Tripods

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by frogpix, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Hi Group,

    I am getting ready to ramp up to a new tripod and would like some advice on them. The Gitzo carbon fiber types seem to be the light and rugged ones. Most of my shooting is with a D-70 and normal focal length lenses, although I do have an 80 - 400 VR that may see some use. I'll be using an Arca Swiss quick release mount, as I shoot panoramas with Kaidan pano gear and you JUST GOTTA HAVE a quick release when you are moving stuff around and shooting off the mount. So if anybody can throw some of their experience my way, I would appreciate it.

    Rumor has it that the D2Xs hit the streets very soon and I'll be anxious to see what kind of street price they level off at.

    Thanks,

    Steve Waterman
     
  2. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Steve,

    I'm sort of in the same boat. If you haven't read Thom Hogan's advice on the subject, let me paraphrase:

    'Buy a lot of cheap crap, waste a bunch of money, then get the right one, or buy the right one and be done with it'. 8)

    Right now, I'm looking hard at the Gitzo 1325.

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  3. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    Well Thom Hogans article shoulod be heeded.
    For panorama use, you might consider.
    Gitzo 1228 L VL Leveling post tripod.
    or visit

    http://www.pbase.com/bpetterson/tripods

    Birger
     
  4. NeilCam

    NeilCam

    609
    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    There's a good article on Feisol tripods on Nikonians comparing them very favourable to Gitzo CF tripods and they're a LOT cheaper. I'll try and dig up the link. Ahhh found it, I think:

    http://www.nikonians.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=read_count&om=872&forum=DCForumID15

    Oh and for the Feisol website:

    http://www.feisol.com/english/enconnect-n.htm

    Something to bear in mind at least. Certainly I'm looking to get one in the near future. Trouble is then having to scrap up the $ for a reasonable head.

    Neil
     
  5. My setup is......

    Gitzo 1228 with Kirk BH-3 ballhead and Wimberly Sidekick. I shoot a D2H with a 500mm f4.5 Sigma HSM. Sometimes I even shoot with stacked TC's :) .

    I will tell you that according to the Gitzo and Kirk specs I am pretty much at the limit with this setup. I have been told by a number of people that I "really need" a sturdier tripod. All I can tell you is that it works quite well for me. I am not at all sure that my images would be appreciably better with a heavier tripod, take a look at my last GBH images from Juanita Bay for an example. If I have a bag with some weight I'll hang it from the weight hook, and I will tell you that when the wind is blowing from the side I'm not sure that much really helps.

    From what I have read of the Feisol's I believe they are the equivalent of the 1227/1228 Gitzo's, and all the reports I have heard have been good. I got lucky and found mine on eBay for not much more than the Feisol, and that was before the Feisol was around.

    I, also, agree with Thom Hogan's advice. I was lucky and only went through one other set of legs and head before going this route, I consider myself one of the lucky ones.
     
  6. Just bought one a few weeks ago. My old one had developed a case of the rickets or something. It's surprising how the slighest breeze will show any looseness in the support even with something like the 70-200VR and hood. That lens hood acts just like a sail and grabs the slightest breeze.

    Other than wanting one solid, a primary concern for me was height without any center column. I am a little over 6' so the Fiesol (sp?) offerings were out. In my opinion, buying a tripod too short is a BIG mistake. My ideal would be one a little taller than eye level when fully extended. Weight was of a lesser concern because I will NOT be humping gear the long distances I did in the past. Not having a "local" store within 100 miles with decent gear, I was limited to online reviews/opinions and books from which to base a purchase decision.

    In the end game, I narrowed my choice to either the Gitzo 1340 or 1325. I STRONGLY considered the CF 1325 but decided to save the extra $200US and get the aluminum 1325 since I will not be covering long distances. Yeah, it's a *little* on the heavy side with the BH1 but, again, that wasn't a major concern of mine. The CF model would save only 2 pounds -- a big deal on a 10 mile hike but not so much on a 2 miler.

    No doubt, the 1340 is ROCK solid and is plenty tall enough for me without a center post -- won't use one anyway -- and will go right to the ground in the other direction. The "wingnut" style locks on the first stage are a nice touch and much easier to use than the std Gitzo twist locks. They are only on the first drop, though -- the small extension uses the std lock. All things considered, I am very happy with my choice. I believe those two deserve more than a casual glance from anyone tripod shopping.

    HTH
    Phil
     
  7. Thanks for the info. You guys have me looking in the right direction. That old aluminum Bogen is going to be put away soon. I bought it for my 4 X 5 view camera back when in the day. Now I have to figure out what to with my F4s and some lenses. Guess I could sell them on here!!

    Steve
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    I also have the Gitzo 1228 & 1348 w/Leveling Post

    Birger recommended the Gitzo Leveling Post for my 1348, and I have to tell you, it' THE single most useful accessory for a tripod. Thanks Birger! The 1228 is very lightweight, even with a Markin's M-10 and Sidekick mounted. Now the 1348 with full Wimberley head and Leveling post is an absolute beast, that I would never want to carry very far.

    OK, Now Birger, what is that bellows thing you have attached to your LCD screen on your 2H? I suppose I'm gonna need one (2) of those now too! Is it very useful?
     
  9. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    The Bellows was on a D1, D1H or D1X was from Hoodman.
    For the D2HX Hoodman has a flipup or down door.
    Some people claim that it is to flimsy.

    http://www.hoodmanusa.com/flip_up.asp

    Birger
     
  10. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Thanks Birger,

    I'll do some research on it!
     
  11. GeeJay

    GeeJay

    Jan 26, 2005
    Florida
    I've never seen the Hoodman before but think I could use it. I have trouble seeing the LCD screen when outside in the sun ( Florida).. Does it help much for that problem? I see it as good protection for the LCD screen also. Any comments?

    Thanks much,
    Gaye
     
  12. Neil,

    I ordered a Feisol carbon fiber tripod last Thursday and got it yesterday. The total cost, including shipping, was $225 and it came USPS from Taiwan. I am impressed with both the quality and the price. Now when my Kirk BH3 ball head comes in two weeks I'll have something to bolt it to. Thanks for the tip.

    Steve
     
  13. NeilCam

    NeilCam

    609
    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    You're welcome Steve and with any luck I'll be ordering my Feisol next week. Then I'll have to save up for a ballhead, although I'm looking more at the Acratech one - a little cheaper than the Kirk or RRS.

    Which Feisol did you go for Steve, the 3 section or 4 section one?

    Neil
     
  14. New B/M tripod - no locks

    Has anyone seen or used this new one from Bogen/Manfrotto?

    https://www.adorama.com/BG458B.html

    They also have a monopod using their pull&lock system as well.

    It's $300 so it's not cheap but if it works as advertised, it may be my next purchase...

    _/oe
     
  15. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Re: New B/M tripod - no locks

    Joe,

    Haven't seen that before, but it does look like an excellent system. One of the things I hate about my 3221 is the stupid cam lever leg locks. What a pain... :?

    Frank
     
  16. 4 section

    Sorry, forgot to answer your question. I got the four section for another $5. I'll give this thing the test soon. The quality of workmaship appears to be very good.

    Steve
     
  17. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    To quote the quote, bingo. It took me a while to find the "right" one. Found the Manfrotto (bogen) 3011BN tripod with the Manfrotto 3265 Head and it was the one I needed. Solid and sturdy for my D1X even with the 300mm AFS f/2.8. The head has the large front level release (believe they call a pistol grip). My favorite monopod has been the Manfrotto 3218. I use Q-top for quick release keeping an extra bottom plate on the 300 and 80-200.
     
  18. Tripods and stuff

    Larry,

    About the only difference between the tripod I 'scrapped' and the Chinese one I just bought was there is a pan head on the old one and it is very heavy. I think this carbon fiber one is going to serve quite well, once I get the Kirk Ball Head for it. Being able to level stuff quickly is very important to this panorama stuff. There is a single vertical spirit level in the pano rotator, so I can instantly get things level in both axises. I don't buy junk when it counts. This tripod also allows the legs to be placed nearly horizontal so that you can set it on top of a table or put it low on the ground with the legs in their compacted position. If this turns out to be junk, I'll certainly not keep the crew in the dark about it. No guts, no glory.

    Steve
     
  19. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    Sounds like you are on a good track! My favorite tripod is still a tree, fence, hood of the car, big rock, etc. Might get some interesting responses if we started a thread with what was the most unusual non-tripod you ever used. Course we might have to exclude neked ladies and shot glasses.
     
  20. NeilCam

    NeilCam

    609
    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    <expected response>That'd be no fun at all!</expected response>

    Neil
     
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