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Macro Tripod Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Tripods, Ball Heads, and Gimbals' started by Winnie, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Folks,

    I am after any recommendations for a new tripod that I can use mainly for macro work and also for other stuff when needed.

    I need it to work at floor level or as low as possible.

    Weight is not a major concern but I would like to be able to lift it! ;0)

    A decent load capacity as I use a 180mm macro lens and a 300mm Nikkor.

    Budget, no more than £200 ($400)

    Currently my Manfrotto 190ProB has worked very well and I had considered the small jump to the 055ProB but maybe I need to jump a little further.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance


  2. dagored


    May 4, 2005
    Look at this:

    RRS ground pod.

    You should download their catalog. I do not know if they ship overseas or what the rate would be.
  3. Thanks folks.

    I am more after a tripod that I can use for all situation, both low and high.


  4. We use manfrotto 3021 Pro B.
    The legs will move into several width positions (not referring to length), even flat on the ground.
    It has a center column which can be taken out and mounted sideways for macro work.
    I don't know if you can order from Adorama, but good information about this particular tripod is given at this link:
  5. DrewC


    Jan 30, 2007
    Denver, CO
    slik able 300dx
  6. mikhailr

    mikhailr Guest

    When I was purchasing Manfrotto 055Pro (Bogen 3021Pro) I thought its center column mounted sideways would let me set a camera nearer to the ground while shooting macro. It did, but the camera became very unstable and image quality suffered. I tried to strenthen the camera by extra mount set between camera (lens had a collar which was mounted on the head) and a tripod leg.
    It gave almost nothing for stability, but complicated pointing the camera to the object a lot, and made shooting process sort of a trick.

    So as many guys said here using center column when more stability is requiered is not a good idea.

  7. slappomatt


    May 13, 2006
    San Diego CA
    what about putting the column in upside down? would keep the CG closer to the middle for more stabilty. Im planning to get this tripod soon for macro. although I dont think I will need to take a picture of the ground very often so hope to not run into that problem.
  8. Thanks Mikhail.

    I have the 190ProB and have come to the same conclusion. I need more stability but still with the flexibility of moving the legs.



  9. Thanks, that's pretty much what I have already and I was after something with a bit more load capacity for my larger lenses.

    Thanks anyway though.

  10. genehsu


    Apr 15, 2007
    How about a Gitzo 1340? It supports up to 10kg and gets down to 11cm.

    I just bought a Gitzo 3540LS and it gets down to 10cm. That's plenty low enough for me. If I need lower, I'll use a bean bag/rice sack.
  11. Sorry this won't work for you, Winnie...
    We use these for our 500mm and 300mm lenses and they work quite well.
    However, I am trying to decide on some other more stable tripod for our 500mm lens, as I believe with our full wimberley and D2xs we are pushing the envelope on weight, at 13.3 # capability.

    We have not put our pods on the ground level with this center column set up
    so had not considered the weight issue. However, a heavy bean bag on the opposite end from the camera might give some balance in offsetting the weight of the camera to one side. But then that might cause the fine tuning to become cumbersome.

    There is a new, small tripod I saw at our camera shop the other day. I believe it is called a Gorillapod by Joby. This thing might be able to support the weight of your camera setup. Looked interesting.

    position for macro:

    The 300mm f4 lens weighs 3.16 #
    The D2xs camera weighs 37.4 oz or 2.9 #
    The D200 weighs 29.3 oz or 2 #
    The D70s weighs 21 oz
    Battery weight approximately 2.6 oz

    Don't know what lens you use, but this might give you some thought for use.
    I would like to know if anyone uses this gorillapod, myself. I will be probably using the D200 with the Sigma 150 macro lens.

    You may have to use a ground pod or bean bag to get as low as you want to go, as genehsu mentioned.

    Sometimes we put our ground pod in a "frying pan (skillet)" to be able to move the pod easily. This works pretty well, for photographing birds when we
    have to get down on our stomachs, in the mud or sand.

    Also learned something: didn't know the 055 Pro and the 3021 Pro were the same tripod. Have seen the 055 spoken of and 3021, as if two different pods. Bogen and Manfrotto...hmmmm!

    I am learning so much from each of y'alls comment, interesting talk...
  12. Thanks Cheryle.

    I am looking to upgrade following my purchase of the Nikkor f/4 AFS. I am led to believe that it can be quite picky with regard to what it sits on :frown:.

  13. Thanks Gene, I will look at that one although it's a bit on the pricey side in the UK.


  14. mikhailr

    mikhailr Guest

    I tried this setup too. It gave a little more stability, but in my opinion not enough for macro shotting. Besides you can turn your camera in very limited angles because either see a tripod leg in the frame or another leg prevent your head to reach viewfinder. So to change position you have to move all the setup (tripod and camera), not a camera itself.

  15. How about a Manfrotto Super Clamp 035 with the 037 spiggot. You could mount a ball head on it and clamp the whole thing to the tripod leg !

    I have this lot on order, so give me about a week to set it up and I'll post a picture - should be worth a laugh !

    Clamp costs about £20, spiggot is £5 - plus what ever ballhead suits you.

    The clamp is rated to 15kg.
  16. OK, clamp arrived today, I had a Manfrotto 484RC2 ballhead kicking about so I screwed it onto the spigot and clamped the whole thing onto the leg of my 190 tripod. Here's a couple of images of my D70 + Sigma 150 hanging onto the leg of my tripod. I've added a bubble level and 90 degree angle viewer to make life more easy. This rig also definitely needs the remote relese. Pictures were taken with a coolpix 3200 - they're a little harsh !

    Super Clamp + 484RC2 + D70 + Sigma + 190BWB tripod
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Close image of above
    View attachment 102215

    Without D70
    View attachment 102216

    Without Tripod
    View attachment 102217

    First impresions - solid - much more so than I thought it would be. I'll be keeping this little set up in the top pocket of my slingshot 200 bag, it folds up nice and small. I reckon any solid object under 2" thick, this can clamp onto it - should be useful for gates/railings/branches/car doors! - in fact a multitude of things.
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