Tripod Head

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Artful Dodger, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #1
    Hello,
    After having to wait for a backorder on this tripod: Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs http://www.adorama.com/BG055CXPRO3.html I have been mulling over which head unit to purchase. I use something similar to this unit: Manfrotto 808RC4 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head http://www.adorama.com/BG808RC4.html And this head seems to have what I need.
    Does anyone have any experience with this type of head unit and how does this type hold up for the following; landscape, urban city buildings and when I say nature, I mean from a distance such as non-flying birds (I wouldn't use a tripod when in flight), bears and some other big game animals.
    I currently have a Nikon D50 with 18-200mm lens and the only larger lens I'd add would be the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and a teleconverter 1.4 or 1.7. I would like to add a D300 by summers end so that should give a good idea of a weight issue being placed on the tripod and head unit.
    I'm not against this type of head (the one above) as I've never used any other type such as a ball head, so input from all would be great as I only want to get something that will last, not to heavy on the budget and important but least mentioned in some threads, easy to clean if necessary.
    Thanks to all for your advice in advance :D
     
  2. apthai86 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #2
    I've never used a pan and tilt head before but after using a ball head, i can't imagine using a pan and tilt head.

    A highly recommended one on a Canon forum is the Manfrotto 488RC2

    http://www.adorama.com/BG488RC2.html?searchinfo=488rc2&item_no=2

    It only has two adjustment knobs, one adjust the position of the camera and the other is panning. Makes it really simple to get the camera in certain position than a pan and tilt.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    a bogen/man. head will last a lifetime. Their weight ratings are pretty much spot on. So it is over sized for a Nikon SLR system. That's good. Even if you buy a ball head later you will want something like this. But a good ball head is about triple the price. I have a 3D head too. Eventually yuou will own several heads but this one is the most practical so get it first.

    I don't know about the spring. Mine is like this one but is just a plain fration pan tilt head. It's the #47 but I think is now discontinued. But has the same overall look and weight rating
     
  4. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #4
    Thanks for the info thus far. It's been unusual trying to get this combo because at first I ordered the 190 Carbon Fiber legs which became backordered and then the 550 the same. In the end it has paid off to wait and have this backordered because I still wasn't sure about the head, it's all good though.
    I was looking at the Manfrotto 488RC2 it's just after looking at a few (not sure what brand) at the local shop they look questionable for holding a large lens, good body and a few extras even though they get great feedback. I think it's just a mental thing seeing a small post holding an almost shoe-box sized item :eek:
     
  5. TenPoundMonkey macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    VA
    #5
    I've got a Bogen 488RC2.... and don't worry about the weight- it is a strong head. To get a really good ballhead you need to spend 3-4 times the price, so I think the 488RC2 is a great value. I like the quick freedom of framing shots using a ballhead.
     
  6. SWC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    I've got this setup with the tripod/head with the exception of its the 4 section instead of the 3 as it stores a little smaller when folded. Overall it is a very solid setup but weighs a little more than I would like for portability. If you aren't too concerned with the weight you will absolutely love this setup.

    If you want a little lighter setup the 804RC2 is a nice head. It doesn't support the same weight the tripod will but with your current setup should be sufficient.
     
  7. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #7
  8. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #8
    Thanks for the input to all. This week I'm putting my order in for the two and if the head doesn't seem to workout I'll get a ball head unit at that point. I've seen some really nice ones in other threads here but I'll stick with the 3 way and repost here with my impressions after I've put it through it's paces :)
     
  9. kjohansen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    I have a Really Right Stuff BH55, excellent ball head. Certainly not the cheapest, but probably the only one you will own. They are built great and perform wonderfully.
     
  10. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #10
    Update and confused

    Hi all,

    Well I went to place my order this fine morning and a sales associate for Adorama asked the what where and how of my gear and gear into the future (near that is). I was going to order the tripod stated above, 055CXPRO and I found this head: http://www.adorama.com/GZGH1780QR.html which I wanted using the theory by once and no regrets…

    It would seem and this feels odd that someone in sales was not willing to take the sale, which is fine but he said simply, that setup was overkill :confused: I explained I want to buy once and not look back but he gave his extension and said think about it for a day or so and call back if I still wanted that setup.

    Now after reading a good amount of info from here at the photo forum what am I missing other than either he was being nice or later on I'd spend money on another tripod down the road when my needs have grown (likely this summer). I want to believe helpful was the intent but I'm not normally filled with delusions of grandeur either that sales was in a part of the mind for him, maybe wrong on my part but I have plenty of friends in sales and I'll leave it at that.
    Any words of wisdom would be great because I'm going to call back and not use this guys extension and go for the luck of the draw with another later today.
     
  11. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #11
    Slow Burn at Adorama

    Well I got my answer as to why this gentlemen wasn't really wanting to take my order…Adorama closes at 1:15 pm on Friday's. My call went through at 1:10 pm :cool: I did have a question as to whether or not a plate came with the head or is that extra but I won't be able to find that out just yet from Adorama anyway.
    Really… just tell me the store is closing and I would be glad to call back the next day and place my order and ask my only question instead of his reply "think on this, call later or wait a day and place the order then" :mad:
    I really can see where people like BH Photo for their outstanding CS because they were able to answer my question and will now get my business even if I have to pay a few more $$$ or not. Okay end of rant and thanks to those that have given info on tripods now and in prior threads here at MR.
    I will post back once I get everything in and setup. Not that much is setup on something like this :rolleyes:
     
  12. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #12
    Very nice tripod and head

    Well after some issues with my order everything finally arrived before the weekend started. The tripod was the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs and the Gitzo head in post #10. Both feel really nice, well made and light which is a plus. The tripod has a few hooks to add counter weight to it if needed or a carry strap. The legs are rated for 17.5lbs and seem pretty beefy in diameter.
    I really didn't know what Carbon Fiber would feel like and at first it I thought I hope this is as tough as everyone claims it is because it feels different, as it should. I really like the options of different leg angles and the center column being able to adjust to any position using the Q90 system from Manfrotto. At it's current height with the head in place and the center column adjusted at it's lowest point, the camera sets at my eye level (I'm 5'9") and works well for my needs thus far.
    The head has plenty of levels, two levers for adjusting and feels smooth from the few photos I was able to take this past weekend in between the rain. The rating for the head was 22lbs. and that should be plenty and future proof for me at least. The plate functions well and has a safety button and screw to help hold the camera/plate in place which gives me peace of mind.
    I will admit that spending a bit more money hopefully once that this setup will keep me happy for a long time to come. Last but not least the size of it folded up seems very reasonable when needed to be carried be it by hand or attached to my Kata R-103 backpack. The total weight was about 5-5.5lbs. not including my camera of course. I don't think it feels that heavy due to the weight being dispersed over it's length when folded.
    I will try posting some pictures later tonight or tomorrow of it's size folded and setup in position.
    Any questions or measurements needed just let me know and I'll give them to you :) Very pleased with both thus far and after I've used them I'll also give feedback to let people know how it's all worked out after some time has gone by.
    Thanks for the help and input from everyone that has ever posted about tripods in this forum :D
     

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