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Old 03-29-2017, 07:48 PM   #1
Puncher51
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Alright guys, I searched the forums and didn't see anything regarding tripods that has been posted recently. There are a lot of great photographers on here, what do y'all use?? I use a cheapo and it works alright, but I'm needing something better for my 70D. Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:11 PM   #2
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Thom Hogan has a good article about this very thing, seems like if you need one it's suggested to "buy once cry once" to avoid the hassle of gradually upgrading inferior products and spending more money in the process. I just couldn't make myself spend a grand on a head/legs combo when I decided I wanted a tripod for landscapes.

I ended up getting a used Kirk BH-3 ballhead paired with a cheap set of Brunton CF legs (~5 lbs total on my cheapo scale) , ended up with just over $300 in the setup and it works great for my needs. The Kirk head is rated at 15 lbs and I don't see myself needing more than that with any of the lenses I own ( or would like to own in the future).

I looked at arca-Swiss, Kirk, and really right stuff and ultimately went with the BH-3 because I found one for $100 less than retail. Gitzo legs would be awesome, but not in the budget at the moment!

Hopefully you'll some more seasoned folks to chime in but figured I'd offer my two cents!

Last edited by agtex42; 03-29-2017 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:30 PM   #3
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Hey Brother! I have really enjoyed your photos! I am a Private Investigator and shoot video several days a week. I have used the same tripod for over 20 years. I did a quick search to give you some reference but I think the original company sold out. Google Bogen, 501 Fluid Head Tripod. I think they may have been bought out by Manfrotto; however, I did see several Bogens on Amazon. I love the fluid motion and stability of that tripod. It is a little heavy but I still take mine in the woods. If you can go to a Professional Camera shop, I bet you can find what you are looking for. Your situation and working environment will dictate how heavy a tripod you will want to carry. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:15 AM   #4
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Depends on your use. If you go and just set up somewhere and won't be moving it or moving much, a good aluminum would work for you. Manfrotto and Benro is what I have but there are other good brands. I am more mobile these days so I really need a stout carbon fiber that will be light enough to move but hold a large lens. I'm looking hard a Feisol in that regard but they are proud of them. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:11 AM   #5
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I would like to find a good light weight tripod that can fold compact enough for air travel, but is also strong enough for large lenses. The tripods we have now are fine for home or on the road, but take up too much room for a checked bag. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:02 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the replies. Please keep them coming! I'm a casual photographer, only shoot a couple times per month. I have a Tamron 150-600 that I use as my wildlife lens, therefore the tripod would have to be able to hold some weight. I also tinker with night time photography(but I suck at it), so I'd use the tripod for that as well. I have a cheapo tripod that I got as a gift a few years ago and it works ok, but I need something stronger that will hold my camera more secure. I'm hoping not to spend more than $200, but from my research I won't be able to get much of a tripod for that price. Thanks again for the current replies.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:07 AM   #7
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In for feedback. I'm about to buy the same lease to travel to Africa with. Must get tripod soon
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Old 03-30-2017, 02:19 PM   #8
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I have 4 tripods.
One old aluminum Manfrotto that is sturdy and heavy. It has been a work horse but is strictly a backup now. It has a manfrotto head on it with the quick release. Again, it is rarely used.

I have a Brunton Carbon Fiber one that I got for $60 when Brunton left that business. It's decent enough, but is a backup or alternative tripod as well.

I have a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod that is a great unit. The column can be used horizontally which is a great feature. I typically use it with my Sirui ball head.

Recently, I added a Benro Carbon fiber tripod with leveling head. What a great tripod. Though pricey, it is a really good piece of equipment. It has the ability to reduce the length of the column for getting very low. I bought a Benro hybrid head for it that allows me to do video and photo effectively.



Lastly, I have a Mefoto travel tripod. It is a very small tripod but works well for landscapes and such when I'm away from home and can't take a big tripod.



I have 3 heads that are arca-swiss types. I have the L-brackets for my bodies that are great additions to my gear bag. I have one for my body with battery grip and one for that body without a battery grip. This makes it so easy to change from landscape to portrait orientation without adjusting the tripod head.

David, when I travel, the big carbon fiber tripod goes into a checked bag. It's just the nature of it. I do take the small mefoto one with me when I want my gear on a business trip or similar.

Here are my two main tripods.
Benro Hybrid Carbon Fiber Tripod w/ S2H Head (HFTA18CS2H)

MeFOTO Aluminum Backpacker Travel Tripod Kit - Red (A0350Q0R)

L-Bracket
Sirui TY-5DIIIL L-Bracket Plate for Canon 5D Mark III DSLR Camera
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post
I have 4 tripods.
One old aluminum Manfrotto that is sturdy and heavy. It has been a work horse but is strictly a backup now. It has a manfrotto head on it with the quick release. Again, it is rarely used.

I have a Brunton Carbon Fiber one that I got for $60 when Brunton left that business. It's decent enough, but is a backup or alternative tripod as well.

I have a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod that is a great unit. The column can be used horizontally which is a great feature. I typically use it with my Sirui ball head.

Recently, I added a Benro Carbon fiber tripod with leveling head. What a great tripod. Though pricey, it is a really good piece of equipment. It has the ability to reduce the length of the column for getting very low. I bought a Benro hybrid head for it that allows me to do video and photo effectively.



Lastly, I have a Mefoto travel tripod. It is a very small tripod but works well for landscapes and such when I'm away from home and can't take a big tripod.



I have 3 heads that are arca-swiss types. I have the L-brackets for my bodies that are great additions to my gear bag. I have one for my body with battery grip and one for that body without a battery grip. This makes it so easy to change from landscape to portrait orientation without adjusting the tripod head.

David, when I travel, the big carbon fiber tripod goes into a checked bag. It's just the nature of it. I do take the small mefoto one with me when I want my gear on a business trip or similar.

Here are my two main tripods.
Benro Hybrid Carbon Fiber Tripod w/ S2H Head (HFTA18CS2H)

MeFOTO Aluminum Backpacker Travel Tripod Kit - Red (A0350Q0R)

L-Bracket
Sirui TY-5DIIIL L-Bracket Plate for Canon 5D Mark III DSLR Camera
Great post! You gave me a lot to research.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:37 PM   #10
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I have a gitzo, and an arca ball head, but the most important thing I do when related to longer exposures especially with long lenses, is to use the shutter delay mode. So the mirror does not create mirror slap. A total game changer for landscapes.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:01 AM   #11
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This thread has been a help as I'm in the market for a CF heavy duty tripod leg set. I don't need a center shaft for this one but would prefer one that allows for add on later if possible. Feisol is the only one I'm seeing that I can do that with at my price point.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:26 AM   #12
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Good info, Casey. Do you ever use a gimbal head for your long lenses?

I've been looking at this tripod...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...9x_carbon.html

Seems like a nice combination of compactness and load capacity.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:49 AM   #13
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It's already been said but there isn't such a thing as a good cheap tripod system, especially when it comes to heads. If your shooting exclusively landscapes or portraits, you can get away with a cheaper setup but for wildlife photography you need something that stabilizes fast and has a smooth movement. Here are a few things to consider biased more towards wildlife photography.

Aluminum vs Carbon fiber: Aluminum is cheaper and heavier which can be a good or bad thing depending on if you are going to be carrying it a long way. Carbon fiber is over twice the price but is lighter and less susceptible to harmonics and temperature. It does have the disadvantage of breaking rather than bending like aluminum so watch the car doors.

Ball head vs Video head: Ball heads are still the most popular and flexible but it's going to cost you for a really smooth head that can take some weight. Video heads aren't just for movies, they make a great wildlife head but suck for landscapes if you want to rotate 90 degrees. They also are much bulkier and you also really need a tripod with a leveling column. I prefer the video head because they are easier for me to make small adjustment with a telephoto lens.

Size, height, and weight: A flimsy tripod that your willing to carry with you beats the tripod left at home or in the car. Tripods get less stable as you go taller so short people can get away with a smaller tripod than a tall person unless your willing to hunch over. You can also get away with a smaller less stable tripod but it will take longer to settle after an adjustment.

I currently have 4 different tripods and each is quite different.

Slik Sprint 150, it's cheap but decent and usually get thrown in the car when I am taking just a body and one or two light lens.

Oben CT-2441 with a Manfrotto 496RC2 head, this one fit's inside my camera backpack with the head removed, weighs 3lbs, and goes everywhere the backpack goes. While not the ideal setup, it will support my 6D with the Tamron 150-600 but takes a few seconds to settle with that lens. As a side note, Oben is IMHO probably the best bang for the buck.

Manfrotto 755CX# with a Bogen 3130 video head, my do all tripod, weighs 6 lbs and isn't too bulky. I also have a older Arca ball head for it.

Manfrotto 535 MPro with a 501 HDV video head, it's big and heavy and I hardly use it anymore since I sold the 500 F4. In this tripod size the carbon fiber cut a huge chunk of weight off compared to it's aluminum predecessor. Not sure whether this one will remain in the stable but the head is smooooooth.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:02 AM   #14
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Ok shameless plug. Been thinking about doing it and this thread pushed me.

http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...8#post12321708
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:58 PM   #15
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I've been using a manfrotto aluminum tripod and manfrotto fluid head on it. Would have to look at model numbers on it at home but it is solid as a rock. The legs will go out almost flat to the head and the center head piece can be independently raised or lowered. It is a little heavy, but I like it.
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:28 PM   #16
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Manfrottos are good ones, that is what I'm selling.
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Old 03-31-2017, 07:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakelover View Post
Good info, Casey. Do you ever use a gimbal head for your long lenses?

I've been looking at this tripod...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...9x_carbon.html

Seems like a nice combination of compactness and load capacity.
I've never used a gimbal head.
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Old 03-31-2017, 07:58 PM   #18
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These are the three I've narrowed down to.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._series_3.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...4_SECTION.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...er_tripod.html

One thing about the Sirui is a leg can be used as a monopod which I don't need.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
These are the three I've narrowed down to.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._series_3.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...4_SECTION.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...er_tripod.html

One thing about the Sirui is a leg can be used as a monopod which I don't need.
I don't think you'll be happy with any of them. You appear to be a 6 footer and a 52" tripod is going to cause you to stoop quite a bit which isn't any fun. Your third choice will get you there but only with the center column almost fully extended which decreases stability. Personally, I'd go with a tripod height that you only need to extend the column 2-3" which will give you plenty of stability and still be able to go taller if your on a hillside.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:13 AM   #20
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My main purpose for this tripod is birding. By the time I add my gimbal head it will be fine. One thing I have learned, you never have the level of the subject covered. In flight happens quickly so if I have to bend over for a few seconds I'm good. Many times I'm sitting if in a fixed location anyway.

I have other tripod for portrait shooting, landscapes, etc. When I go out to shoot birds, that's all I'm doing.
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:58 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puncher51 View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies. Please keep them coming! I'm a casual photographer, only shoot a couple times per month. I have a Tamron 150-600 that I use as my wildlife lens, therefore the tripod would have to be able to hold some weight. I also tinker with night time photography(but I suck at it), so I'd use the tripod for that as well. I have a cheapo tripod that I got as a gift a few years ago and it works ok, but I need something stronger that will hold my camera more secure. I'm hoping not to spend more than $200, but from my research I won't be able to get much of a tripod for that price. Thanks again for the current replies.
I held my 7DmkII with a Tamron 150-600 for several years with the Manfrotto 3021B Pro. Works well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
These are the three I've narrowed down to.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._series_3.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...4_SECTION.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...er_tripod.html

One thing about the Sirui is a leg can be used as a monopod which I don't need.
Update: I ended up buying none of the three listed. I did buy a Feisol but my point of the CF was for it to be light weight. This is what I bought. The leg diameters are approximately the same as the Manfrotto I have/had, if not a fraction smaller. I will admit I wondered about it's steadiness at the lack of bulk but it is rock steady at 2.5 pounds. The height is perfect with the gimbal head attached. I have to lower the legs slightly to shoot down up to a little above horizon. The other Feisol I was looking at was the same weight as the Manfrotto and bulky like the monopod (diameter) I own so it made no sense to get a CF if the weight was going to be the same.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:40 AM   #22
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Mindy and I went with...

Benro FTA18CC Travel Angel Series 1 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Benro GH2 Aluminum Gimbal Head

And for when we're not using the long lenses, the Benro IN1 Double Action Ball Head

I've only used the tripod/gimbal combination for one road trip so far. But I like it very much. I haven't tried the ball head yet, but from just fiddling with it out of the box, I think it will serve our needs well.
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:47 PM   #23
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How do you like the barrel leg locks David? I like them on the monopod but the jury is out on the tripod. I tend to adjust legs with the lens in place and with the flip locks you knew it was locked. I will have to be more careful.
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
How do you like the barrel leg locks David? I like them on the monopod but the jury is out on the tripod. I tend to adjust legs with the lens in place and with the flip locks you knew it was locked. I will have to be more careful.
That was one of my biggest concerns, being that I was used to the flip locks. Like you said you do have to be more careful. But I guess that's just one of the trade offs for a light weight, compact travel tripod. For me it's mostly just a matter of being very deliberate when it's time to set up. Over time, I imagine it will become more familiar and automatic. At least I hope!
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