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Thread: Advice needed for tripods - wind stability and other advice

  1. #1

    Default Advice needed for tripods - wind stability and other advice

    Hey folks.

    I have a D5300 paired with a freebie tripod. When I brought it down under last year, the tripod (with the d5300 attached) almost fell on a few occasions when the wind blew strongly. My heart literally skipped a bit upon seeing it get wobbly - by wobbly, I mean like literally on the verge of losing balance.

    I certainly wouldn't want anything to happen to my camera. This time, I'm heading down under again; near the coastal cities. Expecting relatively windy conditions. Would like to ask if there any one has any recommendations for a good, reliance tripod?

    I heard that there are some tripods which allow weights to be attached? Would you guys think this is suitable? It can't be excessively heavy - I have a habit of lugging it around (whether overseas or SG), so if it may be quite a bit of a hassle moving around with it.

    My pockets are not very deep but I'm willing to consider anything reasonably priced relative to the D5300. The last thing I want is for the camera to drop while on a trip.

    Would greatly appreciate if you guys can give some advice.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by daredevil123; 27th April 2015 at 05:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Check out tripods by Sirui. Great value and quality. for travel a T1204X or a T2204X will be good. If you want to save some dollars, go for the aluminium versions, T1004X and T2004X.
    Price list is here: http://tkfoto.com.sg/index.php?optio...115&Itemid=290

    As for adding weight, this is how it is done. The bag must be touching/resting on the ground.
    http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/20...er-or-terrain/
    Last edited by daredevil123; 18th April 2015 at 03:57 PM.

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    You can hook a bag to the centre post to weigh it down. Works everytime.

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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Wow, I just took a look. The price list is overwhelming man.

    What is the low angle function? And is it important which ballhead I am buying?

    Also, the bag has to be touching/resting on the ground? It can't be hanging there? I'm thinking of a situation where the bag may not be long enough.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Wow, I just took a look. The price list is overwhelming man.

    What is the low angle function? And is it important which ballhead I am buying?

    Also, the bag has to be touching/resting on the ground? It can't be hanging there? I'm thinking of a situation where the bag may not be long enough.
    FYI the purpose for the bag just barely touching the round is to increase stability, you don't want your camera to swing like a pendulum. you can extend the camera bag strap, or buy a $2 elastic band from Daiso.

    if you are looking for good tripod, you can only pick any two from this these; "lightweight", "strong/sturdy", and "cheap", there won't be any tripod have all these three.

    that why I have a few tripods.




    currently I have 5 tripods and 2 monopods
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Low angle function means you can set the legs apart further, to set your camera lower if you need, or lower the gravity which helps with stability

    The ballhead is as important as choosing the tripod legs. I'm not sure about the specifications of the E10 ballhead, but I guess it should do the job. I'm using the previously bundled G10 ballhead, which others have advised to upgrade to at least the bigger G20 one, though it has served me well.

    You might want to take a look at the in-house tripod guide
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=384016

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Wow, I just took a look. The price list is overwhelming man.

    What is the low angle function? And is it important which ballhead I am buying?


    Hope it is the amount of info that is overwhelming but not the prices. Sirui tripods are already one of the cheapest with great value. Plus you get 6 years warranty. I have 5 sirui tripods myself, from small traveller ones to big strong ones to hold very heavy equipment.

    Yes the ballhead matters. But judging from where you are at in the hobby at this point, I am guessing you do not need that strong of a ball head for now. the T-1004X with E10 should work for you for now. If you want stronger and lighter, the carbon fiber T-1204X with E10 may be a good choice for you.

    Also, the bag has to be touching/resting on the ground? It can't be hanging there? I'm thinking of a situation where the bag may not be long enough.
    Do you prefer your bag to be swinging in the wind like a pendulum? That is why in the pictures and the link writeups they say to use a bungee cord... u know? those springy rubber cords with hooks at the ends that motorcycle uncles use to secure stuff to the metal racks behind their seat? hook one end to the hook under the tripod. hook the other end to the handle of the bag. make sure it is taunt, so there is some force between the points. if your cord is too long, improvise and fold, coil whatever, to make sure there is tension in the cord.

    Last edited by daredevil123; 18th April 2015 at 07:13 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Hey guys,

    I've been looking at the Sirui tripods and am a lil confused.

    (http://www.sirui.com.sg/index.php?op...=83&Itemid=470)

    Taking T-1004X as reference, does it mean the maximum height the tripod can go is 1.4m?? If not, how do I find out what the maximum height is?

    If it is indeed 1.4m, then my question is won't the angle of the photos look odd since the camera has be angled upwards?

    My current cheapo tripod can stretch to about 1.70-1.76m (thereabout) high. This is quite impt cos if the tripod is too low, I can foresee issues with the angle and stuff.

    Any help pls?
    Last edited by MachCurve; 24th April 2015 at 12:23 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Taking T-1004X as reference, does it mean the maximum height the tripod can go is 1.4m??
    Looks correct, these are travel tripods.

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    My current cheapo tripod can stretch to about 1.70-1.76m (thereabout) high.
    Which is probably one of the reasons why it....

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve;9126043...[B
    almost fell on a few occasions when the wind blew strongly.[/B] My heart literally skipped a bit upon seeing it get wobbly - by wobbly, I mean like literally on the verge of losing balance.
    No point getting the height if it is unstable and wobbles? If conditions are windy, you may not want to extend the center column fully even on a sturdier tripod as it can reduce stability (you're raising the CG without expanding the base)...

    So in that sense, if you are very sure you use 1.7m very often, you may want to find a tripod that does 1.7m without center column fully extended (or even without center column at all). This will probably be the most stable at that height. If you prioritize height over stability, I think there's the Sirui N-2004 (max 1.65m), and an average ballhead should give you another 10cm+ roughly. Think you should bring your camera, go to the shops and try for yourself.
    Last edited by kandinsky; 24th April 2015 at 01:11 AM.

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    Moderator nitewalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    If it is indeed 1.4m, then my question is won't the angle of the photos look odd since the camera has be angled upwards?
    Huh? I don't get it, why would a minimum height of 1.4 m means you have to angle it upwards? You can still shoot perfectly level shots what. I think my tripod isn't much taller than that.

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Hey guys,

    I've been looking at the Sirui tripods and am a lil confused.

    (http://www.sirui.com.sg/index.php?op...=83&Itemid=470)

    Taking T-1004X as reference, does it mean the maximum height the tripod can go is 1.4m?? If not, how do I find out what the maximum height is?

    If it is indeed 1.4m, then my question is won't the angle of the photos look odd since the camera has be angled upwards?

    My current cheapo tripod can stretch to about 1.70-1.76m (thereabout) high. This is quite impt cos if the tripod is too low, I can foresee issues with the angle and stuff.

    Any help pls?
    if a deployed tripod fully extended is 1.76m, don't forget from tripod base to camera viewfinder is about another 10cm, most people will need stand on a stool or step ladder to use this tripod when it is fully extended, so your height is above 2m (average distance of eyes to top of our head is 13cm)? or you bring alone a ladder with your tripod?

    no wonder you said your tripod is shaky, if I want to reach that height, I have to use my Gitzo tripod, other smaller tripods can't make it, unless using it indoor on a solid floor.
    Last edited by catchlights; 24th April 2015 at 07:46 AM.
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  13. #13

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    Hey guys many thanks for the inputs. I think I may not have been clear.

    If it's too short, then won't one have to bend down to look through the viewfinder? I'm about 1.7+. The other concern is, as mentioned, the angle of photos taken from such a short tripod. If one is standing relatively near the tripod, the tripod has to point upwards to shoot the face. Question is, am I right about this?

    The puzzling thing I noticed is that almost all of sirui's tripods are all quite short - even the non traveling ones. Could I have been reading the specs wrongly?

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    I was still using this tripod 2 days ago at it's 1.4m max height with center column fully extended. With the camera on top of the tripod, it's still pretty comfortable for me at 1.7+ m

    For my passport photos, I have to use my longer tripod which goes to 1.4 center column unextended..

    Look at the N or R series. I'm using the R2204. Abit too tall for me infact
    Last edited by SkyStrike; 24th April 2015 at 08:31 AM.
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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Hey guys many thanks for the inputs. I think I may not have been clear.

    If it's too short, then won't one have to bend down to look through the viewfinder? I'm about 1.7+. The other concern is, as mentioned, the angle of photos taken from such a short tripod. If one is standing relatively near the tripod, the tripod has to point upwards to shoot the face. Question is, am I right about this?

    The puzzling thing I noticed is that almost all of sirui's tripods are all quite short - even the non traveling ones. Could I have been reading the specs wrongly?
    1.4m tripod, add 6cm for ball head, add 10cm for height of cam... it is already almost 1.6cm. you are 1.7+m tall, so am I. when using a tripod, looking through the viewfinder, do you stand upright? Or do you have to lean forward to put your eye to the viewfinder? 10+cm slight difference that difficult? Also, when shooting with tripod, is your eye constantly at the viewfinder?

    Also for subjects, how far is your subject from your camera, that you have to tilt up so high to shoot your subject. Remember you camera is already at almost 1.6m... Usually when we shoot human subjects, we want to go lower actually, to a level between the face and the waist.... That is why you see many photographers squat, bend down when shooting during portrait sections.

    And thinking back, when shooting landscapes even, most of the time my shots are not at eye level, especially when I am by the water's edge.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 24th April 2015 at 08:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    roughly skimmed through some of the opinions on top, will give me 2cents.

    Its all about the centre of gravity and the weight of the tripod itself. A sturdier tripod would usually have more weight.

    A travel tripod would forgo the weight for portability. However, most sturdier travel tripod has tried to keep within the range of 1kg for the stability. Most travel tripods doesn't extend as high as well, for the CG purpose. Next thing would be the end of the legs, some has swivel ends, some has rubber tips, some has metal tip. each of which would have different friction level on the surface you've placed it on. How wide the legs extend would play a part in its CG too.

    In general, the reason for hanging your bag or adding weight to the centre pole is to place the weight in the middle rather than just having most of your weight on top (camera + lens). It's more about physics, stand straight, hold a 10kg bag on over your head with your arms stretched out and hold it at your chest/tummy level; which would feel more stable?

    Even if the bag could be swinging like a pendulum, it would basically alter the CG of your setup making it more stable. For maximum stability, the heavier tripod with wider extension of the legs would give you a lot more stability.

    another point to be considered, the shoulder strap would catch on the on-coming wind--tidying it up rather than letting it hang loose would help as well (entry cameras with very light tripods).


    As for the height issue, looking down or looking up. swivel screens helps or for canon users--you could explore the "angle finder". and extension for the view finder which I find useful when I'm setting the tripod lower than me or even at ground level. Usually i would have to lay flat on the ground to look into the view finder if its on ground level facing straight or upwards, the angle finder allows me to be sitting or half squat and still look through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Hey guys many thanks for the inputs. I think I may not have been clear. If it's too short, then won't one have to bend down to look through the viewfinder? I'm about 1.7+. The other concern is, as mentioned, the angle of photos taken from such a short tripod. If one is standing relatively near the tripod, the tripod has to point upwards to shoot the face. Question is, am I right about this? The puzzling thing I noticed is that almost all of sirui's tripods are all quite short - even the non traveling ones. Could I have been reading the specs wrongly?
    I'm 1.85 m. Even if you don't have tilt-able LCD, i don't think it would give much of a backache as you won't be in that posture forever.

    Besides, you don't always shoot at eye level, sometimes you will go low anyway. For me, the minimum height is more of a problem if i'm planning to shoot at hdb stairways hence i do get one which is generally sufficient to clear the railings.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclejosh View Post
    roughly skimmed through some of the opinions on top, will give me 2cents. Its all about the centre of gravity and the weight of the tripod itself. A sturdier tripod would usually have more weight. A travel tripod would forgo the weight for portability. However, most sturdier travel tripod has tried to keep within the range of 1kg for the stability. Most travel tripods doesn't extend as high as well, for the CG purpose. Next thing would be the end of the legs, some has swivel ends, some has rubber tips, some has metal tip. each of which would have different friction level on the surface you've placed it on. How wide the legs extend would play a part in its CG too. In general, the reason for hanging your bag or adding weight to the centre pole is to place the weight in the middle rather than just having most of your weight on top (camera + lens). It's more about physics, stand straight, hold a 10kg bag on over your head with your arms stretched out and hold it at your chest/tummy level; which would feel more stable? Even if the bag could be swinging like a pendulum, it would basically alter the CG of your setup making it more stable. For maximum stability, the heavier tripod with wider extension of the legs would give you a lot more stability. another point to be considered, the shoulder strap would catch on the on-coming wind--tidying it up rather than letting it hang loose would help as well (entry cameras with very light tripods). As for the height issue, looking down or looking up. swivel screens helps or for canon users--you could explore the "angle finder". and extension for the view finder which I find useful when I'm setting the tripod lower than me or even at ground level. Usually i would have to lay flat on the ground to look into the view finder if its on ground level facing straight or upwards, the angle finder allows me to be sitting or half squat and still look through.
    The height issue also relates to odd angled photos (I.e can tell from photo that camera is pointing up). My worry is that this is gonna feature in all shots with subjects inside - landscape photos.

    Also, can I just check for the 1.4m tripod mentioned above, does the 1.4m include the length of the center extension?

  19. #19
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Hey guys many thanks for the inputs. I think I may not have been clear.

    If it's too short, then won't one have to bend down to look through the viewfinder? I'm about 1.7+. The other concern is, as mentioned, the angle of photos taken from such a short tripod. If one is standing relatively near the tripod, the tripod has to point upwards to shoot the face. Question is, am I right about this?

    The puzzling thing I noticed is that almost all of sirui's tripods are all quite short - even the non traveling ones. Could I have been reading the specs wrongly?
    if you are referring to shooting human subjects with tripod, what would you want to shoot so close to your subject and at so high angle?

    it will have distortion.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Advice needed for tripods - avoid getting blown over by the wind

    I am looking for a sturdy tripod to use at home. Something with the feature to let centre pole to stay horizontal. Recommendation of a tripod and suitable ball head? Budget $300 or less?

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