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Which Carbon Fibre Tripod

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    11 Apr 2010 - 9:31 PM

    As I mentioned on the "What Piece of Kit Next" Thread, I am really thinking that I need to get a carbon fibre tripod.

    The Slik 88 that I have used for the past 30 years has served me well but it a heavy beast and advancing years and decrepitude lead me to think that I should invest in something more modern.

    My requirements are simple:

    1. Should be capable of taking the weight of a heavy DSLR with 500mm f/4 lens.

    2. Should collapse to a small enough size to strap on to the back of a backpack without jagging me up the arse every time I subside onto a tussock for a wee rest.

    3. Should not go rusty if I set it up in the sea.

    4. Should have a smooth ball and socket head with adequate handles.

    5. Should be as light as is possible within the above four parameters.

    6. Should not cost more than about 300 and hopefully a bit less.

    Any pointers from those with personal experience of suitable models?




    As you can see from the above photie, I tend to use a lot of elastic bands in my photography!!!


    Last Modified By User_Removed at 11 Apr 2010 - 9:37 PM
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    11 Apr 2010 - 9:31 PM

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    12 Apr 2010 - 3:13 PM

    I use the Manfrotto 190CX Pro4 but the 055CX Pro is a good one too. The CX range are the Carbon Fibre and the Pro ones also have a carbon fibre centre column. The plates are magnesium. On my 190CX I have a 486 RC2 ball head

    Manfrotto 055CX Pro3

    Manfrotto 190CX Pro4 & 486 RC2

    Should come into budget... just.Wink

    Giottos are pretty good though so check them out too.Smile

    16 Apr 2010 - 7:51 PM

    Many thanks for the advice.

    I have decided to go for the Manfrotto 190CX Pro4. I have an old, fairly basic, ball and socket head that I will use to start with but may seek something more sophisticated soon.

    Thanks again,


    LenShepherd e2 Member 62489 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
    19 Apr 2010 - 3:22 PM

    Any pointers from those with personal experience of suitable models?


    The news is not good.
    As you are relying on a cable release rather than good long lens technique and your lens does not have tripod mode VR ideally you need a Gitzo series 5 - nearly double your budget. A Series 3 is rated borderline by Gitzo.
    The Manfrotto is too light for a 500, especially if you shoot sea birds close up - which require about 3 shutter speeds faster than infinity subjects to eliminate camera shake.
    Gitzo Series 3 is just OK for me at effective 600mm with a tripod mode VR lens, though if I am not going far from the car the Series 5 is better.
    Whether Manfrotto have upgraded the screws from the original versions I do not know - but the screws on the originals went rusty anywhere near sea water.
    As you are Nikon exposure delay mode fires the shutter about 1 second after mirror up - often helpful with static subjects.

    8 May 2010 - 2:58 PM

    I would go for the GIOTTOS MTL 83681B 6 layer carbon tripod with a GIOTTOS MH-1300 ball head and MH-261 quick release plate.

    Monfrotto use less carbon in thier tripods which means less stabilaty than the giottos. Monfrotto on the other hand have a qiucker adjustable column system to use than GIOTTOS but looses the stabilisation hook at the bottom end of the centre column. Overall the giottos quick release heads offer perfect balance for BIG telephoto lenses as you can adjust the positioning of the quick relese plate for every lens that you use.

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