Tripod ball head question...

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  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I use Gitzo and RRS (and acratech and Markins) stuff because:

    I want a tripod that is light enough to carry (along with everything else I am carrying), and still strong enough to be worth carrying. Best answer for both is Carbon Fiber.

    Carbon Fiber absorbs vibrations much better than metals.

    'L' bracket is essential for some pano setups. For portrait mode shots,'L' bracket keeps the center of mass of the camera centered on the tripod, this is much more stable and vibration free than 'flipping' a ball head.

    The precision of RRS (and acratech and Markins) stuff, is a tactile pleasure, (like focusing a Leica).

    I still use my Gitzo legs and various ball, gimbal, pano and pan tilt heads that I bought 5-6 years ago, having swapped camera bodies 3 generations in that time. I have no thought of replacing any of it, except for camera plates.The supports have been the cheapest part of this hobby.

    Order of importance for 'sharp' results (for current generation cameras) is:
    1- Camera Support
    2- Lens
    3- Sensor

    The center post and it's mounting point are a locus of vibrations. The best support is a set of tripod legs that have a top plate and no center column.

    Acratech makes an excellent and lightweight leveling base for any tripod legs.

    Regards ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,432Moderator
    edited February 2013
    Yup. I paid £70 for my tripod on eBay and it is great. It came with a pan and tilt that I didn't like so I bought a ball head for £45 to replace that. Fantastic for the money (remember my Thames Barrier shot) BUT - if the 70-300 is on it (No tripod foot so balance is terrible) it taxes it a fair bit so care is needed. At some point I will out the 70-300 for an 80-400 so that will get sorted. Apart from that it does me fine for my landscapes.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited February 2013
    Somewhere I read the following on tripods, if it does not hurt, when you walk with it, it is not a good one. That's right, but I'am too old for this s**t.

    The pro's have a lot of people around them, to carry all the stuff and put it up on location for them. Sometimes I have only my wife with me and the only thing she does is looking at me with pity.

    Now you can buy carbon tripods, with no weight at all, the ballhead you put on it is heavier then the tripod itself and you hang a heavy bag on it to keep it stable on soft ground.

    I'am a simple amateur, who collected equipment the last 10 years for about $ 7000.- to make a photo (not bad he?). We Always talk about the absolute figures, but I calculate it over a period of time, where cheap Always turned into expensive in my case, I'am not telling you the amount I waisted, because I bought the wrong stuff in the first place. So my hobby photography cost me $ 700.- a year, the most expensive part of my hobby is my greed and want to have it NOW :))

    My tripod part of this amount is about $ 900.-, no super RSS, Markin stuff etc. due to there prices, but looked for cheaper stuff, as similar as possible.

    For on my bike, definite not for walking around.

    Manfrotto 190Xprob € 110.- ($ 140.-) Have this one for many years already.
    Naturestuff swinghead € 249.- ($ 325.-)

    Only for walking around, no weight at all and as Tommy said, better a tripod then no tripod.

    Horusbennu fx-7439tt, $230.- Carbon tripod. (Ebay)
    Photo Clam ball head (66 lb) PC36N $179.- (Ebay, I saw them also on B&H)

    I must say, this tripod and ball head works great with my D300 and 70-200mm f/2.8 on it.

    A carbon Manfrotto monopod, which I hardly use anymore since I bought the carbon tripod.

    Those things are goiing to last forever by me and become cheaper every year I use them. Oh and Arca Swiss compatible of course.
    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    I know this isn't RRS but there is a very good deal on this Oben Carbon fibre with ballhead. It's not heavy duty but would make a very good first or travel/hiking tripod.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/864566-REG/oben_ct_3531_be_108t_5_section_foldable_carbon.html/dealZone/true
    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 |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    The Oben has only an 8 pound weight capacity. I like to use at a minimum 39 pounds capacity as it is much less prone to vibrations when a light camera is mounted.
    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: 5,369Member
    edited December 2014
    Hey folks, hope you all had a wonderful christmas, my question here is:

    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?

    The heaviest lens that I have is 70-200 f2.8 VRI. Rest all are smaller than that. I'm looking to buy one with a pan lock. Appreciate any advice offered.

    Thanks!!
    @Swame - lots of good advise. I second the info on thinking of a tripod and head like you would a lens. I know too many people that bought 2 or 3 tripods and ball heads and spent a lot of money. I used a Markins for 6 years, good head, high rating. It's just not as good a the RRS BH-55LR I got this year.
    Post edited by Photobug on
    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 |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,432Moderator
    I have a friend with the 190 and I would class it as ok, but 'just about' ok. I know it is a popular tripod, but it is only just into the 'adequate' region of supports. I have the 055CX PRO3 which I was able to pick up as bankrupt stock, and it is a decent step more substantial than the 190 for not too much more money. I do a lot of night shooting with long exposures and the 055CX is fine. It isn't an RRS, but it is fine.
    Always learning.
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    Like spraynpray says, once you have decided on what you want, after the avalanche of advice Look on eBay and buy one at less then half of the cost including all forms of heads. I have bought all my tripods heads this way including new ones all at substantial savings.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,369Member
    Like spraynpray says, once you have decided on what you want, after the avalanche of advice Look on eBay and buy one at less then half of the cost including all forms of heads. I have bought all my tripods heads this way including new ones all at substantial savings.
    That is how I got my Gitzo monopod - great price on eBay. The guy bought it and it was too short and only kept it for 3 months. It was like new, not a mark on it except the bottom of the foot from being used twice. +! @paulr about buying on eBay.
    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 |
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