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06-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
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In search for a heavy tripod

Hi guys, I'm very new to photography so be nice.

I'm really enjoying long exposure work - both at night and during the day. I also want to eventually get a bit more serious about macro.

I'm a pretty solid guy, so weight doesn't phase me so much. I've heard that the heavier the tripod, the more effective it is at eliminating vibration.

I've had a look around, and most tripods seem to be sold on their lightness, which is fair enough; most people would anticipate taking it travelling etc.

I've also been told that tripods without a central column suffer from even less vibration.

My camera is a K-30

The lens I use the most currently is a DA L 55-300mm

The next lens purchase will be a SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL

Thanks in advance!

06-13-2013, 04:25 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Field photographers usually like something light. The carbon fiber pods are very light, quite rigid, and not very resonant. If you don't mind weight, a classic wooden leg set is the way to go. You are correct that no column is better than a column, whether it is up or down.
06-13-2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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tripod design for studio are quite heavy as well.

But with long exposure you don't need to worry about vibration actually.
The only bit of vibration that will happen will be at the start caused by the shutter, so that is what, 1/10 of a second? So with a 10 second exposure that 1/100 bit won't be noticable.
06-13-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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Don't go overboard--a 55-300 on a K-30 isn't all that demanding. A 'pod rated for 2.5x the total weight of that combination should be plenty. Otoh, if you're likely to get the bug for longer and faster lenses like some poor slobs do (ahem), get a monster right at the start. Tip: I got a very good deal on a used 'pod at KEH.

06-13-2013, 04:56 PM   #5
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If you are going to get serious and wind up with longer heavier lenses, here is a good article about tripods

An Overview of the Best Tripods and Heads for Nature Photographers- The Canadian Nature Photorapher
06-13-2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice! Currently looking at the Berlebach 3032. It's pretty much what I had in mind.
06-13-2013, 05:06 PM - 1 Like   #7
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search B&H for Berlebach 3032 Wood Tripod ....doh! posted before I saw you were eyeing the exact same. I have it and it's the bee's knees.

06-13-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timbo Quote
I'm really enjoying long exposure work - both at night and during the day. I also want to eventually get a bit more serious about macro.
Also look into really solid ball heads, and if you really get into macro, there is a galaxy of "rails" to help you micro focus.

QuoteOriginally posted by timbo Quote
I've heard that the heavier the tripod, the more effective it is at eliminating vibration.<snip>

I've also been told that tripods without a central column suffer from even less vibration.
Congratulations, you've been informed correctly! Just to add what the other posters have said, a wooden tripod is not as heavy as you'd think. I have a very small Berlebach, it is very well made, solid, and it dampens vibrations as well as my carbon-fiber Gitzo. But it's also very short, and rather expensive for what you get.

Last edited by panoguy; 06-13-2013 at 05:25 PM.
06-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #9
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Amazon.com: SLIK PRO 700DX Professional Tripod with Panhead (615-315): Camera & Photo

I have one of these. It is heavy and very very sturdy. I used it with my K-5. and couldnt be happier. At the time when I bought it, it was the best bang for the buck (among the higher quality tripods)
06-13-2013, 06:51 PM   #10
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I am a Bogen-Manfrotto guy, have had great experience with 475B Manfrotto 475B Professional Tripod Legs (Black) - Supports 475B
If you want stupid solid, then the Gibraltar from Quick-set is the way to go.
Gibraltar Tripods - Military Grade Tripod (the legs go for around 2500 and the geared heavy duty head is around 3500 USD, worth every penny if you need extreme stability).

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 06-13-2013 at 07:06 PM.
06-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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I think is the other way around, you want light weight tripod, and once you set up your tripod, you hang your bag or water bottle on the tripod hook to increase the stability.
06-13-2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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Ok, so far the Berlebach 3032 looks rather nifty. What are the pros and cons of having a built-in head?
06-13-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
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Ex Finn, I have one of those Moog Gibraltars. The biggest one (tripod weight is like 40 lbs). It really is crazy stupid (isn't really for photography). I was going to submit a "product review" for April fools, but ran out of time. I know that a spotting laser at 2km range has zero movement on that bad boy, even if you kick it.
06-13-2013, 07:34 PM   #14
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Actually a light tripod that has a heavy camera on it--may give less vibrations than a heavy tripod with too light a camera--so I suggest getting a tripod that is designed for the weight range you expect.

Better if the section lengths are longer and fewer of them.

You don't say what the application is--but for most of us a center column is needed--and BTW a geared center column is nice if the cost and weight are not a problem. And make sure it reaches your desired height with center column not extended.

Personally I prefer aluminum and am partial to GITZO--but my GITZO tripod was purchased in early 1970's!

Another question is do you want a ball head or 3 way. Again I prefer latter--originally had former and after many years I switched.

If you are interested in very careful positioning the geared column and 3 way head are nice. Make sure you can flip camera on side and still shoot horizontally--not all heads allow this. Go to a store and try it out.

You may want to look at Benbo--if you plan on packing it into rough country--use in water, etc. Not from my experince, but from what others say, and trying out in the store.
06-13-2013, 07:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by timbo Quote
Ok, so far the Berlebach 3032 looks rather nifty. What are the pros and cons of having a built-in head?
You can fit an head ontop of that i believe.

looks nice but not sure about it for macro though.
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