feisol 3371

I like the sturdiness, no column, and the price but I am not sure how easy the legs are to set up if you only have kind of one and a half hands. Just under $400 delivered.

Velbon 730

It is only rated to carry 17lbs but it looks quite sturdy. The column is removable. It claims to be very easy to setup. Price is just under $500

Gitzo (there are so many models I didn't even know where to start) After a long call to B & H I "think" I have narrowed it down to the

3530ls or the 3540xls.

I think the 2 series would be adequate weight wise but you can't get those without the column.

I like everything about these two tripods but the price. However, everybody seems to rave about how wonderful the new G lock anti-rotation legs are compared to the old style so if this it what it takes, so be it. $750

And what about these leveling columns on the Gitzos Do they add ease of use and make a column worth putting up with? If so, I could get the 2 series with a leveling column but that would almost be as much as the 3 series without a column.

So.....are the Feisol leg locks like the "old" style Gitzo locks that everyone seems to agree were a pain compared to the new type lock?

And, this is a less important question but how do you carry these things ? I would like to just sling it over my shoulder with a strap but can you do that with a Feisol or Gitzo that doesn't have a column? I forgot to ask the B and H guy about that.

I have settled on a Markins head either the M10 or M20 depending on which legs I get and a Kirk L bracket.

Any help will REALLY be much appreciated. Right now I am just going in circles.


The fault is not in the stars, dear Brutus, but in ourselves.......

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