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Manfrotto tripod - how do I go lower?


3 Oct 2010 1:25PM
Hi

I'm a relatively newcomer to the world of photography. I bought my camera together with a tripod earlier this year. The tripod is a Manfrotto 190XDB with a 390RC2 pan-and-tilt head. I love the tripod but there's one thing that puzzles me - I know the legs can be spread so that the tripod can go very low but the centre pole prevents you from going lower than about 12 inches. Do I need to buy a shorter centre pole or am I missing something very obvious? I have thought of pulling the end off the centre pole and feeding the centre pole through the head the other way - this would mean the camera could go below the head but it would be upside down. Is this silly?

Any help would be gratefully received.

Neil Walker
dcash29 16 2.4k England
3 Oct 2010 1:44PM

Quote:I have thought of pulling the end off the centre pole and feeding the centre pole through the head the other way - this would mean the camera could go below the head but it would be upside down. Is this silly?



Thats the only way i know of...maybe i'm silly?
KatieR 18 6.2k 6
3 Oct 2010 1:58PM
No, it's not silly - just awkward!

I would recommend getting an angle finder to attach to your viewfinder - it rotates so you don't have to - that will help somewhat. Or a camera with a multi-position LCD!

The 190 Pro version has a very handy device to allow you remove the centre stem and use it horizontally - sorry, that's no help, I know Sad

Some tripod systems do have short centre columns - to buy as an extra - not sure whether this is applicable to the 190 series.
Paintman Plus
15 1.5k 180 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2010 2:34PM
I have the 055pro and it has a centre column. I unscrew the bottom of the centre column so it releases the tripod head, then take the CC out and feed it through horizontally. Put the head back on and tighten the bottom nut.

If yours has a similar system then it's as easy as that. If it doesn't then try putting your camera upside down on the bottom of the CC. I've never found this to be very satisfactory and creates problems when trying to compose the photograph. Maybe I'm just cack-handedSmile
miyaguchi 12 136 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2010 2:48PM
How low?

I have the 055pro and it is possible to 'spreadeagle' (mind boggles) the legs to a more acute angle in relation to the ground by depressing the silver lever at the top of each leg.
Chrism8 15 1.0k 31 England
3 Oct 2010 2:52PM
According to the Warehouse express web site, the min working level of your 190XDB is 35cm, you may find that your unable to remove the centre column to get a lower stance.

Chris
mad-dogs 19 2.2k England
3 Oct 2010 2:57PM
Stick a Bo-clamp on the tripod leg and attach your head to that. They are about 15 each.
KatieR 18 6.2k 6
3 Oct 2010 3:08PM
his head? Surely that will hurt?


Wink
BigRick 16 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2010 3:19PM

Quote:How low?

I have the 055pro and it is possible to 'spreadeagle' (mind boggles) the legs to a more acute angle in relation to the ground by depressing the silver lever at the top of each leg.



which is fine,, but the centre column prevents you from getting right to the floor.... i always turn the centre column upside down and use live view, or lay on the floor with it and compose that way.... as far as being awkward,,,, yes it is.... but then if you want low then sacrifices you must make Wink

Using the tripod this way mean the camera can effectivly sit on the floor but still be held by the tripod.... you cant get any lower than that.... unless you dig a hole first Wink
BigRick 16 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2010 3:20PM

Quote:His head? Surely that will hurt?


Wink



true.... maybe gaffa tape might work.... but that would pull all the hair out when you take it off again. Smile Wink
3 Oct 2010 4:01PM
Get a mini bean bag, saves all this hassel and costs about a 5.
KatieR 18 6.2k 6
3 Oct 2010 4:02PM
For right-on-the-floor stuff, it's a beanbag for me... obviously that means you can't use an adjustment plate if you are doing macro, but it's not hard to find a good position for the camera. It's good for fungi and the like.

You need to be able to pretty much lie on the ground of course, and not everyone can.
KatieR 18 6.2k 6
3 Oct 2010 4:02PM
Or should I say, they can get down... but maybe not up again!
User_Removed 12 4.6k 1 Scotland
3 Oct 2010 5:26PM
With my Manfrotto, I can raise the centre column to its highest extent and then depress the button in the middle of the lower end of the column. That allows me to swing the column through 90 degrees to a horizontal position. I then juxta-rotate the head through the opposite 90 degrees to restore landscape format (if that is what I want). With the legs spread-eagled, that lets me get the camera to within a few inches of the ground/floor and I then use a 90 degree viewfinder attachment
3 Oct 2010 8:53PM
A set of gardeners knee pads works wonders once your down with your bean bag, getting back up is a problem you'll have to sort out for yourselves. However if you find a way that makes it easier, please let me know.

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