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03-12-2013, 01:25 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by 672 Quote
Atlq9, you mention that your wimberly doesnt get used often, so, what head do you favor for supertelephoto? I am asking because i finally had it with a manfrotto 501 (video head) and just recieved a wimberly mark one which i am very excited to try out. I tried an acratech long lens head , but it's not so good with medium format glass. The only downside i can see so far with the wimberly is size and weight for longer hikes.
Arca Swiss Z2. Wimberly has a lot of shake and vibration issues with a long lens at 40mp. Z2 is rated for nearly 4 times the load capacity. Has independent adjustment of 3 axis', Wimberly only has 2; Wimberly requires perfect leveling of tripod, leveling base (which induces a lot of vibration wit long lenses), or fiddling with the lens collar rotation, Z2 does not. Adjusting the composition is quite easy as each axis can independently be adjusted. You loose the ability to track moving subjects as effortlessly but who tracks fast moving subjects with a 645D and manual focus A* 600mm? Besides most of the time to improve stability you need to be using a 4th leg (from camera body to tripod leg...) which makes tracking impossible. It stays mounted on the Berlebach wooden tripod all the time. I don't go on long hikes with a 645D and 600mm so carrying the extra 8 lbs isn't an issue if it less than 5 miles. I will be trying out attaching my gyro to the camera and using the wimberly to see if there is an improvement but I am not optimistic.

03-13-2013, 02:05 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
Most people often underestimate the amount of money they need to spend on support equipment. I will tell you I have about 10kUSD invested in my current support equipment. And I have lost probably 2kUSD trying to get it right. It comes down to your needs and purchasing what fits your needs. Equipment I have used has ranged from 35mm film slrs and 35mm/apsc digital SLRs with up to 600mm lenses, 6x7 and 6x9 film rangefinders, Pentax 67, Pentax 645, Pentax 645D with up to 600mm lens. Equipment ranging from macro focusing rails to long lens support to gyros for aerial photography.

I have four tripods which all serve a specific purpose. A Gitzo series 0 carbon, Gitzo series 4 aluminum, Really Right Stuff series 3 carbon (weight of a series 3 from gitzo with support capabilities close to a series 5 carbon from Gitzo), and Berlebach wooden tripod (16lbs weight and 95lbs load capacity). I have been through other Gitzo (including the explorer series) and Manffroto tripods all of which I sold at a loss.

Tripod heads I use are Arca Swiss D4, Arca Swiss Z2, and Really Right Stuff BH 25. All of these have a specific purpose of use. Tripod heads I have sitting around that never really get use are Kirk BH1 and full Wimberly head; sold a Kirk BH3 at a loss.

Massive fan of geared heads for landscapes. I just upgraded and chose an Arca Swiss due to a lot of complaints about load capacity, durability, etc. with the manfroto 405; not to mention the retarded non arca clamp thingy. The D4 was a good compromise between the Arca Swiss cube and the Manfrotto 405. And I am happy to say this was my first entry into geared heads and I made the right choice finally. Never go back to the standard ball head again. The precision framing it allows with no fuss is a dream.

Words of advice. Don't skimp on what you need. Extra money is better spent from the start than later. Support equipment losses value very fast, you won't come close to recovering the investment minus wear and tear. Don't underestimate maximum height. I find myself setting up at the edge of cliffs often with one or two legs fully extended and still bending over with a tripod that has a maximum height of 68". Don't under estimate load capacity; that number is a generic number which often does not compare across brands. If you are operating even at 75% of the maximum load capacity you will be sacrificing ISO to gain shutter speed to get non blurry images. Don't under estimate your tripod heads. Good tripod heads make a wold of difference. Don't under estimate how much money you are going to spend on various accessories, clamps, plates, lens support, etc., etc... But choose this stuff carefully. Thank about everything you could potentially need and how to choose clamps, rails etc. for multiple purposes. I have about 5 clamps laying around that never get used (@ 100USD each that is 500USD with a resale value of probably 100USD so I keep them for eventual use) and multiple plates and other odds and ends.

Partially agree; but that can be overcome by using weights. I carry a bagish thing used as a sink for camping that I can fill with rocks/sand/ or even water to hang underneath. Remember though that his improves support greatly but takes away from load capacity.
i'm not going to recomend a particular tripod,just suggest what i did. i took my 645d and my biggest lenes to a camera store and picked out a set of heavy duty legs and a strong head.
03-14-2013, 12:40 AM   #18
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thanks for the arca z2 info!
03-14-2013, 09:02 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone!

This tuesday I had plans to go to one of the stores in my area to test a few tripods. But as a entrepreneur things can change rapidly, and i had to meet one of my companions that day. So now I'll have to pick a new day somewhere soon.
Hopefully next tuesday! I've kept my schedule clear for that day... * fingers crossed!

03-14-2013, 07:49 PM   #20
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I'm late to this thread but I also shoot with a 645D and one my lenses is also the 120 macro. And I have also been looking for a tripod to replace my Manfrotto Carbon One 440, a design that has been around for a few years and my particular example is getting a bit worn. Taking advantage of my proximity to Las Vegas and the Wedding Photographers Show, just held, I went over to survey tripods in particular. I found one that I like, so far. It is a brand new model from Benro, theC2682TV2. Basic specs are: Max H. 65.16", Folded18.5" (important for air travel), Weight 4.08 lbs with Arca-compatible head, Max Load 39 lbs. One leg removes along with the head to form a monopod. The Benro is within the desired budget range of the OP.

I took the opportunity to test it last evening in the Mojave Desert near here, shooting some images that were taken with the 120 macro. I'm posting a full frame of a Joshua Tree in bloom at sunset, along with a crop from the same image.
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03-22-2013, 08:26 AM   #21
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Buy the best you can afford. I have replaced my tripod 3 times. I finally went with the Really Right Stuff. I was sick of upgrading. Saved up and jumped decision I made in a long time. By the gear that you can grow into. It will save you money in the long run.
03-23-2013, 10:33 PM   #22
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Weight (actually the lack of it) is what you pay for when buying legs. If you are willing to settle for something heavier you can get fantastic deals on very solid legs in the used market. I got an old 055 for less than $100 and a Gitzo series 4 for about $200. And I also picked up an older ball head that is very large and solid for less than $100. Of course it's heavy stuff, but for my purposes works great!


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