Tripod and Ballhead Recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Binford, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Binford macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Hello. I am in the market in getting a new tripod and ballhead.

    For tripods, I have narrowed it down to the Feisol 3402N and 3441 (I'm trying to go light/small but still steady for travel), but I'm open to any other suggestions. Also, has anyone here had experiences with these two tripods by any chance? (The Gitzo Traveler/Mountaineers are slightly too expensive for me).

    For ballheads, I'm considering buying a used Markins M10, Kirk BH-3 (my 'favorite' so far), or Really right stuff BH-55. Are there any particular advantages/disadvantages between these?

    I'm also considering just purchasing a new Benro KS series ballhead, which are supposedly almost as good for alot less. Or would it be a better investment to get a higher end ballhead used?

    Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. Fini macrumors newbie

    Fini

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Marysville, CA
    #2
    Hold out for the Gitzo. The best weapon..I mean tripod out there.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    Why do you want a ball head? They are good for some uses but very frustrating to use in other case. If your work does not require a ball head stay away from them. and put the money into the tripod legs.

    Ballheads are good for tracking moving objects because you get free movment untill you lock thehead just before snapping the shot. Basically they are specialized for shooting wildlife. Anything else is bet done with a three axis head.

    Good ball heads are expensive due to the machining required. They need to to very exct so they have even fricion and don't skip or bind as you move. The larger diameter heads are best
     
  4. Binford thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    Come to think fo it, what you say makes alot of sense (obviously i haven't thought or know much about tripods/heads since I handhold alot of my shots). Are there any heads you would recommend?
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    Your choices are good- reasonable quality at a minimal price. I'd just add that if you plan to shoot in sand, mud or other hostile environments, the Acratech head is significantly easier to clean than the Markins, Kirk, RRS or Benro heads.I'd get a new head though- you never know how a used one has been treated. I think they're pretty close unless you're shooting with a 400/2.8 or larger f/4 lens, then you'll want to pay attention to weight recommendations and choose the biggest while you're saving up for a Wimberly :)
     
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #6
    Actually, most wildlife shooters that I know use a Wimberley or other gimbal head for shooting animals and birds in the wild with long lenses. They use their ballheads for other purposes.
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    I resemble that remark. :)
     
  8. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    USofA
    #8
    Gitzo tripods. I have a G2227 explorer... great tripod that gives tons of flexibility and is still light enough to carry everywhere. I have a regular Manfrotto 488RC4 ball head. My other choice would have been a RRS model, but I figured I didn't use the ball head enough to warrant the extra cost.
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
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    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #9
    :D :D :D

    Wimberley and RRS BH-55 on Gitzo 1325 RULES!!! :D :D :D
     
  10. Binford thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    thank you for the suggestions everyone.

    In the end I've decided to go with the Feisol 3441 tripod for its light weight and size.

    Now on to ballheads!! The top of my list: Markins M10, Q3, and Kirk BH-3. Any thoughts or other recomendations? The RRS 55 looks really nice, but out of my budget =(

    The heaviest I will be mounting is a 70-200 and D80, and maybe a SB 800 flash.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    Now you are back to ball heads?? After writing "Come to think fo it, what you say makes alot of sense (obviously i haven't thought or know much about tripods/heads since I handhold alot of my shots). Are there any heads you would recommend?" I figured you'd be looking at 3 axis pan/tilt heads.

    No I have no idea what heads ft the Feisol Never seen a Feisol

    If you ask for advice people will only suggest the well known brands that are known to be top of the line. No one wants to recommend something that might not work. Hence the advice to buy either Bogen or Gitzo. Sure there are others but they are not so well known.
    If you ask about ball heads the "standard" advive is to not buy a cheap one/ Acra swiss is the "gold standard" but not cheap. Cheap ball heads do not offer constant friction or fluid motion. The ones wwith the largest diameter balls work best but cost and weigh more.

    good non-ball heads are heap, I have several Bogen heads and will switch them out. I actualy like my "3d head" and use it with the center column inverted some times, very stable with camera between the legs but I use the #47 head mostly. It's huge but huge is good if you are not backpacking. For backpacking I use a tiny little Silk tripod that I would I would not trust in a 5 MPH wind but the who;e thing is under one pound.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #12
    I haven't used one, but out of that list, I'd go with the Kirk just because of the way the company is operated. Everything I've ordered from them has been top-rate.
     

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