I am considering a Gitzo GT3541xls with a RRS BH 55 or Markins Q10. I am shooting a D7000 with currently nothing longer than a 55-200 (cheapo long lens). I will at some point up grade my long lens but don't foresee buying anything too heavy. Is this tripod and ball head combo over-kill for my kit? I'm a tall guy 6'3 and will be bringing it on some hikes. I would like to do this once but maybe a GT 25 and BH 40 is all I will ever need. Also of the two ball heads, should I go with the Markins or RRS? Thanks.
#1. "RE: Tripod and ball head for D7000" | In response to Reply # 0nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Tue 03-Apr-12 11:57 AM
As long as you are comfortable with the combination of weight and folded length then the XLS will be a one time, for life, purchase.
If you buy a Series 2 you may find it insufficient for focal lengths of 300mm or longer.
At your height you need 60" to get comfortable eye level viewing on perfectly level and even ground. Out in the field you will only find truly level even ground on some of the better putting greens .
At 5'7" I consider my 52" G1228 (similar to GT2541) to be a marginal height. It is perfect on my flat interior floor.
Even with a 60" tripod you will be stooping or hunching down a lot. With a 57" tripod you will always be a few inches below what you might consider optimum comfort.
I shoot 3 Markins heads and like them very much. The M20 is well sized for the Series 3, the M10 a little better for the Series 2 and the M20 is only about $50 more.
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#2. "RE: Tripod and ball head for D7000" | In response to Reply # 0ericbowles Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Wed 04-Apr-12 09:12 AM
I use the Gitzo 3540LS (predecessor to the 3541LS) with the RRS BH-55 and lever release. I also have the BH-40 and have owned the Markins M10 (now Q10).
With your height, the XLS is a good choice and it allows work on uneven ground. The only problem I see with that choice is the collapsed length of the XLS does not fit in my normal suitcase for air travel. If you plan to travel a lot with it, you might consider the LS.
I sold the Markins M10 (same as the Q10) in favor of the BH-40 for my wife. She far prefers the contours of the knobs and the way you lock the BH-40. We also had an irritating problem with the way the tension adjustment is located in the main knob on the Markins leading to occasional freezing. I like the contours of the controls on the RRS BH-55 that I use. The RRS workmanship is second to none.
Both the Markins and RRS heads are functionally capable of handling any load you will put on them except the longest lenses. I made a similar commitment to buy high quality gear and just buy once. That decision was a good one that I have never regretted.
If you go the RRS route and get a lever release - which I recommend - then you need to get RRS or Wimberley plates for lenses and cameras. The RRS lever release is not user adjustable, and the finish on other plates can wear over time leading to possible slippage. The Markins lever release is adjustable and works with any plates.
If you go the Markins route, be aware that the lever release or screw release is attached to the head with red Loctite and requires heat for removal. The RRS head attaches the screw release or lever release with a screw that can be removed or changed with the included hex key. I replaced my original RRS release clamp and the operation was simple.
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#3. "RE: Tripod and ball head for D7000" | In response to Reply # 2Mewoods Registered since 27th Jan 2012Thu 05-Apr-12 05:07 PM
Thanks for the responses. Sounds like the GT3541XLS (now 3542)is the tripod I will go with. Now to decide between the RRS and Markins. Wish I could hold them both in my hand without having to order/return either. Doesn't sound as though I could go wrong with either but have read more positive support for the RRS heads.
#4. "RE: Tripod and ball head for D7000" | In response to Reply # 3billg71 Nikonian since 14th Aug 2006Sun 08-Apr-12 02:28 PM | edited Sun 08-Apr-12 02:29 PM by billg71
I have the 3541XLS with the Arca Z-1, great combo. I reviewed it here somewhere a few years back, search my posts in this forum and you'll find it.
But I wish I'd kept my 2530 legs, the XLS is bulky and a beast to haul around if you don't need to be shooting >200mm. In fact, I was just looking online for one but decided to wait for Gitzo rebates to come around again.
Not getting rid of XLS, just adding another setup that's easier to handle for when I'm not shooting over 200mm. The 2531 works just fine for that and macro as well.
No other head than the Arca for me, but that's just MHO. YMMV.
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