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Putting together a new tripod system


Auckland, NZ
129 posts

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vladiator Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Jan 2009
Mon 04-Feb-13 09:48 PM


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.