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carbon fiber tripod recommendations

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    shalik  435 forum posts United States
    27 Jun 2012 - 8:03 PM

    I am looking for carbon fiber tripod recommendations. I do not know much about high quality tripods, except that they need to be rock solid to minimize camera shake when the shutter snaps. I understand carbon fiber tripods are such, and also quite light, but also expensive, and I am willing to give myself a nice present and spend the money to get one.

    I understand one should consider separately the legs (tripod), the center column, and then a ball head…but that is where my knowledge ends. So I'm looking for advice on what’s the best way to go.

    Thanks in advance!

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    mikehit  56682 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jun 2012 - 8:52 PM

    One option is to go down to Jessops and get a tripod at the £60 mark until you really know what facilities you want and how much you will use it. It also gives you the chance to buy a really high-quality head now and the body later.
    One option is the Velbon Ultra RexiL - it is very sturdy and as light as many CF tripods (cost £120 - check out the review on this website).

    If your heart is set on a CF tripod (and why not? Smile) then the things you need to consider is how tall you are: if you are doing a lot of landscape stuff then you do not want to be bending down to a 5-foot tripod if you are six feet six. But tall tripods are generally heavier
    Will you be carrying it in a backpack or hoiking it in a car with short walks?
    What weather conditions will you be using it in? 5-section tripods collapse smaller than 3-section tripods but this also means that the bottom-most section can be quite thin which compromises stability.
    Do you do low-level macro work? Some tripods have a centre column that you can swap to horizontal more easily than others.
    The centre column often comes with the tripod but some people like to take out a long column and buy a short column.

    As for makes, I have a leaning towards Manfrotto but there is also Giotto and Gitzo. Lesser known makes (in UK) are Induro and Feizol. If you can get down to a good camera shop then get down there and play around with them (I would recommend Calumet if you have one nearby).

    As for heads - if you go for a ballhead I would say go for a medium head because it is less prone to sagging than a small ball when you loadthe camera on it. Once you decide on that you have all sorts of considerations on how the camera position is adjusted. I have the Manfrotto head with a twist button to loosen/tighten the ball and a lever on the base to allow panning. A major step upgrade is the fluid head which gives much greater control on the movement ofthe ballhead and also better grip once you have tightened it up.
    Don't worry if you like the tripod fo one manufacturer and the head of another because you can mix and match.

    27 Jun 2012 - 10:13 PM

    Really Right Stuff has some amazing equipment focr just about anything tripod and monopod related. They're a bit expensive but worth it

    Last Modified By RavenTepes at 28 Jun 2012 - 1:30 AM
    27 Jun 2012 - 10:57 PM

    There is a thread on here somewhere covering this subject but all I'll say is get a good make and it will out live you mate.
    Good luck.

    Oh, by the way (in a whispered voice) look at Manfrotto!!! I love mine. Wink

    Last Modified By User_Removed at 27 Jun 2012 - 10:58 PM
    hollkj e2 Member 9186 forum postshollkj vcard United Kingdom
    27 Jun 2012 - 11:21 PM

    +1 for Really Right Stuff. V. expensive but will last a lifetime.

    Glynn  81169 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
    28 Jun 2012 - 12:39 PM

    Vanguard Alto Pro 283 CT

    Awsome piece of kit and very reasonably priced and it comes with a carry case which is a bonus

    Last Modified By Glynn at 28 Jun 2012 - 12:39 PM
    Ade_Osman e2 Member 114521 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
    28 Jun 2012 - 2:08 PM

    Quote: Awsome piece of kit and very reasonably priced and it comes with a carry case which is a bonus

    That's the one on my Xmas pressie list for this year, I got my hands on one at the Focus show and it's a wonderful piece of kit, carbon or aluminium!

    Dear Santa, please please please, I've been a really good boy...........


    JJGEE  96340 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    28 Jun 2012 - 2:53 PM

    Quote: Vanguard Alto Pro 283 CT

    I have a Gitzo that has that multi angled rotatable centre column but I just cannot get the hang of using it in any other way but the standard vertical position !

    LenShepherd e2 Member 62503 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
    2 Jul 2012 - 9:17 PM

    What you are thinking about can cost over £1,000 Sad
    What is your approximate budget?
    Do you want to get low for flowers? Swinging column type tripods are best.
    Do you want to shoot video? Fluid heads are best.
    Do you want to use it for lenses of 300mm and longer? If yes start thinking fairly serious money for something stronger and heavier than average.

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