Tripod advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sud, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. sud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Seems I need to start using a tripod more often, Most of my photos seem to be blurry when taking shots at f11 indoors without using any form of flash. My lens does not have "is" so need some advice on what tripod would be suite for the type of photography I like.

    1. I like taking of foliage and insects, the tripod need to be fairly solid due to wind and camera weight with lens, I plan on buying the 180mm f3.5 L at some stage and the 70-200 f2.8 is, but thats for another thread another time.

    2. I like taking available light photos, and especially night photography.

    3. Must be light weight and dont want to spend more then Australian $350.00, but can if I must.
     
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #2
    ...for starters, why don't you shoot at a wider aperture?
     
  3. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #3
    I assume you're selecting f/11 because you have DoF constraints? Are you pinned on ISO as well?

    Granted, I use a lot of IS (VR in my camp) glass but I've almost always been able to shoot with indoor available light by making some sacrifices with my focal length and high ISO.

    That's not to say you shouldn't get a pod; They're pretty damn useful. If you do, I recommend solid Bogen/Manfrotto legs with a good ball head. I bought a 3021B set and it's perfect height. Maybe it's a little too heavy to carry around with me, but it's excellent for stationary pod work.

    BTW, I think the 3021B is now called the 055XPROB. So much for easy to remember model names. ;) It run's around $150 - $175 (USD) for the legs alone.
     
  4. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #4
    This is one of the more accurate things that you'll read about photography equipment on the web.

    While I simply didn't have the means to blow some $600 on the equipment that I wanted, after only 2 years of owning my Manfrotto Al legs with the pan/tilt head, I long for the Gitzo mountaineer with the RRS BH-40.

    In your shoes I would save some money up, and buy once.

    And in case you're wondering what to make of the other comments, I have to say that the tripod is the single most important photographic accessory. You can live without an extra flash, or that extra lens or filters. The tripod will allow you to expand your photography beyond any other single piece of equipment.
     
  5. sud thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    I prefer shooting at f11 for close up work, the 17-40 seems to be at its sharpest there. I also prefer 100iso seems to keep the photos nice and clean at those settings, I have tried at 400 and 800iso handheld and it does look ok but just not as good as at 100iso.

    Looks like I could get the 055XPROB for about $290.00 from Cameras Direct, but I'll need a head still, any suggestions?
     
  6. sud thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    Eeek, looked at the Gitzo tripods with the RRS BH-40 ball head, nice! I think after reading your link Lovesong I might wait a little longer and get the right stuff.
     
  7. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #7
    I've got similar gear. That puts us at stage 5 of 8 in that article's sequence. Arrgh.
     
  8. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #8
    Actually I read his article very carefully before I got anything. I ended up getting the Manfrotto 3021N legs, which he recommended as a decent price/weight ratio tripod, which can be used later on as something you keep in your trunk. I'll probably keep it to attach an off-camera strobe if anything.
     
  9. JSF macrumors member

    JSF

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Edmond, OK
    #9
    You might want to check out the Feisol line up. The Feisol 3342 is great and sells for $299 U.S., the 3372 is the top of the line and it is rock steady. If you want light then you need to go carbon fiber. Its going to be more expensive but you will be pleased in the end. The link Lovesong gave you is great and it is 100% true. Manfrotto is good but I have had better luck with Feisol. If you want light weight that is sturdy in the wind you are going to have to spend more money. There is no such thing as a sturdy, lightweight, inexpensive tripod. Ballheads are the best. My favorite is the Markins M-10. The RRS BH 40 is great, I just prefer the Markins. It has better sweet spot and is silky smooth. You can't go wrong with either. They are over $300 U.S. though. You would be better off saving and buying the right equipment the first time.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    I think your budget is about right. You can get a quality tripod for that. The basic aluminium
    Bogen/Manfrotto tripods are I think give the most strength per dollar spent and they will last a lifetime. If you are not shooting wildlife then you can use a pan/tilt head and save a ton of cash. (There are no good, cheap ball heads.)

    Just look at the Manfrotto catalog or web site. their weight ratings are on conservative.

    I have both a large pan tilt head and also that goffy looking "3D" head. The 3D head is inexpensive and works well for macro work allowing right side up camera with reversed center column. This is very, very stable as the camer is between the legs -- good fr wild flowers and insects
     
  11. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #11
    Yes, a tripod is a great promotor of good photographic practise: any aperture, any shutter speed, low ISO, etc. You'll get lots of different recommendations (there are a lot of models out there...), but, IMO, the best tripod is the one you actually take with you. For a landscape photographer like me, that's something very lightweight that folds up small enough to strap to a camera bag.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #12
    For lots of modern dSLRs, f/11 is where diffraction starts to affect sharpness. Besides support, you should see if you get better results at f/8- besides a stop of shutter speed, you should be within the diffraction limits of most sensors.
     
  13. sud thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    Thanks for all the excellent advice! I have decided to go way over my budget and get the Gitzo GT-3530 Mountaineer 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs, The Markins M10 ball head with the P50D camera plate.

    I have read so many reviews on all the products and this combo seems to be about what I am looking for, so much for the $350, will have to put the 180mm 3.5 off for a bit.

    Once I find where to buy then in Brisbane, look out for some great photos.
     
  14. sud thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
  15. JSF macrumors member

    JSF

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Edmond, OK
    #15
    Congratulations Sud, I think you will be very happy with your choice. The 3 series Gitzo is very solid and will last a life time. The Markins M-10 is great as well. Set the friction knob and find the sweet spot and you will have no creep at all, very important with macro. The great thing about this ballhead is once you find the sweet spot you can move the camera around with out adjusting the friction.
     

Share This Page