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12-07-2016, 09:16 PM   #1
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Time for a new tripod?

I was out shooting today with the K-1 and 70-200, and the centre column on my tripod collapsed. Everything was okay, but it's part of what's led me to believe I need a new tripod. I love my Carbon Fibre MeFoto Road Trip, but it just doesn't extend quite as tall or support as much weight as I need. I like how sturdy and light it is, and I like the spiked feet and great support I've received from MeFoto. I do still qualify for the EDU discount at B&H, if that can save me a few dollars (though, looking at tripod prices, this might be a longer term goal).

I do prefer the latching tripod legs to the screw on ones, but I've used the latter with my current tripod for a very long time, so it's not a must-have. I also debate the benefits of a tripod that converts into a monopod versus a centre column-less tripod, useful for low-angle macro shots.

There is the MeFoto Carbon Fibre Globetrotter as a potential upgrade, but I'm not sure that'll support the K-1's weight well, either, and it doesn't resolve my macro interests or desire for latching locks super well.

I currently have an Acratech tripod head I adore, so legs-only suggestions are totally welcome. Thanks!

12-07-2016, 10:35 PM   #2
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I used to be a big fan of Slik tripods (still have one and a monopod) but last year I bought a Vanguard and I have been very impressed with it. It is strong, versatile and rigid without being cumbersome. The model I bought (Alta Pro 263AT) won the 2009 TIPA award for best tripod. They also won the award in 2011 and 2013 for the Auctus Plus 323CT and Abeo Pro Kit 283 CGH respectively. You might want to give them a look.

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12-07-2016, 10:52 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
I used to be a big fan of Slik tripods (still have one and a monopod) but last year I bought a Vanguard and I have been very impressed with it. It is strong, versatile and rigid without being cumbersome. The model I bought (Alta Pro 263AT) won the 2009 TIPA award for best tripod. They also won the award in 2011 and 2013 for the Auctus Plus 323CT and Abeo Pro Kit 283 CGH respectively. You might want to give them a look.

Welcome to Vanguard World
Thanks for pointing me to them, this one looks potentially interesting (at a few hundreds dollars less than the Gitzo I've been eyeing, though possibly with a few drawbacks):

Vanguard Abeo Plus 324CT Carbon Fiber Tripod ABEO PLUS 324CT B&H

I like the 3-in-1 feet, but the centre column either looks really useful or a total pain. I'm also unsure about the load limit. My MeFoto supports 8kg, which supports my camera and lens handily, but I didn't realise until today that I also have to add my backpack (which I often hang off the bottom of the tripod for added stability, to keep it clean and avoid bugs) to that load limit.
12-07-2016, 10:53 PM   #4
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I have a Manfrotto 190CXPRO and it's now been replaced by the 190CX3. I really like mine and use it with 645 stuff too (which is pushing it a little, probably).
If it's tall enough for you it might work well for you. Mine has been out in the elements a lot for several years and it still going strong.

12-07-2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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I'm still a big fan of the Tiltall tripod.
12-08-2016, 12:31 AM - 7 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
There is the MeFoto Carbon Fibre Globetrotter as a potential upgrade, but I'm not sure that'll support the K-1's weight well, either, and it doesn't resolve my macro interests or desire for latching locks super well.
I can at least confirm that the MeFoto Globetrotter supports the K1 with L plate, DFA 150-450 and a Striated Caracara. You do have to remain vigilant and keep your knobs appropriately tightened.



It's a great tripod for travel and can extend over five feet. There is a replacement center column that is shorter, allowing one to get very low to the ground. The shorter center column is aluminum and not available in carbon fiber, but extremely light weight. The only downside I experienced with the tripod is when a given leg joint gets loose and suddenly starts sinking on you. With four joints per leg and a lot of aggressive hiking, this happened more frequently than expected.
12-08-2016, 04:40 AM   #7
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It`s heavy and sturdy. Center column does not slip. We have dozen of these at work and I use one personally. Way more user friendly than Gitzo CF wonders.
Manfrotto 475B Pro Geared Tripod with Geared Column 475B B&H

12-08-2016, 06:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
I have a Manfrotto 190CXPRO and it's now been replaced by the 190CX3. I really like mine and use it with 645 stuff too (which is pushing it a little, probably).
If it's tall enough for you it might work well for you. Mine has been out in the elements a lot for several years and it still going strong.
Plus 1 on the Manfrotto. I have the 290, but I am happy with aluminium

Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra Aluminum Tripod MK290XTA3-3WUS

The height is what sold it to me and the latching legs are a bonus.
12-08-2016, 08:42 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
Thanks for pointing me to them, this one looks potentially interesting (at a few hundreds dollars less than the Gitzo I've been eyeing, though possibly with a few drawbacks):

Vanguard Abeo Plus 324CT Carbon Fiber Tripod ABEO PLUS 324CT B&H

I like the 3-in-1 feet, but the centre column either looks really useful or a total pain. I'm also unsure about the load limit. My MeFoto supports 8kg, which supports my camera and lens handily, but I didn't realise until today that I also have to add my backpack (which I often hang off the bottom of the tripod for added stability, to keep it clean and avoid bugs) to that load limit.
The link you provided shows the capacity as 26.5 lb which is 12 kg, that should be more than enough to cover a camera, lens and backpack hanging from the centre column hook I would have thought.
12-08-2016, 09:21 AM   #10
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I have always used Manfrotto. Though I still have the Acme Lite Hollywood Ensign Master tripod my Aunts gave me as a boy.

For size and weight the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 might cover all the bases for what lithedreamer is looking for in tripod legs. I have the Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 which is slightly heavier and doesn't fold down as small. Mine is an earlier model that has an updated column but not the updated leg angle adjustments the latest models have like the one I linked to.
12-08-2016, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #11
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hehe - yes - for heavy duty stuff I've got an old gunmetal Gitzo with an Arca Swiss monoball - which I used to use for the pentax 67 - bu t I had to buy a new head for the Manfrotto I use for everyday - the old one couldn't lock out with the K-1 plus 70-200 mounted
12-08-2016, 11:57 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I'm a big believer in getting a good tripod. It's something that can outlast lenses and camera bodies. Get something that goes to eye-level without center column extension.
12-08-2016, 03:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
It`s heavy and sturdy. Center column does not slip. We have dozen of these at work and I use one personally. Way more user friendly than Gitzo CF wonders.
Manfrotto 475B Pro Geared Tripod with Geared Column 475B B&H
Way sturdier, but a lower weight limit, and it weighs 10 lbs itself, ouch.

---------- Post added 12-08-16 at 02:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
I have always used Manfrotto. Though I still have the Acme Lite Hollywood Ensign Master tripod my Aunts gave me as a boy.

For size and weight the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 might cover all the bases for what lithedreamer is looking for in tripod legs. I have the Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 which is slightly heavier and doesn't fold down as small. Mine is an earlier model that has an updated column but not the updated leg angle adjustments the latest models have like the one I linked to.
So... My MeFoto is rated at 17,6 lbs and the Manfrotto you linked to has a lower weight rating. I'm not sure if I was just carrying that much weight when the centre column collapsed or what. Let me go do some research with the scale.

---------- Post added 12-08-16 at 02:43 PM ----------

Okay, my backpack itself yesterday weighed about 10lbs, all that weight below the centre column. Above the centre column, there was the K-1 with battery grip, the 70-200, hood and sometimes filters and step-up rings. Looking around at weight estimates, the K-1 loaded without grip, and the 70-200 together are a little over 6 pounds.

According to this napkin-based math, I'd have to say that I likely did exceed the MeFoto's weight rating without realising it.
12-08-2016, 05:32 PM   #14
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You might think about using 2 tripods. I'd keep your MeFoto because they're pretty darned good for their size...but I'd add something heavier for those times when you want to use bigger lenses and are able to work relatively close to your car. Sometimes, it's all about making the right compromise.

Edited to add: Even though I'm a Gitzo guy, my wife has a MeFoto tripod that I've borrowed for hikes and was impressed with its quality.
12-08-2016, 05:32 PM   #15
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Larry, the Vanguard line looks nice! Thanks for the link!
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