Discussion in 'Photography' started by SoCalRich, Feb 1, 2009.
I will need a tripod for some shots I have in mind. Which models would you folks recommend?
What camera(s) will be used with it?
What len(es) will be used with it?
What tripod head will be mounted on it?
Will you be carrying it? How far?
What is/are your intended subjects?
How much do you want to spend?
Would you rather have carbon fiber or metal?
Will you be wanting to pack it into luggage?
How tall are you?
Well, that is a start.
OK... Now you have me really thinking about it more.
1. What camera(s) will be used with it?
Right now I have a Panasonic TZ5, Panasonic FZ28 possibley might get a Canon SX10IS. In the not to distant feature I will be shooting a DSLR like a Nikon D90 or equivalent.
2. What len(es) will be used with it?
UltraZoom, 18-55, 55-200
3. What tripod head will be mounted on it?
I have only used a swivel tilt head in the past. Never a ball head.
4. Will you be carrying it? How far?
Over my shoulder or a back pack.
5. What is/are your intended subjects?
Nature, landscape, people, motorcycles, night skies, moving traffic streaking lights and anything that strikes my fancy.
6. How much do you want to spend?
That's a good question. Obviously I don't want to spend more then I have to but I don't want to buy junk either. I'm ok up to $100 or so.
7. Would you rather have carbon fiber or metal?
I don't know. It needs to be sturdy and last awhile. I think metal or aluminum.
8. Will you be wanting to pack it into luggage?
Not at this time.
9. How tall are you?
Thanks for any advice...
All fairly light; not massive cameras.
Also not massive.
Based on one of your later responses (#5) you might want to consider a monopod or a ball head.
At 5' 11" neither should really be an issue.
The action shots would tend to point towards a monopod, but the slow shutter speed/low light shots more towards a tripod.
Is this your first tripod? I only ask because a really good tripod and head is going to cost some money. I actually have several tripods. One, a Slik 800G-FL, is great for use with smaller P&S cameras and just carrying around. A Gitzo with a ballhead will cost your several times that. There's nothing wrong with having more than one or with trying one to see what you like and do not like.
If you are unsure, go with metal. It will be less of an investment and you will be able to decide what you like and dislike with far less buyer's remorse.
3-section tripods tend to collapse to a longer length than 4-section tripods, so 4-sections pack easier. I prefer 3-sections for stability and less places to fuss with.
I prefer not having a center column. At my height it does make me bend a bit. Still, at 5' 11" I'll go out on a limb here and say you will probably want a center column.
If you have any stores where you can see and try them near you I strongly advise you do so. Gitzo are the best in my book. Still, in addition to a Gitzo (GT-3530S), I have a trio of Bogens (3221, 3036, 3443), a Benbo (7), and the Slik (800G-FL). And a Bogen Monopod (3218). A tripod that transfers vibration or is not stable/rigid is worse than none. And what is actually even worse is a tripod that you do not use because it is too much bother. A tripod needs to be a natural extension of how your take pictures. And yes, the head does make a difference, too. On the tripods I use the Arca-Swiss aspherical ballheads models B1 and B1G. On the monopod I use a Bogen 3232 swivel tilt head and RRS B2-PRO w/FTR. Since getting the Gitzo the other tripods see little use.
Thanks... That is a lot of information and some good direction. I will be checking those out.
Thanks again for your expertise.
If you find you later have some more specific questions, post back.
Look at the Bogen 190XPROB and 804RC2 head. It's not cheap (a bit over $200), but it's very solid and flexible. I bought mine as a package from Adorama. I probably spent $150 on cheap tripods, but never again. This particular unit has the ability to put the extension horizontal. The legs also adjust to various angles independently. It took awhile to get used to it, but I really like it now.
Ok thanks... I'll check it out...
Well I finally decided on the Bogen 458B Neotc tripod and the 322RC2 Grip Action Tripod Ball Head. I have a friend with the 458B and he showed me how easy it was to simply pull the legs out and they automatically lock for setup and then push a button to adjust or retract the legs. It was super slick!!! I was sold!!!! It ain't cheap but the way I shoot I'm always fiddling with height adjustment or setup and breakdown. The horizontal boom setup also makes macro shots so much easier.
The 322RC2 ball head can be configured as a joy stick as well. Pull the lever and move it anywhere you want, release and it's rock solid.
I also picked up a 785B with a ball head for the wife. Great little unit but creeped a little when I was zoomed in on my telephoto. Didn't like the weight that far off the axis.
When I registered the 785B with Bogen online they extended the warranty an additional 3 years. That pretty good in my book. I will register my 458B after I pick it up on Monday.
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