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meach
19th May 2011, 01:17 AM
I'm thinking about buying a new tripod as my current Velbon one isn't really up to the job now I've bought a Sigma 50-500. Can anyone else who has one of these lenses advise me on what tripods I might consider? And also what heads? Lastly,what are the respective pros and cons of ball and pistol grip heads? All advice gratefully accepted - thanks in advance.

DekHog
19th May 2011, 02:07 AM
You might want to take a look at Redsnapper (http://www.redsnapperuk.com/) for this - UK made, and great quality and customer service. As solid as the proverbial rock and more than competitive price-wise.

Ball heads? Small, easy to use, but not great for accuracy as it's very easy to over or undershoot depending on the tension, etc. I had the Manfrotto pistol grip head and it was great but very bulky as they don't fold flat against the tripod legs due to the head design. Once again not great for accuracy, but if you just want to focus on one spot and not pan smoothly, both ball and pistol grip types are very good.... out of the two my vote would go to the pistol grip for ease of use and speed.

David Morison
19th May 2011, 06:09 AM
As my wildlife set-up weighs in excess of 4 kilos, I needed a very meaty tripod and head, so I finally opted for the National Geographic Expedition Carbon (made by Manfrotto) with Manfrotto 322 pistol grip. This is the proverbial "Rock" and gives me the stability I need, even when much extended. It isn't, despite the carbon structure, very light though but it was the only "portable" set-up that was solid enough for my weighty kit. The RC 322 is superb and even with this weight of kit still only requires minimum friction setting. A Wimberly gimbal head would have been better but doesn't have the portability potential, i.e. it it too big to fit on a pack. Beware that a large number of apparently suitable tripods that can't carry more than 2.5kg, usually found in the small print. You definitely need a set-up that will cope with at least 50% more weight than your kit with a long focus 500mm lens (plus TC?)

David

Ian
19th May 2011, 09:58 AM
I must admit I had never heard of Red Snapper before today. I will have to investigate.

Are you set on a tripod - what about a monopod?

Ian

meach
19th May 2011, 10:03 AM
Are you set on a tripod - what about a monopod?

Ian

Definitely a tripod - I often take several shots of the same scene over a period of time while the light is changing so I need to be able to let go of it.

kherb
19th May 2011, 10:43 AM
I have the red snapper, great quality at a great price

Chevvyf1
19th May 2011, 11:17 AM
I use a monopod for the E-5 & BIGMA because its too TOO HEAVY for me to hold. I use the monopod as a rest and it is fitted with a 180 ball head !

A Tripod for birds I found awkward and cumbersome :( even with a giotto 360 head !

I have two BENBO Tripods :( ... and would not buy one for anyone, I liked *chr They are too wobbly and unpredictable ! ok for light kit !

Ross the fiddler
19th May 2011, 11:19 AM
You might want to take a look at Redsnapper (http://www.redsnapperuk.com/) for this - UK made, and great quality and customer service. As solid as the proverbial rock and more than competitive price-wise.

Ball heads? Small, easy to use, but not great for accuracy as it's very easy to over or undershoot depending on the tension, etc. I had the Manfrotto pistol grip head and it was great but very bulky as they don't fold flat against the tripod legs due to the head design. Once again not great for accuracy, but if you just want to focus on one spot and not pan smoothly, both ball and pistol grip types are very good.... out of the two my vote would go to the pistol grip for ease of use and speed.

They appear to be quite a good supplier but it's a shame they only carry one brand of camera.

Ian
19th May 2011, 11:47 AM
I use a monopod for the E-5 & BIGMA because its too TOO HEAVY for me to hold. I use the monopod as a rest and it is fitted with a 180 ball head !

A Tripod for birds I found awkward and cumbersome :( even with a giotto 360 head !

I have two BENBO Tripods :( ... and would not buy one for anyone, I liked *chr They are too wobbly and unpredictable ! ok for light kit !

A ball-head on a monopod doesn't sound ideal to me. A single axis head like the Manfrotto 234RC Tilt is what I would recommend.

Ian

francois
19th May 2011, 11:56 AM
Agreed. I've been using a Manfrotto Pro with 234RC head for ages and it's easier and lighter than a full tripod. Unless you need a long exposure or macro precision, a monopod will enable you to shoot just about anything, especially if you add the iS function of the camera.

Chevvyf1
19th May 2011, 12:01 PM
Ian I apologise! *yes The ball heads are on the BENBO's.

The Monopod has a Manfrotto 234RC - an excellent operational & STURDY bit of kit for BIGMA even and Birds; Cars & Motorbikes moving fastt !

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manfrotto-Monopod-Release-Replacement-Connect/dp/B004L5C35A/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1305806282&sr=8-9

David Morison
19th May 2011, 01:53 PM
A ball-head on a monopod doesn't sound ideal to me. A single axis head like the Manfrotto 234RC Tilt is what I would recommend.

Ian

Beware that the Bigma and camera, plus if you want to use a TC, is in excess of the maximum load recommended for the 234RC (2.5Kg)

David

Chevvyf1
19th May 2011, 01:58 PM
YIKES ! David I never thought of that ! I shall research to buy a more heavyweight one in June ! Thanks for this information *chr YOU may have saved my BIGMA lens + E-5 *chr *chr

meach
20th May 2011, 11:43 AM
Well after a bit of research I decided to go with the Redsnapper option and ordered one at 13:51 yesterday afternoon - and it's just arrived!! How's that for service?

A big thank you for all the helpful advice guys.

DekHog
20th May 2011, 12:45 PM
They are very efficient, even moreso if you have problems of any kind with any of their goods. Which model did you go for and what do you think of it?

meach
20th May 2011, 12:53 PM
I went for the RS-283 as it claims to hold up to 8Kgs and my kit weighs just over 2.5Kgs and instead of paying the extra for the 284 I bought a ball head (which will hold the kit)as well as the pistol grip (which won't) - so I can try out both with my other lenses and see which I prefer. I also bought some spare quick release plates as they are so cheap so I can keep one permanently attached to each camera and the Bigma. All for well under 200. And it seems as solid as a rock, just as you said. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

paullus
21st May 2011, 09:52 AM
I bought the Redsnapper RS-324 with RSH-12 Head after a lot of deliberation. I'm sure you won't be disappointed with the quality and performance.
I can also confirm that the service I received from them is second to none.

Ross the fiddler
21st May 2011, 11:15 AM
I have as a normal tripod, the Velbon Sherpa 600R, but today I saw this old Velbon tripod in the front display of my local St Vinnies. It is the Velbon MG-3 & made in Japan, twist lock leg height adjustment & alloy head. They wanted $10 & on checking, two of the lower legs weren't locking. I decided to ask if I could take it apart (removing one grub screw) to check if I could repair it. It looked feasible so I bought it. When I got it home, I realised all that was wrong was the locking cam needed lubrication & a keeper nut for the camera mounting screw & it's a perfect smaller, lighter tripod (no quick release) to put in my back pack. I feel quite pleased with myself for spotting this bargain.

*chr