Tripod ball head question...

13

Comments

  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I'm about to buy Manfrotto 190xPRO B Tripod for mostly night photography and long exposures. I'm looking for a suitable ball head for it and I'm within a limited budget of around $60-70. Would you prefer to brands like Vanguard/Benro/Oben..etc?
    I use the same tripod and have a Manfrotto 468MGRC3 Hydrostatic Ball Head.  I love the head - holds everything tight and nothing ever moves.  It is larger and carrying the tripod with it makes that tripod top heavy that has always annoyed me, but I have had that setup for about 4 years now so not that much. You can add any quick release plate to it for arca swiss or manfrotto etc. 

    The one that I have eyed for a long time are one's from Acratech.  If I ever buy a dedicated tripod for studio work I would move the Hydrostat to it, and pick up one of these for the 190.  Really light, simple and you can also change the mounts as well.  

    No matter what way you go, I personally would not look at any ball head that was rated less than 25lbs.  Remember your old physics lessons, if you have the camera at a 450  angle, there is more "pressure/weight" than the actual weight of the camera.  I found the only thing 15lbs ball heads are good for are for holding flash/strobes.





    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    ;spraynpray

    I think I agree on the falsehood of "inexpensive is flimsy".  I actually have two old aluminum tripods which are like battleships.  They are not expensive, do not have the " feel" of the fancy stuff, but are as sturdy as anything.  Also, very heavy.  And I believe the cost for fancy gear is often in the materials.  In fact, I have seen recommendations to get a Gitzo, manfrotto, Benro, whatever aluminum tripod, heavier, yes, but actually as ridged and for about 1/3rd the price of the carbon or other "unobtanium" materials

    And, I usually purchase the stuff on sale, so I get the carbon tripod for about $250 as opposed to $500.

    But, the practical side is any tripod is better than none.  And, what one can afford is what we use.  And, most of us have found the inexpensive camera, for the vast majority of shots, works just fine.

    Maybe this is why I do not own any RRS....ya' think?
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,430Moderator
    YET Tommie, YET!  I'm sure it will not be too long before.... 

    Don't get me wrong, if my numbers come up I'll buy it all!  It's a bummer being asset comfortable and cash poor.
    ;)
    Always learning.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member
    Price, cost, and value all have slight different meanings.  Price is how much the manufacturer wants.  Cost, I think even the expensive tripods don't cost much to make, thus the notion of ripoff.  Value is how much we are willing to pay for the convenience/benefit a piece of equipment provides which different people will have different perspectives.

    I haven't found the value proposition on the expensive tripods yet though I'm leaning towards upgrading.  Yes, I fiddle with my equipment a little bit more while others just set up and shot, but at the end of the day, my shots are just as beautiful.  I can be there a few minutes earlier to set up.  I can be meticulous in my setup that mitigates the limitations of the equipment.  I'm not hardcore yet that I curse myself badly for missing a shot here or there.  Now that can be change over time.  I may get old and be out less that I value more on the convenience.  I may start chasing those last couple percent of shots.  In that regard, I may upgrade my equipment.

    However I don't agree with the notion that one should get the top line stuff in one step to save money.  There are always better equipment in the future, it's always a moving target. More importantly, discovering and understanding things are part of the journey and life in general.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    This discussion reminds me of in the 1960's, early 1970's when I was riding a bicycle a lot... some racing.  The bikes were about 22 pounds, but if one were to purchase some titanium parts, an ounce might be saved...at a cost of 10-20% of the original purchase.  And some could actually add 50% to the cost by minor changes.

    If one actually gets their hands on any of the RRS stuff, it is obvious the hand work done to finish the product is superb.  And, this is what one spends the extra bucks on.  Functionally, one can get at least 90% of the function for about 50% of the price.  A diamond with an internal flaw compared to a flawless...may be five times the price to get rid of something you cannot even see.
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,430Moderator
    The engineer part of me really enjoys owning and using beautifully designed and made items.  I love the form and function of the RRS L bracket and tripod head, but alas it would be a waste of money for me and I don't have enough money to waste!

    Now if I earned money in a studio, it would be my pleasure to own one.....gahhhhhh,  :x
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited January 2013
    OK, engineer spraynpray ,

    check out this set of conversions I did on some heads

    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,430Moderator
    Hey look out RRS, Msmoto is stealing your business!

    Interesting mods.  Why so many/what were the uses?
    Always learning.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited January 2013
    Hey look out RRS, Msmoto is stealing your business!

    Interesting mods.  Why so many/what were the uses?


    I don't think so....check out the link give again and see my response.  [-X

    The manner in which I went about in getting my tripod and head combination came about with a lot of due diligence. I, like many of you contemplated a number of options: 
    1. Functionality (be it for Nikon, Cannon, Hasselblad, Leica, etc..etc)
    2. Portability
    3. Durability
    4. Cost
    I then sat back and looked at the length of time I had my original tripod & head combo...20+ years it turned out to be. With that in mind, I then look at where my passion for photography has taken me, in conjunction to the gear I have purchased; in addition to what I intend to purchase in the future. With a little amortization the answer revealed itself. Thus, RRS became the manufacture I went with. Moreover, RRS diversity of products provided me with a hedge as well...they have camera plates & L-Plates for all leading camera manufactures.
    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 |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,430Moderator
    erm... I was joking? :O)
    Always learning.
  • Swame_spSwame_sp Posts: 58Member
    Now that I studied enough to figure that, buy the max you could afford, I've zeroed down to two particular ball head models, I'm trying to decide between Induro BHL1 vs BHD2 (both supports around 40lb and around $180). Their max weight is more than enough for me at anytime.

    Do you have any preferences? There are no video reviews on them to see how they work.

    Thanks!!
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @ spraynpray

    Well, I had several, each for a different subject, use. And, then I realized, if I wanted a universal approach, after going the Manfrotto way, I had to convert everything to ARCA Swiss. And, thus I have several different heads, etc. In the studio, the handle is nice to adjust and lock instantly. On location, ball head or gimbal, as the need dictates. And, then to attach a flash bracket it also clamps on to the "L" Plate, very nice.

    The monopod was specifically for the auto show...

    Many years ago, like B & W TV years....I was spoiled by having a crew and equipment almost as I wanted. And, so in my retirement years...I am not getting any younger...
    Msmoto, mod
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Swame_sp you start out at $100 as your target....now you are at $180 :P Keep saving up and get the RRS head.
    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 |
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    Well, after reading all of everyone else's opinions, here's mine; about 10 or 12 years ago, I bought a
    Nikon F 5; The F 5 is a BIG heavy body, so I needed a very sturdy tripod and ball head; I got on eBay, spent a couple of weeks, and finally found what I wanted.......a Gitzo 340; yeah, it's aluminum, (and I would love to have a CF tripod), but being "poor", I was lucky to get the Gitzo; I forget now what I gave for it, but it was a small fraction of what a new one would have cost; and after 10 or 12 years of use, the thing still looks like I bought it new, yesterday; then I started looking for a ball head; I already knew EXACTLY what I wanted....an Arca Swiss B-2; That took a bit longer than the Gitzo to find a "deal" on; at the time, A-S B2s were going for $495 at B&H in NYC, and they were on backorder ! ( you had to wait months to get the things new ) I spent several months on eBay, (actually saw several B-2s bring MORE than retail! Finally, I found the nicest man in all of the UK......he had bought his B-2 and for some reason, decided he didn't need it; I ended up getting the thing for 180 pounds ! ( and don't ask me what that means in dollars, because I forget ! ) When my B-2 arrived, you would have thought it had come straight from B&H ! The box looked new, the head looked new, and after 10 or 11 years now, if I ever sold the thing on eBay, the buyer would think he got a brand new B-2.
    Now......just like everyone else, Arca has come out with a newer model; I have never tried one out, and I'm sure I never will; of all of the mechanical gadgets I've ever seen, I have yet to see ANYTHING mechanical that compares to this thing; yes, RRS sells their own tripods AND ball heads now; (back then, they sold only Gitzos and Arca Swiss heads); the B-2 is rated by Arca to safely hold 45 pounds; far more than any other BH at that time; when you "lock" the camera, you BARELY "snug" the knob.......and the camera (and load) is rock solid. I also had to buy a clamp for the B-2 after I bought it; I think it was about $40 or so.

    Now.......yeah, IMHO, you aren't going to find ANY BH /tripod combination that's any steadier than what I just mentioned; however........having said that........as nice as ball heads are, they are NOT the "greatest thing" for "everything"; sooner or later I'm going to buy a gimbal head; even though I have used my set up with the big
    F 5 with a 600mm Nikon f/4 attached, and even though it's rock steady with that load........having even a 80-200/ f 2.8 on the Gitzo, a gimbal head makes everything just Soooooooo easy ! (ask Msmoto......she has one)

    Buying pre-owned camera gear on eBay is a bit different than it used to be; but you can still save a TON of money if you know what you're doing; I know; I've done very well on eBay. Yeah, those new ball heads RRS sells are VERY nice ! But I can't think of anything they do any better than my B-2 does it, for a lot fewer bucks.

    And now......let the rock throwing begin ! (LOL !)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited February 2013
    @ Gitzo
    IMO, the big difference between CF and aluminum is when the weather is near freezing. The CF does not stick to your hands... possibly some decreased reflections from CF, but black gaffer's tape will solve that.

    And a couple of old view camera tripods I have are like the Rock of Gibraltar. I may even convert these to ARCA Swiss for special purposes.

    Currently 180 £ is about $275

    Incidentally, I have an Induro GHB2 gimbal...nice and less than the Wimberley or RRS
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    Hi Tommie!
    You're right about aluminum getting cold ! I always tape a few lengths of pipe insulation foam on my Gitzo when I'm out tromping around in the cold; CF really does have a lot more advantages though; apart from being quite a bit lighter, it is also much less prone to vibration than al is. Probably the biggest drawback to CF, as far as people wanting to get a low-end tripod made out of it.........CF is very hard to work with, and takes a lot of skill from the people making things from it; many low cost tripods made from CF suffer greatly from this; it just does not lend its self "low end" production, so I would NOT consider a "budget priced" CF tripod for this reason.

    I have been checking out Induro's tripods; I think you made a wise choice when you went with one. I love my Gitzo, but it has one "peculiarity" that aggravates me; when I get done using it and slide all the sections back in, prior to "bagging" it, the joint where each leg section attaches to the "spider" (or center section) allows about 5 degrees too much movement towards the center; so any individual leg can get slightly "in between" the other two; It's not really a problem at all, but to me, it's kind like having an annoying bit of lint on a dark sweater, or a few toast crumbs on the breakfast table. Another thing, (which I have become quite used to by now), the helical leg locks have large "wing-nuts" integral to them; I believe Gitzo discontinued these about 20 years ago! (you sure don't have to worry about getting a good "grip" to tighten or loosen them though). It only takes one look at this thing to see why Gitzo must charge so much for their products though; the overall "build" and powder-coat finish looks like something you'd expect on a Rolls Royce; it seems that almost every time I'm set up in a public place, people looking at the Gitzo tend to "ohhh and owww", (occasionally even remarking about how "elegant" it looks) (so I guess if you want to "look elegant", get yourself a Gitzo!)

    Speaking of your Induro gimbal.......you once mentioned about having had one of those huge big "semi-gimbals" from Manfroto; I came within about 3 or 4 bucks of owning one of those on eBay several months ago; I think the thing only brought something like $30 or $35; whatever it was, the winning bidder only topped my max bid about 3 or 4 bucks.

    Having played around with telescopes for many years, I have been quite familiar with the mechanical design used in gimbal tripod heads, probably even before Wimberly started building them for photographers.

    I need to ask you two quick questions while I'm thinking of it; as you know, my eyes are MUCH older that yours; plus I've already had one cataract removed and a new lens "installed"; at some point, I possibly may need the other one "fixed"; so......after becoming very accustomed to the the absolutely SUPERB view finder on my Nikon F-5, I find the one on my D-300s to be "very challenging"; I have spent a few hours looking at view finder magnifier options, and I'm trying to decide which one to go with; I'm thinking that should probably solve that problem; the next "gadget" I'm looking at, is some magnification for the LCD; I recently bought a Hoodman LCD loup, (which was advertised as being for a 3 in. screen, and the thing was only for a 2 1/2 in. screen; I was on the verge of returning it, and my wife's son sent her a new P&S camera, and the Hoodman fit it perfectly, so I kept the thing, thinking to buy the bigger one; a few days later, I received a great book I had ordered from Amazon, that's basically all about lighting, and was written by Syl Arena; I really like this guys writing, and he is VERY knowledgeable about his subject, but he shoots exclusively with Canon; However......in his one chapter on "gadgets that he uses", he shows his EOS 5D Mk lll with a "Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x" mounted over the LCD; (and he talks about how very useful it is for achieving sharp focus in challenging situations); my question is........have you (or anyone else reading this) EVER used one of these ?
    I've checked it out on their web site; I think it's EXACTLY what I want; but the thing costs an arm and a few fingers! (which I WILL spring for), but I'd feel a lot better if someone else tells me the things are fantastic!
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    If I may interject something to this discussion about tripods, ball heads, and "high priced" L plates;
    First; some one up above just remarked that $183 is TOO MUCH to pay for a QR plate; (from RRS)
    I agree partially with that statement; however, the only "plate" RRS makes that costs that much is an L plate; there's a HUGE difference in how the two are made; plus, even RRS doesn't make any flat plates that cost more than, possibly, $60 or $70; L plates DO cost more than double that; because........instead of starting out with a small, flat piece of aluminum, all RRS L plates are CNC machined out of a HUGE solid block of high grade Al alloy; (about 85% of the metal ends up as "chips"; THAT'S why they cost $160---$175.

    Now......being "poor", I don't have a D-4, or even a D-800; I have a D-300s.....with a RRS L plate on it, which I "obtained" for the meager sum of $52, about 6 weeks ago; ( needles to say, I didn't order it from RRS !)
    So rule one is......always get the best "stuff" for the "least" price.

    Tripods; Yes, we all know what a tripod "does"; holds everything nice and steady while the picture is being made; you can buy a 40 yr old surveyor's tripod at a garage sale, for $6 that will hold the camera just as steady as a rock; obviously, it WON"T be quite as "handy" to carry around, and to use; so why DO people spend these huge sums on RRS and Gitzo tripods ? Here's just a few examples; we all know how to set a tripod up, don't we? stretch all the legs and lock 'em, spread 'em out, and set 'er down, right ? Uh,....yeah...if you're on flat, level ground, that works great; how about when you're on the side of a mountain, and the ground aint so level or flat ? Ah ha! RRS and Gitzo both have you covered on that "very frequent and troublesome problem"; they make a "gadget"; (called a leveler something or other) you don't have to fool with the legs; just loosen one knob, level the head, tighten the knob.....and "start shooting" ( even panos, which gotta be level) again, obviously, the "convenience" of doing that is gonna cost you something; the "gadget" aint cheap; (But it SURE is handy !)

    I used to hang on a photography forum where everyone was SO "cliquish", sooooo "hoyty, toyty", I finally became so tired of listening to them "bragging" about their Canon L lenses, and why "yanks sucked"......I said to myself....who needs 'em....certainly not me !
    I don't spend a K here and a K there to argue with mostly 20 yr olds about whether Canon is better than Nikon;
    No you really don't "need" to have an L plate on your new D 800; but if make many portraits, they sure do make things a whole lot simpler ! The same holds true for lenses; VR is really handy; so is a sharp lens that focuses quickly, all by it's self; but neither is absolutely a "must"; I don't sell any pictures, and I seldom put any out in public; I started a Flickr acct, a few yrs ago, and never used it till just the other day, just to put ONE picture on PAD, mainly to illustrate a point; ( I even got the thing in the wrong place, and Tommie moved for me!) (Thank you again, Tommie!) I LOVE birds; I spend a lot of time watching them; I was blown away by some of the marvelous bird pictures on PAD; for me, getting great bird pics is VERY challenging; partly because I could use some more equipment; but right now, I decided to an "experiment"; to get a decent bird picture with what I already have, laying around. ( I'll probably regret telling this ) The picture Tommie moved for me is probably either a "downy" or else a "hairy" woodpecker; Let me tell you how I was able to make it; as I already mentioned, I'm retired since 1997, and I don't have the budget for a 400mm /f 4 (which I would LOVE to have!) That little woodpecker was about 40 ft (just guessing) from my family room window; the picture was taken at 900mm; with a 30 yr old, 300mm/ f4, manual focus Nikkor, ( which I found for about $100 (on eBay, 10 yrs ago,) a 2X TC (which is MANUAL "everything" ), ( now I'm up to 600mm), and my D 300s , (there's the other 300mm), on my 25 yr old Gitzo 340, sitting on a Arca Swiss B2 ( which I bought from the a marvelous fellow in the UK, for 180 lbs. ( you'll have to excuse me, as I forget how to make those funny little
    'pound" thingies.) All I'm trying to point out here is, two things; First, as most of you already know, you don't always HAVE to HAVE the "latest and greatest" gadget to get a decent picture, and Secondly.......you DO have to have a whole bunch of "pretty nice " people to have a fun forum to "hang out on", and you already had that before I found it; much more important than tripods and QR plates, is everyone being "nice" to everyone else, REGARDLESS of what kind of tripod you use ! ( Oh.......you also need to have a VERY GOOD moderator, and I think we can all agree to agree, we already have THAT ! ) Thank you for listening !
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @ Gitzo

    So what makes you think you are so much older than I am? LOL

    I understand exactly the issue with focus...I can focus on my old "F" bodies right on the ground glass. But, the D4 seems easier to use the AF function. I use a Nikon Dr-4 Right Angle Finder and the Hoodman of which I have one with a bracket which attaches it to the flash mount on top, so i can flip it up and out of the way. But, manually focusing, I need my glasses for the LCD, or the Hoodman. The problem with Live View is the delay in shooting. It just seems like there is a huge amount of time from pushing the button to completing the shot. This may be only my imagination, however.

    As to NRF, this is one forum where everyone is a reasonable person and willing to keep things in a good spirit. And we are getting some very nice images on PAD. A fun place.
    Msmoto, mod
  • Swame_spSwame_sp Posts: 58Member
    @Swame_sp you start out at $100 as your target....now you are at $180 :P Keep saving up and get the RRS head.
    LOLLLL... Golf... I can't go beyond this, as tripod legs cost another $150-$200... This is the max... :)

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited February 2013
    @Swame_sp: The word "max" always makes me scratch my head :-? Take your time on this paticuler equipment it is going to be with you for a Looooong Time.
    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 |
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,366Member
    edited February 2013
    @Golf007sd For many people "Loooong Time" doesn't compute. Just saying...

    I agree though. Long term use is why I spent $1100 between my Gitzo tripod, ballhead, and camera/lens plates.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited February 2013
    @PB_PM: I totally agree with you that for some new photographers "long time" on some specific gear does not compute. Hopefully some of our wisdom will register within their cerebral cortex. ;)
    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 |
  • Swame_spSwame_sp Posts: 58Member
    @PB_PM and @Golf... Thanks for all the un-intended puns.... ;)

    The tripod leg and ball head that I'm looking at supports 44lbs. With D7000 + N70-200/2.8 I think I would be under 12-15lbs. I guess I'm looking to buy something that will last.

    I'm sure with the way I'm going, I might look at something portable and lightweight for trekking and nature photography.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited February 2013
    @Swame_spL If you seek lightweight then carbon fiber is the best way to go. With that said, carbon fiber will cost you some more $$$, but it is well worth it.

    Time is on your side, use it to save capital and get the right gear.
    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 |
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited February 2013
    Gitzo - I liked your last pseudo rant!

    There are things that I spend more than I should on but I have a real hard time with the prices of tripods and some ball heads. I respect everyone's thoughts, and considering I'm a Ebay junkie that has figured out how to find great deals, I can not imagine or justify in my own mind RSS, Gitzo, or any other high end tripod or head that sells for that dang much. I find the prices quite absurd. I know they are well made and they probably do cost that much to make, but seriously spend $1,600 on a tripod and ball head? You can buy this stuff used, or many others that aren't wobbly, don't have a lot of play in them and hold a camera just fine with zero issues. I'm not suggesting spending less than $150, but you don't need to spend $600+ for this stuff.

    I mentioned above I was looking at a studio/full size tripod. Really what I wanted was something that I didn't have to raise the center column, and so I am not bending over all the time to see though the viewfinder. Really just a no frills and something really steady. So I was going to get a used aluminum Manfrotto 055 and call it good - as they are good, steady, no frills - what I needed. Vanguard has caught my eye with their new series, but they are a bit pricey for what I needed. Then one popped up on ebay - Brand new Vanguard Auctus 283CT Tripod - People had them for $350-$400 - I won the auction for $183. AND THE THING IS NICE! I mean Really nice! I haven't played with a Gitzo or RSS recently, but from what I remember, this is all but as nice as those. It is solid as a rock. Way nicer than my Manfrotto 190 carbon fiber tripod.

    I think, especially with accessories people fall into two categories; A) Find the cheapest stuff and deal with the issues, or B) Stick to the "standards" as they know the quality is there and they don't have to mess with anything. Age - I mean wisdom;), has a lot to do with moving people into the B-category but I think it is smart to still be diligent and look for options.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
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