D700 tripod problem...

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions
001FJ Regular Member • Posts: 359
D700 tripod problem...

Hello,

I like to take long exposure shots at night which means I must use a tripod. In the landscape orientation everything is fine, but when I tilt the tripod head to the portrait orientation and tilt the camera up it automatically tilts down (unscrews itself) slowly due to the weight of the lens. Of course this produces blurry images. I am just using the old traditional tripod mounting plate which looks something like this:

My questions is: what solutions are available out there? My tripod is a good brand and solid, so I am just thinking of getting a proper mounting plate for the D700. Any suggestions?

This question might have been asked before so if you could direct me to older similar threads then that would be good too.

gonzalu
gonzalu Forum Pro • Posts: 10,392
Get yourself a good RRS or Kirk L bracket

or any L bracket for that matter... then get a good Arca-Swiss clamp for your tripod or head if possible or buy a new Arca-Swiss style head. Be happy

Really Right Stuff

http://reallyrightstuff.com/Index.aspx?code=46&key=fr

Kirk

http://www.kirkphoto.com/L-Brackets.html
--
Manny
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Raul Veteran Member • Posts: 8,240
If the lens is that heavy

the attachment to the camera should be through the lens and NOT the camera.

regards
--
"The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young."
O.Wilde

Bright Angel Veteran Member • Posts: 4,854
Re: D700 tripod problem...

You could always make your own L Bracket, like I did.

It may not look as pretty as a shop bought one, but it only cost a few £/$ and not a few hundred. And it works without any problems.
(I could have sprayed in black to make it pretty, but I didn't).
And thanks to it's design it will fit any non grip Nikon.

gonzalu
gonzalu Forum Pro • Posts: 10,392
Nice work, Mark!
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Derouyag
Derouyag Contributing Member • Posts: 824
Re: D700 tripod problem...

If you can afford it, buy a good tripod, strong ball head, a gimbal, and a Arca-Swiss type of "L" bracket for your camera.

And no, the camera does not weigh more than the lens... I am only pointing out the range of motion with this gimbal.

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,141
Re: D700 tripod problem...

Mafrotto/Bogen quick-release plate?

I had those for about 10 years, and never was satisfied with performance. Always unscrewed in portrait orientation, and was uncomfortable to hold when plates were mounted (especially those 6-sided plates).

Eventually I got fed up with the whole system and replaced it with a Gitzo tripod, a ballhead (RRS BH-55) and an ARCA-Swiss plate (RRS).

I started with a regular plate because I balked at the price of the L-plate. That was a mistake. I switch to portrait orientation a lot, and doing that on a ballhead is frustrating. At least the RRS plate never loosened in the slightest. After two weeks I ordered and L-plate, and problems were solved. With a quick-release RRS clamp on the ballhead, it's a matter of a couple of seconds to flip between portrait and landscape. The RRS plates are also rounded on the edges and reasonably comfortable in the hand.

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Lenz Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Re: Get yourself a good RRS or Kirk L bracket

Agreed! Never go wrong there. Especially when you do portrait orientation..
--
Cheers,
Lenz
D700, D90 & S5 pro

sweetsonic Regular Member • Posts: 349
Re: D700 tripod problem...

Are there any cheaper options? I have the Manfrotto 055XPROB and 498RC2 head. Is there no L-bracket that will work with that? I know many here with RRS and Gitzo gear probably snicker at that, but I just can't afford that kind of setup. I actually bought the Manfrotto gear to replace my first cheap tripod/head combo and avoid this problem. So far it seems to work pretty well with a D700 and 24-70, but I do wonder if there's a little softness in portrait shots due to slow creep/unthreading.

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Mafrotto/Bogen quick-release plate?

I had those for about 10 years, and never was satisfied with performance. Always unscrewed in portrait orientation, and was uncomfortable to hold when plates were mounted (especially those 6-sided plates).

Eventually I got fed up with the whole system and replaced it with a Gitzo tripod, a ballhead (RRS BH-55) and an ARCA-Swiss plate (RRS).

I started with a regular plate because I balked at the price of the L-plate. That was a mistake. I switch to portrait orientation a lot, and doing that on a ballhead is frustrating. At least the RRS plate never loosened in the slightest. After two weeks I ordered and L-plate, and problems were solved. With a quick-release RRS clamp on the ballhead, it's a matter of a couple of seconds to flip between portrait and landscape. The RRS plates are also rounded on the edges and reasonably comfortable in the hand.

OP 001FJ Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Get yourself a good RRS or Kirk L bracket

Thanks a lot guys! You are awesome! But I am a bit confused by the many products, so I will have to read up on them a bit. I am not sure why I need an L-bracket.

tonganqn Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: D700 tripod problem...

Take a look at this [1]. It's a very good overview of ballheads and plates that helps a lot in choosing what to buy. And remember: if you want something GOOD you need to invest money on it. Cheap things in the long run end up being more expensive.

Hope it helps.

G.

[1] http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2009/06/choosing-a-ballhead

tanera Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: D700 tripod problem...

sweetsonic wrote:

Are there any cheaper options? I have the Manfrotto 055XPROB and 498RC2 head. Is there no L-bracket that will work with that? I know many here with RRS and Gitzo gear probably snicker at that, but I just can't afford that kind of setup. I actually bought the Manfrotto gear to replace my first cheap tripod/head combo and avoid this problem. So far it seems to work pretty well with a D700 and 24-70, but I do wonder if there's a little softness in portrait shots due to slow creep/unthreading.

The Manfrotto RC2 head has a small contact surface area. RC4 is designed for medium format and initially looks too big for a DSLR but it can project forward of the base and offer a nice flat platform if you take it off the tripod. It also offers about 3 times the contact area. I used it on a D7000 the edge fits flush with the back.

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sweetsonic Regular Member • Posts: 349
Re: D700 tripod problem...

tonganqn wrote:

Take a look at this [1]. It's a very good overview of ballheads and plates that helps a lot in choosing what to buy. And remember: if you want something GOOD you need to invest money on it. Cheap things in the long run end up being more expensive.

Hope it helps.

G.

[1] http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2009/06/choosing-a-ballhead

So very helpful. Thank you! I've always heard terms thrown around, but really just didn't know enough about the differences in heads and plates.

gonzalu
gonzalu Forum Pro • Posts: 10,392
MAin reason: to keep the center of gravity over the lens

axis... this way you don;t need to flop your camera over hanging away from the center of the support system... the pics on most of the product pages are pretty self explanatory..

Download or order their (RRS) catalog which is invaluable in visualizing various uses.

http://reallyrightstuff.com/WebsiteInfo.aspx?fc=91
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Clark95 Regular Member • Posts: 482
Re: D700 tripod problem...

I had the exact same problem a couple years back with a manfrotto ball-head. I wound up getting a Kirk L Bracket and their BH-1 ballhead and never had an issue since. Wasn't cheap, but was totally worth it in the end.

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,141
Re: D700 tripod problem...

There are lots of cheaper options.

The question is whether or not they are cheaper in the long run. If you buy something cheap, then get sick of it, buy something better, outgrow that, and finally buy the good stuff in the end, you've paid more for the good stuff than just going out and buying it the first time. Plus you've not got years of use of it in the meantime.

With tripods, it's "Cheap, light, stable - pick any two". I'd rule in stable, else why use a tripod at all. If you can't then afford a carbon fiber tripod, go get a basalt one, or just a heavy metal one. Just means you won't be carrying it as far or as much as a lighter one.

For heads, you can get the smaller range of heads that fits your current lenses. I got a BH-55 from RRS anticipating that eventually I might be using a 500F4 on it. In the meantime I enjoy using it with 300mm and shorter lenses.

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PaulBearer Senior Member • Posts: 1,792
You can spend $1,000 on a tripod, or $2000 - take your pick....

Buy a Gitzo, a good ball head, and an L-Bracket - I prefer RRS, but Kirk and others are probably just as good - up to $1,000 out the door. You don't actually have to spend quite that much, but you get the point.

OR, buy a cheap tripod. Then buy a more expensive tripod, perhaps with a proprietary quick release mount. Then a better one. After a while you will have spent $1,000, and you'll still be unhappy. THEN buy a Gitzo and a good ball head with an arca-swiss mount, etc. You'll have spent $2,000, and have a bunch of left over parts no one wants. I know just how it works. Anyone want to buy a bunch of old tripods? Some have cracked plastic heads, and some are just junk, but I'll let them go cheap.

We have read this advice over and over again, and admittedly it's a pain to cough up the cost of a good carbon fiber tripod, a good ball head, and a series of L-Brackets as we keep upgrading our cameras. But, once you make the decision you aren't trying to decide what to buy over and over again over the next 10 years.

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crs-collectibles Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: D700 tripod problem...

sweetsonic wrote:

Are there any cheaper options? I have the Manfrotto 055XPROB and 498RC2 head. Is there no L-bracket that will work with that? I know many here with RRS and Gitzo gear probably snicker at that, but I just can't afford that kind of setup. I actually bought the Manfrotto gear to replace my first cheap tripod/head combo and avoid this problem. So far it seems to work pretty well with a D700 and 24-70, but I do wonder if there's a little softness in portrait shots due to slow creep/unthreading.

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Mafrotto/Bogen quick-release plate?

I had those for about 10 years, and never was satisfied with performance. Always unscrewed in portrait orientation, and was uncomfortable to hold when plates were mounted (especially those 6-sided plates).

Eventually I got fed up with the whole system and replaced it with a Gitzo tripod, a ballhead (RRS BH-55) and an ARCA-Swiss plate (RRS).

I started with a regular plate because I balked at the price of the L-plate. That was a mistake. I switch to portrait orientation a lot, and doing that on a ballhead is frustrating. At least the RRS plate never loosened in the slightest. After two weeks I ordered and L-plate, and problems were solved. With a quick-release RRS clamp on the ballhead, it's a matter of a couple of seconds to flip between portrait and landscape. The RRS plates are also rounded on the edges and reasonably comfortable in the hand.

Manfrotto has announce an l-bracket for their ballheads, just don't think they have shipped yet.

http://www.manfrotto.com/News+%26+Events/News/Manfrotto+announces+the+new+L+BRACKET/16712582

kwtse Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: D700 tripod problem...

For portrait orientation, use a L-bracket. Markins has one for D700.

http://www.markins.com/4.0/html_en/l-plate.php

001FJ wrote:

In the landscape orientation everything is fine, but when I tilt the tripod head to the portrait orientation and tilt the camera up it automatically tilts down (unscrews itself) slowly due to the weight of the lens.

OP 001FJ Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Thanks. But would it solve the tilting down problem?

Thank you very much for the explanation. I noticed that problem too.

But would an L-bracket solve my problem of the camera tilting down in the portrait orientation because the screw of the tripod mounting plate is not strong enough to hold the camera still in place?

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