Which tripod + (ball)-head for the D800

Started Feb 18, 2013 | Questions thread
Fred Mueller Senior Member • Posts: 2,528
Arca-Swiss compatable

I use a Manfrotto 055 just like you are considering but moved on from Manfrotto ball heads to get into the world of Arca-Swiss compatible plates and quick releases. I am using Kirk L-brackets and plates now and an Acratech GP ball head.

The Manfrotto quick release plate setup relies on friction to resist slippage in portrait orientation and does not work very well with even modest sized lenses on a FF body in that capacity. The cork foot will twist and also distort the rubber bottom cover of your 800.

The 055 is heavy (compared to carbon fiber), but a fine tripod none the less, reasonably priced, and in your case probably a good choice. Since I use mine mostly for shooting interiors it has been fine despite its weight and is very durable.

But because I rely on a tripod, I spent $$$ on a good ball head


But there are many Arca-Swiss compatible choices out there all really equally good, including a few that are not overpriced at all.

Here is an interesting thread on the subject from a few years ago on Flickr that very specifically discusses the Manfrotto shortcomings and other possible solutions ..


Your 800 and those great lenses deserve a secure tripod - I would spend once wisely and be done with it forever ... once you have a good tripod you will begin to realize it is an essential tool and likely use it more than you thought you anticipated ...

good luck

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