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Carbon Trends

6 Mar 2014 10:57PM
I totally get carbon. I'm not a Luddite carbon hater (or h8r, as I understand the modern spelling to be). But....

Carbon fibre is really light and cameras are often quite heavy (I can hit 2kg easily for a lot of job setups).

Manfrotto released the MT055XPRO3 (carbon) which has the loveliness of the 90 degree swivel for the centre column. I use that a lot on my current 055 but I quite often have to weight the tripod for stability because the camera is out on a long limb, hanging off the end of an extended horizontal centre column (I do understand that there is irony in the term 'horizontal column'). With a lighter tripod I would need to add more weight for stability, so what I don't carry in terms of tripod, I have to offset in terms of something heavy.

You can change all the materials you want, but you can't change physics, so is the carbon 055 fitted with a superfluous swivelling centre column? Consider that question in the light of the tripod being aimed at pro users with weighty cameras and lenses.

I don't mind progress as long as it has a practical purpose.


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6 Mar 2014 11:09PM
Duh...it's obvious... you should only use it to take landscapes when there's a handy log or rock at the place of tripod usage...WinkWink

Not a lot better with an alloy 055 and horizontal bar....don't tell you that in the sales blurb... Smile
StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
6 Mar 2014 11:52PM
The carbon fibre really pays its way over here, we had from -12 to -42C in the past 10 days.Tongue
steveh5 7 90 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2014 8:41AM
I carry a short bit of rope so that I can tie my camera bag with all my spare kit to the tripod for weight. No extra weight but very versatile.
7 Mar 2014 9:00AM
Thanks. My question has been answered. Carbon good in cold weather. Carbon centre column pretty pointless. Grin
alansnap 14 577 26 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2014 12:29PM
The point of the swivelling centre column on any tripod is to allow you to splay the legs for low angle photography and I have found my alloy Manfrotto to be pretty good for this. You're quite right about the physics of course, but there are time when, like it or not, you can't get sensible placement of your tripod legs so you have to compromise on the stability front. You can put a counterweight on the column to hold things steady. I always use a cable release and mirror lock-up for this sort of work, and if you do that you will reduce the human induced and mirror slap movement.

In general carbon tripods are great for weight reduction, but will be more susceptible to wind problems. I have a Three Legged Thing which is great for weight reduction, but comes with its own sling that hangs between the legs so you can add ballast, or, failing that, hang you camera bag off it - though be careful in the wind as it will swing around.

So your centre column is no more or less useful than that on any camera, successful use depending on intelligent application of all your skills.

7 Mar 2014 12:44PM
Yes, I'd forgotten about going down near to ground level until after I posted. I've used my alloy for that some time ago, but I'm not really a landscapist. My column is most often used to hang a camera over a table and I do have to counterweight quite frequently.

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