Tripods

Thread starter #1

leo

Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
Any of you medium/big lens pic takers care to share your tripod (and head too) recommendations, I am currently leaning towards a Bogan 3001 with the 3265 head, and wondered if there are others tripods out there of the same quality??????

Thanks :)
 

rip18

Senior Member
Leo -

I waited until I could go to the truck & check all my numbers (I think they are right...).

I use several different tripods, depending on what lens I am using & what I am trying to take a picture of...

1. My main tripod is an old Bogen/Manfrotto 190 with a Bogen/Manfrotto 3265 squeeze-grip ball head. I use it for my normal lenses (up to 300 mm) & some macro. I would like to replace the current head with a Really Right Stuff or Arca/Swiss ball head at some point.

2. My tripod for my big 600 mm lens is a Bogen/Manfrotto 3221 WN with a Wimberley gimbal head. I replaced the center post with a shorter 6 inch center post. That tripod barely supports the total weight of the head, lens, camera, & I would like to replace it with a heavier Gitzo at some point.

3. The tripod that I use for most macro shots is a Bogen/Manfrotto 3001 with a Bogen/Manfrotto 3029 3-way head. This tripod has NO centerpost so it can get fairly low. Again, I would like to replace the existing head with a good ball head.

4. The tripod that my wife uses most of the time is a Velbon Mark 7 with a Bogen/Manfrotto 3030 3-way head (same as the 3029 except it has a quick release plate). Again, a good ball head would be nice.

5. I also have a Bogen/Manfrotto 3218 monopod with a Bogen 3229 head. I will probably get a Bogen 3421 head for my big lens for this monopod at some point. I usually don't use the monopod much.

6. I use a pair of Hughes Shooting Products beanbags to shoot off my truck, tool box, out the window, off of logs, etc. The big one holds 13 pounds of pinto beans & the little one holds 3 pounds of pinto beans.

7. I have an aluminum frying pan with a hole drilled in the bottom with a 3/8" carriage bolt pounded into it. I have a bunch of washers & a spare nut on the top. I can take the spare nut off & mount any one of my heads (usually a 3-way - but a ball head would be better...) on it for shooting off of the ground or a low macro subject.

8. I have a couple of small "emergency" tripods that are 6 inches to 12 inches high stashed in my camera bags, but use them only once in a blue moon.


I like your suggested tripod & head, but you might look at going with 3021 or a 3221 Bogen tripod. Do a Bogen tripod search on eBay. I just did & bid on yet another tripod.... The 3265 head can be a bit of a pain if you are trying to shoot a really low-growing flower or a reptile on the ground.

Good luck!
 
Thread starter #3

leo

Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
Rip great info

I like your suggested tripod & head,
Well I have some very helpful and knowledgable people that I can ask for advice::ke:

Y'all please share some of your tripod and mono pod suggestions/experiences with us,

Any of you medium/big lens pic takers
I didn't mean this to be as restictive as it reads, us "little lens" people should share too:cool:
 

rip18

Senior Member
Now this is what I call a very ACTIVE thread... :p

Thought I would post a picture of my "frypod" in use...
 

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Thread starter #6

leo

Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
That's a great idea rip18

thanks for sharing:clap:

we allow questions in this thread too;), please share some info/ideas with us beginners that are just starting to move off "auto" and "point and shoot" :D

:cheers:
 

rip18

Senior Member
Yep, I try not to get to where I have to lay down in the mud or water, but sometimes to get the eye-level critter picture, you have to get messy.....

That frying pan just happened to be the best value (price per radial inch....) at the local Wal-Mart. I'm sure if I had visited a few garage sales/flea markets, I could have found a cheaper pan.....

I was really "bad" about using a tripod for a LONG time because a tripod with the "normal" 3-way head is so dog-gone hard to use on critters & some close ups. Works great on static landscapes & some plants, but trying to move the thing is a joke! Once I got a decent tripod & a good head, it has made all the difference in the world. A lot of my oof (out-of-focus) pictures really weren't out of focus, my camera was moving with a comparatively slow shutter speed. The "rules" for activating a shutter are really similar for competitive rifle shooting... Brace your camera using your body & bone structure... Slowly squeeze the release; don't punch it.... Squeeze the release between breaths/heartbeats....
 

Hoss

Moderator
Rip, How about some information concerning the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of three way heads and ball heads. I'm like Leo, in the market for a new tripod and would like to have a better understanding of what is used for what and why.
The one I have is ancient and a true pain to set up, hence the mono pod gets a lot of use with often non optimal results. (Not sure a new tripod would solve all of them, but its bound to help on a few.)

Hoss
 

bigswamp

Senior Member
I use a giottos MT9180 tripod and giottos MH-1000 ball head. I manage to do pretty good with these. I would like the tripod to be a little more steady and it can be difficult to get the friction right with the ball head but overall for the price I am happy with them. Of course, if I ever get a big lens I will have to upgrade the tripod and head.
 
Here's a couple pictures of my get-up. I really like this set-up, and Arca Swiss makes some awesome ballheads. This is the Arca-Swiss Monoball B1 Ballhead with Independent Panning Lock & Quick Release along with the Manfrotto 3021BN tripod legs. It works really great for my reptile and amphibian photography. The legs go completely flat against the ground for some great eye-level shots.





And one of my critter subjects. :)
 
Thread starter #12

leo

Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
bigswamp and shaggybill

Way to go,:yeah: thats the kind of info some of us need, thanks for sharing:clap:

Great shots shaggybill:clap:

As Hoss said
in the market for a new tripod and would like to have a better understanding of what is used for what and why.
and need/want all of the info we can get:)

There is no place local to where I live that I can go get hands on with these things except Wolf Camera, and I have about worn out my welcome asking questions about things they do not sell in the stores:D

Here is a question I have...... Tripod max extended length????.... The bogan 3001 extends to 57", some extend to 71", at @ 6' the 57 seems all i would need:confused:
 

rip18

Senior Member
I'm glad to see some other people weighing in. I know that there are several other people on the forum who are more knowledgeable than I am about some of this stuff. I'd like to see Razorback weigh in as well....

There are a couple of other forums about photography that we can probably get better information on as well (or at least get more responses based on past experience....). www.photomigrations.com - You have to sign up (free) to even view their forums and www.naturephotographers.net are two that come to mind. Searching their archives for tripod advice can be helpful (and overwhelming at times....).

I'll try to address a couple of questions that have been raised....

1. Ball heads vs 3-way traditional heads.... To me, the advantages of ball (& gimbal) heads are: 1) easier to level, 2) QUICKER to adjust, 3) takes fewer hands/movements to adjust, 4) usually shorter (so you can get closer to the ground), and 5) fewer "arms" sticking out from the head to come loose or get caught on something... The ball & gimbal heads when slightly loosened make it much easier to track a moving subject. When you loosen all 3 controls on a 3-way head, it can get too loose & you lose stability; if you don't loosen all 3 controls & your tripod base isn't perfectly level, then you have a photo that isn't level & needs rotation & cropping to "look right."

2. Tripod height - I usually have more problems getting my tripods to go low enough rather than come up high enough - course I ain't as tall as Leo... If you read a bunch of tripod advice from professionals, most of them don't use the raisable center post because that is the least stable part of the tripod. On one of my tripods (similar to Shaggy Bill's), I have completely done away with the center post so that it will go flat on the ground when I want it to. On another, I paid extra for a 6" center post so that it would come within 6" of the ground. And on another, I cut the centerpost off with a hacksaw to shorten it...

For the vast majority of pictures, I don't take them at MY eye level anyway. I try to get them from critter eye level. Occasionally I will take one from "my" height to show a critter or flower as it is "normally" seen. On rare occasions I will extend the tripod as high as it will go to try to reduce my distance from a high subject (bird in a tree, etc.). Up in the mountains, I sometimes am above the tripod & need a little extra height, but not often. I can't remember the max height of my Velbon Mark 7 (without center post), but I think it is less than 4 feet. 57" should be gracious plenty (especially when you add a couple of extra inches for any kind of head. The 3265 head will add somewhere between 4 and 6 inches anyway....). You might also look at the 322RC2 head, which is just like the 3265 except that the sqeeze grip is to the side like on Shaggy Bill's. The only thing I didn't like about that was that it limited which direction I could switch from portrait to landscape at some tripod settings. Most people are left or right tilters only, so that ain't a problem. I am a little ambidextrous anyway, & I tilt whichever direction seems to make sense based on which way the animal is moving (usually a macro critter). Alternatively, the Bogen 486RC2 head is a lower-priced version of a ball head...
 

bigswamp

Senior Member
with 57" tripod you will be humped over and that will get uncomfortable after a while...in my opion you would be better off with the taller tripod and you can adjust it down but it is hard to make it any taller...also if you shoot birds perched much higher than eye level the tall tripod reduces the angle and only a few inches can make a lot of difference in making the picture appear more like you are on the same level.
 
Thanks all for some great information. It's going to be a big help in having some understanding of this simple item that in use become very complex.

Hoss
 

slimbo

Senior Member
First of all, tripods and cameras are like guns and duck calls. All of them get the job done. Some help you out more than others in achieving that great shot, but all are capable. Pick one, try it and if you dont like it try another one. (which is probably what Rip did.) Every body will have different opinions and their favorites may not be yours.

That being said, Ive got bogen monfrotto 3001 legs and have just updated from a 3030 3 way head to a 486rc2compact ball head with quick release. I love the ball head, but wish the legs had quick release legs and were a little longer. And Im a short guy.

slimbo
 
Thread starter #17

leo

Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
Thanks for all of the comments, and the

opinions on tripod height.:)

I am really picking up some great basic info, that I had not considered prior to this, from this dicsussion:clap: :clap:

I now have a lot better idea what to consider for a decent usable tripod and head THANKS:cheers:
 

Razorback

Senior Member
rip18,

Thanks for the heads up to the GREAT TRIPOD DEBATE.:type:

You would think I could keep up with all the numbers that Bogen/Manfroto use for their heads & legs but I can't. The numbers I know are the ones I sell the most.

After reading through the post I'll add a couple of other thoughts about tripods & heads.:type:

*Bogen pricing on black & clear anodized legsets is the same. So no more price advantage to the plain legsets.:eek:

*Bogen has a 3021Pro legset. It has the feature of taking the center column out & inserting it in the tripod horizontally. So the center post acts like a boom hanging over your subject.

*Bogen's Neotec legset is very cool. :cool: No latches, knobs, levers or collars to loosen to unlock the legs. Just pull the lower section to extend the legs & push a button on top of the legs to shorten. Legs are sealed from the bottom to the top of the first section. No more mud & goop in the legs. Very nice at about a $200 more than a 3021 Pro legset with the same center post action.

*Benbo & Uni-Loc, very unique legsets. Loosen one lever and all legs & center column can be moved about so you can go low or tall very quickly. The legs are sealed from the bottom to top section. Uni-Loc's have interlocking teeth between the leg pivots so the legs will not slip even though you have tightened them like a gorilla. These are legs you either love or hate. http://www.pro4.com/uniloc_main.html I can get the Benbo's but I recomend the Uni-Locs. You got to order the Unilocs direct from Pro 4.

My Florida customers really like the sealed legs of the Neotec & Benbo/Uniloc legsets. They are always at the beach w/ their tripods and this design keeps the sand out of the legs. The standard Bogen & Gitzo legs can be taken a part & cleaned but take the time & do it right. Once you have done this a time or two you really appreciate legs that are sealed to begin with.

As far as tripod heads go-basically ball heads are faster & 3-handled heads are more precise to adjust in ONE plane. Definitely go w/ a quick release between the camera/lens and tripod head. And get an extra plate. Nothing like being in the field w/ tripod & camera and having the tripod as a convenient place to lean your camera on because you misplaced your quick release plate.:hair:

The 3265 Grip Action Ball Head & its newer big brother the 322RC2 work the same but the 322 can support twice the weight. Plus the 322 lets you put the QR asy on either side of the handle or on the end like the 3265. Also you can get electric camera release that attach to the 322 to trip Canon & Nikon. I have one customer who likes the QR on the side with the squeeze grip release aimed at his chest. This way he can go vertical to the left or right.:crazy: Crazy but it works for him.

Okay its taking me off & on typing sense about 10 this morning. I'm going home now I'll check in tomorrow.

Razor
 

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Thanks to all. Great information. Razorback, I need to find the time to come up for a visit. Been looking on line at the Bogen 3021 PRO with either a 322RC2 or 486RC2. Looking on line isn't the same as seeing them in person though.
My trials with my old, old, old tripod showed me that they will improve my photos, but I am in definite need of an upgrade.
Only one last question and this is for Leo, Why didn't you start this thread before Father's Day so I could have got the kids to come up with the money?

Hoss
 
Thread starter #20

leo

Retired Woody's Mod 7/01-12/09
Hoss

Hoss said:
Only one last question and this is for Leo, Why didn't you start this thread before Father's Day so I could have got the kids to come up with the money?

Hoss
Actually I was lookng at other items for fathers day ........................:eek: ::ke:
 
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