I can't decide on a tripod :o(

Started Oct 29, 2009 | Discussions thread
MOD imqqmi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,631
Re: I can't decide on a tripod :o(

After 2wks maybe you can make a list of all the features you've come across rate them and put them in a priority list. Soon you'll end up with a couple of possible candidates.

My list looks something like:
1 Compact
2 Flexible, center column must be able to rotate for macro shots
3 sturdy enough to hold 100-400L

4 should not sway too much in the wind, be able to weigh it down. (hook under center column)
5 Bubble level

6 Legs should be able to go wider, and finally entirely flat for low angle shooting and/or counter the over balanced weight of an extended 100-400L
7 Modular system, easy to replace parts, long term use tripod
8 weight no more than 1.5kg

9 height about 1.5m (+ballhead + camera/lens height will pan out at about 15-20cm higher.)


  • Quick release plate, plates should be

  • Ballhead should hold a 40D + grip + 100-400L + flash = about 3kg

  • no more than about 0.5 kg.

Then go to the manfrotto comparing page:

This is what came out eventually:
484RC2 ball head + extra plate (also fits on the 682b monopod)

Manfrotto 190XProB (slightly heavier than I wanted, and no hook to weigh it down but that can be improvised but covers every other point).

I've bought an extra plate for easy swapping between body and lens and leave the plate on the camera and lens.

The rubber feet of the tripod can be replaced by metal spikes, bought separately. That's what I like about manfrotto, the entire range is well thought out and build to last.

The carbon fiber wasn't worth saving about 300g for a doubling in price. The most heavy parts of the tripods are the cast iron parts, the joints and ballhead, which stay the same. Aluminum is replaced by carbon fiber which saves about 300g. This may be significant if you are a serious hiker and every 100g is important. It wasn't for me.

The more camera gear you acquire the more you are forced to make a selection of it to carry with you every day or part of the day. At one point you can't take it all with you if you go on foot. About 6kg in my backpack is the maximum that I'm willing to take with me for a full day hike incl. bag, food and water.

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Kind regards


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