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I have a Benbo Trecker, nearly 20 years old and suits me fine. It can be placed literally anywhere although I admit it does take a bit of getting used to! The secret is to put the central leg in place and then position the other legs to suit the terrain. I have a basic ball head which is not firm enough for a long telephoto lens, you need a stronger head, possibly pan and tilt which will not move when the weight of the long lens comes on
For macro I fit a Velbon focusing rail which with the adjustable central column enables me to place the camera very precisely.
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I've been and looked and felt the two tripods I have got down to which is the Manfrotto 055XPROB which as suggested is easily sturdy enough for me. I kind of only use it around home now due to health issues going too far. The other is the Giottos MTL9361B, again both have been recommended.
Head wise I've tried all three common types from the ones with all the arms stuck out a ball head and a ball head pistol grip. Surprisingly the pistol grip hurt my hands like heck. All the levers for me seemed a real pain. I loved the plain and simple ball head though. Easy to use and not a problem for my hands either. I think it will be the vanguard SBH-250 as it takes a great weight and is really well made. Shame tripods don't take the same weight as the head, seems a bit daft.
Now to ponder
It will be the Giottos MTL 9361B Tripod with a Giottos MH1311-652 ball head. I'd kind of decided on the Vanguard SBH-250 with the AltoPro 263AT after a try yesterday; at the end of the day when all is said and done, I'm ordering the Giottos combo as it is £60 less than the Vanguard one. That is £60 towards my Vanguard Quovio 41 camera bag.
Surprising how you need to compare prices, Amazon and eBay both were considerably dearer for the Giottos Combo than Bristol Cameras. I checked on Camera price-buster but with bags, pods n eds they for obvious reasons only carry a small selection with focus (oh no pun really) on cameras, lenses etc.
Thank you everyone for helping me. It really did get me in the right direction to make a purchase. I am very grateful to everyone for responding to my question.
Happy n Healthy 2013.
Nuts! I get an email after paying Bristol Cameras to say out of stock and don't know when they will be back. I cancelled order and in fairness I did get a quick response confirming they will not take any money from me. I wish when you click 'add to basket' you find out there and then like Amazon if it is unavailable. Saves a huge waste of time.
Maybe meant to be; Vanguard Alta Pro then (Amazon also out of stock of Giottos 9361B) Then again, maybe that is telling me something. Argggggggg
Quote: I wish when you click 'add to basket' you find out there and then
Be great if you knew the stock levels before even " adding to basket "
Ah well plan two, spend a bit more and go with Alta Pro 236 & SBH-300 plus the Vanguard Quovio 41 camera bag. Much undoing of boxes here
It all depends what sort of lenses you are using. E.g. if you were using a a standard or short zoom lens then almost any head would be ok but some folk use stuff like a 500mm f4 that need a beefy/quality head. I have tried many many heads over the years, I think I have tried em all but now I am using the LENSMASTER RH1, bloomin brilliant. Put that on a decent tripod and you are getting serious. If funds are tight why not look for a s/h gitzo on ebay?
Thanks Colin. As above post. I went with a Vanguard Alta Pro 236 and a SBH-300 Ballhead. I am truly delighted.
I have just been to currys and they have a manfrotto 190xdb tripod with a 390RC2 head for £99
Would this be a good all round tripod for me to purchase. I am intending on using the tripod outside
as well as indoors. The largest lens I will be using is a 70-300 and my camera is the canon 650D.
Being new to photography I am trying to wade my way through the vast amount of tripods on sale.
Any advice will be most welcome
It is a good starting point - you are effectively paying forthe tripod and getting the head free which is worth about £35. My preference is for ballheads andif it is to have a handle, a 3-way head. But as I say, this could be a good starter.
I would recommend taking your camera with the 70-300 into the store and see how easy it is to pan, tilt and swing vertical, and how stable it is in all positions.
Not easy to actually try all the various tripod heads available I know but here's my input for what it's worth... I have been photographing wildlife (mostly birds) since the 1960's and have I think, experimented with everything available. I know some folk like a ball head, I couldn't get on with it at all although great for landscape pix.
I use a Canon 500mm f4 most of the time and I have a lensmaster RH1 gimbal sitting atop a Gitzo tripod, this combination is unbeatable in my personal experience. I must admit however to being surprised at this outcome because for some strange reason the RH1 or the Wimberley sidekick just never 'looked' man enough to do the job, how wrong I was. Obviously I chose the RH1 because of its price but in trials/performance there is very little in it so why pay more?
I have been looking at the manfrotto 190xprob on amazon for £98.99 which obviously has no head
For that price but i just wondered how the 2 compare.I have read a few reviews on the 390rc2 head and it doesn't seem to be very sturdy when a larger lens is used.
Ade; you have some very nice photography kit, that would cost getting on to a £1000 to replace if it fell over and got smashed. With help here (brilliant bunch of people) I personally got down to just two and I spent hours researching. However … a budget is a budget; what do you feel is the figure you would be 'happy' with spending? Makes it easier to pass on thoughts that way. Best done now otherwise this ridiculous loss of memory thing will mean I cannot recall
My budget could maybe stretch to £150.Have you had a look at the 190xprob as I am unable to see one on display anywhere. The 190xd in currys looks ok but if the xpro is sturdier I should maybe go for that from amazon and then buy a suitable head also.
For £150 you could get the 190XproB and the 494RC2 (£44) or 496RC2 (£49) ballhead - check Amazon as a guide price and that will be an excellent and versatile combination.
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