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07-28-2020, 06:05 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
That comes from too many years of being a cheap bastard.
Not cheap! Thrifty!

07-28-2020, 10:06 AM   #32
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If you want something high quality totally modular tripod system go for a Novoflex TrioPod.
07-29-2020, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #33
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What you really need is two tripods. A beast and a smaller one. My beast is a Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT. Why that one? Because it reviewed pretty good and was on sale at B&H for half price. On the beast resides a gimbal head which works great with long lenses. The gimbal head is permanently mounted on the beast because I hate swapping heads. It is a very stable configuration. When you mount your long lens and camera on a gimbal mount it at the center of gravity. Setup should not tilt with the tension released.

I went through a brief period of gimbal head acquisition syndrome (GHAS) some years ago. I still have a Nest and a Lensmaster RH-2. The Lensmaster is made in England by an engineer who designed his own. I like it a lot Simply made and easy to disassemble for a clean and lube if necessary. Built like a tank with a maximum static load of 45KG or 100 pounds. Cost is 187.95 GBP. (About $245 USD) Mine arrived here in the US in a week. Comes with 50mm and 140mm Arca plates too which makes the deal even better.

Link to website. Gimbal Heads LensMaster

I use a smaller tripod with either a ball head or pan and tilt for everything else. Again Vanguard because they were on sale at B&H. Scanning sites like B&H and Adorama one can find some pretty good deals. Estate sales, garage sales and flea markets may have an occasional deal too. I picked up a SLIK U212 for $20 at an estate sale and passed it on to my daughter in law who likes to dabble in photography when she had the time.
07-30-2020, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #34
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As promised, the A* 600/5.6 on the Zone VI Standard tripod and Wimberley gimbal head.

The tripod is at it's shortest. It is a 2 piece leg, it reaches somewhere around 5' tall.

Note the very long mount attaching the lens to the head. The tripod screw on the 600 is very close to the back of the lens, so if one wants it to balance, it requires quite a long extension arm to do it. It isn't ideal as the pivot should at the tripod socket. I tend to put the grip onto the camera when using the 600 to give the camera a bit more weight for counterbalancing. The K1, grip and lens combine to weigh about 10.5 pounds.

07-30-2020, 05:46 PM   #35
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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.
May I suggest my Berlebach ash wood tripod that is for sale here: Berlebach tripod Report 3024 -
As for the head, I have a Cullman (another German make) ball head which is a rock and a standard 3 way head for astro and studio work which I'm keeping.
07-31-2020, 06:59 AM   #36
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I found the lensmaste Gimbal worked excellent for me when using a long heavy lens. Not sure if they ship abroad though!

Gimbal Heads LensMaster

Good luck with your search.
10-12-2020, 09:04 AM   #37
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Had many different setups over time and was never really happy until I treated myself to a Gitzo Systematic tripod. The next item was a Wimberley head and a lens plate to match. Expensive I know but the resulting setup is great with my Pentax 600 FA* F4 etc.
10-23-2020, 02:23 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
What you really need is two tripods. A beast and a smaller one.
That's pretty much my approach, too. I have a heavy-duty Gitzo that will handle pretty much anything I want to throw at it...and then I have several smaller tripods that I switch between, depending on what I'll be shooting. I have an old Bogen/Manfrotto that was my original small tripod, but I've also picked up a cheap carbon fiber tripod that I carry now if I'm going to be doing much walking. It will only go up to about 4 1/2 feet, but it's vastly lighter than my Gitzo. I also have a tiny Gitzo for shooting wildflowers and things like that. My big Gitzo will get down almost as low, but the legs are so long that I would sometimes squash surrounding flowers.


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