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07-09-2009, 09:13 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I wouldn't think of a tripod as fast-changing technology, although there have been occasional leaps (like CF) here and there.

Actually I would (considering finances) probably select the same tripod now that I bought a quarter of a century ago, and it's still produced, but costs about $150 now, vs. $75 then. I might have to buy one, too, thanks to what the airline baggage handlers did to it a couple of months ago.

Paul
I agree. Tripods don't usually have significant major leaps in technology.

The only significant real leap so far has been carbon fiber becoming affordable. There are going to be incremental improvements to CF, but nothing like the leap from aluminum to CF.

For ideas of what might be on the horizon, one can look at the aircraft industry - most tripod materials started there. First there was aluminum, and then came composites. Carbon fiber is still for the most part the state of the art for aircraft, the main advances in CF now are not in material capabilities, but in cost-effective production.

07-09-2009, 10:59 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I don't think, this is a valid example. Disk drives are consumables, tripods are not. Disk drives usually won't be used for longert than perhaps 36 months, a good tripod will serve for decades (as mentioned above).
Like I said, tripods are not disk drives :-). I didn't mean to imply that Krogh's observations about drives have any *real* relevance to the tripod question. Just that it was an interesting observation on a tangentially related topic and it was a notable coincidence that I happened to come upon both discussions within a day of each other.

Of course, neither tripods nor disk drives are toilet paper, but I liked that observation even better :-)
07-09-2009, 04:22 PM   #33
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Here's my observation: You can buy a cheap tripod and not use it because it's clunky, or it's too heavy to comfortably carry for long distances. You can lose shots because it doesn't stand very tall, the head isn't sturdy enough to support vertical orientation well. Or you can't get the camera on or off fast enough.

Then you'll junk that one and spend the money on a good tripod. Tell your husband in the long run you'll actually save money by buying a good tripod in your first attempt.

Last edited by khardur; 07-09-2009 at 04:22 PM. Reason: grammar
07-09-2009, 07:12 PM   #34
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Basically, I've more or less have made the decision that the next tripod will be a Gitzo; my husband is Mr. Point-n-Shoot, so what does he know?

Now the hard part will be figuring out which one to go with. At this point, my first choice would be the 2541; this was one that I actually got to play with at the camera store in Orlando when I was there last month. I liked it so much that if I had had the money, I would've walked out of the store with it that day.

My second choice would be the 2942 (basalt). It has similar specs to the 2541, but it's a bit heavier (3.6 lbs vs. the 2541's 3 lbs), but at $375, it's about half the price of the 2541.

Another option that's on my radar is the 1541T because it folds up to just a tad over 16in. long, which would work really well for plane trips, as I could easily fit it into a carryon. The only disadvantage I could see with it is that it's a good bit shorter than the others. I'm short (5'1"), so that may not be as big of a deal for me as for some people. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to actually play with one when I was at the camera store because they had sold out of them.

Since I most likely won't be making this purchase until early-mid next year, I've got time to perhaps visit another camera store that carries Gitzo (none in my area) and play with them some more, so I'll be able to come to a final decision once I do have the money.

Thanks for all of your help!
Heather

07-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #35
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I think that if you're only 5'1, Heather, that a tripod which isn't as tall fully-extended could be a *great* thing to take advantage of. If you're very lucky, it'll be that much quicker to set up, (if shooting the legs out all the way gives you a working height) and if you want to use an L-bracket, I can't imagine you'll be stooping over the thing under any circumstances, to begin with.

When it comes to me spending big bucks on a tripod, (and twice 375 would certainly be big bucks to me: come down to it, I'll carry the extra mass) ...what I'll want to be paying for is stability that will actually be with me a lot more: big and steady can be done with brute force and ignorance, small and steady takes some clever engineering and really nice manufacture.

If you're looking at the smaller one, you can always take your camera, put it to eye at a shooting level, and drop a string to the floor from your camera's baseplate: step on the string and you'll have a measurement: you'll need the tripod and head to be able to reach a comfy distance from *there.*

The tripod you *brought* will always be steadier than the one you left at home cause it was too heavy to trouble with.
07-10-2009, 07:48 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Another option that's on my radar is the 1541T because it folds up to just a tad over 16in. long, which would work really well for plane trips, as I could easily fit it into a carryon. The only disadvantage I could see with it is that it's a good bit shorter than the others. I'm short (5'1"), so that may not be as big of a deal for me as for some people. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to actually play with one when I was at the camera store because they had sold out of them.
heather

take advantage of your height (or lack of)

a compact triod is easy to pack in a suit case for travel, my full sized pod is 28 inches, but I have a smaller lighter version with remoable center post that gets down to less than 20. that fits in a suit case just fine
07-10-2009, 07:57 AM   #37
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I was in the same boat several months ago (I'm the same height). After handling both the basalt and the CF Gitzos, I realized that the basalt would get left home too often, the weight difference felt more than I would have guessed based solely on specs. I also use a relatively heavy/awkward A*300, so wanted something that would support it both weight-wise and focal length wise (the longer the lens, the steadier your tripod needs to be). I decided to go with the 2541 rather than the 1541 (which I hadn't actually seen). Later on I saw a 1541 and was glad I ended up getting the 2541. I tend to use the 2541 as a 3 section tripod, rarely using the smallest section unless I'm set up for a long period of time - would not have been an option with the lower 1541. Then the extra length comes in VERY handy. Also, one of the first days I was out with it, it was very windy. I don't think the 1541 would have given me as good stability without having an extra weight attached to it. I had to keep an eye on the 2451 to make sure it didn't get blown over, it was that windy. And I've occasionally been grateful for the extra length - the 2541's legs, when fully deployed, is taller than I can use. It's nice when I wanted extra height and had a rock to stand on, leaving the tripod steady on the ground. I carry it without the center post which cuts down on the weight and can still carry it reasonably comfortably.
07-10-2009, 09:32 AM   #38
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As much as I love the 2541, my only concern would be traveling by plane with it. When I went on my last vacation in April, my tripod went in my checked bag and got there and back without any problems. At 22" long (maybe a little less with the center column removed), I'm a bit concerned that I wouldn't be able to carry it on, should I desire to do that. As for carrying on tripods in general, I've googled for more info and the only consensus that people can come to is that there is no concensus when it comes to different airlines, airports and TSA people.

Heather

07-10-2009, 09:44 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
As much as I love the 2541, my only concern would be traveling by plane with it. When I went on my last vacation in April, my tripod went in my checked bag and got there and back without any problems. At 22" long (maybe a little less with the center column removed), I'm a bit concerned that I wouldn't be able to carry it on, should I desire to do that. As for carrying on tripods in general, I've googled for more info and the only consensus that people can come to is that there is no concensus when it comes to different airlines, airports and TSA people.

Heather
I have been looking at tripods myself. Since you were considering the Gitzo GT 1541T ($574 on Amazon), you may want to look up this oneFEISOL CT-3441SB with CB-30C Ball Head, Center Column, QP-144750 Plate and a Tri which has similar specs on paper to the Gitzo, includes a ball head, quick release plate and tripod bag for about $200 less. Feisol has some good reviews but may not be in the same league as the Gitzo.

Best wishes,
07-10-2009, 10:57 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I think you need to compare it to something familiar to him, like maybe a power tool. The best power tool on the market now may not be the 'best' forever, but the next one would probably have to be pretty special indeed to make you just have to have the next.

Or you can say, "Well, when they come out with the one that walks along behind you, I may just have to upgrade. "
About 30 years ago I bought "The Best ratchet Wrench" because car repair has enough frustrations....I still have it and it's still the best...but not made any more.

A bit later,got a LIGHT and basic Slik tripod.....still is quite fine. I wanted light,mobile,stable,affordable and it is still all that. Had a bigger/fancier tripod...too much to tote and fuss with...sold it.

I have often skipped the pod,put a sweater on a rock or post for support. If I was doing LONG Tele much......then I'd need a bigger pod.

Last edited by Ron Redwood; 07-10-2009 at 11:05 PM.
07-19-2009, 04:12 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
A few weeks ago when I was in Orlando and had a chance to look at the Gitzo tripods in person, I raved about how great they are to my husband (Mr. Point & Shoot) and how a Gitzo would be the last tripod I would ever need. He came back with the most interesting response that I've been mulling over ever since.

More or less, he wondered why I would want to spend so much money when the technology changes all the time--in other words, what's to say that somebody somewhere won't eventually come out with something even better than carbon fiber for tripods, something even stronger and lighter? His idea is that if something like this came to pass, then I'd want to sell the expensive Gitzo CF tripod that I scrimped and saved for to get the even better new tripod. In other words, he doesn't understand why I would want to spend so much money on a tripod.

At any rate, I thought I'd toss that out to the collective wisdom of Pentax Forums and see what you think.

Thanks!
Heather

Your husband is completely wrong. There has been no progress in tripods since the 1800. Simply because the law of physics hasn't changed one bit. Newton is still valid. The only thing that matters in a tripod is mass. A lightweight sturdy tripod do not exist and never will. A tripod is not a vibration damping device, unless you try to dampen vibrations from the ground up, but a vibration preventing device. The only factor impinging on a camera that is still by applying a force (mirror slap, wind) is mass. Mass is more complex than weighting the tripod legs; it depends on the mass coupling of the system - how well things are bolted together and the rigidity of the system.
Theres no point whatsoever from a functional point of view to buy an expensive tripod. Tripod are simple devices and all materials commonly used in tripod design have rigitity enough to not impact mass coupling significantly as long as the weight of the equipment mounted on it is not exceeding the legs rating. If you want to use a lightweight tripod, get one with a hook in the bottom of the center columns so that you can hook your camera bag onto it to add mass to the system. Tripods with the same mass will be equally steady if they are built to similar standards. Theres no free lunch....
07-19-2009, 06:43 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Your husband is completely wrong. There has been no progress in tripods since the 1800. Simply because the law of physics hasn't changed one bit. Newton is still valid. The only thing that matters in a tripod is mass. A lightweight sturdy tripod do not exist and never will. A tripod is not a vibration damping device, unless you try to dampen vibrations from the ground up, but a vibration preventing device. The only factor impinging on a camera that is still by applying a force (mirror slap, wind) is mass. Mass is more complex than weighting the tripod legs; it depends on the mass coupling of the system - how well things are bolted together and the rigidity of the system.
Theres no point whatsoever from a functional point of view to buy an expensive tripod. Tripod are simple devices and all materials commonly used in tripod design have rigitity enough to not impact mass coupling significantly as long as the weight of the equipment mounted on it is not exceeding the legs rating. If you want to use a lightweight tripod, get one with a hook in the bottom of the center columns so that you can hook your camera bag onto it to add mass to the system. Tripods with the same mass will be equally steady if they are built to similar standards. Theres no free lunch....
While there may have been no "progress" except in the use of different materials, I would have to disagree that there is no free lunch when it comes to mass. If you get a light weight tripod (assuming all other things are the same) usually you are carrying enough other weight (your kit specifically) to hang from the center post to dampen ouot vibrations. But why should you have to carry this weight twice? a good light weight pod, properly weighted with your kit, or a bag that holds rocks, is less to carry.

Also, there are tripods which allow locking the legs to the center post, a good tripod like this will dampen out some additional vibration because it changes the structure. This feature is worthwhile but disappearing.
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