Putting together a new tripod system
For the last few years I have had Manfrotto 190XPRO + 488RC2 ballhead with my D90. However, now that I acquired 70-200mm lens, I need a more stable tripod.
I note that I purchased my current tripod as a second-hand from a friend, so the issue of how put together a new tripod system is quite new to me.
My biggest lens for the foreseeable future will be 70-200mm. I am, however, planning to move to an FF camera at some point in the future, but not sure which.
The ideal tripod should provide stability for the camera + lens. However, I also do not want it to be so big/heavy that I would not want to take it with me to trips/hikes.
As such, after some research, I think I settled on Gitzo GT2541 legs. I understand that it is a good compromise between the stability and portability.
My first question is what would be a good ballhead for the legs and the lens. Would Markens Q3 be too small, with Q10 being a better choice? The other potential option is Arca-Swiss Z1 sp, which I could buy from B&H at the same time as the tripod legs. Any other manufacturers to consider?
My second question is regarding the quick release plates. Am I able to use a QR plate made by a manufacturer (e.g. A-S) with a ballhead from another manufacturer (e.g. Markins)? Also, QR plates come in different sizes - does it matter?
I note that the Nikonians shop does not seem to sell QR plates. Would any of these A-S plates do (unfortunately the most popular model seems to be currently unavailable) - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Arca-Swiss&ci=4925&N=4075788744+4291613486
Any other parts for the tripod system which I am forgetting about?
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
#1. "RE: Putting together a new tripod system" | In response to Reply # 0WD4MLA Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Tue 05-Feb-13 04:08 PM
I had the same tripod and head before upgrading to a Gitzo GT2531 and markins M10 head. The series two should support up to 200mm, but a series 3 would give you future security.
If you stay with a series two, the Markins Q10 is matched to that series where the Q20 is better suited to the series 3. I would very highly recommend the Markins heads. Once you set the "Sweet Spot" you do not have to turn any knobs to re-adjust the settings.
The Nikonian Pro Shop does carry camera plates and L brackers. Here is a Markins plate https://www.ppsna.com/product_info.php/cPath/27_131/products_id/425?osCsid=uo5a2dru1ultmm1i22kk3rpn16
I would suggest you look into an L Bracket instead of a plate because it will allow you to go from Landscape to Portrait quickly and without having to swing the camera into the slot on the ball head. The L bracket keeps the camera centered on the head and at the same eye level in landscape or portrait. Here is an L bracket https://www.ppsna.com/product_info.php/cPath/36_61/products_id/421?osCsid=uo5a2dru1ultmm1i22kk3rpn16 Note this is for a camera without the battery pack.
You can use any manufacturer as long as it is Arca Swiss type. If you get the Lever Release instead of the Knob release, it is better to keep your plates and brackets with the same manufacture, such as all Kirt or all RRS. This will keep you from having to make field adjustments. I have the knob type and can use different manufactures.
Great Smoky Mountains
of North Carolina
#2. "RE: Putting together a new tripod system" | In response to Reply # 0MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Wed 06-Feb-13 05:30 AM
>As such, after some research, I think I settled on Gitzo
>GT2541 legs. I understand that it is a good compromise
>between the stability and portability.
Yes. The 2 series are rated to 200mm. They can handle longer lenses in ideal conditions. If you are using a lens longer than 200mm and the wind kicks up a 3 series is will provide significantly more stability especially when combined with a Markins Q20. In other words it will future proof your investment unless you plan on going to 500mm or longer sometime in the future.
>My first question is what would be a good ballhead for the
>legs and the lens. Would Markens Q3 be too small, with Q10
>being a better choice?
The Q10 fits Gitzo 2 series tripods perfectly and it has a little larger sweet spot than a Q3.
>My second question is regarding the quick release plates. Am
>I able to use a QR plate made by a manufacturer (e.g. A-S)
>with a ballhead from another manufacturer (e.g. Markins)?
Yes and No. There are two types of A/S clamps.
Screw Clamps and Lever Clamps.
Screw Clamps easily accomodate all brands of A/S compatible clamps.
Lever Clamps can have issues since they have less adjustment than screw clamps. I have a Markins Q20 and Q3 with Lever Clamps and use them with RRS, Kirk, and Wimberley Plates and L-Brackets without adjustment. The RRS Lever Clamps require tighter tolerances in plate size.
>Also, QR plates come in different sizes - does it matter?
The primary function of an A/S Q/R plate is to allow one to quickly mount and dismount the camera or lens from the support system.
To prevent the plate from twisting around the tripod socket on the camera or lensfoot it is best to use Custom Plates or L-Brackets designed to fit the contours of a particular camera body or lens to prevent it from rotating.
The universal plates in the link you provides can easily rotate severely compromising the stability that you are spending good money to gain.
>I note that the Nikonians shop does not seem to sell QR plates.
The Nikonians Photo Pro Shop does carry Custom plates and L-Brackets for the D90.
The Kirk PZ-113 Plate for D90 w/o MB-D80 or the Kirk PZ-114 for the D90 w/MB-D80.
If you shoot in portrait orientation I strongly recommend getting an L-Bracket:
The Kirk L-Bracket U-BL-90 for D90 w/o MB-D80 or the Kirk L-Bracket U-BL-D90G for the D90 w/MB-D80.
>Any other parts for the tripod system which I am forgetting
A Ball Head Cover, Spikes, and maybe a tripod case.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!