Tripods??? Good & Bad???
  • SLWoodz
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    Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by SLWoodz » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:32 am

    Hi,

    I am moving to Canada in 7 weeks, I thought it was time to invest in a better tripod for snow conditions and traveling with around Canada & USA.

    I will be mainly using Canon 7D with Tokina 11-16mm or Canon 70-200mm.

    Any ideas or help would be appreciated.
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by beeb » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:42 am

    If Canadian prices are anything like American prices - best I can say is wait until you're over there to buy! :lol:

    I like Manfrotto gear. Reliable and strong, not too badly priced - especially when you take into account how long they'll last you. I don't see the point in buying a cheap tripod anyway - In my experience they flex, wobble in the wind, and can be prone to failure.

    FWIW, If you can afford the extra outlay, carbon-fibre legged models do bring a significant weight reduction which might be nice for travelling. But it's generally only offered on the larger models, which might not be suitable for you while travelling. You really need to work out your criteria, then go from there...
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by Busiboy » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:51 am

    ^^^^ what he said

    Enjoy the trip, share the photos.

    Depending on what you want it might be worth considering a huge gorilla pod and a remote shutter control.
    *PPOK*
    C&C always welcome

    Scott
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by W G » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:21 am

    I have a couple of Manfrottos for commercial expedience but they are, and always have been, crap.

    Buy right and buy only once for a lifetime — buy Gitzo.

    (Some of the Really Right Stuff tripods seem well built also.)

    Welcome & cheers,
    Walter Glover

    "Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by SLWoodz » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:38 am

    Thank you, I will be in the US for 4 weeks, so I may just look when I get there or order off b&h photo.

    Of course I will share my photos with everyone.

    Manfratto or Gitzo....
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by W G » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:00 am

    In addition to B&H you might also check out Badger Graphic Sales:

    http://www.badgergraphic.com/index.html
    Walter Glover

    "Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by beeb » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:47 pm

    Bad experiences with the Manfrottos Walter, or just personal preference? What's the advantages of the Gitzos?
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by dm_td5 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:58 pm

    In the last 18 months I've bought a Gitzo both tripod and monopod. I always thought them overpriced compared to Manfrotto. Now I'm looking at replacing my old worn out Manfrotto with a Gitzo. I won't say Manfrotto are bad but rather that Gitzo is so much better :)

    Has anybody got one of the RRS tripods? They look good too.
    Derek - Nikon, Manfrotto, RRS, Apple *- PPOK -*
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by beeb » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:21 pm

    dm_td5 wrote:In the last 18 months I've bought a Gitzo both tripod and monopod. I always thought them overpriced compared to Manfrotto. Now I'm looking at replacing my old worn out Manfrotto with a Gitzo. I won't say Manfrotto are bad but rather that Gitzo is so much better :)


    Yes - but why? What are the differences/improvements? Interested to know if I need to replace/upgrade down the track...
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by W G » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:54 pm

    These days manfrotto actually owns Gitzo - but there the similarity ends ..... well, apart from making things with just three legs, I suppose.

    A key requisite for a tripod is to have MASS and firm interfaces between moving parts; all in the hope of stability and rigidity.

    Gitzo started out making machine-gun mountings and moved into photography. Lino Manfrotto was a photographer who devised a system with many highly marketable attributes but in most cases rigidity and stability are not strong suits.

    The leg hinges (and struts) on Manfrotto tripods are not as snug a fit as Gitzo. There is invariably 'play' in the joints and they rely on being clamped by wing nuts to hold fast. The leg sections are thing aluminium tubing and harmonics can set-up vibrations in the structural stability which lessen the effectiveness.

    I currently use a Manfrotto 028 Triman for the times I need to get really high - like step-ladder high. And for my commercial digital capture stuff I use something like an 055 which is capable only of assuring a constant viewpoint. It is anything but stable. It's okay in the studio with flash - what wouldn't be? - and it has all sorts of features such as the centre column becoming a copy arm (but not a really rock-solid copy arm. The 055 is light and speedy for quick shoots.

    My current Gitzo is a carbon fibre medium weight model with a ball levelling top I have had for about 15 years. It is as good an anchor as carbon-fibre can be. I'd actually love to go back to the big series five aluminium ones I had years before. It wopuld be fair to say that the Gitzos are a tripod for life.

    I have only seen a RRS table top tripod and it is hard to believe that it is made in America. It is a lovely jobbie.

    Over the years I have had Miller, Benbo and Culman tripods all because they had some unique feature or other — generally that they had sealed upside down legs that could be immersed in the water back when I was shooting 100% crumpet.

    Linhof make great heavy tripods and as a kid I had a Reiss which could hold up a Land-Cruiser for a quick lube.

    With tripods in particular you get what you pay for.

    Before you buy, set the tripod at working height with the legs splayed as you would for work. Grab two of the legs up near the junction block at the top and then twist. There won't be movement with a Gitzo but the same cannot be said for the Manfrottos I have seen.

    One thing that I do like from Manfrotto is their geared heads - I have a 310 for digital and a 305 for large format. I also use a Gitzo Magnesium ball head for LF work.

    Cheers,
    Walter Glover

    "Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by beeb » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:09 pm

    Thanks Walter. All good info for my purposes, but probably overkill for the OP. Like you say, more mass is preferable, but in his case not necessarily when travelling...

    I had a 055XB and like you say it had some flex around the leg attachment points, and a little (very minor) flex in the legs themselves, but the Carbon-fibre 055CX3 I have replaced it with seems much better on both counts. It is very rigid while remaining quite light, which for me is a factor as I often carry the tripod (and camera gear) while bushwalking. I could see that the Gitzo would likely be a step up in quality, but any equivelant models would in reality likely be near-identical in actual performance (as I'd still want a similarly lightweight model). I notice also the weave/contruction of the carbon-fibre on the Gitzos appears to be the same as Manfrotto's - I wonder if they have started to amalgamate some of their manufacturing?
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    Re: Tripods??? Good & Bad???

    by gerry » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:12 pm

    The tripod world is now much broader than just gitzo and manfrotto, there are plenty of other players in the market which may suit your needs and budget. With the advent of cheap machining and cheap aluminum and lower cost carbon fibre some of these alternates to teh big brands are worth while looking at.

    The Sirui range has got some good reviews and i know a couple of guys who have them and reckon they are pretty good..

    http://www.sirui-photo.com/EN/frm_ProgramShow_En.aspx?ProgramID=40

    The other one I noticed teh other day was Three legged thing they have a fairly good range by the look of it and appear to have a good travel tripod, google for some reviews..

    http://www.3leggedthing.com/
    just coz its the internet does not mean you can act like a dick :)

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