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04-15-2021, 03:59 AM   #1
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Recommendations on Tripod needed

HI all,
Im in need of a light weight but heavy duty tripod and ball head for nature photography. I have several heavy duty ones but they are also heavy...I tend not to use them much except for my bigger lens. The lens I will be using on this new one is the DFA 150-450 with the new k3 mark 3/k-1. My problem is I had a little accident this past week and crushed my right hand..specifically the tendons in my ring finger...luckily no breaks but still in a splint for the next 6-8 weeks as they are really mashed. It makes hand holding the camera very difficult.impossible for heavier gear...so tripods are my new best friend. If I have to lug one around for my birding and nature shots Id like it to be as light as possible but of course appropriate for the weight of the gear.
Suggestions?
Thanks,
AL

04-15-2021, 04:22 AM   #2
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How much are you prepared to spend, and how heavy is too heavy?
04-15-2021, 04:40 AM   #3
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You asked for a ball head, is there a reason for that style over a gimbal? A gimbal seems easier to operate with one hand. But I may be thinking this through wrong.
04-15-2021, 04:43 AM   #4
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I wonder if the OP has looked at this section of the forums yet?

Tripods and Rigging - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

04-15-2021, 05:26 AM   #5
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I have both Manfrotto and Sirui carbon fibre tripods. Their light weight is a joy. I put a video style head on the manfrotto - easier for one-hand operation.
04-15-2021, 05:29 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Pan and tilt or gimbal both seem better suited to one handed operations. Pan and tilt might be the best option.
04-15-2021, 05:50 AM   #7
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Sorry about your injury!

I love the Sirui T-025x but would not recommend it for that lens. You want lightweight and sturdy, my recommendation would be for the Peak Design tripod (maybe look at aluminum if carbon fiber is too expensive):

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

I used that tripod almost exclusively since getting it about this time last year.
04-15-2021, 06:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
Im in need of a light weight but heavy duty tripod and ball head for nature photography.
It's unlikely you will get useful information from that question. There are so many good tripods out there and so many variables that you will likely get a dozen or more recommendations all of which are valid.

Take a moment and think through the parameters:
- price for sticks
- type of material (wood, aluminum, carbon fiber)
- price for head
- type of head (ball, gear, gimbal, pan and tilt, fluid)
- type of quick release (arca-swiss or proprietary)
- weight of the tripod / head you feel comfortable carrying
- weight of the gear to be mounted. And don't take manufacturer claims as true. I found that claims needed to be derated by half (at least) to be realistic
- height of the tripod when extended. Which is related to your height
- length of tripod when closed up (this is more important with a travel tripod so it can fit in luggage, but still needs considered)
- type of leg locks (levers or twist locks)

04-15-2021, 06:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Take a moment and think through the parameters:
I think that this list covers the important factors.

Might be useful to also recall that when it comes to tripods and heads, there are three driving parameters that play against each other: Price, Stability, and Weight. For example, if you want high stability and low weight, the price will be high. Conversely, one can get a stable tripod at relatively low cost, but it will weigh a ton (tonne).

- Craig
04-15-2021, 07:13 AM   #10
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Original Poster
Thank you all. I realize the recommendations I am asking for is subjective and its hard to understand the limitations I have now..I have full use of my left hand and use of my right hand except one finger.. my ring finger is splinted. It makes it hard to hand hold a camera with any large lenses and also gets in the way by hitting the lens when I try and hand hold...I can operate a tripod and ball head .. I can also operate a gimbal.. I have both of these already as well as monopods... but they are heavy... so if I am going to use tripods I really need the lightest one. Something easy to adjust as I am right hand dominant and the set up, takedown, and carrying is challenging now.Its hard enough carrying the camera and lens.. Maybe I should reword this to ask for recommendations on graphite tripods that people have used with the dfa 150-450 &k3 or k1 ?. At this point price isnt a primary consideration but practical experience is with that combo or similar will matter.

Worse case scenario I guess I will have to wait patiently for my finger to heal. I got lucky it wasnt my thumb or index finger but I am just looking to lighten the load and maybe get something as a tripod that is very portable yet usable with a long lens like the dfa 150-450.I have always wanted a good light weight tripod and now I have the justification for the purchase .

THANKS!
al

---------- Post added 04-15-21 at 07:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Sorry about your injury!

I love the Sirui T-025x but would not recommend it for that lens. You want lightweight and sturdy, my recommendation would be for the Peak Design tripod (maybe look at aluminum if carbon fiber is too expensive):

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

I used that tripod almost exclusively since getting it about this time last year.
Thank you!

---------- Post added 04-15-21 at 07:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Sorry about your injury!

I love the Sirui T-025x but would not recommend it for that lens. You want lightweight and sturdy, my recommendation would be for the Peak Design tripod (maybe look at aluminum if carbon fiber is too expensive):

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

I used that tripod almost exclusively since getting it about this time last year.
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
It's unlikely you will get useful information from that question. There are so many good tripods out there and so many variables that you will likely get a dozen or more recommendations all of which are valid.

Take a moment and think through the parameters:
- price for sticks
- type of material (wood, aluminum, carbon fiber)
- price for head
- type of head (ball, gear, gimbal, pan and tilt, fluid)
- type of quick release (arca-swiss or proprietary)
- weight of the tripod / head you feel comfortable carrying
- weight of the gear to be mounted. And don't take manufacturer claims as true. I found that claims needed to be derated by half (at least) to be realistic
- height of the tripod when extended. Which is related to your height
- length of tripod when closed up (this is more important with a travel tripod so it can fit in luggage, but still needs considered)
- type of leg locks (levers or twist locks)
Twist lock are a no go.. I cant grip and twist well.. levers work fine.

---------- Post added 04-15-21 at 07:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I wonder if the OP has looked at this section of the forums yet?

Tripods and Rigging - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
Yes I have looked there Alan.. thanks though.

Last edited by brewmaster15; 04-15-2021 at 07:28 AM.
04-15-2021, 07:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
I have always wanted a good light weight tripod and now I have the justification for the purchase .
Your hand injury(sorry) has little to do with the carrying weight of a tripod; I believe you really want a light weight tripod -for now and in future- so just buy one!

If I'm wrong I apologize; then take a friend to carry the heavy stuff and help set up the tripod .
I find the actual setting up of the tripod requires both hands, but usually my left does more of the "work" than my dominant right hand - the opposite of operating the camera.
04-15-2021, 08:00 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
Maybe I should reword this to ask for recommendations on graphite tripods that people have used with the dfa 150-450 &k3 or k1 ?. At this point price isnt a primary consideration but practical experience is with that combo or similar will matter.
I have the Manfrotto 055 carbon fiber legs with an Acratech GP ball head and have used it with the DFA 150-450 and K-1 quite a lot. The combo works well and easily supports the weight of lens and camera. You can get heavier sticks but I think the 055 series is a good compromise between strength and weight. Note that they make the 055 in a number of flavors including aluminum and carbon fiber and 3 leg and 4 leg sections. Have a look at the options here: https://www.manfrotto.com/us-en/collections/supports/055-series/

The Acratech Ball Head works well but is expensive. I've found that cheap ball heads are simply frustrating to use but a really good one is a joy. The initial cost was painful but it is the last ball head I will ever buy and has been a pleasure to use for years. I have also used a gimbal head on these sticks when I knew I was going to be shooting birds and that also worked fine but since I am usually a landscape shooter I mostly use the Acratech head. It has the ability to roll over to the side and be used as a semi-gimbal anyway. See details here: Gimbal Head, GP Ball-Heads - Acratech

I don't know that this is the best combo or even a good one, just that it has worked well for me for many years.
04-15-2021, 08:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I have the Manfrotto 055 carbon fiber legs with an Acratech GP ball head and have used it with the DFA 150-450 and K-1 quite a lot. The combo works well and easily supports the weight of lens and camera. You can get heavier sticks but I think the 055 series is a good compromise between strength and weight. Note that they make the 055 in a number of flavors including aluminum and carbon fiber and 3 leg and 4 leg sections. Have a look at the options here: https://www.manfrotto.com/us-en/collections/supports/055-series/

The Acratech Ball Head works well but is expensive. I've found that cheap ball heads are simply frustrating to use but a really good one is a joy. The initial cost was painful but it is the last ball head I will ever buy and has been a pleasure to use for years. I have also used a gimbal head on these sticks when I knew I was going to be shooting birds and that also worked fine but since I am usually a landscape shooter I mostly use the Acratech head. It has the ability to roll over to the side and be used as a semi-gimbal anyway. See details here: Gimbal Head, GP Ball-Heads - Acratech

I don't know that this is the best combo or even a good one, just that it has worked well for me for many years.
That is what I was hoping to get for recommendations. I will have a close look at these. Thank you!
AL
04-15-2021, 07:16 PM   #14
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I have a Cayer carbon fiber tripod that I picked up in Hong Kong about four years ago now. At the time, they had zero presence in the US, but now you can get several of their video-centric and one or two still-oriented tripods on Amazon. I bring this up because while they are essentially a no-name Chinese tripod, I spent a lot of time comparing this to higher priced name brands sold both in Asia and the US, and it honestly appears that Cayer is made in the same factories as some of the name brands. (Once the factory fulfills the contract for the name brand, they kick out some under their own name with different color knobs, I suppose.) Mine has bounced around on a bunch of international flights, both as carry-on and in cabin baggage since I purchased it. Regardless of brand, carbon fiber is definitely the way to go in terms of weight.
04-15-2021, 07:22 PM   #15
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FWIW Went to B&H a few years back and bought a Benro TAD27A and a Benro IB1 ball head .Got both for under $200. I have a K3II and the DFA 150-450 and it is great. The tripod is aluminium not graphite but it's very manageable.
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