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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Near St. Louis
    Posts
    3,528

    Quality Tripods?

    I would like to start a conversational topic on Tripods. Which manufacturers consistantly make the best tripods? What features are important? Where to go to find reviews of good tripods? Are you extremely happy with your tripod, what kind is it, where did you purchase it? Are you extremely dissappointed in your tripod, what kind is it? Any other useful tips or tricks regarding Tripods would be most appreciative.

    TYIA
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,364
    I have a Dyntatran AT-12T with a Manfrotto 488RC4. It holds about 15 pounds without a problem. The tripod is a lil' heavy, but solid as hell. It is more solid than the Bogen 3031 and others like it.

    Gitzo tripods are good, but expensive. Feisol carbon fiber (CF) tripods are cheap and pretty solid. Best of all they are light. A friend has a 3 section one and its pretty damn good. I will get one and keep my AT-12T for studio use.

    Once again I can not say enough about the Feisol CF 3 section tripod. For $180 it is a steal. Did I mention they are super light.
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

    Lots of flashes and Honl gear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    292
    I use a set of legs that Slik sells as an Able 300DX, with a cheap pan-tilt head. I replaced it with their pistol grip ball head. While it is not as "solid" as a real ballhead, I find the ease of use outweighs the very slight difference in stability.

    I like the Slik stuff because it is fairly solid and inexpensive.

    I am with Juan on kudos for the quality of Manfrotto. My lext set of legs will be from these guys, but they are a little more expensive. It will be worth it, because my current legs are a little wobbly when I throw my large format camera on it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    56

    Tripods

    I have a Manfrotto 3001 Pro and it is rock solid. It is a little heavy though. I also have a Manfrottto 322RC2 ballhead which I have found to be much easier to adjust than a pan head. I have also found that when I have my D70 with a Sigma 80-400mm OS mounted on it, if it is windy, I get some movement. However, I do not think that is enough to blur the shot.
    I have not yet learned to bring along a weight to hang from the center of the tripod.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    292
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles C. Weston
    I have a Manfrotto 3001 Pro and it is rock solid. It is a little heavy though. I also have a Manfrottto 322RC2 ballhead which I have found to be much easier to adjust than a pan head. I have also found that when I have my D70 with a Sigma 80-400mm OS mounted on it, if it is windy, I get some movement. However, I do not think that is enough to blur the shot.
    I have not yet learned to bring along a weight to hang from the center of the tripod.
    If the lens has a collar mount that is mated to the tripod, you can also use a beanbag of some sort, layed over the lens at the tripod mount, to damp motion. I have heard stories of this working very well, but I havent tried it yet. Also, using as little elevator as possible keeps the whole arrangement steady. However, with a lot of tripods, this means leaning over a lot!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Some tripods have a handy hook underneath. If you hang your gadget bag under the tripod, assuming that it reaches the ground then that should reduce vibration by adding weight to your tripod. Try attaching to the hook via a bungee strap. Going for more sturdy heads such as the ball and socket variety tends to reduce head instability too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    56
    Thank you Warin and Rys. I will try your ideas next time it is windy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Near St. Louis
    Posts
    3,528
    Yes indeed very good tips everyone! Thanks for taking the time to post them!
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    140
    Thanks TheObiJuan, I'm going to check out that Feisol. Lightweight is exactly what I need.
    "The real world begins right outside our doors --the world of nature, with remarkable beauty and diversity for all of us to discover." Kenn Kaufman

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    90
    Okay, how about the other end of the spectrum: If I'm looking to get my first tripod but not spend a ton, is there anything I should try to avoid? I mean, I don't even know where to start. I could just pick up whatever's on sale at Target, for all I know.

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