Hello all. I'm new here. Pretty new to photography too. I have a D90 (but I'm eyeing the D3S) and my heaviest lens is the 70-200mm f2.8 VRII. My kids are little so maybe I'll even have a heavier lens if they do sports in the future.
So I need the whole tripod, ballhead set up etc. After much research here, I have decided to go with the Markins M20 ballhead since I really only want to buy one and I want it to support additional weight in the future. But now I'm stuck on a tripod. I'm thinking the Gitzo is best but do I get a Mountaineer or a Systematic? I'm short (5'4'') and relatively petite (yeah, should probably be more so). I'm not really an outdoor person (like I won't be hiking for several hours with this on my back but I would like to drag it around a zoo or two and maybe even some small hikes). I would like to bring it on trips so probably the lighter the better and the more compact the better. No real budget.
So I'm thinking about the GT3541 or the GT3541LS. Any thoughts on which might be better for me? update: oh no, I just read about the RRS TVC-33. That looks really nice too....
I think you are on the right track with a 3 series CF Gitzo. I have my second Systematic Gitzo. The main advantage is you can drop it to ground level without replacing the center column. If you go with the Mountaineer, you probably want to replace the center column.
You might consider the RRS lever release. If so, either buy the Markins without a quick release, or get the BH-40 (or BH-55). The QR platform on the Markins needs to be removed with a torch because it is put on with red Loctite.
Eric- I'm blocked from the nikonians galleries at work but I was able to access your website. Your photographs are stunning. Incredible.
Yeah, the whole "use a torch" thing with the Markins ballhead isn't sounding too good to me. That just isn't going to happen at my household. Well, it might but I could really see the whole house burning down.
I guess maybe I should wait and see how people like the new RRS tripod. If I go that route, I might just get everything from RRS (quick release clamp and the L platform for the D90). I really do think I might end up with a D3S and a 200mm f2 at some point in the future so I want to make sure I get a system big enough to handle that weight in the future. And I want it to all be easy to use. I know there are lots of women around who aren't intimidated by bolts and screws, but that is not me.
oh no, I just read about the RRS TVC-33. That looks really nice too.... ******** My TVC-33 arrived a few days ago and it is VERY nice. :>) I posted some pictures of the TVC-33 and it's plate locking system here: