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03-07-2013, 12:30 PM   #16
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

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A lot of my tripod use does not require an ultimate design of expensive materials. I might be using the kit lens to take product-style photos in a lightbox, or portraits with a 55mm, or testing lenses. I bought the Dolica and I liked it. It has a lot of adjustments, can go low or high, and is reasonably portable. The legs have four sections and that isn't ideal for stiffness. Until my wife ran over it with her car, it was perfect, now it's fine but a bit shorter. I like to use a 3 way head so I bought a Slik PRO 340DX too, just a bit heavier, I think $90. The Slik has 3 sections.

My heaviest lens is the SMC Pentax 300mm f4, about 1 kilogram and no tripod mount, so sometimes it's all hanging out in front of the camera. I tested both tripods by using this lens and taking a long exposure of a plane at night. I can see camera movement very easily; the plane looks like it's bouncing across the sky. Neither tripod has any trouble with some care. If I tap on the legs during the shot, the Dolica doesn't work that well. Neither tripod does a great job damping movement beyond a certain level. They work fine for me.

Two usage notes: I will rarely raise the center column with a heavy lens just to put the camera at a comfy height. I just crouch down. And when the moon is high in the sky, a 3 way head won't allow the lens to point up high enough.

03-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #17
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Neither tripod has any trouble with some care
What did you do to achieve this.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I can see camera movement very easily
Is this normal or it's because your tripod was not sturdy.

Sorry to bother you with such silly questions but I am new to all these. So trying to get to comfortable level myself before deciding upon anything.
03-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #18
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I have both Manfrotto 190 and 055 and for your gear I would recommend the 190. Since getting the 190 I have never felt the need to use the larger tripod for my Pentax gear. Not that I have not used the 055 with it but only because that is the tripod I had with me at the time. The 190 is sturdy enough for my Hasselblad as well. Regardless of the level of tripod if the head is not good you will end up hating using it and therefore the entire purchase is a waste of money. Also how much and how far will you likely carry it. I just purchased a Sirui tripod that folds so much smaller and is a fraction of the weight of the 190 for air travel but that does not mean that I will not continue to use the Manfrottos. A cheap tripod may give you the impression that tripods are hard to use and not worth the effort but at the same time you do not need a real heavy duty one for your gear and hence that too would not be a good use of funds. If later on you find you need a sturdy one, then get it then and use the lighter one for when you do not need it. It is correct that tripods can last for ever or at least for many many cameras, my 055 was bought in the early 90s and the head is now on the 190 and a used head on it.

Ball heads are probably the best compromise for what you will need. I love the 3 way pan head now on my 055 but would not recommend it for sports or action shooting. In summary get a tripod from a good manufacturer but you certainly do not need their top or maybe even their mid level models. Just do not get one with a flimsy head or locking legs that do not lock.
03-07-2013, 06:55 PM   #19
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Red Rock hit it on the nail with his advice. I love my ball grip head from Manfrotto, had a cheap one onmce and hated it as it would slip. Got to play with a Manfrotto someone had and loved it. I have to use my 055 for work as I put the center collum all the way out and to the side causing it to be a fulcrum thus the need for a heavy tripod.

03-10-2013, 01:40 AM   #20
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I have a K-r and I use a MeFoto A1350Q1
Bought mine in Beijing for about 120Usd
For me it's perfect for travel, good weight, good head, can be become a monopod and a got a free bag for it.
It's been working fine with the 55-300mm lens.

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