>Hi Steve, > >Before you buy plates you need to decide on what type of clamp >you want to use on the Q20. Markins heads come with a knob >clamp and a lever clamp. The clamp is the part of the ball >head that you will attach the camera or lens to. > >If you plan on going with a lever clamp it is recommended that >you stick with one manufacturer when it comes to the camera >plates, lens plates, lens replacement foot or L-Brackets. >This will eliminate the potential of having to adjust the >tension on the lever due to differences in manufacturing >tolerances in plates made by different companies. The last >thing you want to do in the field is have to continually >adjust the tension on your lever. > >With a knob clamp the tolerance issue does not come into play >since you manually tighten the clamp. This gives you >flexibility in brand/cost choice and at times can impact >availability of a specialty plate. > >I would suggest a L-Bracket for your camera, this will allow >you to go from landscape to portrait keeping the camera >centered on the tripod. You will also need lens plates or >replacement foot (if available) for your 70-200 and 50-500. > >You have a Sigma 50-500, based on that lens I would recommend >you consider a Series 3 (32mm) or 4 (37mm) tripod. A series 2 >(28mm) may be adequate, but just, for the 50-500. Feisol >makes an excellent Series 4 (3372, 3472 systematic type) that >weighs about the same as the Gitzo 3 series systematic and >offers the same performance for much less. I base the above >statement on my personal experience testing a Feisol 3472 >against my Gitzo 3541LS using a gimbal head, D300 and 500/4 >AF-S lens. The Feisol is slightly bulkier since the upper legs >and top plate are larger but that may not be a negative since >the new Gitzo series 3 comes with a larger triangular top >plate vs the round top plate of the previous 3541LS. So bulk >may be about equal between the Feisol and new Gitzo systematic >version. Feisol has a large following and their customer >service is great. > >You have chosen a great head, that is half the battle. Good >luck on the legs. > >Joe >
Thanks Joe. You can see why someone like myself gets totally confused, and winds up with a $30 tripod from Best Buy...
I prefer the lever clamp because when it's closed, it's closed. There aren't any "degrees of closed" as there are with the knob. I have this pathological fear of the D4 falling off the tripod because I failed to tighten it enough.
The question I don't understand is what "plates" I need, if any. Most tripods seem to have a top plate with a stud sticking out of it. My understanding is that I screw the Q20 to that stud and I'm ready to go (in landscape mode anyway).
Yes, I'd get plates for the 50-500 and 70-200 for sure. I actually saw this really cool plate that provides support further down the lens, but it's probably overkill and they really kill you with the price of some of these things.
I checked the Feisol Series 4 and that would work fine. Thanks for that. I hadn't heard of them before. I'll check the different models. One question...how stable is the center column? One thing I've found from some tripods is that when the center column is all the way down they are like a rock, but the column itself is shaky - especially the ones with the crank method.
So if I buy the Q20 and the Feisol Series 4, do those just mate together, or do I need some of attachment mechanism?
Lastly, for the D4, what L bracket do I need to be able to shoot in portrait mode? Thanks again to you, and all the folks here for the help.