Manfrotto tripod recommendation?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Abstract, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'm quite settled on a Manfrotto tripod because of the number of people who say their products are great, but with the large number of choices that all seem so similar to me, I thought I'd ask for advice here.

    I want a tripod that will hold my camera steady. :) However, I don't really know what else to look for because I don't know enough about tripods. I know I want to be able to take very low level shots near the ground using my Nikon D50 since that would offer a weird perspective that I would always drool over if the tripod I bought didn't have the option.

    efoto said in one tripod thread that the Manfrotto 3021PRO/055PRO has legs that can "spider out" at a very large angle so that the camera gets very low. Sounds good. However, there are other tripods that include a "low angle adapter built into the centre column for ground level shots", but this doesn't sound like the same thing as the legs that spider out. How would a centre column ever allow you to get a low level shot? I can't imagine it.

    Anyway, the 3021PRO sounds a bit much, since it does have the word "PRO" right in the model number, and I'm certainly not "pro." Are there cheaper options with the ability to take low angle shots?

    Lightweight would also be good, but not a necessity. It doesn't have to carry a lot of weight or be able to reach very great heights, since I don't have any massive 600 mm lenses and am not a giant.

    Do I have to buy a "head", or will my digital camera just attach simply to whatever I get? If I need to get a head as well, then what type?
  2. Mr. Jones macrumors member

    Mr. Jones

    Apr 1, 2006
    Twin Cities
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I have the 3221WN and it is a tank.

    Treat yourself to the 322RC2 head if you het one, though. ;)
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    First off don't worry about what this stufff costs so much. A Bogen/Manafrtto tripod will outlast your camera. In 5 to 10 years the D50 be obsolite or broken but the tripod will last a lifetime and you wil by many cameras ad use the same tripod. Also, the heads and legs interchange you cam eventually buy a couple of each. Unless you are backpacking it is impssable to buy a tripod that is to heavy. In fack some profesionals will put bags filed with lead shoot over the legs

    Yes you have to sellect not only the legs but a head to go on top.

    If you want low to the ground you can reverse the center column and either use the camera upside down or use a 2028 or 2025 "3D head" these have enough range to right the camera enven on an inverted column. I prefer this to spreading the legs. I use the normal leg width with the camera looking out between the legs on the 2038 "super 3D head". THis head makes a good second inexpensive head for fiel macro shots.

    If you can try and buy heads that all use the same quick release plate and if you can get a head with a built-in level
  5. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Well I sort of knew that I needed to buy a separate head, but why do they do this? Any basic head will do as long as my camera is being held, although a built-in level is on my list of things I'd like it to include. Otherwise, I don't really care about the processes I need to make changes.....screw and unscrew a piece here and there, or any other sort of system. No preference right now.

    And yeah, I figured that the camera would have to be used upside down on the bottom of the centre column to get ground shots, but this 3D head sounds interesting.

    Since so many tripods have centre columns that would allow for low level shots, I can buy almost ANY Manfrotto set of legs (since they all seem so similar to me anyway), and then maybe buy a 3D head if I want to go that route instead of using the camera held upside down.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You answer your own question. You buy the heads and legs separately so you can mix and match. Use one head on two sets of legs or multiple heads on one set of legs.

    Maybe some day you will want a ball head for wildlife photos with a big tele. These are best for tracking animals, then a quick lock down and shoot, unlock and continue tracking. But the three axis heads are much cheaper and better for making fine adjustments for landscapes and posed portraits And then if you shoot video you'd want an oil-dampted pan head.
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Take a look at the Benbo Trekker (I think that's the name) has the legs which "spider out" and the camera can then get really close to the ground and to the subjects on the ground....
  8. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    I have a Manfrotto 3001PRO with a 322RC2 handgrip ball head. As iGary mentioned, if you can treat yourself to this handy contraption, by all means do so!

  9. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    I don't have a tripod yet, but I am almost as in love with my manfrotto monopod as I am with my MBP. Good choice.
  10. Cooknn macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2003
    Fort Myers, FL
    I love my Manfrotto 3021BPro's. Rock solid - and Made in Italy. I really need to rig something in the trunk of my car so they don't roll around when I drive :eek:
  11. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    If getting the camera low to the ground is a concern, the Manfrotto system you are considering can put the camera on the ground.

    You just take the center column out, put it back into the legs upside down, and your camera will now go as low as you want it to.

    A shutter release helps for these applications.
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    On this head did you know that you change the placement of the camera mount from the side of the grip to the end of the grip?

    There is a Bogen tripod that allows for two heads to be attached, IIRC it is the 3221PRO. The joy with that tripod is that the secondary head mounting point can be removed from the column, and allows a flat mounting point with the legs spread.

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