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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:48 pm 
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Hi everyone, I noticed many of the threads in this section were asking members to recommend a tripod, so I thought I'd start a sticky where everyone can post comments about their own tripod and what they think of it. Then whenever anyone asks for a tripod recommendation, we can simply point them here.

Please keep this thread just for comments on your own tripod - if you have any questions, please start a new thread. Thanks!

I'll start it off!

My main tripod for testing cameras and lenses is a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3. This tripod is tall, sturdy but very light due to its carbon fibre construction. I chose it over the 190 version as I needed it to reach eye-height without extending the centre column. I chose it over the 055 aluminium version because it's much lighter and I often need to carry it around town while testing.

I use this with a 701HDV fluid head because it's more stable than a three-axis head, while also allowing smooth pans when testing video.

The 055CXPRO3 and head are transported in a Manfrotto MBAG80PN bag.


My travel tripod is a Gitzo 1541T with a Markins Q3T ball head. It's an expensive combination, but if you want stability in a small and light package, it's hard to beat. You can read more about it in my Photographing Alaskan Bears article.


My backup tripod for general use is my 15 year old Manfrotto 190 with 460MG magnesium head. The latter head also finds itself on my 055CXPRO3 when the fluid head isn't required. Fitted with that head, it's surprisingly light considering its size and stability.


I also use a selection of Gorillapods. I've started using the Gorillapod Focus as a cheap filming rig! See this thread.

Gordon


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Hi folks,

My own choice was a Gitzo GT1541T Tripod plus an Arca-Swiss Z1 DP Ballhead. You can read my user review here.

The combination easily fits inside a modestly sized suitcase without disassembly as well as on the backpack and, when used with a camera fitted with a cable release, is stiff enough for my landscape needs.

Not cheap, unfortunately, but I don't expect to make another such purchase for a very long time.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:21 pm 
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I have the Manfrotto 190DB. It feels sturdy as it is basically a lot of metal. You can't call it lightweight. Each leg is 3 segment, and you can extend them with two rotating locks. This is slower and more fiddly than the clip style locks on others. At the top is a mechanism which can hold the legs at different fixed angles. The central column can be raised as Gordon said. You do need an additional head to use it. Overall it is a starter level Manfrotto. Cheap, heavy, sturdy are the three words I'd choose to describe it.

The head I chose is Manfrotto 390RC2. This is a typical tilt/pan head. The top section can be rotated between landscape and portrait orientation. As the name suggests, it uses their RC2 mounting plate so you can interchange with others in the range easily. The tilt pan action is ok, but if using longer focal lengths (1000mm+) you will notice a shift on locking. Also I find getting the landscape/portrait adjust rather fiddly to get straight.

On a cheap tripod as may be used when starting out, I also have used a Cobra Eclipse 300 a lot. It is fairly lightweight but sturdy enough. It has 3 section aluminium legs which can be set to a range of custom angles equally as they're link to each other and can be locked. This does have a central column winch, and the head is built in (non removable) tilt-pan type also with their own quick release plastic plate. This is great on one big condition - the head can't hold heavy weights. It will creep however much you tighten it if you go too heavy. I'm not sure exactly where the limit is, but certainly a DSLR with kit zoom is fine. A 4 inch scope is not fine.

And finally, there's a Velbon CX mini tripod. This is a small tripod for when you either want to go short or perhaps tabletop work. The overall construction is very similar in principle to the Cobra above, but smaller and again without winch. While the legs are aluminium, they are quite thin and most other parts are plastic, so with a DSLR on it there is a bit more flex in it than I'd like. I find it handy for holding a remote flash unit.

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3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:27 am 
Induro Adventure kit AB0 - Great value, but a bit too short,

This tripod is compact, well built and amazingly light (2.7 lbs / 1.2 kg) compare to regular tripod. The built-quality is very good, it is better than average $50 tripod.

It is also simple to set-up. It has most of the features beginner need such as built-in bubble level which is helpful to straighten up the horizon and a quick release ball head. At first, it is quite hard to plug quick release head in, but after a while, it is easier. It also comes with quality carrying case.

Before you buy this lens, make sure that you check the max height and capacity and maximum capacity of the tripod. It is 56.9 in (1445 mm) with center column fully extended, and the maximum capacity is 10.3 lbs (4.7 kg) which is okay for digital SLR camera with average zoom lens.

The tripod is compatible with other INDURO ballheads and panheads.

I highly recommend this kit for adventure/travel photographer who likes to travel light. If you need a taller tripod, look as AB1 and AB2 model as well.


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 Post subject: Tripod
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:32 am 
I use a very heavy Bogen 3051 tripod with a Bogen 3047 head. I got it to copy slides with a Nikon PB-5 Bellows and a Nikon PS-5 Slide Copy Attachment. It's a very steady set up, but I wouldn't want to take it very far from the car.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:42 am 
Tiffen makes my tripod. Vista Attaras Grounder Tripod with FZ-10 3 Way Head.

It is the best cheapest tripod I could find, after some researching. I am like that. I find the best of the cheapest. Usually win that way. Get a pretty good quality Item and don't spend an arm and a leg.

p.s. nice post Gordo!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:41 pm 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vista-Attaras-W ... 395&sr=8-2

Havent really seen this brand mentioned before but took a punt. Really happy with it, seems quite solid first impression wise, havent used it real world but cant see there being any problems!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:06 pm 
I bought a Cullmann 52013 tripod.

I just wanted a tripod and I came across this one for a bargain price so I bought it. What appealed to me most is the fact that it's very light (0.7Kg) and very easy to take with you because when folded it's less then 45Cm tall. Despite it's small carrying size it still reaches a height of about 1.4 meters, wich is good enough for me. Combined with the carryingbag I thought it was a good choice.

Now working with it I can say there are a few points to consider. It takes a while to unfold it, it doesn't have quick couplings or anything, you have to loosen and tighten every part of every leg individually. And it doesn't have a levelglass on it.

Other then that, it has some good features like a quick release for the camera (to mount and unmount it) and you can swivel or tilt it any way you like. And of course the fact that it's very light and easy to take with you.

I would like to recommend it for the enthousiast with a small budget who wants a light but sturdy tripod, and doesn't want to break the bank for an expensive carbon fiber unit.


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 Post subject: Tripod
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:34 pm 
I just received the Induro AKB2 adventure series tripod. I am very impressed be how well built/sturdy it is. I am 6'2 and this tripod fits me no problem. It also came with a FREE carrying case with strap. (All for under $200) It came with a ball head as part as part of the kit- works great for my use. I dont see a need as of yet to spend the extra $ to upgrade to a more lux head. We will see how long that lasts :)

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Gear: Canon 50D; Canon 70-300 IS USM; Canon 28-135 IS USM; Induro


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:59 am 
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I bought a Gitzo Basalt GT1932 & Manfrotto 488RC2... Well Gitzo is not cheap at all, but the G-Lock system is just wonderful. Gitzo tripods is sort of unbeatable in quality and design.

well the tripod is great... but the ball head is quite heavy to be small.

Anyway Im planning to buy a Gitzo Mountaineer GT3541LS and a Wimberly Version 2 head, I recommend it for big teles.... well my GT1932 does a good job on the smaller lens though. The 300mm 2,8 requires a more sturdy tripod.

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Wishlist: Leica M 240, Summilux 50 ASPH, Summilux 24 ASPH


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Manfrotto 058B. I bought the first one of these as it is big, heavy, generally massive, and very stable, to hold a 6" refractor and its equatorial mount!! However, this is such a great tripod (I recently gave the refractor away as it was in the loft not being used) that I bought another 4 (so 5 in total) to carry the 3 high speed flash units, my Canon cameras and the Sony NEX-VG10 video camera (with Manfrotto fluid head).
Greg

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:45 pm 
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I just upgraded to the Gitzo GT 3530LS and the Wimberley head 2.. why? ... Its probably one of the best combos out there for wildlife photography and can take a beating. Its relatively light yet stable and can support a lot of wieght without any issues.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 7:59 am 
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Location: Kendal UK
I've gone through Gordon's reports plus the various comments in the forum and I have just ordered Gordon's combination of Manfrotto 055cxpro and the 460mg head - via the cameralabs site of course. I did think long and hard about the 190 cxpro. However the tutor on my landscape course a couple of weeks ago allowed me to use his aluminium version of the 055 and then I found a shop that had the 190 aluminium version, so I was able to compare. In the end I went for the taller of the two because I can shorten it but I can't add to the other. I also went for the lighter option because going out for landscapes normally demands a degree of lugging!

Delivery should be in two days and I'm looking forward to playing with the new kit.


Last edited by warth man on Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Location: Kendal UK
Amazon excelled and the kit arrived today, just 24 hours after I ordered it.

Looks and feels pretty good. One of the early things I noted is that there actually is a hook on the tripod from which to hang a weight if needed. I had not appreciated this from the reviews/comments. It is up where the legs join and not at the base of the centre column. [/b]


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:44 am 
Gitzo GT 3530LS with Markins M20 ballhead and RRS QR clamp, had it a while now and it works great. If I were buying again I'd probably get the RRS Versa 34. http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc ... type=4&eq=


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