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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    824

    I need a tripod, help!

    I'm tripod shopping. First, let me say that it will not be carried too much, so lightweight is not really a concern. It will be used for macro photos, as well as long shutter speed panoramas. Thinking to future equipment I may buy, the max I'll likely put on the tripod is no more than 8 or 9 pounds (less than 4,000 grams). I'd like to keep my budget under $250 if possible, especially since a tripod is not something I use very often.

    I know very little about tripods, so all I've learned is based on the searching and reading That I've done over the past few days. With that in mind, this is what I am currently looking at:

    055XDB Tripod Legs $119.95

    322RC2 Grip Ballhead $109.95

    This comes out to a total of 229.90 via B&H. Will this combo work well, or should I be looking at other heads/legs? Anything else I need that I may be forgetting?

    Thanks for any help!

    -Arturo

    ps. Yes I have read Thom Hogan's essay on tripods (link, and I understand his points, but unfortunately I can't afford to spend $600+ for a tripod right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    901
    I have not personally used the tripod legs you have listed, but I love the 322RC2 grip ballhead you have chosen. With that said, I don't think that it is the best choice for multiple shot panoramas.

    Ray.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    824
    Oops, I meant to say landscape shots, not panoramas. But what about it makes it bad for multiple shot panoramas?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    901
    If you use a tripod head like this, you can rotate the camera in just 1 plane(horizontally, for example). When you disengage the 322RC2 by pressing the grip, you can move the camera in all planes, without being sure that you are just moving it in the plane you want.

    edit: On the other hand, if you want to move in more than 1 plane, it is a lot easier to get the camera in the position you want with the 322RC2 than fiddling around with 3 separate knobs.

    Ray.
    Last edited by Ray Schnoor; 02-04-2009 at 11:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
    Posts
    3,591
    I'll just toss a few thoughts your way...

    Legs: I just looked up the 055XDB real quick and it looks like there's no short center column available. It's nice to be able to get really low. The longer center column can get in the way. I have the 055XWNB which is the same as the 055XB but with retractable spiked feet. These feet are nicer for almost everything except sand. They have a little hole and they let sand and salt water into the legs. I use the regular feet for the beach since they seal the bottom of the leg, but it still isn't great. I think they sell some larger surface area feet that don't sink into the sand so much. I don't know if any of that matters to you.

    I carry this thing around on hikes (up to 8 miles) and it's not too fun. It's fine when you don't have to walk much. It's also nice that it gets close to eye level, but I find a lot of times I have it set up lower than that anyway. If you're tall you may need it's extra height over the 190 series.

    Head: I have the 322RC2 head and it works just fine for me. My gear isn't heavy though. I think Rooz got a different head because he was having some creep problems.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Great White North
    Posts
    1,313
    My only advice would be to not buy sight unseen or from a dealer without a liberal exchange policy. Too many things in the photography game are great on paper...
    The respect of those you respect is greater than the applause of the multitude.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    264
    I recently sold a few lenses and have enough money from them for a decent tripod and maybe a new bag.

    My question is are tripods really that useful? I mean i have a cheap sony tripod at the moment and I have barely used it! I shoot landscape mostly and I guess I would like to do more night photography and start experimenting with ND/NDGRAD filters etc.

    What do you guys think? Has a tripod become a necessity in your photography?
    Nikon D90 | 18-105mm VR | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon 35mm 1.8G | SB-600/900 | Crumpler Backpack & Shoulderbag

    flickr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, CA
    Posts
    3,591
    Quote Originally Posted by craigyc View Post
    My question is are tripods really that useful?
    IMO, it's absolutely necessary for landscapes. I do almost all my shooting around sunrise/sunset, twilight or in the forest on overcast days. If you want to shoot at a low ISO, get a large DOF, shoot after the sun goes down or blur water you need a tripod. I also find it easier when using filters too because it frees up my hands.
    Lukas

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand

    Flickr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    824
    Thanks for the tips, everyone! The creeping problem with the 322rc2 scares me, I don't want to have to replace the head later on since I'm planning on a somewhat heavy upgrade in the near future.

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