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Stable yet light tripod setup

Outback_explorer

IL
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Outback_explorer Registered since 24th Sep 2010
Fri 24-Sep-10 10:01 AM

Greetings Nikonians!

During the last few days I was deep into researching the components of my 1st (and hopefully last) high-end tripod(:
at 1st I was considering the GT1541T + Q3 combo as a very light yet sturdy setup..
but since I plan to do a lot of really long night exposures (star trails and such)I've decided I need a heavier setup, yet light enough to take on long hikes.

I found out that if I get the GT3541LS with the Q20 ball head, I'd gain a LOT more stability and only increase the overall weight by 2 pounds!
I think this setup does it(:

There's one thing that I'm still not sure of.
is there a real advantage to getting the RRS clamps on the Q20?
http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...-LR-II&eq=&Tp=
is it indeed much better than the original lever clamps you can get on the Q20?
http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/Q20.php

(getting the Markins clamp would save me 70$ and a lot of trouble)
also - if you do get the RRS clamps do you need to attach it to the ball using loctite?

another issue is the QR plate.
I'm using a D200 and sometime borrowing my dad's D700.
(In the future I'd wanna upgrade to the D400 (probably))
Markins suggested their P700U plate to fit both.
RRS suggested this multi camera RRS plate:
http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...q=BP-CS-003&Tp
would you know which on those is the best option?
(Obviously I'd get the clamp and plate of the same brand..)

Also - are these plates easily removable to exchange between the D200/D700?

And now on to how to carry this thing(:
what do you think of this bag?
http://www.adorama.com/TTBZ.html#ProductReviews?kbid=912610
would that fit my GT3541LS + Q20 setup when the ballhead is still attached?
would it carry the 2.3KGs easily without sagging?

And lastly, I've found the shutter release "Hahnel giga T pro" wireless device which should fit most Nikons/Canons cams.
Do you know the product? or do you prefer model specific ones?

I appreciate your expert opinion!

Bests!

Yair

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