Well its been four days since I took delivery of my new tripod and it hasn't stopped raining once, until today.
I gathered as much advice as I could on the various models but it was at Cameralabs that I found the best advice. Gordon & Thomas offered sound advice, so much so that although they both recommended different tripods and heads I could only really decide on price, that being my only constraint. So Gordon's suggestion of the Manfrotto 190 & 460MG head got the nod.
My first impressions of the kit were good. The legs and head came together with ease and support seemed solid. I had some worries that the combination might not be very stable with my Nikon D80, Battery pack & 18-135mm lens but it's simply not an issue.
The legs are very sturdy and the centre column in particular is very clever. Just pull it vertically and tilt, perfect for macro work. Unfortunately my lens is lousy for macro work and the format doesn't particularly interest me anyway. Still, nice to know that if I ever do get the money together to buy a decent macro lens I'll at least not have to consider a new tripod.
When I ordered the equipment I was aware the legs had a built-in spirit level but it was with some relief that I discovered on delivery that the head also had a built-in spirit level. Very handy.
That's about all I can really tell anyone about this combination after only one day in the field.
What I really like about using a tripod is the way the whole process slows down. I'm far less inclined to take "snaps" and so consequently my "hit ratio" is way better. I think far better when using a tripod. Of course, I only really shoot landscapes and so time is not really an issue to me. Your mileage may vary.
Here's a few shots I took round and about the property today. I'm lucky enough to live in what I consider a beautiful part of my country and so all these locations are within easy walking distance. Although I said earlier it was dry today I'm sad to say there was a strong north wind also. Damn cold! I'm sure someone said it was summer too, lol.
Anyway, let me know what you guys think of these photos.
All shot at f22 (for experimental purposes - all of this equpment is relatively new to me).
All processed in Capture NX & ACDSee Pro.
PS - A Mars Bar to the first person to spot the glaring mistake in one of them.
PPS - I haven't included any pics of the actual tripod. Google is your friend.
Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head