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02-18-2015, 09:04 PM   #1
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Investing in Good Tripod, Any Tips?

Hey guys, recently I have decided that I want to invest in a good tripod. I currently have an amazing travel tripod, but the head is not removable. Basically I want greater options.

I shoot a lot of video, as well as photos, and Ideally I'd get one with these features:

-Tall (165 cm ish)
-Sturdy (Able to mount 70-200 2.8, and pan in video without trouble)
-Able to go really low (I like the ones that the legs can basically go flat)
-Hook to hang backpack (For added stability)
-Price under $400 US. (Legs only)
-Interchangeable heads (of course)
-I don't mind weight

So far I have only found one option that meets most of these standards, it is the Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod MT055XPRO3 B&H Photo Video but the one problem with this is that it doesn't have a hook. Ideally, the cheaper the better; more money to invest into heads. (I would be picking up a fluid, and ball head)

Any suggestions on tripods? If you have an idea of one that meets most of these standards, mention it! I really can't wait to hear your replies. Also, if you have any outstanding heads you just have to mention, hey, couldn't hurt right?

Thanks guys

02-18-2015, 09:25 PM   #2
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I have both an older 055 and a newish 190, either one would work for you with the right head. I usually use the 190 with the ball head for my Pentax and the 055 with a 3 way pan head for the Hasselblad or 4X5. Of course I do not always have the choice depending on what my wife is shooting. The heads on these two plus the video head on our 058 are quite old so no idea on them.
02-18-2015, 09:25 PM   #3
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Evening,

There is an excellent discussion through out the entirety of the following thread...
02-18-2015, 09:55 PM   #4
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I use and recommend 3 Legged Thing tripods. The Brian is well within your price range, meets your requirements and is carbon fiber to boot.

3 legged thing brian x1.1 | B&H Photo Video

02-18-2015, 10:26 PM   #5
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Wood and carbon fiber vibrate less than metal.

---------- Post added 02-18-15 at 09:30 PM ----------

Fewer sections increase stiffness, but decrease portability.

Last edited by civiletti; 02-18-2015 at 10:27 PM. Reason: fix
02-18-2015, 10:46 PM   #6
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i just recently bought one of these of ebay Professional Tripod FOR Digital Camera DSLR Camcorder Ball Head Sony Nikon Canon | eBay

for a cheap tripod it actually seems to be quite good. close up it looks a bit cheap chinesey but it in reality its quite sturdy and has a nice solid feel to it
02-18-2015, 11:14 PM   #7
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This may not fully serve your needs but the Vanguard 263 that I have for sale has ball head, swingout center post for curious angles, and it can go very low. If it does what you need, I'm here!
02-19-2015, 12:33 AM   #8
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Very good question. I had a manfrotto for year , good but too large and heavy for travelling. I was also looking for a tripod that can fit in a backpack, lightweight and cheap. One year ago I purchased the Sirui carbon fiber tripod. I do not use the manfrotto anymore. The Sirui T1205 is strong for DSLR even with a big lens; once folded it is light and small, and it is one of the cheapest carbon fiber tripod. I've used the Sirui a lot and it has no signs of wear.

02-19-2015, 12:56 AM   #9
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I've got a shorter version of this...
Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT 3-Section Carbon Fiber ALTA PRO 283CT

Similarly spec'd as your Manfrotto, except it's carbon fiber, and unlike the Manfrotto, the articulating center column can be stopped at more than just two angles. The Manfrotto only does completely vertical or completely horizontal. Look into the Alta Pro series. They all have the multi-angle feature. Because of this feature, it can go lower than the Manfrotto. The arm makes it really great for macro shooting.
02-19-2015, 01:02 AM   #10
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After recently buying a new tripod, my advice is to take your camera down to a shop to try them out. Trying them out changed my buying decision and I ended up paying a bit extra for the one that felt right.
02-19-2015, 02:10 AM   #11
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Why center-column at all?

I do have Gitzo Explorer G2227 tripod, which came with G1276M Off-Center Ball Head 2 QR. This Gitzo set ($$$) was never rigid enough with bigger glass (200/2.8, 300/4.0), and I assumed it was the fault of the head (I'm afraid they sold me the head returned by another customer, but that's another story).
So I removed Gitzo off-ballhead and got Arca Swiss Monoball Z1 on top of the cf legs.
To my surprize earlier this week when shooting K-3 with M42 Sonnar 200/2.8 (there is no lens collar with 200mm Sonnar, so this is heavy demanding rig for your tripod+head set) the set was not rigid enough. When focussing in LV mode, with x10 LCD magnification, when adjusting manual focus with the lens, the target I was focussing on was going out of the K-3 LV LCD viewer So I made an closer inspection assuming the Arca Swiss Ballhead was not rigid enough Wrong, there was Gitzo Explorer G2227 tripod not rigid enough. The weak point with Gizto Explorer is the joint between the off-center (you know the French, they do everything off) center column and the legs.
My today's conclusion is that's not worthwile to have adjustable center column, or to have center column at all (98% of the time the you keep center column fully collapsed, so what's an advantage?). And the center column adds weight.
If I was to buy a tripod again, I'd go into plain 3 legs (CF), and solid ball-head (like Arca Swiss Ballhead which is concrete-rigid) on top of the legs, just it.

-----
QuoteOriginally posted by Woodepic Quote
Any suggestions on tripods?
02-19-2015, 02:59 AM   #12
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Have a look at sirui tripods

I am quite happy with the T1205X, a very compact and low weight carbon tripod out of their traveller series. It is remarkably small and of light weight and comes with a stabilization hook on the centre column. Goes down to about 130mm and extends to about 1300mm.
If that is not high enough for you, and since you donīt care about weight, have a look at their other series (either aluminium or carbon). After all the T series stands for traveller, so it is build more for light weight rather then sturdiness, so that using the hook to hang a backpack on is of advantage, especially if the centre column is extended. They also have a wide selection of ballheads and video heads. And above all, the price is very attractive.
02-19-2015, 05:31 AM   #13
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I've been through a number of tripods ranging from aluminium tripods from the seventies to modern carbon fiber tripods. What I can say is that once setup you can't really notice differences between aluminium, wood or carbon fiber tripods unless you are doing specialty shots where vibrations etc may need to be accounted for. The main difference is the way to the setup or how you plan to set it up. if you have a few miles to hike (or travel in any other way) the wooden tripod loses. They are generally heavy and not compact at all, Aluminium is acceptable when it comes to weight and compact, that means that carbon fiber wins thanks to the lowest weight. If you generally have it at home, wooden wins hands down, they are very pretty, aluminium and carbon fiber both look like cheap crap compared to the wooden ones.

I would recommend either aluminium or carbon fiber, as they are more versatile. At the moment I have two carbon fiber tripods and one aluminium monopod. I have a sirui, it is very compact and I use that when I travel by flight since it will fit in the carry on. But it is a bit too low for me to use every day, and lacks center column. For most of my photography I have a Manfrotto 190xcpro4. It covers my needs quite well and yours too it seems


-Tall (165 cm ish)
Max height (with center column) 6'3". I very seldom need to use the center column, I am 182cm tall and the eyepiece is in correct height with center column down. (also notice that the ballhead normally adds around 7-8cm)
-Sturdy (Able to mount 70-200 2.8, and pan in video without trouble)
I've used it with alot heavier lenses than that without any problems.
-Able to go really low (I like the ones that the legs can basically go flat)
minimum height 4" - fully collapsable legs and center column.
-Hook to hang backpack (For added stability)
there is a hook to hang stuff on, it is not on the center column though since that can be moved.
-Price under $400 US. (Legs only)
right now there is a $40 mail in rebate. So the price from B&H is $389, just in your budget.
-Interchangeable heads (of course)
duh
-I don't mind weight
Then you have less to not care about with this since it is carbon fiber.

Edit:

Never, ever(!) buy a tripod where you need to extend the center column on a regular basis. it is great to have for those odd situations but stability decreases very quick once you use it. If you are as tall as me ~180cm look for something atleast 130cm high with center column down (130 + 8 + 10~15cm would be the eye height, with ballhead and camera)

Last edited by discharged; 02-19-2015 at 05:48 AM.
02-19-2015, 07:13 AM   #14
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The MT055XPRO is a good tripod, but I wouldn't call it a "travel-tripod" unless you travel with a production-assistant who carries it for you. I wouldn't try to go anywhere with it strapped to a backpack.

For hiking, the Sirui and MeFoto travel-tripods are a good size.
02-19-2015, 07:31 AM   #15
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Prakticant Quote
I do have Gitzo Explorer G2227 tripod, which came with G1276M Off-Center Ball Head 2 QR. This Gitzo set ($$$) was never rigid enough with bigger glass (200/2.8, 300/4.0), and I assumed it was the fault of the head (I'm afraid they sold me the head returned by another customer, but that's another story).
So I removed Gitzo off-ballhead and got Arca Swiss Monoball Z1 on top of the cf legs.
To my surprize earlier this week when shooting K-3 with M42 Sonnar 200/2.8 (there is no lens collar with 200mm Sonnar, so this is heavy demanding rig for your tripod+head set) the set was not rigid enough. When focussing in LV mode, with x10 LCD magnification, when adjusting manual focus with the lens, the target I was focussing on was going out of the K-3 LV LCD viewer So I made an closer inspection assuming the Arca Swiss Ballhead was not rigid enough Wrong, there was Gitzo Explorer G2227 tripod not rigid enough. The weak point with Gizto Explorer is the joint between the off-center (you know the French, they do everything off) center column and the legs.
My today's conclusion is that's not worthwile to have adjustable center column, or to have center column at all (98% of the time the you keep center column fully collapsed, so what's an advantage?). And the center column adds weight.
If I was to buy a tripod again, I'd go into plain 3 legs (CF), and solid ball-head (like Arca Swiss Ballhead which is concrete-rigid) on top of the legs, just it.

-----
Yeah, I agree with you. do you have any you would suggest? I also like not having a center column, because then I can go lower.
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