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carbon fiber tripod recommendations

shalik 7 36 United States
27 Jun 2012 8:03PM
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 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2012 8:52PM
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.
RavenTepes 8 226 United States
27 Jun 2012 10:13PM
Really Right Stuff has some amazing equipment focr just about anything tripod and monopod related. They're a bit expensive but worth it
User_Removed 15 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2012 10:57PM
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
hollkj Plus
13 215 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2012 11:21PM
+1 for Really Right Stuff. V. expensive but will last a lifetime.
Glynn 11 1.2k 1 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2012 12:39PM
Vanguard Alto Pro 283 CT

Awsome piece of kit and very reasonably priced and it comes with a carry case which is a bonus
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
28 Jun 2012 2:08PM

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 12 7.1k 18 England
28 Jun 2012 2:53PM

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 9 3.5k United Kingdom
2 Jul 2012 9:17PM
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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