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01-14-2016, 06:24 PM   #31
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One of my work tripods has the built-in type where you have to screw down the rubber pads to cover the spikes. I spend a lot more time trying to make sure they're covered and not scarring up floors than I've ever used them.

01-15-2016, 10:15 AM   #32
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One additional suggestion as you think about tripods. Go to a store (or get your hands on some friends' tripods) and figure out whether have any strong preferences as to how they operate. For example, many tripod legs (expecially on travel pods) are twist-style - you twist to extend them and tighten them. You also might be facing a handle of twisty bits to adjust the camera's position once it's on your tripod.

here's an example of a lightweight travel tripod that many people love (Sirui T-025X):
Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10X Ball Head BSRT025X

Me, I hated it. That's because I'm kind of a klutz, I have pre-arthritic hands (and a severed tendon in one finger that makes it a bit wonky) and the first few times I was using this tripod, it was COLD outside and really hard to adjust everything by twisting when my hands were so cold. But it was a nice, lightweight tripod.

I ended up realizing ($250 later) that I would have been better off with a Manfrotto tripod (055CXPRO3) with levers on the legs (made it heavier but much easier to open and close quickly) and with a joystick ballhead (Manfrotto 324RC2) - so much easier to adjust.

This is the sort of thing I didn't realize until after I tried using a few tripods in different environment.

So it's a good idea to try some out and also think about what you really need as it relates to your own physical ability, shooting preferences etc. For example, if you're a 6' weightlifter who enjoys taking things apart and putting them back together for fun, and who tosses a tripod into your car, drives to a warm location and sets up 20 minutes before sunrise to catch the light, then you don't need a lightweight pod that opens lightning fast with minimal fuss. But if you're the kind of person who wants to add a tripod to your backpack, hike into the woods in winter and photograph zippy wildlife, then you might prioritize speed, light weight and ease of set-up, etc.
01-15-2016, 10:51 AM   #33
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I much prefer the lever locks on my Manfrotto. I also own a Benbo Trecker, and I really dislike the twist locks for leg extensions. I find them much slower to "grab" than Manfrotto's levers, particularly when setting up what Benbos do much better than anyone else's which is, for example, setting up a DSLR selfie on a 60% slope. That was a nightmare, but I got the shot with my fellow hikers in a really scenic place on a hairpin curve on the trail.
01-15-2016, 04:41 PM - 1 Like   #34
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Manfrotto 055

I have an older alum. Manfrotto 055 that I have had for many years. I outfitted it with a Markins ball-head a little over a year ago. It is a very stable arrangement. I can raise the center post and maintain stability if I don't raise too high. Actually, the tripod would extend taller than I can operate. The Markins head, although expensive, is incredibly stable with my longest and heaviest of lenses.

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