Tripod recommendation

Started Apr 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
GMack Senior Member • Posts: 2,928
Re: Tripod recommendation

A few reasons I ditched some pods were:

  • Flipper leg locks: They can be tight. Hardware and rivets loosen. Threads strip. Irregular feel to how secure they clamp. Slippage. Lots of maintenance. More prone to wobble.

  • Bubble levels located in heads or clamps that are covered when you put the camera onto them. Have to take it off to see if something has changed, and some flimsy ones will change level with a lot of gear loaded onto them.

  • Get it rated for maybe 4 times the load. You can stabilize the better ones that have a hook under them by attaching your gear bag or some weights. Don't trust the rated claims (like a Gorilla pod holding a MF body.).

  • Carbon fiber is very nice and light, but it costs. Not prone to corrosion either.

  • More leg sections equals more instability and wobble, but they pack smaller. Drawback is they are much slower to set up with all the locks. I'd even settle for a two-section twist-lock leg, but they seem rare in a tall variety. I leave mine loose so I can put it upright, legs slide out on their own, and then I tighten them.

  • L-plates are nice and make centering the load better rather than throwing the CG off to one side where the entire thing may topple over. They fit the camera better and don't loosen as do cheaper plates. You can get most with a wrist strap (Camdapter brand) that make carrying the camera easier and flipping it to the side more secure while holding it.

  • Center columns get sort of flimsy and add shake to the overall setup. Most have a flimsy crank unit. Try and avoid if possible. They also slow you down and raise the CG too (easier to topple.).

  • Some columns have a cheap locking screw that will screw into the center clamp post and distort it and then it binds.

  • Too bad it takes maybe 3-4 cheap and flimsy tripods before you finally realize you paid a lot for what should have been a one-time purchase.

  • Get one where the camera's viewfinder is at your eye level or a bit higher. Some are really short.

  • Legs should remain where you point them and not loosely flop around.


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