I can't decide on a tripod :o(

Started Oct 29, 2009 | Discussions thread
WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,477
Re: I can't decide on a tripod :o(

I admit a preference for Manfrotto - when I was looking I couldn't find anything better for my needs.

The 055 series of legs give you a lot of flexibility with the multi-angle hinges and tilting column, and they go down to about 6 inches from the ground.

Carbon fibre is more than twice the price of aluminium (e.g. 055CXPRO3 - US$400 vs 055XPROB - US$180). I went with the 055XPROB 'cos I know I'm never going to carry it far, so saving 700g wasn't worth US$220.

I love my 322RC2 head. It's rated at 5Kg and your camera with the 100-400 is only 2Kg, so you'd be fine with that. I'd say you only need a pan & tilt head if you're work requires control of the motion of the camera between shots.

Whatever you do, buy into a quick-release system (like the Manfrotto RC2). Trust me, you'll get sick of screwing your camera to your tripod, but you'll use it a lot more if you can attach and detach in a couple of seconds.

If you go with a Manfrotto RC2 setup, get a couple of spare plates - leave one permanently on your camera and one on your 100-400. I've ended up getting a few 323 RC2 sets for other accessories (e.g. flash bracket, GorillaPod, macro-focussing rail), so I have complete freedom to plug them together in interesting ways in a few seconds. I can't emphasise enough how tedious it is to screw things onto tripods.

I bought mine from Adorama in a 055XPROB + 322RC2 + bag package. I'd give you the URL but their site isn't responding right now.

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