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10-11-2007, 03:17 PM   #16
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Thank you Dave.

QuoteOriginally posted by aerodave Quote
Some brand snobs will likely try to convince you otherwise, but...

I got a great tripod from amvona.com's eBay store. Their Dynatran line of tripods and heads are well-built knockoffs of other brands. I got a AT-858BL for a little over $50 shipped, and I only had to wait through a couple days worth of auctions to snag one at that price. Some were going for over $100...but those people just aren't observant.

Anyway, my 858 is rock solid, has a great pistol-grip ball head. It's pretty heavy, but I think that's an asset in a non-travel tripod. I had no idea how weak and wobbly my old tripod was until I got this thing. I highly recommend it...it's easily been the greatest bang-for-the-buck I've bought yet in photography. Save a TON of money and try one. The 828 has the same head and just slightly different legs...I would have taken either.
Dave, my friend Gus recently bought one from eBay and he also highly recommend it. Can I ask what ball head you use it with the tripod? If I can get something similar for $60, I have no complaint. Would you consider a $55 to $65 bidding price a fair price to place the bid for AT-858BL?

Thanks,
Hin

10-11-2007, 04:30 PM   #17
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Hin

Another cheap alternative would be a Pentax SMC M OR A 28mm 2.8. An A version would be better but either should give you satisfactory results for much less of a cost.
10-11-2007, 08:19 PM   #18
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Hin,

The AT-858BL comes with a head as part of the kit. It's the ATH-918 pistol grip ball head on their site. I had to tweak the semi-permanent adjustment screw (there are two friction adjustments, one on the fly and one that uses a tool) to make it smooth out of the box, but it's been great.

Here's their page about the head by itself. But remember, you don't want to buy things from their site...do it from their eBay listings, because they're ridiculously cheap. As I said, I got the tripod and head for $55 shipped. Almost too good to be true.

Dave
10-11-2007, 08:37 PM   #19
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You could also consider getting a monopod. Not as bulky as a tripod (of course, not as stable), but cheaper and you can also take it many places where they won't allow you to set up tripods, such as sporting events or theme parks. It would greatly assist on nighttime shots when it comes to stabilization. Plus, like i've seen mentioned elsewhere, they're great for fending off would be equipment thieves when you wield them like clubs.

10-11-2007, 10:26 PM   #20
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My top choice is the Pentax 35/2.. Very sharp even wide open, little flare or CA.. And bright enough for its focal length (which I prefer as a walkaround focal length if only using one lens)..

I also use the 21/3.2 at night and it works well but a little flare prone, and not very bright..
10-12-2007, 12:00 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jro Quote
You can forget about the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 if you want it anytime soon. It was OOS at every store I called. I called Sigma about it a week ago and they said it was hugely back-ordered with no ETA.
In Europe they are available.
I just ordered one and they confirmed that they have it in store.

I am really looking forward to test this lens!
10-12-2007, 12:01 PM   #22
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Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Hin

Another cheap alternative would be a Pentax SMC M OR A 28mm 2.8. An A version would be better but either should give you satisfactory results for much less of a cost.
Thanks for the lens suggestion. I will put that manual lens into my watchlist.

Hin
10-12-2007, 12:04 PM   #23
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thanks for extra information

QuoteOriginally posted by aerodave Quote
Hin,

The AT-858BL comes with a head as part of the kit. It's the ATH-918 pistol grip ball head on their site. I had to tweak the semi-permanent adjustment screw (there are two friction adjustments, one on the fly and one that uses a tool) to make it smooth out of the box, but it's been great.

Here's their page about the head by itself. But remember, you don't want to buy things from their site...do it from their eBay listings, because they're ridiculously cheap. As I said, I got the tripod and head for $55 shipped. Almost too good to be true.

Dave
Wowww, that is really a good buy, my friend Gus got the AT-85B without the L and he got a separate ball head. Yours is outstanding for the price. Thanks for all the extra information. The price, reviews are all fascinating.

Hin

10-12-2007, 12:06 PM   #24
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Yes on Monopod

QuoteOriginally posted by azcavalier Quote
You could also consider getting a monopod. Not as bulky as a tripod (of course, not as stable), but cheaper and you can also take it many places where they won't allow you to set up tripods, such as sporting events or theme parks. It would greatly assist on nighttime shots when it comes to stabilization. Plus, like i've seen mentioned elsewhere, they're great for fending off would be equipment thieves when you wield them like clubs.
I also got suggestion on monopod such as the Canon monopod in Amazon costing around $31. Thanks for the suggestion, a great alternative to tripod for night scene for lighter weight and lesser cost.

Hin
10-12-2007, 05:16 PM   #25
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A wider lens like the zenitar fisheye at 16mm, the 17/4 takumar fisheye, 15/2.8 sigma fisheye or similar are MUCH easier to shoot long shutter speeds. With SR I have shot up to a second with a 15/2.8 fish, and let me tell you that will collect a LOT of light, even at lower ISO's. Plus, once you go that wide and stop down one or two stops you can effectively set the focus to infinity and forget about it for most shots.

On a budget, try a zenitar...new, or even track a used one. They're a little soft wide open from what I've heard. If you have a little more cash, honestly, I'd highly recommend an f2.8 fisheye like thet sigma for the job:





Sorry for the off-brand images, but they're at least on topic!
10-12-2007, 06:57 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
A wider lens like the zenitar fisheye at 16mm, the 17/4 takumar fisheye, 15/2.8 sigma fisheye or similar are MUCH easier to shoot long shutter speeds. With SR I have shot up to a second with a 15/2.8 fish, and let me tell you that will collect a LOT of light, even at lower ISO's. Plus, once you go that wide and stop down one or two stops you can effectively set the focus to infinity and forget about it for most shots.

On a budget, try a zenitar...new, or even track a used one. They're a little soft wide open from what I've heard. If you have a little more cash, honestly, I'd highly recommend an f2.8 fisheye like thet sigma for the job:
Those are really lovely images. Can i ask again what lens you use for those outstanding b&w images?

Is the zenitar a manual lens? I have heard about the Zenitar a lot of times from others, is f/2.8 fast enough for night shots and zenitar seems to be a favorite of many people? What exact model of Sigma that you recommend for the f/2.8 fisheye? Many suggests the the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and I see the price of the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and Zenitar matching my budget better. Your thoughts welcome, apology that I have many questions after seeing your night shots in wide angle.

Thanks for your inputs,
Hin
10-12-2007, 07:01 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
In Europe they are available.
I just ordered one and they confirmed that they have it in store.

I am really looking forward to test this lens!
Blende, thanks for the input too.
Hin
10-12-2007, 07:24 PM   #28
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Because lights are very bright themselves, don't hesitate to stop down in manual. I've done night stuff handheld in and around 3.5 before.

You'll find 2.8 and up useful in getting ambience light. Dragging the shutter and bumping up ISO will so the same.
10-12-2007, 08:24 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Hin

Another cheap alternative would be a Pentax SMC M OR A 28mm 2.8. An A version would be better but either should give you satisfactory results for much less of a cost.
Fairly cheap but I found the A28/2.8 rather soft wide open, which is where it may be used most for night photography.. But for the money, obviously there is not much competition
10-13-2007, 06:48 AM   #30
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My 2 cents worth..... for great nightshots and flexibility on DOF, I recommend bringing and using a tripod, rather than just relying on shooting wide open. Also, choose a good prime or wide angle zoom that is flare resistant. This combination will give you very satisfactory results.....





Last edited by vinceloc; 10-13-2007 at 07:27 AM.
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