Tripod advice...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by miloblithe, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    ... for someone who wants to use the tripod for a video camera (Canon Elura) and mostly indoors with a still camera (Canon XTi). I want to get something good, sturdy, and fluid. I like the idea of ball heads, but they seem to make more sense for still cameras and little sense for video. I can't afford that much right now, but I like the idea of getting nicer equipment that I can grow with, like by getting a new head as my needs change/grow. I've really never used a tripod before, and I've been very unimpressed with the ones at my local Ritz. (They seemed a bit like crap.)

    I don't think I could really justify going above $200 at this point. What do the wise ones think of something like this?

    http://www.adorama.com/BG3199N.html
     
  2. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #2
    Take a look at tripods from Bogen-Manfroto and Gitzo. I have the Bogen 3021 Pro legs with a Bogen ball head (can't remember the model number). The ball head is great for photography but I'd imagine it wouldn't fair well with video.

    The legs are a little heavy (carbon legs are lighter but cost a lot more) but it's really stable and feels like it should last forever. I think all told I spent around $250 on my tripod and head... it seemed like a lot at the time but so far it's been the single best equipment investment I've made.

    Do you have a local camera shop? I don't mean ritz or wolf but rather the shop where all the pros go. That's where I got mine and the staff was able to point me to just what I was looking for.
     
  3. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #3
    I second the Bogen Manfrotto. I picked the 3021 legs with a pan/tilt head for just over $200, and they are great. You could probably pick up a set of 3011 legs and a decent head for about $160 from either Adorama or B&H.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    Did you guys even click the link before responding? The tripod in the link is a Manfrotto. :rolleyes:


    The strongest, sturdiest tripod legs to get are also heavy tripods. Do you mind a heavy tripod?

    Secondly, how much weight do you expect your tripod to carry? I don't know much about these particular tripod legs, although I have researched the 3021B, and they seem very nice. They carry 2 lbs more weight, but they weigh around 1.5 lbs more. The extra weight of the tripod wouldn't be much, but may prove to be steadier all-around.

    I'm only mentioning the 3021B because of this combo: http://www.adorama.com/BG3021BPK3.html It's a bit pricier though, at $239, and the head isn't the same as in the first link, but I wonder if it's ok.
     
  5. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #5
    Yeah... I did click on the link. Just because I didn't directly comment on that tripod (I don't know much about that specific model) doesn't mean that I didn't check it out. I did want to let the OP know that Bogen is a good brand though. Notice how you didn't comment on that link either?

    1.5 pounds is a huge difference with a tripod if you plan on carrying it. I know mine is heavy enough that I would never think of carrying it on a hike. If you're just planning on using the tripod in a studio environment (like the majority of my tripod's use) then weight isn't as important.

    I'd really recommend going to a store and trying out the different heads. I was set on a 3-way pan head (like the one in that tripod kit abstract posted) but I found that it was difficult to use. I ended up going with a ball head model 486 RC2... just ran out to the car and checked the model number. Try them out and figure out what you like the best.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Ball heads are bast used (on still cameras) for wildlife so you can easy track them and then lock the camera with just one twist. But good ball heads are very expensive (low tripple digits) and cheap ones are horrible to use and don't have even friction and skip and stick. The three axis head is best suited to indoor studio work or outdoor landscapes. It makes life simpler because you can get the tilt "right" and then pan without messing up the tilt. Studio and landscape photographers tend to care a lot about exact composition and so like the three axis heads. for Wildlife you just want to get the shot and need to work fast. For video you want a very specialized "fluid head" Heads are easy to change and (except for good ball heads) not expensive.

    I like Bogen tripods. Best rigidity per dollar. But look at Gitzo for best rigidity per weight. But as you said "indoors", weight is good. In fact you can make any tripod better if you but some bags filled with lead shot on the legs. Watch the pros when they shoot movies they always have tons (literally?) of those shot bags on the truck.

    For your use, I'd buy the largest bogen legs you can afford and get a 3-axis head. Those heads are cheap so get a head rated at 4x you camers's weight maybe the #047

    I have the Bogen 3221 and #47 head. It is very sturdy, a lighter one would work for your camera but my combo is nicer to use indors. I also have bogen's "3 head" which is ideal for feild macro work you can invert the center column and still have the camera right side up. I like the QR plate on the #47. But think about standardizing on just one QR plate. So plan ahaed.

    Don't worry about the price of the tripod. It will absolutely outlast your camera system. A bogen 3221 will last for generations. My grandkids will use it to make 3D holographic movies or whatever the tech is is 100 years. Tripods don't become obsolete.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    One uses the 3001 legs the other 3021 legs. The 3001 is as light duty as you would want use but a DSLR is a light camera. If you use the IR remote control or the self timmer to trip the shutter a light duty tripod will be good enough. The 3021 is more rigid. I bought my 3221 legs for use with a larger medium format camera (mamiya rb67) and for outdoor macros. Wind is an issue outdoors and the RB67 with a macro lens and an extension tube acts like a sail.
     
  8. miloblithe thread starter macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #8
    Thanks all. I'm pouring over the B&H catalog that have with your advice in mind.

    Man, obsessing about purchases is almost more fun than making them!
     
  9. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #9
    Consider the Slik 700DX tripod. Every bit as good as Bogen legs, but costs a whole lot less.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #10
    I did. I mentioned how I've never taken a very close look at those legs, and how it weights very little and is likely less sturdy than the 3021Bs, which is known as a nice set of legs, even in the Manfrotto range.

    Yeah I know, but to me, a light camera and light tripod means you essentially need to add support on it to sturdy it. It wouldn't be so great in the wind. If he's shooting mainly indoors, but may shoot outdoors sometimes, the extra weight of the 3021B wouldn't be much of an issue since it just goes in and out of a car or something.

    Lightweight tripods are preferred by some, but only if you're mobile all the time.
     
  11. jlcharles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wenonah, NJ
    #11
    I'll go in a completely different direction than everyone else.

    search ebay for user amvona.com

    They sell cheap (price) tripods. I got my carbon fiber legs from them for $66 shipped. They have twist lock legs instead of the usual clamp type.

    You have to be patient though. They throw legs up all the time, so don't go over your max, which should be low.

    Then get two different heads. One for video and one for photo.

    As for wind, hang your camera bag from the hook on the center post or use a bungee cord by putting both hooks on the center column hook and stepping on the loop you made.
     
  12. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #12
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    I agree. I said the 3001 was the lightest he could use for his intenedusage - indoors and that he'd should then want to use the IR remote to trigger the shutter. Personally, I think the other way. For indoor use get the most massive thing they make.

    Bottom line is that it makes little difference which tripod. Using one or not makes a huge difference but which one hardly matters.
     
  14. miloblithe thread starter macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #14
    Well, I finally pulled the trigger today. I went to a Penn Camera and played with the tripods, and liked the 3021B Pro and 804RC2 head. Thanks again for all your advice.

    I'm really happy with it so far, and impressed.
     

Share This Page