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11-19-2014, 12:06 PM   #16
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No mention about flexible center column for macro shooting either separate (eg. feisol) or integrated (eG. gitzo explorer or giottos ytl 83nn)?

11-19-2014, 03:18 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by UlrichSchiegg Quote
No mention about flexible center column for macro shooting either separate (eg. feisol) or integrated (eG. gitzo explorer or giottos ytl 83nn)?
Not until you came along. My Giottos has an articulating center column and is capable of all sort of contortions. It is a nice option.



Can we go lower? Oh, yes, we can go lower...


Steve

---------- Post added 11-19-14 at 02:22 PM ----------

I also forgot to mention feet. The photo in my comment above shows nice rubber feet. Those cover nice sharp spikes which come in handy at times. Interchangeable feet is another one of those options that should be considered if you have special needs. I can outfit with snow/sand disks if needed.


Steve
11-19-2014, 05:15 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Not until you came along. My Giottos has an articulating center column and is capable of all sort of contortions. It is a nice option.



Can we go lower? Oh, yes, we can go lower...


Steve

---------- Post added 11-19-14 at 02:22 PM ----------

I also forgot to mention feet. The photo in my comment above shows nice rubber feet. Those cover nice sharp spikes which come in handy at times. Interchangeable feet is another one of those options that should be considered if you have special needs. I can outfit with snow/sand disks if needed.


Steve
That's one feature I love in my Manfrotto... but it's 0 or 90, it hasn't the flexibility of yours...
However it's still good if you just need to put the camera at ground level...

My old tripod had rubber feet that could be screwed in to reveal spikes... very handy as you say, not so much when you have them on by mistake and you're standing on a parquet floor...
11-19-2014, 05:59 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
That's one feature I love in my Manfrotto... but it's 0 or 90, it hasn't the flexibility of yours...
I can swing the camera down between the legs and can pretty cover the full space above and below the legs.

QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
My old tripod had rubber feet that could be screwed in to reveal spikes... very handy as you say, not so much when you have them on by mistake and you're standing on a parquet floor...
Not so good either when wearing sandals. The tips are very pointy.


Steve

11-19-2014, 06:12 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I can swing the camera down between the legs and can pretty cover the full space above and below the legs.

Steve
...a bit like this?
http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/contortionist-10.jpg
11-19-2014, 08:00 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I also remember a solution with the ball head mounted upside down on the legs and the QR clamp adapted to the base of the ball head. This could be done as a DIY project for someone with access to metal working tools. A rotating adapter to the QR clamp might be another solution, assuming they make such a thing.
That would be the Arcatech GP ballhead. The ballhead is designed to also work in the inverted position, thus making it a panning ballhead (single row). It's designed to work as a regular ballhead, a panning ballhead and a gimbal. It is a bit pricey, but in that it multifunctions very well and can hold 25 pounds, cost wise it can be justified.
Its been at least 7 years now that I have had it - and I would buy it again. I did have to swallow hard, when I ordered it. It was not cheap. With its arrival, my wife declared that it had best be a jewel encrusted astronomical instrument. I did survive. Its odd appearance and absolute first class machining saved my hide. The TSA once pulled me aside to open my luggage, as they could not figure out what it was from the X-ray.

"Mechanical Support", does get expensive. The legs, head, clamps, plates, L-brackets, etc. - and they really should all be interchangeable and inter-operate with one another. The machining needs to be good, the materials light, easy to use in the cold and dark, they need to work and not fail (and NOT let your camera & lens go "Spalding"- as in bounce, bounce, bounce down the hill)- and there is some junk out there.

As I posted earlier, you can piece part a solution together with a regular ballhead, by putting a panning clamp under the camera body. These range from about $50 to $125. When added to the cost of a good ballhead, your back to the same price range of a Acratech GP or a Arca Swiss P0. You can google "panning clamp" or "panning head", click on images and see a whole array of parts. Here is what one looks like.

Another alternative is to have a self leveling tripod - which essentially has the bottom half of a ball around the central column, thus you are essentially back to a ball in ball design. This eliminates the need for a panning ballhead or the panning clamp, but increases the price of the tripod. So, it comes down to where, how and in what way do you want to spend your funds, and design your "support" system. There are number of vendors who offers these - but you need to really look for them. Induro, Feistol and Benro are a couple - along with the wooden tripod folks - Berlebach (really nice tripods by the way). A lot of the surveyor tripods have this feature. You can also google "leveling tripod".

About 18 months ago, I started seriously thinking that a geared head (your 3D head) would help in a number of circumstances. I decided on a Manfrotto 410 as the least costly alternative - then started searching craigslist. After about 6 months, I came across one that was what I wanted to pay. The $270 new was ok, but I needed to try to reign in the "mechanical support" costs. I actually found one from professional photographer who was selling his old one (fully amortized) and had upgraded to an Arca Swiss Cube ($1K). I scored under $100 with shipping - but it took time (and some luck) to eventually find a deal. The ballhead is good for most (90%), but for doing some astro stuff, I wanted to aim a bit better - so the geared head allowed me to independently dial in small changes for each individual axis, in a controlled manner.

Also, along the same line of reigning in "support" costs. I have a travel tripod (Benro travel angle), but I really needed something heavier and sturdier that I wanted to keep in the truck. Craigslist again. I found a old Manfrotto 3001BD 3 segment aluminum - in great condition, weight really did not matter, but it needed to be heavier/sturdier than my travel tripod. This one would never fit into my carry on luggage. Again, scored it (and a ballhead that I hated) for under $100. Then I turned around and sold the Manfrotto 486RC2 head and the legs were nearly free.

11-19-2014, 08:59 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I started seriously thinking that a geared head (your 3D head) would help in a number of circumstances. I decided on a Manfrotto 410 as the least costly alternative
I wish my Bogen 3028 was geared, but is not. It is an interesting piece of hardware intended to support view cameras and larger medium format.



I would really like to have the Manfrotto 410's big brother, the 405 Pro, but it is hard to justify that kind of money ($500 USD).


Steve

11-19-2014, 11:08 PM   #23
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That looks like a beast - flip levers look cool. The 410 when it came, I opened up the package and it was substantially larger than what I expected (actually a monster) - and much heavier that I would have guessed (I never read the spec sheet for it), so I was very surprised. I figured that it was going to be really difficult for the 410 to be damaged (so buying used was not an issue), and for the cost, craigslist was the way to go. I spent full price on the GP, and it works so well that it was well worth it (plus I do a LOT of landscape/cityscape tripod shooting). Having the GP made the search for a low price 410 easy. That and I came across one earlier for $70 that I missed - too late, it was gone already. So, if figured it there was one for less than $100, there would probably be another within a year for a similar price. It was just a matter of time.

On the 410, its really neat to just dial in (especially with live view's level indicator on) exactly the movement that you want, on each axis. With the GP, when you loosen the knob, all three axis are in play at once. So, each head has its definite use, strengths and weaknesses. Level panning with the 410 has the same problem as a ballhead with the rotating base.

The mechanical support items are not cheap, so since I have the basics, I have been filling out my desire list via craigslist on the cheap. If I find it and it works, great. If I can't find it, well the quest continues - no harm, no foul.

Also, for the miscellaneous parts - clamps, rails, plates, Y brackets, screws, bolts, etc. Evilbay is good. I am very impressed with SUNWAYFOTO (9.5) items along with Hejnar (9.45). You can't beat Arca Swiss (10), Acratech (10) or RRS (10), but their prices caries a premium. Kirk Enterprises on their L-Brackets rates an easy 10+, the fit and finish on the K5 is beyond perfect (its so perfect/flawless, that it becomes part of the camera body). However, they apparently are no longer supporting Pentax bodies (past the K5) any longer - which is tragic.

Fanotec which makes the Nodal Ninja panoramic head line of products, is also a very high quality vendor, an easy 10+. I visited their facility for a part, and they just have wonderful customer service. Equal to Arcatech.

Over the years, I have been acquiring the individual pieces as I find that I need them. Deciding to go with the Arca Swiss mechanical interface has made finding comparable parts easier, but the price is still there - they are not free. Spreading the cost over now 5+ years, especially beyond the basic tripod/head set, helps a lot - that and saving my lunch money.

11-19-2014, 11:47 PM   #24
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Yes, go for good brand tripod because in tripod your camera and lense sits firmly. So it should be enough strong..
Manfrotto tripod is quite good and strong..
11-20-2014, 10:53 AM   #25
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" My Giottos has an articulating center column and is capable of all sort of contortions."

Steve, I may have missed it, but what is the model of tripod and the head? That's a great setup!

Thanks!
11-20-2014, 12:41 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
" My Giottos has an articulating center column and is capable of all sort of contortions."

Steve, I may have missed it, but what is the model of tripod and the head? That's a great setup!

Thanks!


just wanted to ask, you were faster

11-20-2014, 03:40 PM   #27
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Can somebody recommend a ball head that can do panoramas? right now I'm using a Manfrotto ballhead, but it has no gradations or such to help with panoramas...
11-20-2014, 06:42 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Steve, I may have missed it, but what is the model of tripod and the head? That's a great setup!
QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
just wanted to ask, you were faster
Giottos MT 9360 w/ Giottos MH 1301. Both were purchased several years ago and both are reviewed on this site. I had the head recently replaced due to multiple failures (Giottos USA replaced it out at no cost even though it was out of warranty). So far the replacement has been solid.


Steve

---------- Post added 11-20-14 at 05:44 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
Can somebody recommend a ball head that can do panoramas? right now I'm using a Manfrotto ballhead, but it has no gradations or such to help with panoramas...
See section on pano clamp in post above:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/279529...ml#post3031951


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11-20-2014, 08:40 PM   #29
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Thanks Steve, it's appreciated!
11-21-2014, 12:18 PM   #30
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OK, I think I decided for the Acratech GP with lever clamp + quick release plate.


Now - what might be the right tripod for this head?
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