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11-07-2011, 02:01 PM   #31
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I settled on this big 77" Zeikos. Very stable-- easily supports big MF zooms. Not too heavy but also not all that compact so I haven't tried walking around with it yet. It actually extends past 77", nice for shooting over the heads of crowds using a remote shutter release.

12-21-2011, 05:40 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
The legs are fine but too short for an average NA male's height unless you extend the centre column to the max and the ball head is too wimpy. I'd recommend the 294 series which has a better ball head (496RC2) Manfrotto 294 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod W/QR MK294A3-A0RC2 B&H The 294 series tripods are as tall as 055 series but have slimmer round legs that's flat on the inside. I guess by doing this Manfrotto was able to shave off a fair amount of weight without compromising on the tripod's stability. It felt very stable to me while I was playing around with it at a camera store. With the rebate that's being offered (US only ), the price is certainly right!
I've been looking at various Manfrottos for a while, and this one seems to fit my budget pretty well.

I'm kind of a newb, though, and maybe I'm just dumb, but I cannot find *anything* about whether or not this tripod has a reversible center post.

This is really important to me, since my photography will be at relatively close range, mounted table-top and shooting straight down. The ability to mount the camera *below* the tripod is critical. Can anyone comment on whether this tripod (or another one of similar quality / price) has this feature? Sorry if my question is dumb, I just probably don't know where to look to find the answer to this.
12-21-2011, 07:57 AM   #33
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I have one of these. I know that Promaster gear is not the most sought after in this forum, but this is a great tripod and very versatile. The model is UT25 Taskmaster.

12-22-2011, 08:35 AM   #34
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There's a thread on THIS forum talking about exactly what you're looking for, specifically mentioning 2 Manfrotto models.

12-23-2011, 07:27 PM   #35
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+1 for the Dolica

Amazon.com: Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head: Camera & Photo
12-23-2011, 08:24 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by doctor_wu Quote
I've been looking at various Manfrottos for a while, and this one seems to fit my budget pretty well.

I'm kind of a newb, though, and maybe I'm just dumb, but I cannot find *anything* about whether or not this tripod has a reversible center post.

This is really important to me, since my photography will be at relatively close range, mounted table-top and shooting straight down. The ability to mount the camera *below* the tripod is critical. Can anyone comment on whether this tripod (or another one of similar quality / price) has this feature? Sorry if my question is dumb, I just probably don't know where to look to find the answer to this.
Even though there is no specific mention of centre column reversibility, it's most likely reversible. If you look at the picture of the tripod, at the bottom ot the centre column there is plug of some sort that's noticeably larger diameter than the column itself. It acts as a bumper for the legs when they are folded to keep from bumping against one another and to prevent the centre column from popping out when extended. You simply remove the plug, loosen off the centre column lock, pull the centre column out and put it back in from the bottom instead. Make sure to remember to put the plug back on the open end of the column, because this will keep the camera from crashing to the ground should you accidentally loosen the centre column lock with the camera still attached to the reversed head. The Manfrotto 294 was one of the five tripods featured in dpreview's "Five of the best tripods for under $450" review: Five of the best tripods for under $450: Digital Photography Review
12-23-2011, 09:48 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by doctor_wu Quote
The ability to mount the camera *below* the tripod is critical.
The Manfrotto 055XPROB allows the center column to be pulled out completly and repositioned in a horizontal orientation. This way your tripod legs are on the floor, and the head with the camera can be positioned over a table or looking straight down. Very convinient for macro work or copy stand.

B&H has some good deals on tripod+head kits and Manfrotto offers rebates untill the end of January (if I remember right).
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