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A little Guidance Please..........

Bump57

US
6898 posts

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Bump57 Silver Member Awarded for his high skill level in Landscape and Nature Photography and willingness to share his learning experiences to help others. Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Laureate Ribbon awarded as a winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007
Wed 03-Apr-13 03:29 AM

Greetings all.

It's tripod time again for me. I know nothing about the physics of tripods or what to look for in terms of my needs which are stability & durability. I do know the old one I have now is just too lightweight for what I am doing and using now in terms of gear. The addition of the D800 has made me realize this. While using the 70-200 if the wind blows I know it when I get home, this has got to end.

Today most of my work consistent of landscape shooting with some wildlife thrown in.

The gear I am currently using is as follows.

D300
D800
35mm, 50mm, 24-70, 70-200 and a few other smaller lens.
On occasion I might like to mount my Sigma 150-500 for extracting subjects for landscape or large wildlife or even add a 1.4tc to the 70-200.

From the reading I have done so far a Gitzo series 3 would probably cover me for the most part until I got past the 200mm mark. So I am currently thinking the Gitzo Systematic GT4542LS 6X should do the trick. I sold my larger glass and don't expect I will have any of the big guns in the near future. One of my questions is there any reason to just go to the series 5 at this point? There seems to only be a 60.00 difference. The series 5 is about a pound heavier, not too sure if it is any bulkier or not and it is about 1 inch shorter, I am 6' 1". I would prefer the taller series 4 but if performance is going to suffer I am ok going to a series 5. Thoughts here?

In terms of heads I am leaning towards the Markins Q-Ball Q20 w/ Lever Release although they sure are proud of it I have not found a bad review yet. Any other lower cost suggestions here, I do not want to give up performance or quality. I will need brackets for my D300, D800 both with grip and probably feet for my 70-200 & 150-500. I am unclear of which ones I will require though, any help here would be appreciated. I see L brackets are popular. Is this a big benefit over just flipping over the ball head?

Is it better to use my bodies without the grip while mounted on a tripod? I mostly use them because I have large hands and they make the bodies feel much better in my hand. The extra battery life is a plus also. But does tripod performance suffer because of them?

Are there less expensive alternative's to the Series 4? Different brand to look into with same stability?

What is the difference of the upper leg diameter in the series 4 & 5? I could not find this info.

Is there anything else I will have to invest in, at least look at or think about to make this tripod purchase complete? The one thing I don't want to do is buy twice at this point......

.
.

Click on image to view larger version


Scott Martin Sternberg

Scotts Fine Art

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