Tripod for digital SLR with long lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bousozoku, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
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    #1
    Any thoughts on a better than average tripod for a digital SLR and long lenses as far as brands go? I'm considering spending no more than $200, which seems a lot but considering that I expect it to last 15 years, that's not so much. I'm definitely not looking to drop into the local Ritz Camera and pick up a Quantaray tripod, so please think accordingly. :)

    Bogen Manfrotto seem to have a lot in that price range. Slik was once a good brand but I don't know of their recent reputation.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
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    #2
    Bogen 055WB

    Sherman Tank of tripods.

    Heavy, though - get the arm strap or bag, too.

    I like the 322RC2 to go with.

    Works great with my 100-400L
     
  3. macrumors 68030

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    #3
    I was/am looking at getting these legs. What I really liked about them is the robust feel and the fact that it can go nearly flat to the ground (buttons on top of each leg allow it to star-fish out nearly flat). The lift arm thingy :p can also be moved from a vertical slide to a horizontal slide for the times when that may be necessary.

    I planned on pairing that with this head (although this head is also of interest to some, similar idea but joystick instead of handgrip), but I personally prefer and hear better things about the first "pistol" style grip.

    I was also looking at this leg for a monopod for sports related stuff, using the same 322RC2 head above.

    Maybe some of that helps, I hope :eek:
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #4
    I have them - they (are built like a) ROCK! I love my Manfrotto 3021BPro Tripod legs. Made in Italy :D
     
  5. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    Maybe, I should drive to the southwest of the state and check out your legs. :p :D

    Thanks to each of you. It's not been easy to figure out which one I need/want. I have enough gear in my backpack so far with camera and computer and adding the tripod won't make my load any easier but oh well. I've seen some of the latest bits and pieces and they all seem so lightweight with all the carbon fibre but it's somewhat brittle, from what I know. I really don't feel like making choices twice, although I'm sure I could if I bought one from Ritz or even, Wal-Mart. :D
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #6
    LMAO :D
    Crap I never even noticed that :eek: Oh, man I can think of some cool stuff to shoot now. Get that baby way down to the ground right in front of some plant life and set the aperture as high (small) as it will go to get some sweet depth of field. I envision a shot at sunset looking over the bridge that crosses the river here in town. Set the shutter speed slow enough to get a stream of light from the cars crossing the bridge. Ahhh! I need more time!!!
     
  7. macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
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    #7
    Bogen/Manfrotto stuff is, typically, built extremely well and is very durable...though it tends to be heavy. If you don't mind lugging it around, a tripod from them will give you years of service, and it takes a lot to beat them up too. (I've trekked them through the woods and set them up in rivers before...a little WD40 to keep the legs extending smoothly and you can't tell. :D )
     
  8. macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Haha, glad to have helped out. Throwing that support arm (middle piece....wtf is this called!?) sideways and dropping the pod way WAY down allows some pretty sweet setups. I really liked that tripod because of a robust feel and the abilities it has to drop down....I can see some really cool stuff coming from that :)

    If you end up taking any of those shots with this newfound knowledge, post them up, I'd love to see them.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
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    #9
    I still haven't found the perfect spot to get the shot I dreamed of above, but last night I stumbled upon a 360° Pano of Quai Bir-Hakeim & the Eiffel tower by Eric Rougier. It's almost exactly what I was thinking of. The colors are beautiful :p Be sure to chek out the fullscreen Quicktime version if you have the bandwidth!
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Greenville, SC
    #10
    If you don't want to spend too much and still get a relatively nice tripod, check out amvona.com auctions on ebay. I have the AT-828 and think it's quite nice. It has a pistol grip ball-head and is very very sturdy. I'm sure there's some reason other tripods cost $300 but I don't know it. I got mine for about $66 shipped.
     
  11. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #11
    I have the bogen 3021 legs and a couple different heads. I have a bogen mono as well.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Emerson

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    #12
    Recently bought a Gitzo 1340

    I bought the tripod for height and sturdiness (spelling?). I can fully say that it is one heck of a tripod and will last a lifetime. Alot of people will say that it is too heavy, but I simply couldn't justify the carbon fiber 1325. I am young and can deal with a little extra weight, and little more cash in my pocket.

    I know it is more than you were thinking of spending, but I would really look into Gitzo they have a very good reputation, and are widely used by professionals. I use mine with a Kirk BH-3 Ballhead

    Gitzo 1340

    Also here is a useful link about buying tripods.

    Tripods
     
  13. macrumors G4

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    #13
    Without doubt, the Giottos tripods are the best you can get i terms of "ridgidity per pound" but I wanted "best for the money" and went with Bogen. Both brands are "pro quality" and will last forever, literally.


    I have a Bogen 3221 legs. It works well for an SRL and big lens. I used it with my Medium format system too before I sold it. It comes with a reverseable column and you can use it to hold the camera upside down for macro shots of small wild flowers and what not. It cam be tied to the outside of a backpack too. It should last a lifetime. Mine is 18 years old and as good as new.

    My #3047 head may be overkill but the two built in levels and the QR plate are usfull. It will hold any Nikon lens. I used it for a while with a Mamiya RB67 camera.

    I also have a 3025 head that I like. I looks wierd but is the best head for field macro photos. and is strong enough for a DSLR and moderate lens.

    About monopods. don't get thos little legs that attach to the bottom. You will step on them an trip. The porpose of the monopod is just to take the weight off the arms (or the hold a video camera way up over a crowd, aim the LCD downward and look upward.) I have the 3216 monopod

    It's best to overbuy. You will be happy that you did even after your camera system has been traded out twice.

    One more thing. Buy spare QR plates.
     
  14. macrumors G4

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    #14
    Even better reverse the center column so the head is upside down and between the legs, then spred the legs and the camera can actually touch the ground. Bring a hand trowel and you can get below ground level and shoot a bug at eye level.
    A 90 degree angle finder attachment is usfull. My Bogen 3221 allows each leg to be at three possitions (4 if you count "closed")

    With the 3028 head there is enough range of adjustment tha the camera can be rightside up even when using the reversed colum trick
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #15
    Another vote for the Bogen 3021 Pro legs. Love mine.
     
  16. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    Well, i'm certainly glad for the opinions and experiences. I'm planning a trip so I'm seriously considering that and a ring flash...after I sell my house.
     
  17. -hh
    macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    #17
    I'm going through a similar dilemma for awhile (upcoming summer trip with a fly-in camp that dictates a 33lb total baggage (clothing + camera) weight limit of 15kg (33lbs).

    And what doesn't help is that for long telephotos, you find heads such as the Wemberly (click here), which costs more than a half kilobuck even before you add a QR and legs, or make any weight considerations.


    I think the general problem is that if we're trying to travel really light and taking the general approach that "a bad tripod is better than no tripod", then the ~3lb aluminum cheapies available for under $30 become a consideration, since at that price point, it can be considered to be a disposable item.


    -hh
     
  18. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #18
    I've got a Gitzo "Reporter Performance" which I use most of the time for my DSLR and an old Bogen 3221 that is very heavy but still works just fine, too. The latter is good for using with a long, heavy lens. I've also got a Gitzo monopod.
     
  19. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #19
    Well, for the most part, I've never found a need for a tripod. There was always a tree or some other support for long exposures than enabled me to properly get the shot. Yes, I'm lucky.

    I don't know that I will need a tripod more than a couple of times a year. I've found occasional needs but have worked around those needs vigourously. Again, I'm lucky. I just have the feeling that luck isn't everything and I'll be getting back to the computer with a card full of junk one day.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #20
    More often than not, a bad tripod is worse than no tripod. If you really need to travel light, just take a small bean bag. That is, something small that can be deformed so that it will support the camera securely on whatever handy fence or rock is around.

    Alternatively, a monpod is a reasonable step down from a tripod for many types of shooting once you learn how to use it.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #21
    Good Tripod Legs and Head < $200

    I just purchased a set under $200 and am 100% happy with it.

    Legs: ProMaster SystemPro 1 Tripod Legs
    Head: Bogen 3265 Grip Action Ball Head

    This head will hold up to 5.51 lbs. My outfit is the Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-200 VR. This comes to about a pound and a half. Way under my limits. The Legs are great and the head is my favorite... You don't need to spend a bunch of money for a name. Hope this helps.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I'll second the amvona.com recommendation. Just don't buy them from their website. They sell on ebay a heck of a lot cheaper. I had a set of their regular legs and they were rock solid, but just as heavy as one. I traded up for a set of the carbon fiber legs. Well under $100 if you are patient. Pair it up with a nice head (I have a Bogen 3030) and you're all set.

    One thing, they have twist lock legs that take a bit of getting used to.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    SpankyPenzaanz

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #23
    I bought a hakuba graphite tripod for $150 its fantastic and lightweight
     
  24. macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #24
    I'm of the Thom Hogan school of thought on tripods. Sooner or later, you're going to end up with at least $500 of support, it's just a question of if you get there by spending $1500 first.

    For $200, you're looking at either pretty heavy tripods if you want sturdy, or relatively flimsy ones, so I suppose first of all what you mean by "long lenses" is the most important question- a smallish 400 needs significantly less support than a larger 400.
     
  25. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #25
    Well, I've pretty much decided on Bogen - Manfrotto 3021BP legs and 322RC2 quick release head. They're around $250 but it looks like a good combination. I've tried the quick release head in person and like it a lot although it seems a bit heavy duty for me.

    Thanks for the opinions! It does help.
     

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