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Thread: Camera Gear: Tripods

  1. #1
    rocketman
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    Camera_Gear: Tripods

    Ok I noticed there has been some discussion of tripods in the camera thread so I thought I would start a fresh thread on the subject of tripods, since, as has been pointed out, there is a huge range of features, prices, weight, etc., both full size and mini, such as the Gorillapod.

    I think in might be useful to start threads on different types of gear, and if we start with the key Camera_Gear: followed by the subject it might be easier to locate different topic areas on this general topic rather mixing everything up in one long thread.

    Note: that I changed the title to include an underline character between the words "Camera" and "Gear". I did this because of the way the search engines work, by making it all one "word" searching on Camera_Gear: will filter out anything with just "Camera" or "Gear". So lets see if that will help in searches.

    So to start here's what I just purchased and more importantly, why, lets here from others on what and Why they use/purchased the ones they did. Note the emphasis on WHY.

    The tripod I finally settled on was a Promaster, I believe it was one of the 6100 series, but I’d have check when I get home. Regardless of the actual model number, following is a quick rundown on the features I liked.

    They were (though not necessarily in this order) the quick-release base, having two handles on the pan head, one for up and down (I guess that would be vertical ?) tilt and one for horizontal tilt, a bubble level and spirit level on the tilt for horizontal alignment, locking center leg support, tensioner on the center column rise, overall smoothness of operation, overall size, and all metal head. Other things I considered were number of leg segments, the more segments the less sturdy they tend to be, but two few and they get awkward to carry on a motorcycle, so three seems to be a good compromise. I think that a level on the front/back tilt would have been more useful than the bubble level, but other than that, I’ve found it to be a good compromise of price, features, sturdiness and weight.

    Price was less than $100, around $65-$75 if I remember right.
    RM
    Last edited by rocketman; 01-22-2008 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Change of title: added undreline character

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I bought one for $29 at Best Buy that packs on the bike pretty well. I'm pretty happy with it, though it's a far cry from a Bogen or something nice.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    SNC1923
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    It might also be helpful to mention price? Tripods run the gamut from $19.95 to $1,000 and beyond.

    In the other thread, I failed to mention the key feature in deciding to purchase my Bogen 055XPROB. Especially since I was addressing someone who had just purchased a macro lens. On this tripod, the center column can be realigned to be horizontal rather than vertical. This is accomplished with a flip of the wrist, no tools or disassembly involved.



    Nearly all tripods will allow you to get an orientation helpful for macro/close-up/copy work, but I thought this feature was especially nice.

    Other features:

    • heavy, sturdy
    • built-in tool for tightening leg locks
    • 2 foam padded legs for cold mornings
    • head has built-in spirit level
    • legs spread nearly flat for close-to-the-ground shooting
    • head had quick release plate for easy on and off
    • max height column extended: 70.28ÔÇØ
    • max height column down: 55.91ÔÇØ
    • min height low position: 3.94ÔÇØ
    • closed length: 25.79ÔÇØ
    • weight: 5.28 lbs.
    • max load: 15.4 lbs.


    Available for less than $250. As I mentioned, I own another Bogen/Manfrotto tripod (which I still use for a video camera) purchased in 1980. They make really good stuff.

  4. #4
    Mongo
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    41" extended and very compact at 9.5" collapsed, it packs easily on the bike. Inexpensive if something was to happen to it on the road.

  5. #5
    Registered User mcohen's Avatar
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    My main tripod is a three section Bogen 055 -- sturdy and quick to set up. As SNC1923 said, the ability to move the column horizontally is nice. I added an Acratech Ultimate Ballhead whose "open" ball design doesn't require grease so it doesn't pick up dirt. It's packed on the bike with a Helen 2 Wheels tent pole bag which is the perfect size for the tripod and doesn't scream "camera equipment."

    Since I don't always feel like strapping on a full-size tripod for a quick trip, and a tripod is only useful if you bring in along, I also have a Cullman Magic 2 tripod. I wouldn't consider it well-made, sturdy or cheap but the legs fold down in a way to make it totally flat. It's a full-size tripod that will fit in a BMW saddlebag (or carry-on luggage) so it's easy to carry. I did junk the included ballhead/quick release for a mini-ball and standard "Arca-Swiss" type quick release.

    Michael
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Cut off two

    When traveling I used to prefer a good monopod. Lighter to carry and it could double as a dandy Shalaylee. But whether a tripod or a monopod the issue is how to secure it to the bike. It has to be easy, not transverse, yet quick to grab.


    Maybe something like a scabbard for rifles but for a monopod instead.

    Any suggestions?

  7. #7
    SNC1923
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    When traveling I used to prefer a good monopod. Lighter to carry and it could double as a dandy Shalaylee.
    Recently, my mother-in-law called over here at about 10:00 p.m. She had arrived home from work to find her door ajar. She asked if I would come over a do a sweep of the house.

    What did I bring?

    My monopod.

  8. #8
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    When traveling I used to prefer a good monopod. Lighter to carry and it could double as a dandy Shalaylee. But whether a tripod or a monopod the issue is how to secure it to the bike. It has to be easy, not transverse, yet quick to grab.


    Maybe something like a scabbard for rifles but for a monopod instead.

    Any suggestions?

    Interesting suggestion, I too have been trying to find an easy, quick access arrangement for mine as it won't quite fit in the side bags on either of my bikes. This I think is where something like the Gorillapod would come in handy. While I do have a mini-pod, with the longer lens on the DSLR it isn't very steady.

    I wonder how you could secure that to the bike?

    RM

  9. #9
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post
    Recently, my mother-in-law called over here at about 10:00 p.m. She had arrived home from work to find her door ajar. She asked if I would come over a do a sweep of the house.

    What did I bring?

    My monopod.
    Oh brother! Six posts into the thread and its already been hijacked! (and by a mod, no less! )

    I can see already this place is gonna be a hoot!

    RM

  10. #10
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    One legged tripod

    A monopod is a tri-pod except it only has a leg to stand on.

    I mention the mono pod since it is so easy to carry! One legged tripod of choice is the Manfrotto 3229!
    Last edited by PAULBACH; 01-22-2008 at 07:31 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Tripods

    Mongo, what's the make and model of your unit? I'm happy with my Slik Compact, but it's 5" longer folded than the one you have.

    Rinty

  12. #12
    Mongo
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    Quote Originally Posted by rinty View Post
    Mongo, what's the make and model of your unit? I'm happy with my Slik Compact, but it's 5" longer folded than the one you have.

    Rinty
    Click on the pic

  13. #13
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    My tripod fits in a bag about the same size as a Kermit Chair. I hang it on the top of my gear bag and it rides along just fine.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  14. #14
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    We have lots of pictures of each other on riding adventures but very few pictures of us together. That will change this year since we are now the owners of a Gorilla Pod.

    http://www.redenvelope.com/re/gifts/...23892500&nc2=1

    (I hope this link works!)

    The flexible little legs wrap around handlebars, luggage racks, tree limbs, fence posts, etc. You can also use it as a regular tripod on uneven terrain. This is one of those things that left us smacking our heads saying "why didn't we think of this??"

  15. #15
    bmdubyou
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    I "need" a carbon fiber tripod! A member of my camera club had one...OMG it was soo light! THe crazy thing is...he had a humongous arca swiss ball head that weighed almost as much as the legs!
    Currently I have a set of aluminum bogen legs and a nice medium ball head with a quick release plate that also fits on the tilt head of my monopod. I dont like the 3-way heads with the arms sticking out...ball heads are the only way to go!

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