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08-31-2013, 12:45 PM   #16
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Well, I'm now almost settled for the MX-1128 + B-3 ball head, if you still feel this is a bad decision please let me know.
Slightly offtopic, here are the tripods I'm currently using for long exposures. They're ok, except for the fact that I can't frame vertically. And yes, they have plastic ball heads. That's why I doubt that the KS-1 head will really suck, because it can't be worse than this, but I guess I'll never know.





08-31-2013, 02:20 PM   #17
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The dolica had is fine as long as you don't do macro. It will do is job. I myself use the tripod with a high quality Vanguard head and it delivers. I went to a store to see what I was missing and here is my conclusion.

A more expensive tripod will look better.
It will not operate nor FEEL better except if you spend SEVERAL hundred dollars.
If you do, the tripod will be much heavier.
The dolica is designed to be light, tall, and that means in certain situations there will be some wobble. Work with it, add weight to the hook when needed.

I've done 15min+ exposures with that tripod without problems. To me it's the best value around. I was looking at gift ideas, thinking about an upgrade, and couldn't find any justification.
08-31-2013, 04:03 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
...
Thanks for the responses so far, I appreciate the fact that you decided to share your opinins. I do understand the facts that make the Dolica attractive, and if I think about why I don't want to purchase it, I think it's more of an illogical reason.
First of all, I have a budget, although very limited at $150, and I'd like to make use of the most of it. The first posters said about how you get what you pay for, and that the $30 ballhead can't be great because it's so cheap, and that I should buy the most I can afford, so it'll last for a long time and I won't outgrow it and want to upgrade sooner rather than later. This I could understand.
But I FAIL to understand why the Dolica would make any exception to this rule.
I mean just look at it. It looks kinda cheap, everybody in the know says it's not the most stable of tripods and that sand can easily protrude between sections, so I will definitely outgrow the legs soon and want to upgrade them.
The ball head looks mediocre as well, no panning at all so no easy filming, small ball and just a lever to tighten it, and the quick release plate is proprietary. That means that I won't be able to get some macro rails later for it, and I already purchased some wireless flash triggers especially for macro photos.
Ok I see, it's cheap and offers a lot of stuff. Yes, for $40 it's great, but I want the most for what I can afford. And what's the point in getting this tripod and then replacing its head, when I'm not even content with its legs.
Of course I'm only talking from incompetent online reviews, but that's all I can get without spending any money to actually try stuff. So don't be surprised if I pass your advice and go my own route, but all the advice I received here is really incoherent and confusing.
09-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
At least I know the Triopo B-3 head is a good one, I see pictures taken with it on their facebook page all the time.
Triopo is a European brand name of Benro (like Induro in the US), and the Triopo B-3 is apparently the same as the Benro B2. They are both considered "good" ball heads (read this review via Google translate if you can't read German - it covers the KS-1, B2, B-3, and others).

09-01-2013, 01:43 PM   #20
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I also am looking and as I was looking today I experience an Ahaa moment. So for your consideration, a simple ball head will not allow you to do accurate pans. One needs a head where the pan movement is separate from the ball else the elevation is bound to slip ass you attempt to pan.
09-03-2013, 05:23 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
But I FAIL to understand why the Dolica would make any exception to this rule.
I can't help you there

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
I mean just look at it. It looks kinda cheap, everybody in the know says it's not the most stable of tripods and that sand can easily protrude between sections
I've never had problems with sand...

It's stable enough to let me do this:







I thought it looked cheap too, until I took a trip to the local camera store. I played with their Manfrotto and Photodiox tripods in the 100-150$ range and they were no better. The legs did not slide better, the locks did not feel any tighter, the finish did not feel better. The Manfrotto also came with proprietary plates, instead or Arca-swiss. The more expensive tripods were much better but also much heavier. And I think that's the main difference : it's about 2 pounds in weight if you discount the head. Most competing tripods are heavier and of course this adds stability.

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
The ball head looks mediocre as well
It is correct, no more. I do use a high-quality head because I think it's there that quality pays off (fine adjustment, no sagging, etc). The legs are just legs, the head is where you make your adjustments.

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
the quick release plate is proprietary
As they are on many many tripods. Manfrotto just recently announced their first Arca-swiss head.

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
That means that I won't be able to get some macro rails later for it
You could do that even with a proprietary head from any brand. The screw is always 1/4-20. It's just that Arca-swiss plates and heads can be mixed and matched as you see fit, and you can get a 5$ plate offf ebay and trust it will work with your head.

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
I have a budget, although very limited at $150, and I'd like to make use of the most of it
That's one way to look at it. I recently browsed B&H to see what was on offer, there is a Bogen with tilting central column for that price, it looks fine.

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
So don't be surprised if I pass your advice and go my own route, but all the advice I received here is really incoherent and confusing
I'm not affiliated with Dolica, I really don't care one way or another, I'm just passing along some info and trying to get facts straight.

One closing remark : a colleague in our photo club at work owns an Induro tripod which he paid 170$ for. It is the EXACT same tripod as my Dolica, complete with the same head. The differences (apart from the price) is the shorter central column and the lack of spiked feet on the Induro. Apart from that they are identical.
09-24-2013, 01:18 PM   #22
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Ordered today a Triopo MX-1327 and a B-3 ball head. Total 140 EUR, or $190.
Quick specs: Mag-alu legs, 3 sections, 32mm leg width, 14kg max load, and 180cm tall when extended at maximum. It'll be heavy as a brick, but I swore not to complain. From the research I've done, the G and GX/MX are copies of the quite-old Gitzo Mountaneer series of the same name (first carbon-fiber tripods, designs as old as the late 90s). As such, MX-1327 is a copy of the Gitzo G1327, in an aluminium flavor.
The ball head is a 44mm ball diameter design, which received a lot of praise apparently. It would have been too heavy for a lightweight set of legs, though, so I don't regret getting this combo.
The Dolica Proline seems to be a rebadge of the Weifeng WF-6662A, which only supports about 3kg. This way, I think I got a more future-proof deal.
Speaking of rebadges, Triopo are also sold in the US, at Adorama, rebadged as Flashpoint, and received a lot of good reviews.

07-21-2014, 12:51 AM   #23
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I bought a Triopo MT 2805 n6.c tripod - aluminium body, versatile design and good for most things but, the B2 ballhead (rated to 8 kgs load, and 34mm diameter) is unimpressive. I don't see why it gets good reviews - here's why. I set up camera and Sigma 120 - 400mm lens and aim at the moon. I tighten all the screws as much as I can (the knobs are small and this may part of the problem), let go and the camera/lens assembly sags enough for the moon to move out of the view finder. I have to compensate by guessing how much it will sag. Camera and lens combo weigh less than 8 kg.

Also, the panning movement of the ball head, while it feels smooth to the hand, is in fact not smooth as can be seen through the LV function of the camera if one is doing video. This tripod is not a video tripod. The salesman warned me about this and advised that when panning, I should stretch a rubber band from a knob to my hand and pull the head around with the tension of the rubber band - the stretch of the rubber band absorbs the frictional roughness from the head as it rotates.
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