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02-06-2014, 03:50 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
It's $450 for just legs...I mentioned $300 as the high end of what I'm looking to spend. Just not what I'm looking to spend right now. Did you mean to suggest the M3004 aluminum model identical to the carbon M3204?


My apologies, I had missed your price range. But that being said, you are right, the aluminum version has the same characteristics, aside from price, weight and the vibration reduction that carbon fiber provides. I'm 6'1 and it took quite a while to find a good one at eye level without having to extend a center column. As a side note, I paid mine 380$CDN (so about 340$US) from a Sirui authorized dealer here in Toronto.

02-06-2014, 04:20 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr.Pink Quote
My apologies, I had missed your price range. But that being said, you are right, the aluminum version has the same characteristics, aside from price, weight and the vibration reduction that carbon fiber provides. I'm 6'1 and it took quite a while to find a good one at eye level without having to extend a center column. As a side note, I paid mine 380$CDN (so about 340$US) from a Sirui authorized dealer here in Toronto.

That's not bad, but still puts me in in the $450+ range after adding a ball head.


B&H really likes to push the Manfrotto, but I'm not really interested in that route. Adorama suggested I check out the 3 Legged Thing X4a Jack Evolution 2. Comes with the AirHed 1 ballhead. I can get that for $323.

Seems to be a similar design to the Sirui. B&H rep didn't have anything good to say about Sirui and the Adorama rep seemed to complain about the features that prevent broken cameras on their ballheads requiring you to depress a button to prevent it from sliding off and falling.

Last edited by jtkratzer; 02-06-2014 at 04:25 PM.
02-06-2014, 04:33 PM   #18
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Hmm, you want 5 lbs. steady and tall, that right there = $$$$, not $$$, unfortunately. Something has to give.
02-06-2014, 04:45 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Hmm, you want 5 lbs. steady and tall, that right there = $$$$, not $$$, unfortunately. Something has to give.

No, doesn't have to be 5 lbs, maybe that wasn't clear. I don't care if it's heavier than that. I'm used to what the Marine Corps tells me to put in my pack. I'm not worried about a couple pounds. The Three Legged Thing with AirHed 1 is 4.18 lbs at $323. Sirui M-3004 with K-10X is 5.5 lbs at $297. Both get the viewfinder to eye level without extending a center column.

I'm not worried about the$35 price difference. 1.3 lbs 1/3 is over 30% of the TLT's weight. I have no experience with anything other than a junk, old, cheap tripod and know nothing about these brands. Both seem to get good reviews.

02-06-2014, 05:03 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
No, doesn't have to be 5 lbs, maybe that wasn't clear. I don't care if it's heavier than that. I'm used to what the Marine Corps tells me to put in my pack. I'm not worried about a couple pounds. The Three Legged Thing with AirHed 1 is 4.18 lbs at $323. Sirui M-3004 with K-10X is 5.5 lbs at $297. Both get the viewfinder to eye level without extending a center column.

I'm not worried about the$35 price difference. 1.3 lbs 1/3 is over 30% of the TLT's weight. I have no experience with anything other than a junk, old, cheap tripod and know nothing about these brands. Both seem to get good reviews.
I can`t help you with those.
All I have experience with is Manfrotto and Gitzo. Gitzo at work, Manfrotto at work and home.
02-06-2014, 06:39 PM   #21
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I'm pretty happy with my Slik 700dx. I have just the legs, about $100 new, and use a simple non-QR ball head. About 6lbs. With the ball head, you lose height for veriticals, so you might find it tall enough for horizontal shots, but for verticals you might want a different type of head.

If you want taller, I have the Bogen 3036, which I think is similar to the newer Manfrotto 475. Unlike with smaller tripods, using the (fairly short) center column seems to have no measurable effect on sharpness. Not that you need the center column for normal eye-level.

Last edited by tibbitts; 02-06-2014 at 06:48 PM.
02-06-2014, 08:39 PM   #22
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Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. I was tempted to get a travel sized, something like the Sirui T-025X, but decided that with our kids as young as they are, we're not out hiking and getting too far from the car/truck and I can get the travel tripod later. Decided to give the Sirui M-3004X and K-20X ballhead a shot. The height without extending the center column is going to be right at eye level between 66-67". I can raise the center column for subjects significantly overhead and shorten everything down to get close to the floor and kid level.


Thanks again and I'll add feedback when it gets here.

02-06-2014, 08:45 PM   #23
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I've been using an 055XPROB & 486RC head for going on five years now. Had the 322RC pistol grip head for a while too and liked it but it made things too tall for me (I'm 5'10"). I have used and abused this setup and it's still rock solid. It's plenty study to support my K bodies as well as my 645, and my Speed Graphic 4x5.
02-06-2014, 10:22 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I own the Manfrotto 055XPROB and I'm 5' 7". At times this is too tall for me actually (I do tend to shoot with a batter grip on the camera too). However, at your height I would think it's about right. I must say that it's a really solid tripod. I use the Manfrotto 804RC2 head on it although I have several others I could use.
That's the combination I bought when a local store had it on sale for a really good price. I hover just under 6"4 so it should certainly work for you. The same store in Toronto has it on sale now for 260+tax (can't remember what I paid).
02-07-2014, 05:44 AM   #25
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I'm 6' 4" and have the Manfrotto 055XPROB. Love it. It's a rock. Also, the swiveling horizontal center column feature comes in very handy.
02-11-2014, 03:58 PM   #26
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The Sirui M-3004X arrived from B&H today. Just some initial feedback. Very nicely packed/packaged and this thing feels solid. It's taller than I expected. I'll measure later, but with the legs fully extended, K-20X head, and K-5 with grip mounted, it's too tall for me. I had to lower the legs a bit. Nicely designed carry/storage bag for the tripod with a flap over the zipper on the inside pocket to prevent it from scratching the tripod.
02-11-2014, 04:34 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
I'm 6' 4" and have the Manfrotto 055XPROB. Love it. It's a rock. Also, the swiveling horizontal center column feature comes in very handy.
Six foot (and shrinking with old age) but I love the 055XPROB. And concur with Gibby on the swiveling centre. It has saved a lot of shots, both macro and difficult positioning. My head is an Acratech 20852 which combined with the tripod gives tremendous flexibility.
02-13-2014, 02:19 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
That this is silly huge
Aye but you only ever have to buy one tripod to cover all eventualities, from zero floor level to 101 inches plus chosen head.

QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
For the Benbo users, how do you carry it
Benbo make a bag which looks like a large sports bag, me I've just made a shoulder strap to suit attached with wee straps to and bottom of the tripod so it hangs vertically over my shoulder.

QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
I suppose the 101" max height allows for some creative perspective with an IR shutter release
Aye, I've used it to get large group shots at weddings and gatherings, it also works really well for inside showroom type shoots too to give added scale. Here is an example, I know it's not a great shot but gives you an idea what I'm talking about, this was taken at full Benbo height and with my "Mistress" (SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5).
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K20D  Photo 

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 02-13-2014 at 02:36 AM.
02-13-2014, 02:01 PM   #29
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I got the benbo trekker best money I ever spent. Got it used for 80.00 bucks not bad.
02-16-2014, 03:32 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
The Sirui M-3004X arrived from B&H today. Just some initial feedback. Very nicely packed/packaged and this thing feels solid. It's taller than I expected. I'll measure later, but with the legs fully extended, K-20X head, and K-5 with grip mounted, it's too tall for me. I had to lower the legs a bit. Nicely designed carry/storage bag for the tripod with a flap over the zipper on the inside pocket to prevent it from scratching the tripod.
The M-series Sirui are huge yes but rock solid. I was ready to put my money down on an M3204 last year. I walked into a REAL store and stood next to it.
I walked out with an N-2204 instead and was better off to the tune of about $70. The legs tubes are 1 size smaller dia in each section compared to the M-3x04 line but very sturdy nonetheless.

BTW: I'm about 1 1/2" shorter than you.
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