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View Full Version : Tripod. Which one? Usual question.


Ulfric M Douglas
27th July 2010, 05:11 PM
So I'm shopping for a tripod and need the following ;
Height: long tripod legs, not so fussed about a long centre column.
I was trying a manfotto 055xproB which had long enough legs but could've done with less centre column. The smaller tripod had thinner and shorter legs and a short centre column so couldn't reach the required height at all!
Compact head with no quick-release plate as I hate the beggars : maybe that'll restrict me to only ball-heads, not a big deal.
Flippy catches on the legs, not turny knobs.

So who has the ideal tripod and what did you pay for it? *chr

stevednp3
27th July 2010, 06:04 PM
I use a Manfrotto 190XDB Tripod + 486RC2 ball head. I find it excellent build quality, very stable, even with my e30, hld-4 and 70-300mm and the head is compact and quick release, if you look around on ebay you can get them as a set quite cheaply (I think the 486RC3 is now replacing mine)

edit
Only thing I see you meation the legs, this tripod has the turny knobs, but from tripods I have had in the past I find the knobs last longer, it only takes one good turn to lock in place on this model

ndl0071
27th July 2010, 06:34 PM
Tripods are a very personal piece of kit, although I suspect not a universally popular view, IMO there is only one make...Gitzo... my legs and off centre ball head cost almost the same as a three bed semi, but the quality is second to none easily worth the second mortgage:D Personally I wouldn't be without mine.
There are to many in the range for me to be specific to your needs but it may be worth asking the great god google:)

Graham_of_Rainham
27th July 2010, 06:47 PM
School fete, Church Bazare, Car boot sales are great places to get one. Most I've ever paid is 10

*chr

Ulfric M Douglas
27th July 2010, 09:29 PM
I/we already have two car-boot and cheapo tripods, now we'd like something more reliable and less frustrating.
I'm seeing a LOT of stuff on that there e-bay thing ... bidding on a couple.

Thanks for the comments fellas.

StephenL
28th July 2010, 06:38 AM
I must second Neil's view on Gitzos. They really are the mutts nuts, but at a price. But you only need to buy one.

cinders
28th July 2010, 08:25 AM
Mine's a Slik. Bought it as a lightweight full height version but at a reasonable price.

snaarman
28th July 2010, 08:53 AM
Large Manfrotto. A couple of hundred pounds a decade ago. Solid as a rock. So big, so reliable and so heavy that I hardly ever use it...

Cheapish Cobra rubbish tripod with QR plate and click lock legs. 30 a decade ago. Fairly rigid and not that bad considering, and quite light so I do use it :)

Moral. Big, expensive and solid are good, but you also need it to be light as well. Carbon fibre?? $$$$

StephenL
28th July 2010, 09:37 AM
I've also got (bought before my Gitzo) a carbon-fibre Velbon Sherpa, which is quite good and not over expensive. I did have it on sale some while back, but no takers.

ChrisW
28th July 2010, 10:20 AM
Not so much which one, but ones. I have two tripods - a Uni-Loc and a Gitzo 1541T.

The Uni-Loc is quite bulky, heavy, very stable, can be used to work at all heights from ground level to about 6 5, and also converts to a monopd.

The Gitzo 1541T very stable, very light, and when used with my Gitzo GH1780QR head folds down to about 13 long.

Both tripods are great, but for carrying long distances the Gitzo has the advantage.

ChrisW
28th July 2010, 10:37 AM
The other things to give some serious thought to go with your tripod is what kind of head to use with it, and what weights will the tripod and head be required to hold.

There is nothing worse than trying to photograph something, and as you look through the viewfinder, finding that your tripod/head is slowly sinking :eek:

This is well worth a read - http://www.bythom.com/support.htm

Jim Ford
28th July 2010, 10:40 AM
The Uni-Loc is quite bulky, heavy, very stable, can be used to work at all heights from ground level to about 6 5, and also converts to a monopd.


You can also get a sort of 'foot thing' for the Uniloc that converts the monopod to a 'duopod'. I've got one, but have never used it!

Jim

yorky
28th July 2010, 10:59 AM
Try looking at Giotos, they are up market Manfrotto's but the centre colums does a few useful tricks like lying flat etc and are around 100 upwards, strangely Jessops were doing good deals on them on line? otherwise look at benbo's

Ulfric M Douglas
28th July 2010, 11:31 AM
The other things to give some serious thought to go with your tripod is what kind of head to use with it, and what weights will the tripod and head be required to hold.

There is nothing worse than trying to photograph something, and as you look through the viewfinder, finding that your tripod/head is slowly sinking :eek:
That sinking feeling is what is happening with one of the old tripods, and the new car-boot one is too 'stiff' although I'm not using that one so don't know what it means.
The tripod will be mainly holding an Oly e-600 with lightweight 40-150 or a Sony alpha-450 with any old Minolta-AF lens : not heavy either.
Personally I want a head like the Manfrotte lightweight pan&tily with the three-sided handles. I'll find a pic ...
http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk/images/manfrotto-391rc2.jpg
It works nicer for me than the bigger head with the more sticky-out handles.
BUT I do NOT want a quick-release plate!

SteveJ
28th July 2010, 04:28 PM
Try looking at Giotos, they are up market Manfrotto's but the centre colums does a few useful tricks like lying flat etc and are around 100 upwards, strangely Jessops were doing good deals on them on line? otherwise look at benbo's

I'm with Yorky here. Ibought 1 from Jessops for 100 and it is great. Can set it in a host of possitions. Centre collum also. Very steady, and also great customer service. Highly recommend...

Regards
Steve.

wanderer
28th July 2010, 09:13 PM
Hi
I use a Manfrotto 444 Carbon fibre 4 section with a 460MG head.
The current price would be about 300.
I also have a spare plate and spares generally can be fairly easily got.
I like it because of its weight and length folded as I often carry it on a rucksac.
I'd love a Gitzo but the equivlaent set up would be over 600.

There was a lovely free tripod with last month's Practical Photography but I don't think it will support my E-3 with the 12-60.:)
Four inches long with bendy legs, a very distant relative of the Gorillapod.

Duncan

StephenL
29th July 2010, 10:23 AM
A fine head, which is what I use on my Gitzo carbon-fibre Explorer.

Hi
I use a Manfrotto 444 Carbon fibre 4 section with a 460MG head.

Duncan

Garrie
29th July 2010, 10:53 AM
Gotta agree about the Giottos, I bought one after reading Johns (zuiko) review, superb bit of kit.

I'm currently using the manfrotto 322RC2 grip head and it is also superb however it does have a quick release system I'm afraid.


Cheers
Garrie

Ulfric M Douglas
29th July 2010, 01:30 PM
...with a 460MG head.
Duncan I like the look of that head : small but good nuts, if you'll pardon the expression.
Do you know if there WAS something similar before quick-release plates became all the rage?

I've also looked at Redsnapper since for a couple of years they've got good value-for-money comments. Right now they don't seem much cheaper than anyone else!

wanderer
29th July 2010, 09:49 PM
Hi Ulfric

Do you know if there WAS something similar before quick-release plates became all the rage?

No.:)

I do find the quick release plate very useful. I keep one on the camera body and one for using in my 'home studio' I keep it on an old Olympus macro rail.
They are about 10-12.
The plate is used on a number of different heads.
I've used the tripod combnation for about 5 years now.
The only problems I've had are;
I tend to overtighten the knobs but fortunately its only me loosening them.
I've lost the end of leg bung a couple of times. (Black bung in peatbog:D)
But have been able to find spares on the web.

Duncan

Ross the fiddler
29th July 2010, 11:15 PM
If you are looking for a tall enough tripod (max 170cm) with a 3 position leg angle, with a split centre column (lower half unscrews) which can be reversed (put in from underneath) & has a one locking handle for tilt & pan head & is quite reasonably priced, I would suggest you look at the Velbon Sherpa 600R. It is only a moderate weight (2kg) for an alloy tripod & takes a max 4kg load. I use one of these & although it has no spirit levels on it I glued my own on it (taken from a cheap builders spirit level). It is a solid tripod for a good price (much cheaper than the other main name brands). I have bought extra release plates & the best price for them came from B&H.
http://www.velbon.co.uk/newvelbon/pages/sherpa600R.html

Hope you find what you want.

edmund473
31st July 2010, 09:32 AM
So I'm shopping for a tripod and need the following ;
Height: long tripod legs, not so fussed about a long centre column.
I was trying a manfotto 055xproB which had long enough legs but could've done with less centre column. The smaller tripod had thinner and shorter legs and a short centre column so couldn't reach the required height at all!
Compact head with no quick-release plate as I hate the beggars : maybe that'll restrict me to only ball-heads, not a big deal.
Flippy catches on the legs, not turny knobs.

So who has the ideal tripod and what did you pay for it? *chr

Have a look at this one on E Bay I do recommend Manfrotto.A bit heavy but solid.http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Manfrotto-Tripod-Art-144-and-extra-Fluid-head-model-200-/230503404271?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_TripodsSuppor ts&hash=item35ab12d2ef

sapper
31st July 2010, 11:13 AM
So I'm shopping for a tripod and need the following ;
Height: long tripod legs, not so fussed about a long centre column.
I was trying a manfotto 055xproB which had long enough legs but could've done with less centre column. The smaller tripod had thinner and shorter legs and a short centre column so couldn't reach the required height at all!
Compact head with no quick-release plate as I hate the beggars : maybe that'll restrict me to only ball-heads, not a big deal.
Flippy catches on the legs, not turny knobs.

So who has the ideal tripod and what did you pay for it? *chr

Might be a bit late answering this but, depends what you want from it. I would advise not to buy a cheap one. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the tale, got a cheap one, had to get a better one very soon after.

I have a Manfrotto 190XB PROB and a Manfrotto 535 MPRO.
I use different heads depending on use. A Jobu gimble for long lens wildlife or Manfrotto 410 head for landscape.
The 190 is good for low level shots, but even with that I sometimes have to use a beanbag instead. The 535 is great for height.

Ulfric M Douglas
31st July 2010, 12:52 PM
...I have a Manfrotto 190XB PROB and a Manfrotto 535 MPRO....
I'm still musing and shopping.
There's something very right about the 190 but the one I tried had the shorter vertical centre column and with the head didn't quite reach high enough. I wonder if the tilting'pro' column makes it tall enough?

sapper
31st July 2010, 12:58 PM
My 190's column is 14 inch long.

Ulfric M Douglas
31st July 2010, 08:05 PM
Well, I can't compete with that. :cool:

Wreckdiver
31st July 2010, 09:31 PM
My 190's column is 14 inch long.

Oh dear ;)

PMSL

Steve

snag2000
3rd August 2010, 05:45 PM
I've got Giottos too. It was cheaper and lighter than the equivalent Manfrotto. Don't use it that much, but it's a million times better than the cheapo Hama thing I bought from Argos years ago. I'd say it's a good compromise between cost and quality. Takes Manfrotto and Gitzo heads, too (I think).

Mike

Ulfric M Douglas
14th August 2010, 11:58 AM
Here's an update for those who might be interested.
I was kindof all set to splash out a wodge on the Manfrotto 055 legs with the flippy clamps since it was very good in Wilkinson's shop. I tried some new Sliks in Hexham but they were all wobbly/flimsy in comparison while looking the same. Funny.
Bidded for a few Manfrottos on evilbay but everybody wants to spend real money on them! Never mind.
Bidded on some unknown tripod, poor pictures, didn't think much about it : 6.20 so whatever.

I am now the proud owner of a sturdy alloy device with black metal pan/tilt head : lovely construction and not a quickrelease = perfect.
The funny thing is I'm looking closely at the nice embossed gold crown in the head trying to find a maker's name.
"Slik"
Would you believe it? Ten times as well built as the new stuff.

I have a Linhof coming next week too ...

paullus
17th August 2010, 05:56 PM
Congrats Ulfric on your purchase. I also tried my luck on Ebay but people are prepared to pay close to new price on there.
Having said that I've just invested in a new tripod too. After almost choosing a Manfrotto I came across a hitherto unheard of (by me) brand called Redsnapper. They get rave reviews elsewhere. I'm keen to try out new things and not follow the herd so after much deliberation I bought a Redsnapper RS-324 4 section tripod with RSH-12 ball head directly from Joe at Redsnapper. I even got 10% discount for mentioning that I was a member of the forum that he is. The quality of the whole setup is absolutely fantastic. The tripod even comes with an additional short column for suspending the camera below if required. You also get a thread insert for use on other heads that might have smaller threads. The tripod has its own carrying strap and a high quality padded carry case with strap too. This looks similar to the Manfrotto case that costs around 40. I wasn't sure about the ball head concept but I find it very easy to use and it easily copes with my E620 with 70-300 lens, HLD-5 grip and flash fitted. I was like a kid at Christmas opening all the little packets. I've also acquired a Manfrotto 460MG head cheap from a colleague who didn't want it!? This too is a fantastic bit of kit with minimal weight, a very smooth action, compact size and fits the RS-324 legs without issue. The tripod mount also has three grub screws to stop the head from unscrewing. Having said that the Manfrotto head is less Gucci than I expected. From an aesthetic point of view the Redsnapper is nicer to look at and feel whereas the Manfrotto is more industrial. Which is the more reliable and robust I'll have to see.
Anyone who is in the market for a new tripod should definitely take a peek at the Redsnapper range.

Ulfric M Douglas
17th August 2010, 06:35 PM
Sure, I was interested in that Redsnapper deal at 99 but wondered if I should spend proper dosh on something I had no chance of trying first ... so I didn't.
Second tripod arrived today : Linhof Pro with snap-fit Aluminium legs, very posh. Small non-QR plate with levelling bubble. All mod cons from something at least twenty years old. Probably forty!
So now thanks to the power of the thieving auction site and my powerful run of luck I have two tripods which fit the bill very nicely!
I shall post pics tomorrow ... probably.

paullus
17th August 2010, 09:48 PM
Nice one Ulfric. I'd never heard of Linhof until now. A quick Google shows it to be well known for high quality. I can't wait to see the pictures of it.

Ulfric M Douglas
19th August 2010, 12:30 PM
OK Paul.
Here's the Linhof. Polished aluminium with flippy catches on the INSIDE of the legs.
http://a.imageshack.us/img138/4525/tripodlinhof1000.jpg

Here's the Slik. Knurled Alloy twisty catches. Lovely black 'powercoated' head.
http://a.imageshack.us/img29/2589/tripodslik1000.jpg

paullus
19th August 2010, 04:15 PM
Your new Linhoff is truly a thing of beauty. What makes it even better is the camera you have mounted on it*chr

freewheeler
19th August 2010, 09:17 PM
I've just paid 24.99 for one from Argos..........not used it yet but it's sturdy and the reach (with the centre extended) exceds my height (tiny 5' 5").
What on earth do these tripods do differently that they charge 300 + for?
Cost nearly as much as a camera setup........doesn't seem right to me.
Forgive my ignorance.

Ross the fiddler
20th August 2010, 12:13 AM
I've just paid 24.99 for one from Argos..........not used it yet but it's sturdy and the reach (with the centre extended) exceds my height (tiny 5' 5").
What on earth do these tripods do differently that they charge 300 + for?
Cost nearly as much as a camera setup........doesn't seem right to me.
Forgive my ignorance.

Does it have an alloy head, because if it is plastic it will flex & bounce with heavy lenses on the camera? The solid reliability (& brand name) of better tripods are why they cost so much. I found a good compromise in the Velbon Sherpa 600R.

freewheeler
20th August 2010, 12:55 AM
Thanks Ross.......it does have a plastic head but as i said in my original post, it seems very sturdy......the reviews i read prior to purchase all praised it 4.5 out of 5.
I agree with the brand name, like everything else in life 25% for the product 75% for the name.
I'll get out n about and give it a try this weekend (weather permitting, thats a sad statement for August) and post my results and impressions (bet you didn't know I did impressions lol).

snaarman
20th August 2010, 07:05 AM
Well they look nice and solid.. However personally I would miss the ability to go portrait mode on the camera easily.

I am a firm beliver in tripods, it's just a shame that I hardly ever use mine :(

Slap on wrist!

Pete

Ulfric M Douglas
22nd August 2010, 07:11 AM
... personally I would miss the ability to go portrait mode on the camera easily....
Unlike the Linhof (any angle), the old Slik tilts to exactly 90 degrees very smoothly;
http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/9474/slikportrait1k.jpg
Portrait mode a go go.

See yesterday's new lens!
Taken with Yashinon45mmF1.7 @F2ish not on GSN Electro 35 anymore.

yorky
22nd August 2010, 01:50 PM
Slick must have improved quite a lot since I had one, it was awful and wobbles worse than a lass on her first stilitoes. Linhoff were a well known large format cameras so there tripods would be good but rather heavy then came toe Benbo great etc for botanical for getting down low but you needed three arms to set it up (Heather Angel used to use them)
but for now the Giottos is a good compromise, just wish I could afford and justify a carbon fibre model. Glad you have got it sorted now. All you need to do is use it all the time?????

robbie_d
24th August 2010, 09:38 AM
Give RedSanpper a look.

Unbeatable quality for the money, easily the match of Manfrotto/Giotos.

Good range too, includes 3 and 4 section legs, carbon fibre, etc.

Their ball head is also superb.

99 quid buys you 3 or 4 section aluminium tripod, with:

Changeable centre columns (one short one long)
Anchor hook on centre column (to add ballast weight if necessary)
Bubble level on tripod body
Twist grip leg releases
Twist grip feet which can be rubber/spike
Reversible thread to mount virtually any tripod head
Ball head with Arca-Swiss style QR plate and twin tension controls
Sturdy and comfortable bag to carry it all in.

People will look at the price and doubt the RedSanpper, but I'm yet to find a person who has one who has anything bad to say about them.

Greytop
24th August 2010, 02:09 PM
Give RedSanpper a look.

Unbeatable quality for the money, easily the match of Manfrotto/Giotos.

Good range too, includes 3 and 4 section legs, carbon fibre, etc.

Their ball head is also superb.

99 quid buys you 3 or 4 section aluminium tripod, with:

Changeable centre columns (one short one long)
Anchor hook on centre column (to add ballast weight if necessary)
Bubble level on tripod body
Twist grip leg releases
Twist grip feet which can be rubber/spike
Reversible thread to mount virtually any tripod head
Ball head with Arca-Swiss style QR plate and twin tension controls
Sturdy and comfortable bag to carry it all in.

People will look at the price and doubt the RedSanpper, but I'm yet to find a person who has one who has anything bad to say about them.

I couldn't agree more Rob, my Redsnapper RS-284 & RSH-12 Ball Head has been one of my best buys. The quality far far outweighs the bargain price. Highly recommended.

Ulfric M Douglas
24th August 2010, 07:46 PM
Slick must have improved quite a lot since I had one, it was awful and wobbles worse than a lass on her first stilitoes. Linhoff were a well known large format cameras so there tripods would be good but rather heavy ...
These two are quite the opposite.
The slik seems 1960s, 1970s, maybe just maybe as late as the 1980s. Very solid, very good. Before your time? After your time? :) The thing is : Slik must have deteriorated enormously since this one was made ...

The Linhoff is lighter and less sturdy but I'm sure is a 'portable' type. Super-cool slightly adjustable centre column to level it. I love it.

robbie_d
25th August 2010, 11:08 AM
I've just paid 24.99 for one from Argos..........not used it yet but it's sturdy and the reach (with the centre extended) exceds my height (tiny 5' 5").
What on earth do these tripods do differently that they charge 300 + for?
Cost nearly as much as a camera setup........doesn't seem right to me.
Forgive my ignorance.

Stand up on hills, in strong winds, hold cameras with huge telephoto lenses perfectly still, get down to ground level for macro shots, make adjustment effortless, weigh next to nothing, last a lifetime...