Can you Nikon mavens explain why a photographer would or would not use a tripod with a center column??
I know that Gitzo makes tripods with and without columns, so I was wondering what makes a person use either one.
If a person is shooting a F5 with a 600mm tele, is a column required?? Is it necessary, or does it run the risk of falling over???
Thanks for the advice!!!
Mark, an Austin Nikonian Visit my Nikonians gallery.
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#1. "RE: Tripods....columns or no columns" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberTue 11-Dec-01 02:23 AM
Most legs have a center column; you can remove it later of course but usually you are stuck with them. Now, the thing is that with the column extended, even a little, you would be adding instability, making the tripod prone to vibration, precisely the thing you want to avoid by using a tripod. As a consequence we all tend to avoid using such column and eventually do remove it and replace it with a simple bolt to hold the head. That is why the selection of the legs has to be made according to your height, without taking into consideration the center column.
Newer tripods allow for that center column to be removed and placed horizontally, which is good for some macro shots pointing downwards or in extreme terrain, but if you have a good head you seldom have to make your tripod look with a contorsionist 3-legged spider with a big neck.
The Gitzo Explorer allows for each of the legs to be placed at any angle, which is very convenient in rough terrain. But the Manfrotto's equivalents (Bogen in the USA) are also very good and a little less expensive even in the carbon fiber versions. If you care to look at my profile you can see three darn good options of such tripods that I use.
Have a great time
JRP (Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) My profile, My Gallery
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#2. "RE: Tripods....columns or no columns" | In response to Reply # 0BJNicholls Charter MemberTue 11-Dec-01 04:12 AM
The bigger and more solid your tripod, the less you need to be concerned about the stability of a center column. In medium and light weight tripods, it can be one of the weak links for vibration, so I will avoid using it if I can - or at least minimize the length I use. However, I had a lightweight Gitzo that had such spindly lower leg sections that the center column was actually a better way to get height from the tripod.
If you're shooting with a heavy lens and body, you would be wise to get a tripod with ample size and stability for the job. You might still want a center column just to make it easy to fine tune the tripod height from your shooting position. The folks who go for maximum solidity give up convenience and go for a post-free tripod setup.