Tripod and ballhead ergonomics

Started Jan 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
1llusive Senior Member • Posts: 1,059
Manfrotto 190CXPROB + Acratech GV2

By far the best $600 tripod + head setup I could imagine was the Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 + Acratech GV2 combo I grabbed recently. The tripod is strong and light, and features the center column you mentioned plus has a hook to hang something heavy if it's windy. Definitely prefer flip locks over twist. The tripod seems to be discontinued but perhaps you could find a used one. The new version is a little more expensive, but worth investigating.

The Ballhead is very high quality, has rubber knobs, is small and light, and is an open design so it won't collect dirt. Google for reviews and check YouTube as well. It has a panning base at the bottom which is great. It even comes with a high quality QR clamp with knob, which again is rubber coated and grips very strongly. I would recommend it over the lever style which CAN in some situations get knocked loose depending on its design. The QR clamp also has a bubble level on it. Mount your camera "backwards" so the level is under your LCD and the knob is under your camera lens. If that really bothers you, you could always turn it around and get a hotshoe level, but for me it works best that way. I've never had a problem twisting the knob under the lens. I got the matching camera plate to go with it, which is basically an overpriced piece of machined metal. High quality, though.

It's no longer listed on Acratech's new's still $100 off, get it before it's gone:

I got this setup for landscape photography, so I will be doing some hiking. I'm short so I only needed the 190. If you're tall, I would get its bigger brother the 055. If you don't care about the weight and the flex of aluminum doesn't bother you (it certainly bothered me), then save some money and skip the carbon fiber. Personally I'm very happy with the rigidness and weight savings of the CF. The aluminum vibrates too much for my liking, especially on the smaller 190.

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