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01-26-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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Looking for Heavy Duty Tripod Suggestions

I'm expecting delivery of a 12lb (5290 gram) lens and definitely need to upgrade my tripod! It doesn't need to be light (back-packing is not in the cards)--just sturdy and moderate cost. Any suggestions?

01-26-2009, 05:42 PM   #2
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Umm, it's not just the tripod. You can get a tripod that will handle 50 pounds and a head that will only handle 5. Many tripods and heads are sold separately, so you need to be aware of the weight rating for both.

You also need to determine what kind of head you want, ie., gimbal, ball, panning, etc. You also need to decide if you want quick release capabilities. I would suggest going to a camera store and looking them over.

Are you the person who bought the 1000mm lens on ebay last week?
01-26-2009, 05:51 PM   #3
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I was also thinking about this subject. The tripod could possibly be a Survey tripod. I had one once and it was rock solid and heavy. I got it surplus at a place that sold to engineers and the like. Cost me all of $50 and it had a standard 5/8" screw thread. Those guys also use gimbal setups for their transits as well. A lens that big is better on a gimbal than a standard head. If you have a supply store for engineers and surveyors in your area, you might want to check out what they have.

You might also PM Wildman. He shoots with some very long glass and uses similar gimbal setups.
01-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
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Here's a thread where Wildman post some info on his long lens setup.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/451978-post10.html

And I thought my 6,000th post would be something significant .

01-26-2009, 06:40 PM   #5
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I believe even the Manfrotto 055 series will be enough (It can handle up to 15lbs I believe) which can be had for $150 or less. Very solid support and fantastic value.

As mentioned above though, the head will be much more critical
01-26-2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Gitzo Studex/Series 2 or Sries 3
01-26-2009, 07:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
And I thought my 6,000th post would be something significant .
Dude! We're talking about caring for a 1,000mm lens--how much more significant can you get?

Congratulations, btw--I appreciate your squandering that milestone on this.

Good guess, Tom, but KEH, not eBay.

01-26-2009, 07:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
I believe even the Manfrotto 055 series will be enough (It can handle up to 15lbs I believe) which can be had for $150 or less. Very solid support and fantastic value.

As mentioned above though, the head will be much more critical
I have an 055B with the 0168 head. I am very pleased with it. My longest lens is only (!) 400mm. It has proven steady even with a 1.4X on it.
01-30-2009, 08:09 PM   #9
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Thanks for the commentary--it was very helpful.

By way of update, I went with Manfrotto: 055XB legs and 808RC4 Standard 3-way head. It's a pan head w/QR plate--it just seemed like a ball head could get wildly out of control very quickly with a lens this big.

I mounted the lens this afternoon and I'm pleased: it seems like a quite solid and surprisingly manageable set-up. I'll be taking some "shake-down" shots tomorrow--it'll be cold but (I hope) not too breezy.
01-31-2009, 01:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
By way of update, I went with Manfrotto: 055XB legs and 808RC4 Standard 3-way head. It's a pan head w/QR plate--it just seemed like a ball head could get wildly out of control very quickly with a lens this big.
Good choice. I have the same setup and you'll find it won't budge an inch even in strong winds. Mine came with quite a long two-part handle which got in the way at times, so I just unscrewed half of it and now it's perfect.
01-31-2009, 11:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I'm expecting delivery of a 12lb (5290 gram) lens and definitely need to upgrade my tripod! It doesn't need to be light (back-packing is not in the cards)--just sturdy and moderate cost. Any suggestions?
I don't know what you consider moderate, but I just took delivery of a big Feisol tripod and their big ballheaad. Reasonably light, and it has a huge load capacity.
02-02-2009, 11:32 AM   #12
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I have heard of Feisol to be very good.

In your case, I would add a very firm head, such as the ones from Realy Right Stuff:

Really Right Stuff ... Your Camera Support Experts

or Wimberley : Wimberley Professional Photo Gear - Home Page
02-02-2009, 04:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
I believe even the Manfrotto 055 series will be enough (It can handle up to 15lbs I believe) which can be had for $150 or less. Very solid support and fantastic value.

As mentioned above though, the head will be much more critical
No way. I never would use my 055 with such a load. I imagine that a lens of that weight will also excert considerable torque.

I would buy a used big Gitzo aluminium tripod (my old Gitzo Studex would probably be too small) . Alternatively wooden tripods would be a good choice, either dedicated photo modells by Berlebach, Wolf etc. or surveyors tripods, but these are really heavy (have one for a telescope...)

You will have more of a headache when it comes to a good tripod head for such a lens. I would either use a gimbal mount or a really good video head. Video heads are considerably cheaper than photo heads, as they have one axis less (2D instead of 3D), but heavy lenses are usually rotated in their mounting ring to switch between landscape and portrait format, so the third axis is not necessary. Otherwise the big Manfrotto gear driven head might be good choice.

While writing about video heads: a video tripod might also be a good choice - obviously not of the small variety...

Ben
02-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
No way. I never would use my 055 with such a load. I imagine that a lens of that weight will also excert considerable torque.

I

Ben
I use a Zone VI tripod under a Wimberley head for my 600mm lens. I have no reason to think I might have too much tripod for this lens.
My 055 tried to collapse under the weight of my Pentax 6x7 and 105mm lens one day. I've been very wary of putting anything even remotely heavy on it ever since.
02-02-2009, 05:34 PM   #15
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I use a Bogen 3421 fork mount on a Bogen 3246 tripod on everything from 500-1000mm and it works for me.

Last edited by wildman; 02-23-2009 at 05:02 AM.
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