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Tripod & Head recommendation please


18 Feb 2009 4:05PM
Hi

There is probably a rake of threads on tripods already, ive had a look through a few but I do have quite exacting requirements and would like to have some recommendations please.

Ok, I primarily shoot Landscape using a D700 + grip + pro glass (pretty heavy setup).

Having had various low to mid range Manfrotto tripods fail on me or simply be tricky to setup quickly, I want to now buy the correct tripod for my needs.

It has to be very quick to setup, extremely sturdy, be able to withstand a bit of abuse ( i like to get into froxen rivers and shoot). I also like to get down low and shoot so it has to be able get the legs open quickly and easily.

So far the Benbo Mk1 and a ballhead capable of supporting the weight is at the top of my list. Before I take the plunge, can anyone suggest anything else I should be looking at.

I dont have an totally unlimited budget but I am happy to spend enough to get the right product. I'm also happy to look at Manfrotto again if you think I should be looking at their pro range or any other brand.

Weight isn't a deal breaker but has to be within reason, obviously i'd prefer lighter as long as it was still sturdy but I wonder if this simply isnt possible so sturdy is more important than weight.

I'll be happy to hear any and all suggestions on both tripod and head. Thanks
Anthony

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tg 10 86 Scotland
18 Feb 2009 4:17PM
HI Antony,

I use a Manfrotto 055 tripod which has been dropped repeatedly aswell as being plunged into freezing rivers, lochs, seas and snow and I have not had any trouble with it in the five or so years I have owned it. It has a great height range. I also bought a sturdy Manfrotto ball head for it and it holds my Pentax 67ii nd 55-100 zoom lens with ease.

Hope this helps wit your decision,
Thomas
csurry 12 9.2k 92
18 Feb 2009 4:39PM
These seem highly regarded as being cheaper but almost as good as Gitzo.

Saw quite a few people using them recently
Bikeboy 6 5
18 Feb 2009 5:52PM
Hi Anthony

Recently bought a Gitzo systematic & 2780QR ball head and it seems indestructable as well as beautifully made. Just back from a week camping and climbing in the Cairngorms, and carried it + camera etc with no problems at all. It's light, easy to carry - even with a tent and all my other camping stuff - and use and well able to support my set up of D700_TC14TE_70-200 f2.8. It is expensive, but you will never need another tripod.

Good luck

Mike
JJGEE 9 6.4k 18 England
18 Feb 2009 5:59PM
Take a look at the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head, had mine since around 1999 and never go out without it !
rowarrior 6 4.4k 9 Scotland
18 Feb 2009 8:42PM

Quote:Take a look at the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head, had mine since around 1999 and never go out without it !


+1 on that

I have a set of uniloc legs, which I believe were related to Benbo, and the big advantage of them if you're playing in water is the way the legs open, which means that you tend not to have the joints under water (I think this can be a bit of a killer for leg locks on other tripods)
18 Feb 2009 8:59PM
Yup...virtually ditto to that..! I also use a Benbo for mud, water, sand etc.. bit of a wrestling act to start with, but really robust and solid in all manner of daft positions. Likewise the 410 head, also a solid and easy to manage piece of kit, believe it has a "bigger brother" but no need I reckon..
User_Removed 5 694 3 Scotland
18 Feb 2009 9:12PM
My Benbo has served me well for many years, even spent a complete year outside supporting a small video camera. Survived the Highland weather and no signs of problems.
johnjrp e2
10 431 5 Australia
19 Feb 2009 2:45AM
Manfrotto have a 'configurator' which can work out what tripod you should have the site address is:

http://configurator.manfrotto.com/manfrotto.html?a=b&matrix=2487

I have a manfrotto tripod and swivelhead and they are very good.

Hope this helps.

John
xco 5 24 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2009 4:38AM

Quote:Hi

There is probably a rake of threads on tripods already, ive had a look through a few but I do have quite exacting requirements and would like to have some recommendations please.

Ok, I primarily shoot Landscape using a D700 + grip + pro glass (pretty heavy setup).

Having had various low to mid range Manfrotto tripods fail on me or simply be tricky to setup quickly, I want to now buy the correct tripod for my needs.

It has to be very quick to setup, extremely sturdy, be able to withstand a bit of abuse ( i like to get into froxen rivers and shoot). I also like to get down low and shoot so it has to be able get the legs open quickly and easily.

So far the Benbo Mk1 and a ballhead capable of supporting the weight is at the top of my list. Before I take the plunge, can anyone suggest anything else I should be looking at.

I dont have an totally unlimited budget but I am happy to spend enough to get the right product. I'm also happy to look at Manfrotto again if you think I should be looking at their pro range or any other brand.

Weight isn't a deal breaker but has to be within reason, obviously i'd prefer lighter as long as it was still sturdy but I wonder if this simply isnt possible so sturdy is more important than weight.

I'll be happy to hear any and all suggestions on both tripod and head. Thanks
Anthony



Hi anthony

I have just moved up to some decent kit and like you I will be doing seascapes and land scapes and the odd macro.I looked long and hard before I made my choice and settled on a christmas deal by Giottos for 99.00 for both the tripod and a three way twist and lock head.

Check out the MTL9351B/MH5001 combo at www.giottos-tripods.co.uk.(PARTICULARLY THE VIDEOS OF THE THREE WAY HEAD)
I dont think you will be better served by this offering .
If you hurry I think some stores are still carrying the offer!!!

I like the three position quick spread legs and quick lock leg clips and the fact that you can quickly remove the centre pole with your camera already mounted on top and turn it upside down between the legs if you wish for really low to the ground shots (horse race at turf level/fish in pool/rock pool life /motor rally or motor race at tarmac level aspect etc. etc)for example.
I've got a 40d which is quite heavy and realised straight away that in an inverted position a ball head would be useless to try and set, but not with the 3 way twist and lock head.
Works for me!!!
Also good for macro shots or copying.
3 spirit levels should make it impossible for you to get your horizon wrong and a loading of 5kg should give you plenty of lee way on what you put on top of it.
Good safety feature on the quick release CAMERA mount prevents you ejecting your camera on to the floor accidently

I was so impressed with the spec alone that I drove 40 miles there and back to get the last one at the closest stockist to me.
It carries a 5 year warranty aswell and I think looking at what you want to do with it Anthony,it will be all that you want.
The spec and safety features are superb for the price.

I looked at manfrotto and wasn't that impressed with what I saw for the money.
Adding another twenty quid buys you a custom purpose made weather-proof Giottos case and strap(included) for this beautiful combo.

Take it from me as a very happy owner mate you'll be hard pressed to find better for the money.Do your self a favour and get one, you wont regret it.

Hope this helps Anthony .

I'd be pleased to hear from anybody else who's bought this combo and see what they have to say about it.

Ian
john64 e2
10 824 England
19 Feb 2009 2:39PM
Here's a link to the Manfrotto support system configurator.
Leif 9 722
24 Feb 2009 11:18AM
The Benbo 1 or a Uniloc equivalent would no doubt do the job, and they are not expensive. As the owner or a Benbo Trekker (deceased) and a Uniloc 1600, the one common fault is "Benbo slip" whereby it gets hard to lock the tripod without it slipping. Tighten the lock too much and you strip the thread. I have heard that one workaround is to roughen the bearing surfaces. They are not light though.

I also own a Gitzo Explorer CF tripod and IMO it is superior to the Uniloc/Benbo except that the leg locks are more susceptible to dirt/water ingress. It is lighter and more rigid than my Uniloc 1600 minor, and goes higher. But the Uniloc is more flexible.

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