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01-04-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
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K-5 Tripod System Recommendation

Hi! I was wondering if anyone had any advice for a lightweight/compact tripod system for the K-5. My largest lens is the 100MM Macro. I would be using it for some Macro and landscapes/panoramas. I do a lot of hiking and need something lightweight and relatively compact that will fit in/on my pack and won't weigh me down. I've got a gorrilapod, but really need something more.

I've been looking at the Gitzo GT1541T (2nd hand) or GT1542T and either the Markins Q3T or the RRS BH-30. The L plate for the BH-30 looks to me from the product picture like it would make changing the focus selector a challenge with the plate on. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any opinions on these choices or suggestions for other options?

Thanks in advance for any input!

-Jake

01-05-2012, 04:49 AM   #2
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I was looking at all those same options when I bought my tripod... I went with a feisol 3402 and a kirk bh3. I went with the kirk over the markins because of the adjustablity of the ball friction with a dedicated knob, rather than that slot you operate with a coin. Thought it would be easier to use in the winter. I use my k5 with the grip attached, and as such, the only L plate I could find that would accommodate that was the Mestos plate. The mestos plate is fine! I've been very happy with my Feisol tripod, it has worked well and I think it represents great value for the money.
01-05-2012, 06:38 AM   #3
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The Feisol heads are also excellent. The CB-50D will support lenses up to 300mm with no trouble.
01-05-2012, 07:32 AM   #4
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I would go for Photo Clam Ball Heads. Professional Ballheads The best for the price in my opinion.

01-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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Your camera lens combo asks for a semi-solid tripod. Maybe you want some sort of fine adjustment especially for the macro lens. Some tripods allow movements back and forth for easy focussing/framing etc. Key questions are size when folded (does it fit in my suitcase!) and size than fully extended (can I stand upright and take photos, can I look upward with the camera mounted on the tripod). No center column adds to stability, but a center column allows for better fine adjustment of the height. Quality wise I would prefer RRS over Gitzo over Feisol, but the prices are accordingly. I would not call a Feisol head excellent what would you call a RRS or Arca head then - extraterrestrial? You get what you pay for. I would go for a 2series Gitzo at least. The 1 series may be sufficient, but in the long run, you will crave for more stability. Pricewise Feisol offers the best deal these days.
01-05-2012, 12:28 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
I would go for Photo Clam Ball Heads. Professional Ballheads The best for the price in my opinion.
Ditto - with your longest lens being a 100mm macro, the photoclam pc-33ns should be more than sufficient (I think both myself and Gulfer have reviewed it in the gear review database). I'd also recommend one of the lighter feisol tripods - I just got the ct-3471 for a long lens (one of their big tripods) and it is great quality, sold my gitzo basalt tripod and I would put the build quality right up there with Gitzo.
01-05-2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcarroll Quote
Hi! I was wondering if anyone had any advice for a lightweight/compact tripod system for the K-5. My largest lens is the 100MM Macro. I would be using it for some Macro and landscapes/panoramas. I do a lot of hiking and need something lightweight and relatively compact that will fit in/on my pack and won't weigh me down. I've got a gorrilapod, but really need something more.
Read my review of Feisol Tournament tripod and Markins ballhead. The combination is lighweight and relatively compact.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/749050-post30.html
01-05-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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While not necessarily in the same league, the vanguard tripods are very nice and a little more affordable. Many models seem well suited to hiking as they fold up pretty short. Additionally, when I bought my kirk bh3, it came with a plate... worth considering in the final cost total.

You've got to think about how much weight you want to put on your tripod, overshoot it a bit, and think about how heavy a tripod you want to carry around. Remember, the best tripod you have is the one you have with you. If it is too heavy and cumbersome, you'll find yourself not using it much.

Finally, I found this article really useful when I searched for my tripod. A little dated, but overall, tripods haven't changed that much.

Whatever ballhead you end up with, I'd recommend an arca-swiss compatible head, not a gitzo or manfrotto head. Most photo people who think seriously about stabilization end up with arca-swiss... If you have arca-swiss then you can put your camera on your buddy's tripod and vice-versa.

01-05-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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Here is my two cent worth. I have a 600mm lens and K5 and I went with the Feisol CT3471 (4 sections and 37mm legs) and the PhotoClam PC48ns and I never regret it. They are just as good as the Gitzo products at a fraction of the price... Can only strongly recommand these 2 products.

Robert
01-05-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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If you're going to do panos, Kirk has a nice, reasonably lightweight set of macro focusing rails, (I prefer the long rail to dedicated macro rail) that allow you to center your pivot point in the lens instead of the camera body. It also helps with very close macro work or focus stacking.
01-05-2012, 07:05 PM   #11
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+1 on the Vanguard recommendation. I have the Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AGH and I love it. As someone else recommended, I chose this model even though the specs are higher than what I needed for my equipment. After all, I might end up with a bigger lens and a heavier camera someday and I wouldn't want to have to change tripods. I also like to feel comfortable when my equipment is left unattended on the tripod on a very windy day. I had previously used ball heads and I switched to a pistol grip head. I expect I will never again use a ball head as the pistol head is very convenient to use although significantly bulkier.
01-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramiot Quote
Here is my two cent worth. I have a 600mm lens and K5 and I went with the Feisol CT3471 (4 sections and 37mm legs) and the PhotoClam PC48ns and I never regret it. They are just as good as the Gitzo products at a fraction of the price... Can only strongly recommand these 2 products.

Robert
How does the ball head work with a large lens? Is it floppy when you loosen the ball? I am considering either a solid ball head as you suggest or a gimbal.
01-05-2012, 07:36 PM   #13
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Most ball heads (and I am SURE the photo clam follows suit) have a friction control ability, so when you loosen the ball head, it doesn't flop around. Usually, you can adjust this easily, so when you change lenses, you have a friction setting that is appropriate for the weight of the lens + camera. I mentioned earlier that I like the kirk because the friction control setting is easy to operate with a dedicated knob as compared to the markins which requires you to use a coin to adjust the setting. Of course, a coin isn't hard either... I living in maine when I bought my tripod gear and I wanted a head that would be easy to operate with gloves. For another example of friction adjustment, check out the novoflex ballheads. They have a ring on the head, with 5 settings, you spin it to change the friction. Of course, they are REALLY expensive in the US.

And Arca Swiss heads haven't been mentioned, the Z1 gets lots of really good reviews, specifically being very smooth while adjusting the ball.

Last edited by dmort; 01-05-2012 at 07:42 PM.
01-05-2012, 07:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmort Quote
I mentioned earlier that I like the kirk because the friction control setting is easy to operate with a dedicated knob as compared to the markins which requires you to use a coin to adjust the setting.
I've never used a coin for that... Fingernail
01-05-2012, 07:53 PM   #15
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You sir, have stronger fingernails than me!
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