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08-08-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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Suggestions for tripod with 67ii

My parent's old tripod doesn't cut it any more with my new 67ii. Even with mirror lock up and remote release, I can clearly see camera shake in my photos.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for a very sturdy tripod? It doesn't have to be super lightweight, but packable enough for day hikes.


08-08-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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Look at the bigger Feisols. They are relatively light, very strong and stable, and not overly expensive.
08-09-2010, 04:24 PM   #3

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"Sturdy" depends on which lens you put on the camera. For shorter lenses (35 -200mm) and hiking, the Gitzo G320 does fine. For longer lenses, I like the Bogan 3036.
08-09-2010, 05:24 PM   #4
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As @desertscape says, the meaning of the words "adequate", "acceptable", "sturdy", "stable", etc. depend highly on how you are intending to use the camera, what lenses will be using, and the type of head used. This makes the purchase choices all the more difficult.

The best I can suggest is to visit the local pro shop and see what they would sell you. That will give you a good idea of the high end of the range and where the trade-offs of stability vs. weight might be. From there, you can work your way down to more moderately priced units with similar features/capacity. Be aware that capacity is generally vastly overstated.

Then there is the matter of tripod heads. Good ball heads are not cheap. Neither are good pan heads. Hands-on before purchase is a good idea.

Having given all the great marketing advice, here is a more practical solution...
Find a used set of Bogen 3021/3221 legs on craigslist
Price should be $100 or less. With any luck the Bogen legs will come with a 3-D head acceptable for your 67ii.


08-09-2010, 08:02 PM   #5

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As a data point. I shoot my 67 with an Alta 234AB compact tripod with a Manfrotto 804RC2 pan tilt head and a WLF instead of a TTL prism using lenses up to 165mm f4 LS. The tripod has a hook on the center tube that you can optionally hang something like your camera bag on it if you feel the need for more mass.
08-09-2010, 11:00 PM   #6
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The importance of a good quality tripod really cannot be underestimated for any type of photography where light conditions will make hand-held shooting impossible without shake. You can use the 1/focal length rule as a rough guide to figure out the speed at which each lens should be put on a tripod.

I started off with a cheap tripod and pretty soon realised that if anything it was probably putting more 'shake/blur' into the image than I would if I had shot hand-held. Basically if you want anything which is half-decent quality it will cost you a reasonable amount.

Here is an excellent article on why it is worth spending the extra money on a good tripod: Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

Personally I shoot landscape/cityscape/nature type stuff usually at low light (sunrise/sunset magic hours) and am using a Gitzo 1257, a Markins M-10 Ballhead and a Markins damping plate. This has worked well for me so far with all my Nikon 35mm gear (up to 300mm lens) and so far with the 67ii and lenses up to 165mm... I should be receiving a 200mm lens soon. I hope this set up can cope with that lens as I believe this is around the focal length where shake is hard to control....

08-10-2010, 01:15 AM   #7
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Hey Tuco...How is the "shake and blur" on that cheap tripod of yours?

....seriously though...There are a number of members of this forum that get incredible results with what some would consider to be lightweight gear. Mike Cash regularly shoots a K10D on the ultra-light Slik Sprint Pro.

Thom Hogan's advice is good, but the logic is a little faulty in that even Gitzos with Markins heads have faults, particularly if you end up purchasing before you know your needs. It should also be noted that his price estimates are about as old as his photos. In my opinion, you start reaching a point of diminishing returns somewhere around the $250 range with tripod legs and about the same place with heads. The expensive stuff is good, but not that much better. There is a lot of utility at the lower end of the spectrum, particularly with used gear. That is why I suggested a used Bogen (above) with a fairly pedestrian head.

Interestingly, there may be some value in considering a wooden model if you come across one. They are usually made of hardwood (ash), are lighter than carbon fiber, are quite rigid, and are famous for dampening vibration. The downside is that they are breakable and prone to binding.

Tripod leg criteria:
  • Rigidity, rigidity, rigidity...can't say it often enough
  • Stability (related to, but not the same as rigidity)
  • Both points above when fully extended
  • Extension height (important if you are tall or shoot tall subjects)
  • Size of head platform (larger cameras require larger heads which are best mated to wide platforms)
  • Weight
  • Capacity (specs are usually overstated by a factor of 2)
  • Adjustable leg angles (very important for field use)
  • Provision to accept stabilizing weight
  • Vibration resistance (with camera/lens mounted, place finger tips of left hand lightly on top of camera and flick the leg with the finger on the right hand...scary isn't it?)
Other criteria might include types of leg locks, moisture/dirt seals, materials, articulated center columns, etc., but much of that is related to preference and expected type of use.

Head criteria:
  • Should be removable from legs
  • Avoid consumer video heads
  • Big cameras require larger heads
  • Ball heads are nice, but poor quality will plague you every day. Vertical orientation is a problem with most ball heads.
  • Traditional 3-way pan or 3-D heads are simpler, but quality is still important
  • Regardless of head type, movement should be smooth and fine adjustment should be easy with the maximum load you anticipate mounted. Once tightened, the head should not creep or "sag" under load. Be aware of the hazard of accidental release.
  • Consider the quick release system and the cost to outfit all of your cameras/lenses with plates
  • A good head may well cost more than decent legs
  • Special purpose features include self-leveling design, ball-heads with panning base, geared movements, and design for use with long lenses (e.g. gimbal heads)


(Currently uses a Giottos 9360 with either a Giottos 1301 ball head (K10D and smaller) or Bogen 3028 platform (4x5 view camera). Would like to get a set of used Bogen legs to use with the view camera with eventual purchase of a geared head for same. Would also like to get a lightweight tripod to use with my compact film cameras.)
08-10-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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I also use a Gitzo 320, and a Markin Ball head. It helps though I have a L Arca Swiss Quick release.

08-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #9
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Price range? Length of day hike? Fitness level of photographer? All of these and other factors will determine what tripod works best for you. I'll just tell you about two of the tripods I use with my Pentax 67 (and other MF/LF cameras):

1) Berlebach 3042 wooden two section tripod with a leveling ball and a Bogen 3039 Super Pro head (when I don't expect to walk very far)

2) Gitzo GT3531S carbon fiber tripod with RRS BH-55 head (when I want to travel with a lighter, but very sturdy setup and walk/hike farther)

Lots of good tripods/heads available.....just depends on your price range and needs/desires.

08-10-2010, 10:53 PM   #10
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stemked, is the L Arca Swiss Quick Release just a quick release plate or is there an L bracket in there somewhere too?
08-11-2010, 06:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rickbehl Quote
stemked, is the L Arca Swiss Quick Release just a quick release plate or is there an L bracket in there somewhere too?
It's an "L" bracket, and it is very difficult to find. I bought mine many years ago. I do recall once seeing a mock-up to make an "L" bracket. It is a very useful device though if you can find it.
08-11-2010, 11:07 PM   #12
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Actually I just found out that Kirk also currently manufacture an L bracket for the 67II so I have just put my order in on B&H... Can't wait to try it out as Portrait shots and the process of switching between Horizontal/Vertical have been a real PITA up to now...

Thanks, Rick

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