I have searched here, found SOME answers but still not enough to make a decision. I figured that, with the knowledge here, an answer might be quicker coming if directly asked.
I am looking for a very low-level tripod for ground shots to macro. I saw one in a local camera store being demonstrated to a customer, but it was awfully flimsy. She had a lightweight, point and shoot digital. The D40X with the 18-55 and all extension tubes is very heavy compared to that.
Does not have to be carbon fiber, just low and steady for extension tube shots. I hike in deep woods and, when the leaves were up still, struggled for a long time to take one simple shot of a teeny, tiny blue mushroom on a log, which eventually came out OK, but there was so much work and a tripod mount which can go low would have made it a snap, allowing me to take many more that day.
Is there one that literally goes right to the ground so I can shoot sideways with the tubes and lenses on?
A ball head adaptor with it would be a nice plus.
Thanks, Ahead of Time.
#1. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 0MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 16-Oct-08 07:59 PM
Most if not all of the new Gitzo's without the center column will open to be almost flush with the ground. Markins balheads are very well made and quite compact and light for thier capacity.
Kirk also makes a tripod for Macro shooters that is also at ground level. Good Luck!
#2. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 0TiggerGTO Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Fri 17-Oct-08 11:26 AM
Really Right Stuff has a Ground Pod. Their site is having problems right now, so I can't view the price, but I remember that it is not cheap. Also, it is limited to ground level use.
There are also Gorillapods. I've never actually seen one of these in person, but they seem like they could be quite useful if they are strong enough to hold your equipment.
As Marty mentioned, Gitzos will easily go quite low, and if they don't have a center cloumn, the legs can be spread flat so it is basically flush with the ground. You'd probably get a lot more flexibility from a regular tripod that can have the legs spread to go low instead of getting something like the RRS Ground Pod that I linked above.
A Nikonian in North Carolina
#3. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 0MotoMannequin Registered since 11th Jan 2006Fri 17-Oct-08 04:20 PM
Zukester - Any tripod that features a removeable center column (or no center column) and has independently adjustable legs that can be positioned straight out should meet your needs. The Gitzo stuff is great, but there are also options that are quite good and less pricey, like the Velbon El Carmange tripods I use. You might consider a table-top tripod like the $20 Bogen 3007 which, with a decent micro-ball, will support your equipment fine, sit right at ground level, and fit in your pocket. Mine gets quite a bit of use with an RRS BH-25 ballhead, and at that price I think there's no reason to not have one in your bag.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery
#4. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 0luke70 Registered since 20th Oct 2008Mon 20-Oct-08 08:17 AM
I know two other options:
one is the Gitzo Explorer series. These tripods are great for macro and low anglo shooting, both indoor and outdoor. Thanks to their different design they can be repositioned at any angle and height.
The other is the latest upgrade of Gitzo tripods with an additional wider leg angle opening that allows to go completely flat. THis together with the fact that you can remove the column makes them very good for low angle shooting.
The explorer is in any case the best option for outdoor macro. It is fantastic for shooting snall details, like flowers, rocks, insects and for shooting from gound up (for instance shooting red leeves against the blue sky in autumn). It is also very good for architecture, still life (above all small objuects when you have to shoot from above) and reproduction
Regards and enjoy,
#5. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 4XUBIOSCHOEFF Registered since 09th Nov 2007Tue 21-Oct-08 12:15 AM
I was doing some low to the ground macro stuff just today on the Gitzo 1410, and lens with ball flopped to the side measures about 6" from the ground.
Not exactly ground level, and a Markins head would be an inch or so shorter, but it has sufficed for me so far. Better than what a lot of other pods have offered me.
(No Longer Newbie) Nikonian with a lust for information
#6. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 0
If you will fill in your profile we can provide better answers to your questions. Thanks in advance.
I have the RRS Ground Pod. I assure you, it will hold anything you can mount on it and then some. They don't come any better than this one. The rated load is 50 lbs, but it will hold much more than this.
Expensive ($375), but worth every penny for the intended use. I also use it for table top work and it is exceptional there as well.
The RRS web site link was working when I wrote this post.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member
Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.
#7. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 0
Benbo tripods still offer unparalleled versatility. But they are heavy (or at least my 30-year old model is) and they do take some getting used to - who said setting one up was like struggling with a drunken octopus?
#8. "RE: Tripod question" | In response to Reply # 0
I have the Kirk Mighty Low-Boy and have found it to be a great solution. They also have a few other solutions here. The GorillaPods mentioned above have been reviewed by a few Nikonians and came out to be much better than I had expected, while they don't really compare to a real tripod they can get you into areas otherwise inaccessible.