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05-26-2020, 10:19 AM   #16
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As far as a tripod to buy I don't have a good recommendation for an ultra heavy duty one as my solution to that problem was to buy $50 worth of stuff from Menards and build my own out of 2x4s. If you want to see that monstrosity and possiably make your own like it you can find it here the pictures should be good enough that one could make their own. For a head I use a new old stock bogen 3047 head I picked up for $25 or $30, I forget which because I have 2 of these heads and one was $25 and the other was $30.

I've found this setup to be exceptionally stable and able to secure hold what ever I stick on it. This includes a K-3 with battery grip hanging off the back of either the SMC A* 400mm f/2.8 ED [IF] with the A 1.4X-L converter (heaviest weight) in the mix or the MTO 1000 f/10 + plus 2x rear converter (longest focal length at 2000mm). So a bunch of stuff that is big, long and heavy.

That tripod isn't light by any means, it comes it at about 60 lbs, but is rock solid and will hold any photo or video gear you can stick on top of it. So if you can build things it might be an option to consider.

05-26-2020, 11:35 AM   #17
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I’ve been using a Induro GIT304L tripod and a Benro GH2 gimbal head with my Canon 600/4 IS II and 1DX2 for a while and it does a great job.

With the legs fully extended and the gimbal head on and you add in the lens foot height I have to stand on my toes to see through the view finder and I’m 5’ 10”. For your height it would probably be a decent height.

Check out B&H floor demo models also. I bought my first tripod and my gimbal head from them and they were in great shape I just didn’t get the bags the new models come with and I saved about 45% compared to new.

The reason I upgraded to my current tripod was it didn’t have a center column so I’m able to spread the legs out and get close to the ground for eye level shots of wildlife, worked great for burrowing owls and alligators.

I would also recommend getting a tripod that can handle more weight than what you’re using now.
05-26-2020, 11:40 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
Are you still talking about tripods? ;-)
Absolutely...
05-26-2020, 01:17 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Zone VI standard wood tripod
That thing has style... and big and heavy with tripod feet that dig in. I'm liking the potential here. I've spotted some surveying tripods, following links resulting from a websearch, and the price isn't horrendous either (although the Zone IV model is around $300-400). I am definitely going to follow up on this.

QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
If you want to see that monstrosity and possibly make your own like it you can find it here the pictures should be good enough that one could make their own.
You have skills I don't have, sir. I commend you highly for this.

QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
The reason I upgraded to my current tripod was it didn’t have a center column so I’m able to spread the legs out and get close to the ground for eye level shots of wildlife, worked great for burrowing owls and alligators.
What kind of lens are you using for this?

Thanks for all the input guys!

05-26-2020, 01:27 PM - 2 Likes   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
You have skills I don't have, sir. I commend you highly for this.
That comes from too many years of being a cheap bastard.
05-26-2020, 02:08 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
That thing has style... and big and heavy with tripod feet that dig in. I'm liking the potential here. I've spotted some surveying tripods, following links resulting from a websearch, and the price isn't horrendous either (although the Zone IV model is around $300-400). I am definitely going to follow up on this.



You have skills I don't have, sir. I commend you highly for this.



What kind of lens are you using for this?

Thanks for all the input guys!
I'm using Canon now. 600mm F4 IS II sometimes with the 1.4 or 2x TC's.

I see in other post you said you've only used ball heads. For longer focal length and bigger lenses I would definitely recommend a gimbal head, they give you much more control and stability over a ball head.

You also didn't say what you will be shooting, I'm guessing wildlife or sports. You will also need to use a higher shutter speed to get sharp images, just the smallest vibration on longer focal lengths turns into big movement. I would also turn off shake reduction once your over 1/1000 shutter speed and definitely at 1/2000 and higher.
05-26-2020, 02:55 PM - 2 Likes   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by david94903 Quote
The reality is you really can't have too much tripod.
Yep...and a corollary is that you cannot buy either tripods or heads on specs/reviews alone. Both will usually overstate capacity and rigidity. If you have a brick and mortar store, try it out in person. If you don't, be willing and prepared to eat shipping to return online orders until you get one that works.*

There are are three divergent factors at work here:
  • Affordability
  • Weight
  • Stability
Some might also add quality/durability. If the kit (legs + head) you choose is light, stable and affordable, be prepared to find at some point that it will under-perform with heavier load or in a breeze or when fully extended.

Note that capacities are based on the notion of well-balanced and level load. The legs or head may very well flex or "sag" if the load is front-heavy or the camera pointed downward. Be aware too that one's quick-release plate might leverage flex of the camera bottom plate, even if well-matched.**

A few generalizations:
  • Carbon fiber composite construction may be a good thing or it may make no difference except weight or it may under perform at a given weight. My two set of legs are both tubular aluminum alloy, were modestly priced ,and perform adequate to purpose. I don't know if upping the price point for quality carbon would have increased the value point.
  • Head choice is important such that an under-built head will defeat the best of legs.
  • Ball head is not always the best match to a particular task, but is often the best compromise. If one does specialty work (macro, astro, medium/large format, birds-in-flight, etc.) think carefully before sinking big bucks into a head that is poorly matched to intended purpose.
  • Travel tripods are an exercise in compromise.
  • People bad-mouth having/using a center column. I find mine useful, though I will admit that my travel tripod has a stub column (see above point).
  • How many leg sections? For a given weight and height extended, a four section will have a flimsier final section than a three section set of legs. Similarly, the four section will be more compact than the three section. My main tripod is four section and I seldom use the full extension; preferring instead to get the last bit with the center column (see point above) in interest of rigidity. My travel tripod has three sections and is a bit too long for easy in-luggage storage; that said, the four section version of same was unusable at full extension (see two points above).
  • Beware of proprietary quick-release systems. While they generally work very well, they may not be a good choice if using a mix of tripod-mounted gear. "Arca-Swiss compatible" is the magic phrase.
  • Be aware that compatibility varies between brands of Arca compatible plates and clamps. I have a couple of plates that do not seat fully onto one of my clamps. Tang depth and angle are often not compliant. One does not have to buy Arca-brand ($$$), but do be aware that claiming compatible is only a claim and that clamps/plates from an established maker may be a good idea.
  • What works well, headwise, for still photography is probably not going to cut it for video.
The above is based on personal experience and as such, YMMV.


Steve

(...no, there are no brand or model recommendations...)


* Sad voice of experience here...

** This is something one does not wish to think about. Resistance to "sag" is only as good as the point of attachment and not all tripod fittings are well-anchored to the rigid camera chassis; case in point being my 35mm film cameras, most of which are part of the bottom plate.

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-26-2020 at 03:05 PM.
05-26-2020, 03:14 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If you can find one, the old Zone VI standard wood tripod is excellent.
Oh, I have often lusted after a Zone VI or Berlebach...the elegance of it all.


Steve

05-26-2020, 04:02 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Oh, I have often lusted after a Zone VI or Berlebach...the elegance of it all.


Steve
Next time I'm set up, I'll post a picture of it, the Wimberley and the K1 with the 600 mounted.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 05-26-2020 at 04:08 PM.
05-26-2020, 04:38 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote



Sounds like you found the weak spot on your setup. Are you able to swivel the lens up/down while mounted like that? Thanks for your input!
See the link here.

Junior 3 Deluxe Swing Arm

The horizontal pivot is in the base, the vertical pivot accepts either the j brackets or what they call swing arm, or the lens plate mount as the hole spacing is the same for both.

I have just put the i bracket in the box and use the mount directly on the pivot

All motion is retained, the only minor loss is the horizontal pivot is no longer exactly under the lens axis, if that is important, for me, not so much.
05-26-2020, 08:43 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
Are you still talking about tripods? ;-)
I'm pretty well served in the legs department, but was definitely short-changed when it came to head.
05-27-2020, 03:19 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote

** This is something one does not wish to think about. Resistance to "sag" is only as good as the point of attachment and not all tripod fittings are well-anchored to the rigid camera chassis; case in point being my 35mm film cameras, most of which are part of the bottom plate.
Case in point, during the 1980’s camera reviews often made note of intermittent power connections, with a zoom lens cantilevered off the body, and the whole thing supported by the body tripod mount.

My Ricoh XR2s, while a good all round camera suffered from this issue, when supporting my series 1 70-210/3.5

To this date that is why many lens reviews criticize lenses lacking a tripod mount.

The other points about sag are :
- with respect to the legs, and whether they can be locked with a secondary brace to the center column or not. Both my tripods have this feature, and while some criticize them for being a cheap design, it sure adds to overall stiffness.
- with respect to the head, where the camera angle changes ever so slightly when tightened, making high magnification shots difficult due to movement of the camera.

---------- Post added 05-27-20 at 06:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote

The reason I upgraded to my current tripod was it didn’t have a center column so I’m able to spread the legs out and get close to the ground for eye level shots of wildlife, worked great for burrowing owls and alligators.
If you put a head at the bottom of the Center column, you can hang your gear off the bottom. I seem to recall some tripods had reversible columns for just that purpose

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 05-27-2020 at 03:29 AM.
05-27-2020, 07:27 AM - 1 Like   #28
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Last year I bought a K-S2 with a 18-135 for my wife because she'd expressed some interest in "real" photography. She had zero photography experience and barely even used the cell phone camera.

In August we went to Yellowstone. She absolutely fell in love with wildlife photography, mainly using a 55-300 on her K-S2. At one point, she came back to the car with wide eyes and a big grin, saying, "I need a bigger lens!" (of course she meant "longer" lens )

This past winter, I bought a Sigma 150-500 and Sigma 50-500 for her and myself. Just like that, my sub $100 tripods were inadequate.

Doing much research, I really liked the Gitzo 3 and 5 series carbon fiber legs. I just could not rationalize spending $1,500+ for a tripod/head times 2! Then I took a chance on an INNOREL RT90C Bowl Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs for $300, and a Neewer Gimbal Head for $80. The legs looked identical to the Gitzo 5 series, included the max load of 88# and weight of just over 6#. The legs are stiff and the quality of workmanship is excellent. The legs fold flat with no center column for low shots and the feet are replaceable. It comes with a set of spikes too.

As much as I liked it, it was a bit big and, though light, a bit unwieldy for my wife and for vacation travel. Since I was impressed with Innorel quality, I bought their RT-85C legs/monopod with a beefy 44mm ball head and table tripod package for $250. The max load is 55# but only weighs 5# with the head and folds to only 20". It can be used without the center column for low shots. Also, the 44mm ball head is sturdy enough to function as a quasi gimbal head if using a lens with tripod foot. Again, the quality of material and workmanship did not disappoint.

I liked it so much that I bought second one for our planned trip to the southeast canyons. The initial purchase (RT90C) is favored for use with the gimbal head and local shooting, though I could forgo it, in favor if the R85C system. As they say, you always pay for your education.

I hope this helps.
05-27-2020, 10:54 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
I've been frustrated with trying to get sharp images out of my K500/4.5 for a while, and I know that despite its handling quirks, it's because I am using insufficient support.

Can someone make some specific recommendations for tripod/head combos? I am interested in something used, so older models findable at KEH would be super. The taller, the better... I'm 6'3".

As a bonus, I'll share that I learned today that this lens and the 1.4x-L combo can achieve closer focus when extension tubes are between lens and converter, instead of between converter and camera. This might be helpful if you are trying to work around this lens's gigantor minimum focus distance.


didn't I buy a tripod from you years ago?
05-27-2020, 11:58 AM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
didn't I buy a tripod from you years ago?
Yes you did. Four years ago? Things were a bit different then.
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