Experience /w RRS tripods

KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
edited August 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I'm in the midst of shifting from Manfrotto to RRS gear. I started with the heads on my mono- and tripods, got L-plates and QR clamps/plates. Now I get why it is so expensive... It's fantastic, and now I want to switch out the rest.

So, I'd like some guidance as to what I should get to make sure I do not have to make several orders (I live in Greenland, and shipping easily runs in the hundreds of USDs).

I am thinking about the TVC-24L, because it fits the BH-40 ballhead I have, and because I'm 183cm tall. But what about the TA-2-QC and the TA-2-LB, can I join all three parts?

For off-camera flash (I have the SB-900), should I go with the WPF-QR2 or the B87-QR? I'd use it for some macro work, but mostly for fill-in outside and portraits... And, any catches, i.e. anything I have to make sure I get so as not to be missing it?
Post edited by Golf007sd on
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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited July 2014
    Oooooh yah....now we are talking buddy. So lets start with this: your personal hight will be a key factor for which tripod you go with...unless you really want a tall 4-section tripod. I'm 5'9" tall and thus I went with the TVC-23. With the legs fully extended and BH-40, it is just perfect for my hight right out of the gate. However, back in October I added the following items:

    1) TA-2-QC Versa 2 Quick Column
    2) TA-2-LC Versa 2 Leveling Base w/ Clamp
    3) TH-DVTL-40: Round Dovetail Plate (got this to switch heads in the future with ease)
    4) MTX: Multi-Tool kit

    So with respect to your question: yes they all three will work perfectly together. In fact, with this configuration now, if I extend the legs fully, I have to get on my tippy toes to look through the viewfinder. Here is what it looks like on my setup.

    ARN_7767-1

    D4 85 1.8G 1/800 ISO 100 @ f/3.5

    ARN_7766-1

    D4 85 1.8G 1/800 ISO 100 @ f/3.5

    As for the WPF-QR2 and B87-QR I do not shoot that often with my flash's thus I have not had the need for such a setup. But, if I was to go with one, I would go with the B87-QR and the FA-QREX2 add-on. This video will hopefully help you out a bit in why I would go this route.



    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Ali, thanks for the detailed info!

    I'm a bit taller than you (6'1"), and think I'll go for the TVC-24L (rather have and not need, than need it and not have it). As for the QC and the leveling base, good to hear they go well together. I was hoping they would, but you're right, it does give a bit of extra height.

    Is that the hook on the tripod that transfer to the QC?

    As for the flash brackets I am still in doubt. Anyone who has tried both?
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    My experience is in looking at the RRS and wondering where I went wrong.... I may have to try one at some point...
    Msmoto, mod
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    If you like to get a nice tripod bag, too, I can recommend the ThinkTanks. Nice details, not too pricy.

    @Golf just saying: each connection will cost a bit of stiffness. If heads need to be easily interchangeable, a look to Gitzo's Systematic or even Sirui's R-series could be worth to think over.

    A Systematic 5 and extensible column goes up to 326 cm. Too high for manipulating the cam? No prob, if you can burn some dosh, there's this remote head Gitzo Athena... just kidding.

    Instead of building skyscraping head connections, I'd prefer the Systematic system.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2013
    @Killerbob: The "hook" comes by default with all of the RRS Tripods. Once you get the TVC-24L (which is fantastic and will suit your hight perfectly) and the TA-2-QC, you unscrew it and attached it to the end of the QC. Moreover, if you get the MTX: Multi-Tool kit, it gets screwed inside the QC tube itself ie. the column. Very nice set of tools to have when on the road with your gear. Have a look at this video to see what I mean.

    @JJ_SO: Killerbob is asking for those that have "Experience with RRS tripods" not by other manufactures. Hence, if you don't own one and have not used their gear your input is mute and thus does not help in answering the users question. As for tripod bags, RRS in fact has their own special made tripod bags: TQB-72 Medium Tripod Bag for travel. That said, they do supply one with their tripods for the end user to store it in...works great.

    The advantage of using RRS products is its: modularity. That is to say, each of their gear is designed to work throughout their entire line. Take for example their TA-2-LC Versa 2 Leveling Base w/ Clamp. One quick release of the clamp and anything above it comes off. In my case at the moment is the BH-40 which has the TH-DVTL-40 for easy removal. It is my intention to get their VG-02 gimbal head once it is available so that I can easily switch from one head to the other. This video illustrates what I'm taking about.

    Lastly, If other manufactures have such modularity then fine, but for me I have found a company that does and they have meet and exceeded all my expectation. A point that I think most of the active member here on NRF know.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,584Member
    This is the approach I took when I bought my tripod and first ball head five years ago. This is actually recommended in one of the Nikonians PDFs on how to buy a tripod.

    First get a tape measure, tablet, and pen. Measure the distance from the bottom of your DSLR to the center of the viewfinder and record the dimension. Measure the height of the ball head your considering and record this dimension. Standing up, measure the distance from the center of your eye to the ground/floor.

    Now take the last dimension (floor to eye) and subtract the height of the ball head, and subtract the height of the distance from the bottom of your DSLR to the center of the viewfinder. The resulting dimension, is the dimension you need for the tripod to extend to. This is a great universal standard to determine the tripod height.

    I use to own three extension tripods for over 25 years and I switched to a four extension and love it. The four extension tripod fits inside my suitcase when I travel. Almost all three extension tripods will not fit into a suitcase, even the tall suitcase. Now be careful because some four extension legs will not fit a standard suitcase, I have a tall suitcase and there is 1.5" of extra space. I take a tile or shirt and roll it up and stick it in between the ball head and the suitcase and provides terrific protection. The leg end does not need the protection like the ball head.

    Finally, I payed extra for a ball head cover, some come with this cover. If one is not standard, buy it.

    RRS heads are excellent and as someone else said, they are designed to work with the RRS plates and tripods. You won't be sorry..
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    @Golf007sd; With the BH-40 on the TA-2-LB, isn't there a chance that the camera goes against the platform? Isn't the platform on the leveling base (with or without the clamo) bigger than the base of the ballhead?
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2013
    The base of the TA-2-LB is bigger than the base of the BH-40. It has been designed so that, if in the future, you get the BH-55 it will be a perfect fit. Having said that, once you mount the BH-40 using the threaded screw, your body will not touch the base in any fashion. Now, I would highly recommend that you getting the leveling base with the clamp and then mounting your BH-40 on the round base plate. If you look that this picture here...you will see that the BH-40 site with a little room on each side, but trust me it will not come off when in place and clamped down.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 639Member
    Golf: how much use do you get out of the TA-2-QC? I have a the BH40 on top of a manfrotto, and have been looking at the same rig you have except for the quick column as my next acquisition. It looks like I have a job that will pay for it in July, but I'm on the fence about the quick column.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2013
    I find it very usefull. It sure makes it easy in setting up for a shot by not having to fully extend the legs to their full lenght. I'm just not sure if the unit fits on the Manffrotro tripod. I would call RRS to make sure, unless you are thinking of getting one from Manffrotro itself for your tripod.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 639Member
    I'll buy the RRS tripod and accessories and use the manfrotto as a lab fixture. Thanks for the advice!
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    I use the quick column when I'm indoors, and remove it when I'm outdoors... The quick column prevents you from getting the head low to the ground. It isn't such a chore as it removes easily with one hex key and three set screws.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I think for the low-to-the-ground work a TP-243 is very well suited.
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    Sure, if you have someone to schlep a second tripod around for you.

    Any standard tripod without a center column will allow you to place it flat on the ground.

    For me, carrying one tripod and shooting high and low with it is more versatile and the better solution.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 345Member
    At the NAB Show in April I got the full RRS demo on their tripods culminating by having the booth sales guy hang off from a fully extended big version. I was mighty impressed and am having thoughts about making a change from Gitzo..

    Denver Shooter
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Well, that is cute... I think I will try it with my Benro...
    Msmoto, mod
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Picture, please =D>
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @JJ_SO: LoL! You just cannot help yourself in making a point...now can you? Nice shot....how long where you able to hold that position to take the shot and how many tries did it take you? He He!
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    I made it simple for me and used a sling, put my left leg through.
    And had dinner on the tripod :D Now I was lying as my scale :\">

    But it's really amazing, what tripods in general can carry. From time to time manufacturers come up with nice shots of skinny ladies hanging under their "photo-cranes". Don't know about you, but those skinny dames are usually shopping when I need one to illustrate load capacity. So I had to improvise. Next time with a dame, right?
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    RRS tripod abuse

    image
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Don't see an abuse [-X

    That's exactly the thing a tripod should be able to cope with. Or is the abuse: you left the poor thing alone in the river?
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Elvishefer: I too have taken shots in that fashion, knowing full well that my RRS will be able to handle such a setting with no problems at all. It look's like you are top of a reefs...yes?

    @JJ_SO: And yes your Gitzo can handle it just as well...see I beat you to the punch :P
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Nope. My Gitzos have a big problem with water - or better said: with the sand in it. If I don't take care about not to put the clamp rings under water, I have a nice long cleaning session as "reward". I always thought, the "Ocean" version of Gitzo is for the mental insane, money-sweating folks. But there's a reason for those seals. Although no reason to go beyond 2k$ for a set of legs...
    :((

    That's one of the reasons I want to get a hand on Sirui. They say, these are sealed...
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited July 2013
    @JJ_SO: OIC. Being that I'm a bit of clean nut, I always clean my RRS legs after it encounter any sand and/or salt water. A quick clean water rinse and dry off with a towel and she is good to go. :)
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    The Gitzos have some grease in their threads which lets the grains stick extra long :| . In that aspect, the Berlebach wooden tripod was way better - and way heavier... But now that I know, I only extend the last section into water.
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