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07-20-2011, 01:17 AM   #1
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Horizontal Center Column Tripod Suggestions?

Hi Forum,

I am new to this forum. I just got my Kr and I love it. Now I am looking for a tripod that has horizontal column capability, like Manfrotto190. It is mainly for night shots that I intend to shoot from window in tall buildings, capturing light stream in streets and background scenery like dawn or dusk. (is it practical btw, did someone ever shoot like that?)

So far I have found four tripods:

Manfrotto 190XPROB
Benro A198
Vanguard Alta Pro 264
Giottos MT9360

It looks like Benro would be the keeper, since it is the smallest.
I will be travelling a lot, so small folding length is the biggest factor for me.
Any suggestions and thoughts?

Thanks.

07-20-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
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Does anyone know if other brands have similar horizontal column tripods?

Last edited by iamin; 07-20-2011 at 01:51 PM.
07-20-2011, 03:16 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I personally went with the Manfrotto 055x because I stand 6'4" and needed one that stood as tall as possible. But since compactness seems to be more what you are looking for, I think any of these will work for you, and I do like the added flexibility the others offer over the Manfrotto. I would have loved to get something like them, but the only tripod that gave me that flexibility and good height was a monster Benbo, which weighed in at something like 8lbs. The Benro and Vanguard both look like decent choices, and the Benro does come in under 20" folded. One word of advice though. When configuring these tripods in such odd ways, they can become very unstable when you get a camera and lens on them. Seriously consider some weight on the other end of the column to act as a counterbalance.
07-21-2011, 11:36 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi iamin,

The Benbo Trekker MKIII would allow more versatile leg angles as each leg can be set at whatever angle you care to place it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/4822-REG/Benbo_BEN107C.html

There are definite downsides to this model though. It's not very tall, so you always have to use some center column, only has two sections to the legs, so it doesn't fold down compactly, it's relatively heavy, and setting up bent bolt tripods has been described as wrestling an octopus while drunk (but it really only takes a little use to get the hang of it). The upside is that it allows more versatility in positioning a camera than any other tripod, bar none (except the Uni Loc which shares the same design, but is built better IMO).

Scott

07-22-2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments.

Jodokast: Maybe it is just me, but it feels like manfrotto's take on multi-angle-column is more secure, though it is less versatile.

Scott: Benbo looks good; it is really versatile. Not really compact, though.

I have just read that there is issue with Vanguard's mounting bracket adapter. Now it is between Manfrotto and Benro; I like manfrotto's robustness, but it is less compact; while Benro is more compact and I can not really find issue with Benro. So maybe I will go with Benro. Thanks for the suggestions.
07-23-2011, 02:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by iamin Quote
Maybe it is just me, but it feels like manfrotto's take on multi-angle-column is more secure, though it is less versatile.
Maybe. I tell you what, order up that Benro, and ship it here. I'll test them out side by side and get back to you......
07-23-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by iamin Quote
Horizontal Center Column Tripod Suggestions?
Have a look at the Benbo range, it's one of the most versatile I've found.
07-28-2011, 04:55 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteQuote:
It looks like Benro would be the keeper, since it is the smallest.
I have the Benro at which you are looking. It's definitely a keeper for me and travels quite well. I previously had a Travel Angel that was about 19" folded WITH the ballhead, and I loved that tripod. However, this is much more versatile and so my former Benro has been relegated to "trunk detail." No regrets.

woof!

07-28-2011, 06:52 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jodokast96 Quote
Maybe. I tell you what, order up that Benro, and ship it here. I'll test them out side by side and get back to you......
I think those comparisons are subjective, it depends on the person. Anyway, I am ordering the Benro tripod with Vanguard SBH-100 head.

Thanks for the inputs.
07-28-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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The Manfrotto linked in the first post has 3-piece legs. They also sell 4-piece versions of many of their tripods that are a little more compact when folded.
Amazon.com: Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 4-Section Pro Carbon Fiber Tripod without Head: Electronics

I have one of their 055 models and I'm satisfied. The center column is easy to flip between vertical and horizontal.
11-16-2011, 10:21 AM   #11
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Happy with choice?

iamin, did you end up getting the Benro pod and Vanguard head, and if so, are you happy with them? I was looking at the Vanguard pod and head as I really like the features and feel, but I tried it in the store the other day with a 70-300 lens on my body and noticed some play in the center column, even though I tightened it down hard.
11-16-2011, 02:57 PM   #12
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Probably a good question. I do think the Benbo is a good kind of different, though. I've only ever actually used their big ones from like the 80's, ....they're kind of a good kind of different. They get lighter, but generally not much shorter, when you scale them down. Not sure they're that beneficial when you get a light one, but I tend to like tripods I can climb on.

It's kind of not my style, (I'd probably like a very simple columnless design for myself at this point in life, and would seriously consider old-fashioned wood) but I'd be looking there. If you can play with one.
11-20-2011, 11:37 PM   #13
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Hi Daverwelfare,

Yes I ended up getting them: Benro tripod with vanguard head. And I am happy with my choice. I haven't tried the vanguard tripod so I can't comment on that. My benro, I used it with only 16-45 lens on kr body and didn't notice any play. It feels solid, I can push it down real hard and don't see it moving as I write this post. I feel it should be fine holding more heavier camera and lens. From what I have seen on the internet, benro's center column lock might be solider than that of vanguard. It is a cylindrical bracket that squeezes the center column from all sides, whereas vanguards center lock looks like a single bolt that simply pushes the column to the other side of the outer bracket (correct me here if I am wrong). Comparing the two, I think vanguard has more safety features like vibration control and a button at the end of the center column that prevents it from falling when pointed downward. Benro has none of these; so you have to be little more careful. Here is a review for similar benro pod (bigger version); it has the same feature. Speaking of benro, the legs feels little weak, I tend to pull them outward from where they are to create more tension. But I had no problem taking 30 min long exposure by adding weight.

All in all, I like my tripod; I am satisfied.
-iamin
11-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by iamin Quote
Does anyone know if other brands have similar horizontal column tripods?
The Vanguard does. A local store stocks them. I'm not 100% positive of the model number but the one I looked at folded quite small, the center column folded out for macro shooting, etc, and came with a bag and weighed about 4 lbs with the head. This one was aluminum. They didn't have the carbon fiber one but the sheet had similar specs and it weighed a little over 2 lbs. The prices were quite reasonable with the alum model around $150 and the carbon fiber just under $300. They would be less online.
11-22-2011, 06:13 PM   #15
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One can buy an horizontal tripod arm as an accessory that mounts onto any standard 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 thread.
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