Hacking up my new tripod

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Westside guy, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #1
    I (fairly) recently purchased a Manfrotto 190CXPro4 tripod. I really like it, except for one thing - the center column is over a foot long. This means I can't get very low to the ground (the problem I ran into today, when I was trying to shoot some dewdrops on the grass). Unfortunately Bogen tells me there's no "short column" available for this tripod.

    I don't use the center column in the extended position at all. Can anyone think of any reason I shouldn't just take a hacksaw to the (carbon fiber) center column, making my own "short column"?
     
  2. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #2
    That's a tough question. You don't want to hack it up and then find you needed it. But, if you really don't need the centre column then go for it.

    Does Manfrotto sell parts individually? Could you repurchase the centre column one day if need be?
     
  3. polyethyleneguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    can you just take the head off the top of the column and screw it onto the bottom? Then you could get as low as you want. You will be shooting upside down, but you can fix that in post production.
     
  4. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #4
    Technically, the center column is reversible - it's just that, if I reverse the center column, I'm really uncomfortable with the fact that I've got $4000 worth of equipment hanging upside down.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #5
    So your tripod works as described, then? ;)


    If there's no short column available for this particular tripod, would buying a short column for another Manfrotto model allow you to do so? I mean, are the columns the same diameter?
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    You don't use it in the extended position now. But you might later. One prime use for the center column is in any kind of studio work. Portraits or table top product or food photography. You don't use it for the height but for making fine adjustments to height. You typically set the column to mid height the adjust the leg lengths them make fine adjustment using the center column

    Outdoors many times when I need to get very low to the ground I'll reverse the center column and have the camera looking out from between the legs. I can use the "3D Head" to work with a right side up camera or just the conventional head and use the camera upside down. The 3D head is ceap too, about $30 as I remember. Its the ideal feild macro setup.

    You said you don't like the camera upside down but it is more stable that way with the system's center off gravity within the legs it just can't fall over.

    Reversed column, I think works better for what you are trying to do. It is more stable and you can get the camera lower if you want.
     
  7. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #7
    Thanks for all the responses. I wasn't meaning to complain about my tripod - I'm quite pleased with it overall, and would recommend it to other people looking for a CF tripod. It's just a specific use that I hadn't thought much about, given that I didn't own a macro lens until a couple weeks ago.

    You guys all had some good points that I hadn't thought about (especially about how I might want the intact column later, even if I don't use it much now). I can always buy a replacement, but they're not cheap. I will say my concerns (when upside down) aren't about stability - they're about whether I trust the head+plate to hold with a 2 pound camera and a 2 pound lens hanging from them. :D

    I realize it's probably silly that I'm uncomfortable using the reversed column - after all, they wouldn't design something that'd drop my camera, right? But I just couldn't relax with my camera hanging there, upside down... :p The other issue (that may just be due to unfamiliarity with using it that way) is that, upside down, the legs tend to get in the way a bit. The 70-180 macro is a fairly large lens, and setting everything up so the lens isn't against a tripod leg means the viewfinder of my camera is next to a tripod leg. It's a bit awkward. :)

    Abstract, I had been thinking about trying a different Manfrotto short column just to see if it works. But then someone else just pointed me towards this low angle adapter. I didn't know this even existed - I'm going to give it a shot. If I'm not happy with it, I'll try shooting "upside down" a bit to see if I get more comfortable with it - I might have to keep a pillow around to place underneath, though, just in case. :D
     
  8. Fortimir macrumors 6502a

    Fortimir

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #8
    My tripod is relatively cheap (and yes, I understand the value of a GOOD tripod, and i'll get there when i have more money), but it does have the great feature of being able to unscrew the long section of the middle support to get inches off the ground.

    I definitely need to keep that in mind when doing my purchase.
     
  9. mcadam macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    københavn
    #9
    The low angle adaptor seem so cheap you can't afford not to get it. BUT - you could also consider the Gorilla Grip. It's simply genious.


    A
     

Share This Page