I am a newbie and have to say the tripod and ball head thing has me a little confused on what to buy. My camera body is a D200 my largest lens is the 70 200mm vr. I would like to get a tripod and ball head that would support the before mentioned equipment and be light enough to take on a hike etc.
Ideally I would like to spend around $250(USD) and get both pieces. I don't even know if that is realistic or not. I don't mind to spend more if I need to because I don't want to buy something and not be happy with it and then have to spend more money on something different.
I would like some suggestions about what tripod you guys would recommend and what ball head (assuming I need a ball head and not something else).
Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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#1. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberThu 11-Oct-07 09:19 PM
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#13. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 12deena Registered since 27th Oct 2007Sat 22-Dec-07 11:48 AM
Thom's article was great. Thanks for the reference.
I'm considering a Gitzo 2540 but I'm a bit confused about two things. There seems to be a 2541 and I don't know what the difference is. There also seems at B&H to be a version with the leveling feature. I don't really understand the pros and cons of that feature. Is there a good explanation somewhere?
Thanks in advance.
#14. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 13nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Sat 22-Dec-07 03:27 PM
You may find the 2007 Gitzo pdf catalog helpful...
The 2541L is 2" longer folded, and about 6-7" taller when set up (compared to the 2540. For some reason this model is not discussed often here.
The leveler allows you to more easily level the tripod, similar to putting the optional leveling base into a series 3,4 or 5 systematic. According to the catalog, the 2540LVL has about the same dimensions as the 2541L (a bit taller than the 2540).
I've never used one but don't recall any negative comments about the actual performance. It adds a little weight (0.6LB) and cost, and you get the extra height (with 2540LVL) and folded length. The main attraction of the 2540 is the short folded length; the LVL version adds 2" to that, not because of the leveler but because of the additional leg length. Maybe someone here has used one...
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#3. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 0
I would start with one tall enough to hold your camera at eye level, nothing is more annoying than bending to focus or drop to one knee on wet surfaces. A tripod wont get out dated like camera gear so get the best you can afford , for hobby use most will last years at any price .
To me the locks on the legs are first to fail so check that , Your price range is on the low side, get a good tripod / buy a cheap ball head to get started. The choices are endless - Manfrotto (Bogen in the US )is a good brand to start with .
#4. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 0
I just went through the same thing. At one end you have the Gitzo and the other the Bogen. After reading the threads and doing research, I found the Feisol tripod and ballhead combo (CT-3342 and CB-50D) to be a good middle decision for me at least. I spent $495 which incl shipping. I used over the weekend with my D80 & 70-200 and 80-400 with RRS lens collar and couldn't be happier. The legs are light and hold 20 pounds.
Dan - A Cincinnati Nikonian
D300 | 18-200 | 70-200 | 24-70
80-400 | Preserving Things That
Fade with Time...
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#5. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 4Figge Registered since 01st Mar 2007Tue 16-Oct-07 07:59 PM
Before you buy one of the Chinese tripods, Benro, Induro, or Feisol, please consider your needs. With Gitzo and Manfrotto you can get spare parts when needed. This seems to be rather doubtful with the Chinese copies.
Gitzos are very expensive but their best tripod series use a modular system, which allows you to design a system according to your requirements. Pillar or no pillar, etc. Not so with the Chinese copies. With them you buy a complete tripod with close to zero possibilities for modifications.
After trying Benro, Induro and Slik and comparing with Gitzo, I also have a strong impression that Gitzos are the most stable, specially in torsion.
If you can afford them I recommend Gitzo. If not I would suggest Manfrotto.
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#10. "Feisol Support" | In response to Reply # 5nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Wed 31-Oct-07 03:20 PM
Regarding Feisol's support, I have seen numerous threads here and on other fora over the past 3-4 years raving about their support. Many people have had repalcement parts shipped to them free, often out of warranty and even 2nd owners. I own a Feisol monopod and have no concerns about parts. My sense is that they are bending over backwards to avoid the concerns you raise.
I haven't seen anything about Benro/Induro, one way or the other.
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#6. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 0
I just stumbled into a new Gitzo tripod at a local camera shop while attending a macro seminar by Tamron. Here is the camera shop's description of the GT2330 model tripod:
"Gitzo presents two completely new Series 2 aluminum tripods that bring advanced materials to the Gitzo tripod range. The innovative tripods follow a completely different approach to the weight issue of aluminum tripods. Rather than reducing the weight of their aluminum tripods by reducing the thickness of the aluminum tubes, a practice begun by many competitors which leads to weak and unstable tripods, Gitzo instead maintains thicker 1.2 mm tubes for additional rigidity and strength, and reduces the weight of other components by employing new technologies. The use of closed-cell foam grips, Soulid 238 upper castings, and the new Alu13 aluminum tube result in a 30% overall weight reduction without compromising strength and stability.
Gitzo GT2330 replaces Gitzo GT1220."
I am very pleased with the stability and carrying weight for the price. My local camera shop is mildly over-priced but I can test any lenes, etc. on my D200 body that I want, so that in it's self is worth a few dollars. I paid $275.00 about three months ago and now I see they are up to $300.00. I hope this helps.
Gary S. Leader, Sr
#7. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 0
I would recommend this tripod, Velbon Neo Carmagne 740. It only 5lbs and fold up to 22" and can hold up to 17 lbs. Good if you get any bigger lenses. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/258358-REG/Velbon_NEOCARMA740_Neo_Carmagne_740_Carbon.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
And this ball head, Bogen / Manfrotto 488 Midi Ball Head http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/272778-REG/Bogen_Manfrotto_488_488_Midi_Ball_Head.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
and this quick release, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/205332-REG/Wimberley_C10_C_10_Small_Add_On_Quick.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
and this lens plate, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/205334-REG/Wimberley_P20_P20_Quick_Release_Plate.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
and the lens plate will need another screw, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/302185-REG/Wimberley_SW100_Extra_Screw_1_4_20_.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
I have this set up with the D200 and 70-200mm and it works great. Hope this helped.
D700 | D300 | D60
28mm | 35mm | 50mm | 150mm Micro | 300mm
24-70mm | 70-200mm | 80-400mm | 200-400mm
TC1.4 | TC1.7 | TC2.0
#8. "RE: What tripod to buy?" | In response to Reply # 7dougyates Registered since 30th Oct 2006Thu 25-Oct-07 11:00 PM
I only spent about $119 on an Induro A114 aluminum alloy tripod, but the complete system with the Markins Q3 and the custom Kirk plate ran me about $450.
Induro does come with a 5 year warranty and local support out of NY State if you live in the US.
"INDURO ALLOY 6M A-Series tripods are made from high quality aluminum alloy and are precisely machined to offer the quality and strength demanded by professional Studio, Student, Portrait, Advertising, Industrial and Wedding Photographers. A-Series tripods feature extruded 6000 series Aluminum legs with a wall thickness of 1.5mm. Each leg lock has a specially designed dust and moisture-resistant seal and each tripod includes interchangeable rubber feet and stainless steel spikes."
#9. "RE: What tripod to buy? - Get 2 tripods" | In response to Reply # 0
I would get two tripods. One for hiking - a Cullmann 1002 for $55 that will support your D200 with the 70-200mm lens. The Cullmann includes a ball head at that price. It weighs just 19 ounces and collapses to 12" and yet it supports up to 6.6 pounds. Get a second tripod for when you are not going to take the camera very far but want a taller or more stable support for larger lenses.
For the second tripod one of the Manfrotto/Bogen metal models will work just fine and can support a larger lens should you get one in the future. For example you can get the Bogen 190XDB with either a compact ball head or a pan and tilt head complete for under $170 and provide support for up to 10 pounds (for up to a 400mm lens down the road). The combined weight of the tripod and head is 4.5 pounds but this is not a lot if you are not taking it on a hike.
Or instead of these two tripods you could just get a Gitzo Mountaineer carbon fiber tripod and a Gitzo magnesium head for only $777.00 and the two will only weigh about 4.8 pounds (might notice that this setup actually weighs more than the $170 Bogen tripod and ball head).
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#11. "RE: What tripod to buy? - Get 2 tripods" | In response to Reply # 9interpolator Registered since 23rd Aug 2007Tue 13-Nov-07 05:48 AM
I have to say I would take Thom's article referenced above to heart. After decades of dealing with substandard tripods I finally broke down and got a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and the Markins M20. If only I had done this a long time ago. What an improvement.
All advice about tripod equipment aside, I found the biggest impediment to my use of the tripod was the weight and size of the tripod. With my Gitzo/Markins purchase I no longer do without the tripod. Quick set up, ease of use, low weight, and smallish transport size were the leading factors for me. Let the experts dissect the other nuances of the tripod; focusing on the above factors enabled me to prefer use the tripod rather than just let it sit at home as a cumbersome odd tool.
I bought my rig about a month ago and my day was made when while carrying my tripod over my shoulder I saw another photographer at Notre Dame in Paris with the same Gitzo/Markins combo. The other guy figured out the right way to buy the proper tripod combo 25 years earlier in his live than I did!