by J. Ramón Palacios
a friend about this article
Manfrotto and Gitzo offer a series of interesting accessories.
Manfrotto 166 tripod apron
above shown 3-compartment apron is useful to temporarily
stuff while shooting in the field (filters, lenses, hoods,
etc.). But I found them even more useful as a way to add
the tripod when loaded with rocks. Gitzo offers a similar product,
the G088S small and G088L large canvas aprons. If you already
have a hook under the tripod plate, hang from there your
bag for added stability.
tripods come with rubber caps, but it offers a set of
retractable spiked feet with Cat. No: 055SPK
for most aluminum units.
the most popular Gitzo carbon fiber tripods did not
have OEM spikes option for a long time.
that's why Markins designed these lifetime-durable Titanium
spikes shown at right. They do include very nice
thick rubber caps for use in interiors
you do have a Gitzo Mountainer CF Series 2 or Series
3 already, you may want to consider replacing
the center column with a Markins
TB anti-vibration base plate for vibration dampening, added sturdiness and reduced
weight. A side effect is the ability to do gbround level shots, without the center column interfering. In the package you also get a Titanium
bolt to attach
ball head to the tripod with added strength. |
|A further refinement for added stability and vibration absorbtion are the new Markins TH-200 and TH-300 tripod hubs, for Series 2 and Series 3 CF Gitzo respectively. These replace both the OEM platform hub and the TB anti-vibration base plate in a single unit. The great news is that they can be fitted in both Mountaineer and Systematic, G and GT Gitzo tripods. |
protectors or wraps not only protect the legs from
cuts and knicks and insulate your hands when using
a tripod in cold or hot weather, but they also cushion
it for comfortable carry over the shoulder.
Some have a zipper system so they can be easily fitted and will not slip down
in use while offering good grip, others have velcro. At right the great looking
course you could save with a practical solution: pipe
insulation foam tubing, fastened with plastic ties
or tape, but it is not very elegant.
traveling, tripods should peferably go inside luggage; in the field they
on the backpack, over the shoulder or in a sling strap. However,
as soon as I had tripods longer than my suitcases I used
tripod bags for travel, with the tripod inside hard carboard
tubing for added protection. To avoid that we have now designed our
very own protective tripod carry bag. |
What about The Most Important Accessory?
the money spent on a good tripod goes down the drain
you don't top it with
a good head. You may choose a three-way pan-tilt or
head, but get the best you can and make it a pro
one. Avoid the small or medium sized ball heads. My
Stahlbrandt, and award-winning Nikonians like Marsel
van Oosten, Philippe
Johnson, and thousands of Nikonians
now, are happy Markins
converts. By the time of the 6th Annual Nikonians Photo
Adventure Tour, 21 Nikonians had Markins ball heads on
of a total of 25 participants. The proportion has been
larger in later ANPATs.