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Which tripod?

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 Graeme G 14 Nov 2020

I’m assuming some of you use a tripod?

Having spent the day researching I’m no nearer making a decision. Ideally thinking sub 1.5kg , with short collapsed length. I’m thinking the Vanguard 235 or 265 will work for me but just wondering what others use?

Im 5’6” so probably only need max height 140cm. Will mostly use it for night photos so need stability. But would also like eye height for family photos around the Xmas tree.

Any info greatly appreciated.

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 Sans-Plan 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Tough one, budget ?

Tripods appear to be massively overpriced for what they are, the 3 Legged Thing range look good, I have a cheap Amazon clone and it’s fine for the amount of use it gets.

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 Jon Read 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

It's a bit like the old tent triptych. Pick two of: lightweight, strong, cheap. 

Second-hand provides the best value. Photographers, generally, are super precious about their kit, and the 2nd market reflects this. Go for old fashioned, non-fancy gear and you can get something that Ansel Adams would use (if he were to be in the market currently) and will last you for the next couple of decades. 

This, for example, would do you grand: https://www.ffordes.com/p/SH-55-035221/velbon/sherpa-630-tripod

Your next problem is... which head?

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 Graeme G 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Sans-Plan:

> Tough one, budget ?

Probably £150, but then only if I really need to. 

> Tripods appear to be massively overpriced for what they are, the 3 Legged Thing range look good, I have a cheap Amazon clone and it’s fine for the amount of use it gets.

That was my thinking. So many appear to be hugely over engineered, certainly for what I’ll use it for. I like the look of the 3LT range. Jessop’s sell sub 1.5kg for £50, maybe that’ll do me? Or maybe they’re cheap for a reason.

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 jethro kiernan 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Ive got the 3Legged thing Billy, I've been happy enough with it, stable enough for astro light and small enough for mountains.

https://www.3leggedthing.com/billy

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 Graeme G 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Read:

Thanks, hadn’t considered 2nd hand 

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 Sans-Plan 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I bought one of these, it’s perfectly good for my needs.

Camera Tripod 79"/200cm, K&F Concept DSLR Tripods Aluminum Travel Vlog Tripod Monopod with 360° Panorama Ball Head 1/4" Quick Release Plate Carrying Case Loading Up to 17.6lbs/8kg for Canon Nikon Sony

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VMLFVRC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_4HcSFbC2RFAG5

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 HeMa 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I have a few options, but 3 legged things Brian is the one I like Most. Sturdy enough for night time lapse. Light and small enough for travel. Also the stock Airhed is a good enough ballhead. 
 

Also have smaller Equinox (I think it’s called Jay now).  And while it packs smaller than the Brian, it does feel heavier. Will prolly get rid of this. 
 

also have a tiny one from Dörr, that I mainly use for shooting bouldering vids. It’s tiny, but not really suited night time photography (too lightweight).

had also the smallest Sirui CF one. It was nice when you swapped the ballhead for a better one (I used an Airhed).

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 kevin stephens 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

It's usual to buy tripods and head seperately.  Many cheap tripods come with pan and tilt heads which are not so useful for most sorts of photography.  Ball heads are generally considered better, the price you pay (as with tripods) is related to the weight of camera and lens.  You can compensate for a light tripod to some extend by hanging a bag of rocks from it, but this won't help a cheap head.  I've often considered buying a good tripod but haven't got round to it.

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In reply to Graeme

I have a heavy Gitzo tripod that was rock solid and very versatile but I was loath to walk any distance with it  so it fell into disuse. This year I decided to buy something I would be pepared to carry up hills and bought a carbon fibre tripod https://www.manfrotto.com/uk-en/element-traveller-tripod-small-with-ball-head-carbon-fiber-mkeles5cf-bh/. It is absolutely superb and I don't resent carrying it which is the real benefit. It holds a Full-frame DSLR still enough for most circumstances and has revolutionised my photography. I think this is worth a look.

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 Marek 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Read:

Ah yes, Ffordes.

I have (and like) one of these: https://www.ffordes.com/p/SH-18-033152/velbon/ultra-maxi-f-tripod

... albeit with a chunky Chinese ballhead from ebay.

Sturdy enough for an astro tracker (legs short & half wide), long enough for eye level support if you need it. Easy to carry.

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 The Lemming 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Read:

>  Go for old fashioned, non-fancy gear and you can get something that Ansel Adams would use (if he were to be in the market currently) and will last you for the next couple of decades. 

My Manfrotto tripod Christmas present bought off eBay has lasted two decades.

It's heavy and I'd highly recommend something similar. Apart from three legs, you just need to choose what type of head to put on it.

Here's the current version

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Manfrotto-Aluminium-Section-Tripod-Horizontal/dp/B00ICFIV74

Don't think I've ever used the tripod for terrorising the family at Christmas.

Post edited at 19:49
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 Tom V 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Read:

Any idea what the factors are which determine a tripod's maximum payload?

I want to replace my telescope tripod  and have found just what i want except for its capacity: it will easily take my smaller scope but my newer tube is nearly 1kg over its maximum. 

I've read a blog where a German guy says the combination works, but I'm just wondering where the extra weight will find weaknesses in the tripod and mount.

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 graeme jackson 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I have an old manfrotto that weighs a ton but will stand up to a force ten gale.  However, I wanted something lighter and more compact when folded so I went for this..

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07S1T2ZVR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So far it's been a great buy. Very stable, even when using the 'boom' feature. It has the benefit of being able to invert the central column so I can get really close to the ground. Haven't used it as a monopod yet but it's there if needed.

edit to add I'm using it with a canon dslr and 100-400 zoom so it's able to support a decent weight.

Post edited at 01:43
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 Graeme G 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Thanks all. Definitely some food for thought.

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 Marek 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> Any idea what the factors are which determine a tripod's maximum payload?

Largely marketing, I suspect. From a dynamics point of view, a camera on a tripod is like a heavy weight on a spring. Knock it (e.g., gust of wind) and it'll bounce around. A flimsy tripod, like weak spring, will allow more movement which will last longer. I guess tripod manufacturers will be making some judgement call as to how much movement is acceptable, but I doubt there an industry standard. Another factor is damping - how quickly vibration die away. Old fashioned wooden tripods and perhaps carbon fibre tripods are better than aluminium. i've certainly never seen any rigourous testing of tripod/camera dynamics (although it wouldn't be hard to do). Perhaps I haven't looked hard enough. If I'm bored I might have a play with my camera/tripod and see how it behaves. Of course that won't help you...

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 Run_Ross_Run 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Hi. 

Have a manfrotto prob up for sale and a ball head on preloved 

https://www.preloved.co.uk/adverts/show/120066745/manfrotto-190-prob-tripod.html

Let me know if you need any further information. 

Thanks 

Darren 

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 Graeme G 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:

Thanks. Possibly heavier than I had hoped for. But maybe I need to go heavier to get stability for long exposures.

Did my first proper night shoot on the Ben Avon plateau recently and the idea of adding the weight of a tripod to my bag is a bit distressing!

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 Tom Last 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I’d get one with a quick release head - makes a world of difference. 

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 SouthernSteve 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Mirroring much of what has been said here. I have an old Manfrotto one which is so heavy I am loathe to take it out of the house – complete waste of money really. It is good in a hide through as it is so stable. I have now brought a much lighter one, with much shorter legs and although it is not quite a stable with a big camera and heavy lens when the wind is blowing at least it leaves the building more regularly. Definitely get a ball head.

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 Graeme G 15 Nov 2020
In reply to SouthernSteve:

Thanks. Yeah weight is definitely a deciding factor but no point in being so light as to be useless outside.

I’m thinking this might just fit the bill.

https://www.ffordes.com/p/SOR-55-034603/manfrotto/mkbfrta4bk-bh-befree-advanced-travel-tri

Post edited at 11:11
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 Pedro50 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I have a Manfrotto (not sure what model but it says 732CY on it and is carbon fibre) which I found on Pike of Blisco about 6 years ago. I made every effort to reunite with its owner but to no avail.  

Weight is 1.3 kg it has a quick release sort of plate at the top (sorry I know nothing about these things)

Happy to post to OP or anyone for £50 inc P&P.

Post edited at 11:39
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 Marek 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Marek:

A couple of other thoughts...

The tripod's weakness is likely to be rotational vibration (around a vertical axis), particularly with a long lens. So if you're taking pictures with no contact during the exposure time (e.g., long exposure night photos) and the main impulse source is wind, then think about how the camera is mounted on the tripod (camera or lens on mount) and how the wind will tend to twist the system. Perhaps forgo the big lens hood that acts like a sail? Does shielding with your body make  more difference than a heavier tripod? Note also that the classic approach of tying a weight to the tripod to make it heavier does nothing to help with torsional vibrations. Really it's well damped stiffness you want rather than just weight (although a heavy tripod is more likely to be stiff than a light one). Another trick to consider is 'lucky imaging': If the wind is gusty, don't just take one picture - take several. Then you're more likely to get one where the wind was quiet for the duration of the exposure and gave you a sharper image.

Alternatively, if you're holding the camera during the exposure (e.g., birding), then the dynamics are likely quite different (heavily damped and the tripod is acting more as a weight support rather than a movement eliminator).

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 Pedro50 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Pedro50:

Photo


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 wilkesley 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I have got an Amazon compact tripod which is OK for indoors, but isn't really stable enough if it's at all breezy. I have also got a K&F " Concept 62" Compact Light Aluminium Tripod with Quick Release Plate, Ball Head and Carrying Bag for Travel" which I sturdy and weighs 2kf without the case.

It's sturdy and not quite up to Manfrotto standards, but is a lot less expensive!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015CGRREI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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 Graeme G 15 Nov 2020
In reply to wilkesley:

Thanks. Was checking out K&F but wasn’t sure of the quality. 

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 SouthernSteve 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

3.5 versus 1.3 kgs was the difference, but the pack size was smaller too so all in all easier to travel with. 

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 HeMa 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Unless you’re in a super hurry. Have a fiddle around with them in a local shop. Then buy on Black Friday or Cyber Monday (even from said local shop).

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In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> In reply to Graeme

 This year I decided to buy something I would be pepared to carry up hills and bought a carbon fibre tripod https://www.manfrotto.com/uk-en/element-traveller-tripod-small-with-ball-head-carbon-fiber-mkeles5cf-bh/. It is absolutely superb and I don't resent carrying it which is the real benefit. 

After struggling with a really heavy Manfrotto and then being disappointed with a lightweight Vanguard tripod I also purchased the Manfrotto carbon fibre element traveller last year. Super lightweight, easy to use, stable and most importantly it now gets packed whenever I’m likely to need it. Brilliant for overnight hill trips 

Post edited at 07:31
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 Graeme G 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Al Todd:

Cheers Al. That’s really helpful. The Traveller is definitely on my radar and around what I want to spend.

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 Graeme G 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Jon Read:

Thanks for the recommendation. Never heard of FForbes before. Will def be back 😀

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