Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-23-2012, 06:25 AM - 1 Like   #16
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Kentucky
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,415
I also am shopping and I only have one piece of advice, Do not buy anything you have not personally handled.

Form and fit and more importantly weight for field work are a personal consideration that must factor into a purchase like this. A friend loaned me a Gitzu G1320 to test drive. It is made like a tank and weighs about as much. It would be terrific for studio work but I would not carry that heavy sucker anywhere.

12-23-2012, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #17
Moderator PEG Judges
Loyal Site Supporter
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 39,706
My simple three thoughts on tripod purchase

1) Buy high end brand, that opens up bigger/taller than you need......
2) Buy a heavier weight, both in terms of what it can support and also in its build construction, than you need......
3) By applying the first two, it will definitely last longer than you need......

I hasten to add I've now been using the same tripod for the last twenty odd years, oh which one I hear you ask.............................

It's a Benbo Mk2 c/w Benbo Ball Socket and Revolving Base (all for about 250 ish), made by Paterson Photographic Limited, not to be confused with the Benro brand.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/benbo-clasic-no-2.html

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 12-23-2012 at 07:39 AM.
12-23-2012, 09:25 AM   #18
Forum Member
FenderGirl's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 63
Original Poster
Oh boy. All of the information you all have provided is quite interesting and very much appreciated.
In response to Mushin, I am 5'5" and I have no idea what an L bracket or grip is, neither a leveling base.
I have researched and researched for a while regarding this purchase. I have been using in the interim a cheap vivitar tripod that was given to me. It has a plastic pan head which I hate because I don't like the handles sticking out and poking me and it has very thin aluminum legs which led me to decide in a ball head and that I read that ball heads are better for portraiture and non-video work. I do not at all trust my k5 to me mounted on it for long periods of time. I really hate that tripod which is why I want something that is solid and semi-pro.

I did find two members on this forum that have purchased the Vanguard and the Induro tripods. I emailed them to ask their opinion and both of them rave about each which is not helping! And of course, everyone raves about the Manfrotto 055xprob. I know that I do want something that is stable, thick and sturdy most of my options I have described in my original post fit the bill (not so sure about the vanguard legs). I do not have a macro lens yet, but I want the tripod to be able to grow with me once I do enter that phase. All of my options have the adjustable center column for low-level photography with the exception of the Induro. Its (Induro AT213) legs are adjustable to a very low position, but I would have to purchase a short column in order to get lower to the ground. The Induro seems to have excellent construction from what I've read and their BHL heads are comparable to RRS heads.They also seem to have included all of the little details that a lot of photogs like to have on their tripods. I am afraid that If i do go with the Induro that I would miss having the variable angle center column. Also, Induro is a relatively new brand as well as Vanguard....

I have read over and over and watched quite a few youtube vids and scoured reviews online and I am still at an impasse (fyi, I am terrible at decision making and it takes a while for me to come to a conclusion. I am a Maximizer if any of you are familiar with that psychology term). All of these tripods have great reviews and I mean 4 and 5 star reviews from numerous people on the adorama site and b&h and to me, that means a lot.
It pretty much seems that I cannot go wrong with any of the tripods I've been researching. I guess its just harder for me because I don't really have anything to base my decisions off of - I don't live near any type of photography store so that I can physically touch and play with the tripods as was suggested earlier. I have to rely on online reviews and videos which really sucks because I have to take into account that people can be extremely brand loyal and/or they could be doing these reviews as a compensated endorsement. So it's very hard to discern My friend said that I should purchase a tripod that has a great "resell value" (the manfotto) in the event that I grow out of it, I could sell it and still get a good return as opposed to a lesser known, lesser popular brand.
12-23-2012, 09:43 AM   #19
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Kentucky
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,415
I agree that a ball head and no handle is a wise choice. I think you would enjoy some type of quick release head.

If I may throw something out for you to consider and the group to respond to. Have seen and what does the group think of the single hand pistol grip heads.

12-23-2012, 10:03 AM   #20
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,238
QuoteOriginally posted by FenderGirl Quote
Oh boy. All of the information you all have provided is quite interesting and very much appreciated.
In response to Mushin, I am 5'5" and I have no idea what an L bracket or grip is, neither a leveling base.
I have researched and researched for a while regarding this purchase. I have been using in the interim a cheap vivitar tripod that was given to me. It has a plastic pan head which I hate because I don't like the handles sticking out and poking me and it has very thin aluminum legs which led me to decide in a ball head and that I read that ball heads are better for portraiture and non-video work. I do not at all trust my k5 to me mounted on it for long periods of time. I really hate that tripod which is why I want something that is solid and semi-pro.

I did find two members on this forum that have purchased the Vanguard and the Induro tripods. I emailed them to ask their opinion and both of them rave about each which is not helping! And of course, everyone raves about the Manfrotto 055xprob. I know that I do want something that is stable, thick and sturdy most of my options I have described in my original post fit the bill (not so sure about the vanguard legs). I do not have a macro lens yet, but I want the tripod to be able to grow with me once I do enter that phase. All of my options have the adjustable center column for low-level photography with the exception of the Induro. Its (Induro AT213) legs are adjustable to a very low position, but I would have to purchase a short column in order to get lower to the ground. The Induro seems to have excellent construction from what I've read and their BHL heads are comparable to RRS heads.They also seem to have included all of the little details that a lot of photogs like to have on their tripods. I am afraid that If i do go with the Induro that I would miss having the variable angle center column. Also, Induro is a relatively new brand as well as Vanguard....

I have read over and over and watched quite a few youtube vids and scoured reviews online and I am still at an impasse (fyi, I am terrible at decision making and it takes a while for me to come to a conclusion. I am a Maximizer if any of you are familiar with that psychology term). All of these tripods have great reviews and I mean 4 and 5 star reviews from numerous people on the adorama site and b&h and to me, that means a lot.
It pretty much seems that I cannot go wrong with any of the tripods I've been researching. I guess its just harder for me because I don't really have anything to base my decisions off of - I don't live near any type of photography store so that I can physically touch and play with the tripods as was suggested earlier. I have to rely on online reviews and videos which really sucks because I have to take into account that people can be extremely brand loyal and/or they could be doing these reviews as a compensated endorsement. So it's very hard to discern My friend said that I should purchase a tripod that has a great "resell value" (the manfotto) in the event that I grow out of it, I could sell it and still get a good return as opposed to a lesser known, lesser popular brand.
I own a Dolica and have found it to be very serviceable over the year+ I have had it. I did buy a Manfrotto ball head for it and have been happy I did. It works well for my macro work. I find that I do not use a tripod for my telephoto work - I use a Monopod. So, I have yet another suggestion for you so you can maximize your purchase - the Benro A1350 allows you to use it as a tripod and converts to a Monopod as well.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/207406-my...s-arrived.html
12-23-2012, 01:09 PM   #21
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Elida, Ohio
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,876
QuoteOriginally posted by FenderGirl Quote

All of my options have the adjustable center column for low-level photography with the exception of the Induro. Its (Induro AT213) legs are adjustable to a very low position, but I would have to purchase a short column in order to get lower to the ground. The Induro seems to have excellent construction from what I've read and their BHL heads are comparable to RRS heads.They also seem to have included all of the little details that a lot of photogs like to have on their tripods. I am afraid that If i do go with the Induro that I would miss having the variable angle center column. Also, Induro is a relatively new brand as well as Vanguard....

It pretty much seems that I cannot go wrong with any of the tripods I've been researching. My friend said that I should purchase a tripod that has a great "resell value" (the manfotto) in the event that I grow out of it, I could sell it and still get a good return as opposed to a lesser known, lesser popular brand.
On the Induro the center column reverses so you can mount the camera hanging underneath, I've never done that but it's a way to get it very low.

I think you are correct that none of the tripods you are looking at will steer you wrong, it's a shame you have no stores around to see them. To check that resale value, look on ebay and see if any used ones have been sold recently.
12-23-2012, 01:19 PM - 1 Like   #22
Junior Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 36
I feel your pain

A tripod and ballhead are major investments to a student so wanting to be sure of your purchase is totally understandable. I think you've gotten some good advice but, as you see, everyone has their favorites. As a recovering tripod and panhead/ballhead junkie I understand!

A leveling base is a permanent part of many landscape shooter's tripods. I prefer this one: Nodal Ninja EZ-Leveler | Pano Head Leveler
for its ease of use. I also own the Manfrotto version which sits on my 055. Both work well but the Nodal Ninja one is easier to level.

A grip is just the attachment that screws onto the base of your camera. It carries an extra battery and has duplicate camera controls. Here is one thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/160010-pentax-k5-battery-grip-why.html

An L-bracket is an L-shaped bracket that attaches to the camera with a screw and provides a plate or seat that is used to attach the bracket to a clamp on your ballhead. Take a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqPAZIcqRh4

A ballhead is the most versatile type of head, no question, and is the type I would suggest for most beginning photographers. However, a good panhead is better for landscape, panoramic, and macro photography so it depends on what you shoot most frequently. Of course, you can have both types! Regardless of the type of head, buy a good one. I've already given you what I think are the best ones, at least for me.

One thing that we've been skirting around but haven't explicitly stated is that you want to use your tripod with the center column fully collapsed. The center column, when extended, will allow more vibration to be transferred to the camera so your shots aren't as sharp. However, there will be times when that center column just has to be used so just use it. Many of us have ditched the long column that comes with our tripods and purchased a short column that gives you only a few inches of extension. This cuts down weight and lets you get closer to the ground. Not all tripod makers offer this option; Manfrotto does.

This is why I asked for your height. If the tripod with camera (and accessories) attached is above eye level when the legs are fully extended you will need to shorten each leg to see through the viewfinder. Imagine doing that every single time you use your tripod. You spend a lot of time just trying to level the tripod so you can use it. At 5'5", the Manfrotto 190 XProB would be about perfect for you. It is very sturdy, has all the features you need, an optional short column is available, and is sized for someone your height. It is made by a company with a history and a strong likelihood of being around if you need parts or repairs. It is also lighter in weight than many others so you'll be more likely to actually carry it and use it.

I'm not a Manfrotto fan boy. Well, maybe just a little. What I'm more interested in doing is helping to find the right fit and, having owned the 190 XProB for a few years, I think it is a good choice for you at this stage of your shooting life. The fact that this tripod is selling for $120.00, shipped from Amazon, is a no brainer to me.

Good luck with this, Fender Girl!
12-23-2012, 03:50 PM   #23
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,408
QuoteOriginally posted by FenderGirl Quote
Oh boy. All of the information you all have provided is quite interesting and very much appreciated. In response to Mushin, I am 5'5" and I have no idea what an L bracket or grip is, neither a leveling base.

I have researched and researched for a while regarding this purchase. I have been using in the interim a cheap vivitar tripod that was given to me. It has a plastic pan head which I hate because I don't like the handles sticking out and poking me and it has very thin aluminum legs which led me to decide in a ball head and that I read that ball heads are better for portraiture and non-video work. I do not at all trust my k5 to me mounted on it for long periods of time. I really hate that tripod which is why I want something that is solid and semi-pro.
Most folks when they use a tripod, they just want it to hold the camera still, pointed in a specific direction while they take a picture. If you fall in to that category, you can stop reading. Folks shooting macros, etc. fall into that category also (flowers, bugs, etc.). However, there are other folks that want to take a series of pictures and stitch them together, usually want to have them all level in relation to one another - otherwise it looks like you are stair stepping either up or down hill, and you need to crop which just makes your panorama look that much more long and thin (landscape / cityscape panoramas, architecture, etc.).

That is where a leveling base comes into play. This is where tripod use enters the area of spherical geometry. When you set up your tripod, you can take the time to precisely level it (in all directions). This can be time consuming and frustrating (well at least for me). Or, if you are like me, you pop it down and then depend on the ballhead to provide the level, sit you camera on it and shoot. That usually works well, until you turn the camera to one side or the other to take another shot. Depending on how level the base is (and its usually not that level), that is where the problems start. There are two solutions to this:
  • Leveling base - this provides the ability to easily provide a level base on which your ballhead attaches to. This is an additional piece of equipment. Essentially its a partial ballhead - so your sitting your ballhead on yet another ballhead. Somewhat redundant.
  • Panning Ballhead - So, if you look at any ballhead there is usually a panning base that is built into its bottom. If the tripod is not perfectly level, then this base will not rotate level (i.e., around a straight up perpendicular vector), and that causes the problems. The solution is to move this panning base (turntable or "lazy Susan") to above the ball in the ballhead. By having this turntable on top of the ball, when you use the ballhead to level the base that you are going to sit your camera on, then you have a level base on which to rotate around - problem solved.
The panning ballhead is somewhat specialized - and is used to take only single row panoramic images. The Acratech GP, Arca Swiss P0, RRS has one, etc. You can also find turntables that can be mounted on top of the ballhead and under the camera. RRS has one, and there are several others that you can search for.

Then there are those of us who shoot multiple row panoramas. That like shooting a picture as a jig saw puzzle, lets say 4 rows of 4 pictures each, that are then stitched together, in to one large image. That needs what is referred to as a Panorama Head. That is what mushin was referring to (the Nodal Ninja 3 or 5 comes to mind). These need to be level, so that everything is in alignment. A leveling base is essential here, or you can sit them on top of a ballhead that is level. Either way - you really want to achieve a level plane from which to operate on. As mushin posted, Nodal Ninja has one, along with Acratech and RRS. There are also others.

Like I said earlier, shooting a flower, bee, or whatever - most folks are intent on shooting just that one shot, that is framed around the flower or whatever object you are photographing, and will never need the additional mechanical support outlined above. The other thing is all of these mechanical support or underpinnings can get pricey.

The bottom line here is that you need to find a reasonable set of equipment that will meet your needs with out busting the budget. A number of the items (above) you will probably never need nor want. Other items like a L bracket you can always add over time. There are lots of opportunities to go broke in this hobby.

In a number of ways, its good that you already have a tripod that you have some experience with - in terms of finding what you like and do not like - and what works for you. You can leverage off of that.



12-23-2012, 04:26 PM   #24
Junior Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 36
Made me smile - "There are lots of opportunities to go broke in this hobby." How true, how true ...

Just to be clear, I am in no way recommending a leveling base for her. I was simply trying to point out that if one was added, along with a grip and L-bracket, that the resulting height could very well get the viewfinder well above her head on a larger tripod like the 055 XProB.



12-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #25
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,408
QuoteOriginally posted by mushin Quote
Made me smile - "There are lots of opportunities to go broke in this hobby." How true, how true ...

Just to be clear, I am in no way recommending a leveling base for her. I was simply trying to point out that if one was added, along with a grip and L-bracket, that the resulting height could very well get the viewfinder well above her head on a larger tripod like the 055 XProB.
Hi Mushin, I knew you were not recommending them to her. I just wanted to explain what they were used for and why. I have been slowly collecting the parts over several years (I have one more clamp for the leveling base that I need and don't want to pay ~ $100 for). As my Chancellor of the Exchequer scrutinizes each and every expense - since we have two sons away at school on the POP (me) scholarship (and I can see the end in sight).

12-24-2012, 03:32 AM   #26
Junior Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 36
I have a son going for second Master's degree in France so I totally get it. It's amazing how a single year of school can cost as much as the national average household income! Small wonder that we can't afford a quick release clamp ...

Merry Christmas, Interested, and to all of the PF family as well!
12-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #27
Pentaxian
emalvick's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Davis, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,615
Rather than offer any specifics, may I suggest browsing the wider internet. As much as we all may be fans of Pentax, the one thing I found quite useful when shopping for accessories such as my recent tripod (it's carbon fiber and of another brand, so I won't go in further) was the forums for Canon at photograhpy-on-the.net . I found a lot of useful information and reviews on that site especially when you already have an idea of what you want, which seems to be the case here.

The bad thing on that site is the arrogance and condescending attitudes that can come from asking questions. In the case of a tripod, most of their users would ridicule someone wanting a Manfrotto tripod regardless of the fact that it can be sufficient for most users. Rather, the forum just gives you a lot of posts with a lot of traffic and despite the attitude of some users, there are still nice posts about people using all sorts of equipment down to the cheapest tripods. I learned a lot there and then try to pass on what is good back to this forum. The nice thing about things such as bags and tripods; they aren't brand specific. A tripod should work for any camera.

Going back to the original goal, the rule to remember is that most tripods cannot be all things at once, meaning it will be rare to find a tripod that is light-weight, cheap, and very stable. You'll always have to sacrifice certain features. I think the most important thing is getting a tripod + head combo that can support everything you need and then some. Think about your future kit and how much you may need it to hold weight-wise. This is even more important I've found with a ball-head. My first ball-head was a relatively nice quality manfrotto one. It worked well, but it tended to slip a bit when I had a bigger lens or when I was a bit out of level. I never realized how good it could be until I got my current ball head. Of course, you get what you pay for to. My early ball head was around $100. The new one is over $300. Yet, on the new one, nothing slips no matter what camera and lens combo I have.

Ultimately, you can get most of what you need fairly easily and cheaply once you narrow down or prioritize what is important into two key components. It also doesn't hurt to look and use the 2nd hand market. It seems that a lot of the better tripods have been made for years, and finding someone's 2nd hand legs or head can be just as good as something new.
12-26-2012, 05:23 PM   #28
Forum Member
FenderGirl's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 63
Original Poster
Thank you so much for your advice!
04-30-2013, 01:56 PM   #29
Forum Member
FenderGirl's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 63
Original Poster
Well guys, It's been quite some time since we have mulled over my selections for a good tripod. I have officially decided on a brand and model.....drumroll please.......
I just purchased the Manfrotto 055XProB and the Manfrotto MH054M0-Q2 054 Magnesium Ball Head!!!

I am so excited! Now, all I need is a Tamron 90mm macro or an older Pentax FA 100mm macro! Thank you all so much for all of your advice!
04-30-2013, 02:11 PM - 1 Like   #30
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,238
QuoteOriginally posted by FenderGirl Quote
Well guys, It's been quite some time since we have mulled over my selections for a good tripod. I have officially decided on a brand and model.....drumroll please.......
I just purchased the Manfrotto 055XProB and the Manfrotto MH054M0-Q2 054 Magnesium Ball Head!!!

I am so excited! Now, all I need is a Tamron 90mm macro or an older Pentax FA 100mm macro! Thank you all so much for all of your advice!
Congratulations! I got the 055PROBX just recently myself (it was such a killer deal I could NOT pass it up). I'll be interested in hearing your impressions of both it and the Magnesium Ball head.

If you decide you want the short column for the 055 be sure to watch the Amazon Warehouse, I got one last week for about 40% of the regular price. Enjoy.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
center, column, head, legs, manfrotto, plate, purchase, release, tripod, vanguard, warranty
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tripod Help, Need to stabilize legs davidreilly3207 Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 9 12-11-2012 04:16 AM
First lens purchase, need help. mojoe_24 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 11-27-2012 02:31 PM
Need help buying tripod plz. capote Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 36 12-23-2011 09:48 PM
Like everyone else, I need help with my long lens purchase! dmort Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 18 08-22-2011 05:15 PM
First Tripod Purchase - Need Input deludel Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 31 02-10-2008 05:48 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:48 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top