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01-27-2008, 08:33 PM   #1
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Tripod help....

I am a little over 6 feet tall and need a replacement tripod as my old vivitar gave up the ghost.
I need something that will fit me comfortably without using a center column.

I am not afraid to spend some money to get something good but am unsure of the best attributes.

I like to dayhike and some backpack so a carbon fiber tripod seems to be in order.

I wish to use a Marken M20 ball head as I will eventually be getting a Bigma to use with my K10D.

Will be doing landscapes, birding, closeup, macro, and possibly some people shots indoors.

Also I want to be able to take off the ball head and use a center column with a device that allows me to take out the center column and turn it horizontal as I like to take macro and flower photography.

Any and all experience and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Let me know what you have used, what works and what doesn't.

Thanks in advance for your help.

01-28-2008, 12:58 AM   #2
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Well, since your message has remained unanswered for some time, I'll paste in my standard (slightly edited) reply, Clarence. Like you, I went shopping for a tripod a couple of months ago. After looking around at local stores and finding only flimsy tripods, I ended up shopping on the internet. I started with the Davis & Sanford CarbonLite X10 tripod system (head & legs) because of the relatively low cost ($185 at Cameta Camera) and the specs suggesting it was sturdy enough for the job. It has carbon fiber legs, magnesium canopy & leg hardware, and an aluminum-magnesium alloy head. While the whole thing weighs just 5.4 lbs (2.5 kg), the load rating for the legs is 14 lbs (6.5 kg) and the head 9 lbs (4 kg).

This tripod system as a whole was pretty good, but I didn't especially like the head included (not really an issue for you since you already have a ballhead in mind). However, in my case, I eventually selected the Giottos MH 7001 ball head with quick release ($75 from B&H). Made of very thick aluminum alloy weighing just one pound (.5 kg), it's load capacity is 13 lb (6 kg).

This combination is nearly perfect, working well in the studio while still relatively lightweight enough to lug around outside. At the same time, it's also truly strong enough to firmly support my K10D with everything (larger zoom lens, flash, grip, etc) attached.

stewart
01-28-2008, 01:31 AM   #3
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my recommendation

Hi Clarence,

In the same weight range, but aluminum: the Giottos MT-9360 (MT III Professional Series). It's incredibly flexible, and it is tall enough for me. I am just under 6' 3". Very well thought out design, and with the center post extended, it's tall enough. Weighs 5.5 lbs, and supports 17.6 lbs.

Giottos | MT-9360 Aluminum Tripod Legs | MT9360 | B&H Photo Video

Quote:
"The unique swiveling center column mounting design allows it to be used as a lateral arm with angle adjustment, which is especially useful for nature and macro photography. The column can also be used upside down and reversed. It allows for 360 horizontal and 180 vertical adjustment, and the column can be positioned and set quickly by using the locking knobs."

It takes a bit of practice to learn it's capabilities (since I wasn't familiar with the design), but it's very flexible. Very compact, and comes with a high quality bag for carrying, plus a carry strap and tool kit. I was surprised at the excellent design and only $155 for the legs at B & H.

Cheers,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 01-28-2008 at 08:05 AM. Reason: clarification
01-28-2008, 04:39 AM   #4
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I also got the Giottos MT-9360 Aluminum tripod. It is perfect for my needs. You can get one from ebay for about $145... the bag and tripod strap is well made as well...

01-28-2008, 08:30 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your inputs. I will investigate these options.
01-28-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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Here are a couple of good threads on this very subject that I participated in over at DPR. Note the discussions as they relate to people over 6' tall.

Tripod + Ball Head - Feisol + Induro review [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Tripod and ballhead [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
01-28-2008, 08:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Here are a couple of good threads on this very subject that I participated in over at DPR. Note the discussions as they relate to people over 6' tall.

Tripod + Ball Head - Feisol + Induro review [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Tripod and ballhead [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Did a preliminary look at these forum discussions and will go in depth with them this evening as there are multiple pages of information. Really appreciate your input.
02-02-2008, 11:11 AM   #8
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If you're up for the weight (about 8.27 lbs), I'd recommend you look at the Benbo #2 tripod; I'm 6'1" and can use it without raising the center column, and its unique construction allows you to flatten/use the center column at any angle. It will also be adaptable to just about any terrain configuration (also due to its unique design), and has its largest leg sections at the bottom, allowing it to be placed in water pretty far without gunking up the leg locks/sections.

Paterson Photography - Benbo Tripods

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