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Cheap yet strong tripod suggestions

Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
6 Oct 2011 2:57PM
I'm after a good set of iron rods welded to a lump of iron - that should be fairly solid and pretty cheap right?

Ok jokes aside but I don't think my 055XPROB tripod legs and Junior Geared head are quite suited to holding the Mamiya fully stable, esp when I start adding extension tubes. I'll work with it for now because its all I've got, though I'd be interested to know if there are any older, solid legs brands/makes that would be more well suited to holding this kind of heavy setup; esp since it seems that older heavier legs tend to depreciate a lot second hand..

know this means that long with the tonne of a camera the legs will be a hefty weight as well, but I've simply not the budget to put toward a serious set of legs for this alone (though I've plans for a serious set of Gitzo legs but that focuses on being light weight whilst also supporting a long telephoto DSLR setup - might be well suited for the mamiya as well but with a much higher cost its a way down the purchase list).

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Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2011 3:55PM
Secondhand is the way to go. Older Manfrotto and larger ball head or even an old Benbo if you want to get into some more awkward places.

I have an older Manfrotto for my MPP large format and that is plenty steady.

User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
6 Oct 2011 6:42PM

When using the Mamiya RB67, I used an old Slik 88. You should find them on eBay for around 40-60.

Very sturdy albeit a wee bittie heavy.

User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
6 Oct 2011 6:53PM
Slik 88!!! There's a 'blast-from-the-past'!!!
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
6 Oct 2011 7:01PM
Slik 88 is no more sturdy than your Manfrotto though. I used the Manfrotto 055 to hold a Mamiya and it was fine...having said that I had a three way head which has less spring in it than the junior and I wasn't using tubes, but was shooting at slow speeds in outdoor windy situations etc. It even supported a Sinar Wolf (5x4 monorail) quite well.
If you want rock solid go for a bigger Manfrotto or Gitzo - one with big chunky legs. Heavy to carry around though!
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
6 Oct 2011 7:09PM

Quote:Slik 88 is no more sturdy than your Manfrotto though. I used the Manfrotto 055 to hold a Mamiya

You may (possibly) be right about the 055 Pete, but I use both the Slik 88 and a Manfrotto 190CX and, while the Slik is as rigid as the Forth Bridge, by comparison the Manfrotto is like a willow wand swaying in the breeze.

I must confess I have been tempted by the 055CX but I would definitely go for the 3 rather than 4 section version. Can you guarantee that it will be as sturdy as the Slik88?

Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
6 Oct 2011 7:22PM
I switched from Slik 88 to an 055. It was the original one they made and really solid certainly better than the Slik. The plastic locking part of the 88 can crack at the head after a lot of heavy use and that tiny support pin isn't as good as the hexagonal plate of the Manfrotto. Best thing to do is go into a retailer who has the Manfrotto in stock and try it. I don't want to be held to any guarantee Wink
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
6 Oct 2011 8:00PM
I`ve never been a big fan of tripods but replaced an old one last year with one of these, there pretty good for the price.

LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
6 Oct 2011 8:36PM
Second hand Benbo (not a trekker version) from as little as 30 with better stability than some 300 tripods new!
MarkBauer 8 127 1
6 Oct 2011 8:54PM
I used a Pentax 67 on a Manfrotto 55 for years without any problems. I reckon the 410 head - which generally speaking is excellent - could be the weak link here. It's only rated to 5kg - which i imagine would have been tested under 'ideal' conditions - and at certain angles, I imagine could slip with your set-up. If you're using extension tubes, I'm guessing you're into macro, in whch case you probably appreciate the fine adjustments a geared head gives. The larger Manfrotto 405 geared head is rated up to 10kg and would probably do the job. Alternatively, a good ballhead - anything else will drive you nutty - from the likes of Arca Swiss, Markins or Really Right Stuff would more than handle it.

Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
6 Oct 2011 9:42PM
Hmm encouraging points regarding the legs, if I can save there that is certainly something. Head wise however its more complicated - Mark I think your nabbed the specs for the Manfrotto Geared head rather than the 405 geared (which is only rated at 7.5KG). Sadly hitting at 500odd for the big geared head and a weight of 2.1KG its really pushing into overkill on price for this setup (I'm not against quality, but I'm not a big time MF shooter with this camera (as yet Wink) so such a big investment just isn't on the cards - barring for a scanner which is just cost-saving in the long run on processing costs).

As for an alternative head I must admit I didn't think of ballheads (head creep in macro was one big curse before I got the junior geared head). However what are peoples thoughts on the Acratech GV2 Head - its rated at 11.4kg which would seem good enough and it is a head I've my eye on for a general use head for my work so would really suit well if its up to the task.
MarkBauer 8 127 1
6 Oct 2011 10:38PM
Not sure about the Acratech. I've never used one on a shoot, but did have a play with one a while ago, and wasn't that taken with it. They seem to cost about the same as an Arca Swiss Z1 (depending on which configuration of Arca) and given the choice, I'd take the Arca. Slightly heavier (which is probably better for you) though certainly not heavy, and with a much higher max load. What you have to remember with bullheads is that you'll need a much higher load rating than the weight if your kit, because when it's at angle, it's not the weight of the kit, but the torque applied.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
6 Oct 2011 11:12PM
We have a set of Gitzo tripods of different weights and the largest/heaviest, where the head goes up to ceiling height, cost about a tenner from a charity shop.

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