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Thread: Tripod question

  1. #1

    Default Tripod question

    Am looking for a tripod at the moment, and would like some opinions and/or recommendations. The Gitzo 2220 (Explorer) aluminium has been strongly recommended to me, and after reading the many reviews and such, I've observed that many people recommend it as a very good macro tripod, because of its versatile off-center column. I do very little (actually ~zero) macro photography, mainly nature and landscapes (also the Explorer is currently out of stock ) so would like to hear more opinions on this as well as other tripods.

    Currently, my heaviest load is this:

    D70 + 70-200 f/2.8 VR + TC17eII + SB800 w/ flash extender on (most probably) a Markins M-10 ballhead, with possible upgrade to larger lenses in the future.

    Would like to know what other CSers think of other good tripod choices, which isn't horribly expensive, nor too heavy (I find the Explorer slightly on the heavier side..)

    Cheers
    GYR

  2. #2
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    More expensive but lighter option
    Gitzo 1228 Mountaineer MkII (CF, 4 section) + Markins M10
    Weight: 1.5kg + 0.51kg = 2.01kg total
    Load: 8kg, 40kg

    Cheaper but heavier option
    Gitzo 1220 Classic Sports Series II (aluminium, 3 section) + Markins M10
    Weight: 2.2kg + 0.51kg = 2.71kg total
    Load: 6kg, 40kg

    Tried D2H + AFS 70-200 + Flash Bracket + SB800 with no problem, should be able to take up to AFS 200-400.

    Anything better (heavier load handling) would be the Gitzo 3 series, eg 1325.

  3. #3

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    Nature....you mean wildlife or just general nature? If it involves birds, i do not like the twist turn actions of Gitzo legs to setup, adjust. Take way too long and effort. This will be a problem at Sungei Buloh.

    I think you are a bit on the hardcore side as far as h/w is concerned. If you do not mind, perhaps a Pro 700 DX? It is made in Thailand. Cheap and good.
    I think Christopher has no problems with Sliks.

    Coz i am thinking you might need to travel light. So it's either CF or A.M.T technology. I tell you it's really siong. In fact, monopod also can if you are not aiming for certain types of wildlife shots.
    Last edited by 2100; 23rd September 2004 at 10:09 AM.

  4. #4

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    Nature, but not exclusively birds. I'm talking about other types of animals, such as monkeys, bats etc. For example, I have a 1 week hiking/caving trip coming up in October in Sarawak which involves hiking through the jungles of Borneo and visiting caves and such, so stuff like that -thats why I would prefer something lighter than the Explorer (though I haven't ruled it out yet).

    As for being "hardcore", no lar, as I think that I won't be buying tripods every year right, so I don't mind spending a bit more getting something good and reliable, instead of having to upgrade later if I'm not happy with my purchase

    AJ, is the 1228 the same one you sold off? Thought I remember seeing a tripod being sold by you not long ago? Also, the 1228 is a 4-section tripod, how's the stability like?

    Thanks for the feedback guys, keep em coming

  5. #5

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    The hiking trip alone may compromise your CF tripod/monopod if you do indeed get one. It is brittle and you will have accidents. Else CF can withstand the usual knocks and slight drops. Remember, when you are shag, you will have accidents. So a bit tricky here regarding your usage as the trip is pretty hard on equipment while general nature shoots will be easier.

    Just keep in mind the inherent slow Gitzo leg adjustment/extension weakness. Nature is not flat ground, you always adjust as you travel. Else you may find it frustrating to use, then you take it off and handhold most of the time. Then you miss moments which is the gist of good nature photos (i rate that more important than absolute stability/sharpness). I know someone who already KB about this on Gitzo in the field. So depends on what you are aiming to capture also bro....

    I checked the specs, 1220/1228 (unless Series 2) are a bit on the short side without centre extension. Your back will take a beating while you wait for mother nature to perform. Get something higher, like at least 135cm. Very important factor.

  6. #6

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    Thanks dude, will go check further, maybe drop by CP and try out the various models they have there.. you guys have been a great help. Thanks

  7. #7
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    When you going? I go give you some support

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gymrat76
    AJ, is the 1228 the same one you sold off? Thought I remember seeing a tripod being sold by you not long ago? Also, the 1228 is a 4-section tripod, how's the stability like?
    No, the one I've sold off is the 2228, the CF version of 2220 Explorer. Remember I've shown u my 1228 with the big fat leg warmer?

    1228 is a 4 section tripod, the reason why I choose it is because of the shorter un-extended length, and the overall extended height. Stability is good, couldn't be better or not satisfied with it.

    If I need to increase stability, I can always hook my back onto the centre column, which comes with a hook.

  9. #9
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    My height is 1.7m, with shoes will probably be 1.73-1.75m at least. Gymrat should be around the same height as I am? I find that 1228's extended height is just right. And I am have not extended the centre column yet.

    Do take note of the extra height added from the ballhead, lense plate and the camera.

    If want more height, then should get the 3 series (CF or alumunium).

    I don't think the way Gitzo tripod extends/adjusts is bad nor slow, imagine nature shooting in the field, if the tripod adjustment pick-pick-pak-pak, will definitely scare away your intended target(s). Just ask all the bird and nature shooters about this.

    On the compromising part, buying CF/aluminium is already a compromise itself, weight vs performance vs $$$. U want light, pay more for CF, if u can carry the extra weight, pay less for aluminium.

    CF is not as brittle as one thinks, with proper care, it can be stronger and more durable than aluminium. Of course, if u hit the CF perperticular to it's structure, it will break, but what are the chances if u take good care of the tripod?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    The hiking trip alone may compromise your CF tripod/monopod if you do indeed get one. It is brittle and you will have accidents. Else CF can withstand the usual knocks and slight drops. Remember, when you are shag, you will have accidents. So a bit tricky here regarding your usage as the trip is pretty hard on equipment while general nature shoots will be easier.

    Just keep in mind the inherent slow Gitzo leg adjustment/extension weakness. Nature is not flat ground, you always adjust as you travel. Else you may find it frustrating to use, then you take it off and handhold most of the time. Then you miss moments which is the gist of good nature photos (i rate that more important than absolute stability/sharpness). I know someone who already KB about this on Gitzo in the field. So depends on what you are aiming to capture also bro....

  10. #10
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    This largely depends on the user's height.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    I checked the specs, 1220/1228 (unless Series 2) are a bit on the short side without centre extension. Your back will take a beating while you wait for mother nature to perform. Get something higher, like at least 135cm. Very important factor.

  11. #11

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    Thanks AJ for the feedback, regarding the height w/o center column extended, well, I'll have to go test it out to see. Since I intend to use this tripod as a general purpose tripod, I might just stick to the aluminium ones for now, will wait until CP has stock for the Explorer then I can go down and look see. Thanks all who replied

  12. #12

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    Yup, for birds (esp migratory birds) it's very impt to keep quiet even if you are hiding in a hide, once I have even scared a whole flock of more than a hundred away at SBWR 2D coz i dragging my feet into the hide....you could hear the whole damn flock screaming away. But actually levers are not noisy at all if you adjust the nut torque appropriately so that it is not that "tight" but not so loose so that it slips (usually won't slip lar). Obviously the opening/closing must be done in a controlled manner and not bik biak biak biak no government fashion. I'm not saying that the twist turn action of gitzo legs is bad, just that it's definitely slower than levels.

    Well, i guess it's always good to have more height, you will need it in other situations like shooting on downslope etc.... Just take UIM F1 for eg, one of my tripod legs was into the bush which is lower and sloping down and the other 2 legs on concrete (needed to be as far out as possible so that won't be blocked).
    But it's more critical for birding (or other wildlife which we don't have in SG anyway) in which I could easily spend > 15mins waiting for the perched bird to fly off, wired/wireless remote is no good coz usually i want to take both take-off (remote trigger can do) and panning (remote trigger cannot do).....so eyes always at the VF. The longest I have done is ard 45 mins, even standing straight is shag. Just some stories to share man.
    My height is a factor too as i am 1.76m tall. Posting this as an issue coz 1228 is just 117cm, that is even shorter than 190ProB which some are already saying that it's not tall enough...that's why they go for 055.


    Yea, must also consider ballhead. His cam is D70 right.....no grip to boost further up (AJ, you using D100, D70, D1X or D2H?). So gotta go to the shop and test out with his stuff.

    PS. Lots of shorebirds and waders arrived already! Buy and can shoot liao.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    ...My height is a factor too as i am 1.76m tall. Posting this as an issue coz 1228 is just 117cm, that is even shorter than 190ProB which some are already saying that it's not tall enough...that's why they go for 055.
    Yo bro, AJ using D2H and who knows, possibly D2X soon I am using the 1228 with Markins 10 and 1.83m tall. No prob adjusting the height to my eye level or higher. No idea why u got problem using it.
    Last edited by CAMEDIA; 23rd September 2004 at 04:42 PM.

  14. #14

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    I am using Explorer 2228 without any problem with nature I am also not a macro guy and I sometimes use my tripod to hold my flash if I need to use it remotely. The good thing is that you can adjust to any angle that you want and can deploy it even in very small place
    Last edited by ccplim; 23rd September 2004 at 04:54 PM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMEDIA
    Yo bro, AJ using D2H and who knows, possibly D2X soon I am using the 1228 with Markins 10 and 1.83m tall. No prob adjusting the height to my eye level or higher. No idea why u got problem using it.
    Dunno....D2H is only about 5cm taller than the D70? I think i know already....i was looking at 1128, the series 1. 1228 is the series 2, which is 132cm unextended. 1220 (the alu one) is only 120cm tall, that's 12cm shorter.
    I am using Pro 500DX + 488RC2, and a U9000. Perhaps i go check later....

  16. #16

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    Guys, i just tried. 550DX (137cm tall, verified with tape) + 488RC2 (11cm) + D70 (approx 11cm tall, VF should be 9-10cm) and it only reaches below my adam's apple. I am 1.76m and i wore my mini trekking boots. Surprisingly, my level locks don't make any noise, pretty cushioned.

    Sigh....the more i see my 50-500 the more heart pain. It rolled down and dropped on bare concrete on Sunday from 1.5m (top of car) as i closed the car door. Still working though..... And i wasn't even shag.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    Sigh....the more i see my 50-500 the more heart pain. It rolled down and dropped on bare concrete on Sunday from 1.5m (top of car) as i closed the car door. Still working though..... And i wasn't even shag.
    That one is the owner's fault

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccplim
    That one is the owner's fault
    Yeah.... Gan cheong go shooting mah.... Funny thing is that whenever i shoot, i always strap on my neck or coil on my wrists. Never occurred to me lor.... That's why called accident, will never know. Chase after bird can also roll down slope right?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    Yeah.... Gan cheong go shooting mah.... Funny thing is that whenever i shoot, i always strap on my neck or coil on my wrists. Never occurred to me lor.... That's why called accident, will never know. Chase after bird can also roll down slope right?
    I never put the strap on my neck or coil on my wrists but I will always make sure I tighten the knobs.

  20. #20

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    Ouch, made me wince when you said you dropped your lens

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