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Big Lens help please.

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Gerald Plowman, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Big Glass questions. After reading, and reading, etc. I am leaning to the following equipment. I don't want to have to upgrade any more equipment to get something that works (currently have 4 tripolds for example). So, would appreciate any comments or recommendations. Thanks.

    The object is to get a longer glass; largest is now 80-400 VR.
    Appears the Sigma Telephoto 500mm f/4.5 EX DG APO HSM Autofocus Lens for Nikon AF is right for me. (Can't see myself pushing a wheelbarrow across the marshes carrying a 600mm lens.)

    Currently have PROMASTER ®
    SystemPro 2 Professional Tripod
    Their website doesn't give weight limit but I am guessing it might not be enough for a 500mm? Willing to try it however since I already have one.

    Question: appears it is best to have the tripod "platform" at eye level as opposed to having to raise the center post. My eye level is 66 inches. The tripod that will work (heavy enough) appears to be the GITZO G1548 MK2 MOUNTAINEER TELE-STUDEX TRIPOD WITH FLAT PLATE. However it isn't tall enough either to reach 66 inches (almost 59 inches with center post raised). How do you solve this problem? Not interested in spending hours leaning over anything.

    Appears I also need the Wimberley Head - Version II. The Sidekick is also popular but might not be enough.

    Appears I also "need" a telecoverter. Assume it is best to go with a Nikon one and start out with a 1.4?

    P.S. I really enjoy the pictures poster here. It certainly gives me something to shoot for. Frankly I wish I had had the time when I was much younger to get into photography.
  2. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Keep in mind that you don't need to get the platform to eye level, but just the camera's viewfinder.

    Actually for a Sigma lens you'd be better off with a Sigma TC. Not all of the Sigma HSM lenses work with Nikon's TC's.
  3. I thinl you pretty much nailed the ideal combo. Only comment is that I think the Nikon TC14EII is better then the sigma (I have both).

    But: I have not tried it with the Sigma 500mm (Both Bill Dewey and Jim Thiel have the Sigma 500 and use the Nikon TC with great results)

    I tried the G1548 in the store yesterday and with camera (D2x) on a smaller ballhead fully extended it was slightly to high for me (I'm ~6ft 1"= 183cm). The G1348 fully extended is higher but not as sturdy as the G1548, but probably sturdy enough. The G1548 is heavier then the G1348 by about 2 pounds....
  4. There you are! Thanks again for your time at Conway. Have taken your advice and improvement has been noted, I think..
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  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl

    Really super.
  6. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I agree with the previous posters. The Sigma 500 4.5 is a very nice lens, and the Gitzo 1548 is one rock solid tripod. I've got the 1325, and I believe that it is plenty strong (rated at over 26 lbs), but the 1548 is even more massive (rated for a 33 lb load). If you don't mind the extra 2 lbs, there's no doubt that it will be the last tripod you will every have to buy.

    I want to reiterate what Jeff said about the height of the flat top. If you get the new Wimberley head, the viewfinder will be approximately 8 to 12 inches above the top of the tripod, depending on how you adjust the sliding mounting plate on the Wimberley. Add this to the height of the 1548, and you come up with a viewfinder height of 67 to 71 inches. If this isn't enough, you could always get the 1548GT (it goes up to over 7 feet).
  7. I have a feeling we are overfocusing a bit on the weight these tripods can carry. I think a very important point is the amount of vibrations these tripods can absorb and how quickly.

    When I tried both thew G1548 and the G1348 yesterday I could see a marked difference in the time it took for vibrations to subside between the 1548 and the 1348, and on my own G1415 Aluminium it took WAY longer for the vibrations to subside, after tapping the front of the lens with the finger. Currently based on that and the height which I will be using it at the G1548 will be my choice after new year. (OOUCH was a sound that came from my wallet!)
  8. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    On the contrary, my belief is that the carrying capacity of the tripod should be as high as possible. These are numbers for a static load so correlate not directly to tripod stability, but my experiences tell me that a tripod specified for a 100 kg load indeed gives a much more stable platform of support than a tripod specified for 10 kg. A heavy-duty tripod should dampen out vibrations in less than 1 sec. My tripods behave like this.
  9. Thank you Bjorn, very interesting. I very clearly have a ways to go before I get dampening out in less then 1 seconds, but then again I dont have a Sachtler....

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