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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎05-25-2018

General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

Feel free to discuss anything tripod, monopod, & tripod head stuff. 

 

No third-party links please. Thanks!

 

Anyways, I have a few questions. Does anybody prefer flip-locks or twist-locks on their tripod legs? I want to know which is easier to set up, how to maintain them, etc.

 

Are there any important differences between aluminum & carbon fiber legs besides weight? 

 

Cheers!

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

[ Edited ]

"Does anybody prefer flip-locks or twist-locks on their tripod legs?"

 

I don't like twist lok legs.  I don't think any pro tripod has them.  Any strong tripod/monopod will do the trick.  Pick the one you like. My main tripod is the Manfrotto 3046 Pro Tripod with Mid-level Spreader and the Manfrotto 501HDV Pro Video Fluid Head.

I am not sure if it is still being made and it is not cheap at nearly a grand. I am sure they have a similar one though. My carry around tripod is the MT055XPR Aluminum Tripod with various heads and gimbals.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less other stuff.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,332
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

[ Edited ]

I have used both types, and have no hard preference for either style, but apparently I seem to use mainly twist locks.  Locking style was not a factor that contributed to my tripod selections, not at all.  

 

I have a few tripods, ranging from Hi-Hat to jumbo video.  All of them have twist locks, except for one photo tripod, which lacks a center column and has flips.  This is my “B” tripod, BTW.  I find tripods without a center column are MUCH more stable than those with one.  While they may have a bigger footprint, I think the added stability is worth whatever inconvenience a wider stance may present.

I do want to point out that the twist locks are easier to disassemble and clean.  Tripod legs do get dusty and dirty, and need periodic cleaning  One of the top brands is Really Right Stuff, and nearly all of their models use water resistant twist locks.  In fact, nearly all of the top brands, including Manfrotto, use twist locks on their top-of-line models.

 

Also the twist locks can create friction, while the flip locks totally loosen the leg.  This can present problems with heavier loads, or when you are trying to get a fine adjustment when you are leveling the legs.  Flips also tend to create more noise compared to twists.

However, I do like flips because of they are much quicker to adjust compared to twists.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Super Contributor
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

[ Edited ]

I have a range of tripods: some are flip clamp locks and some twist.  My most recent aquisitions are from a company called MiFoto 2 x Carbon Road tripods tall units with the ability to remove one leg to form a monopod.  There is a smaller, lighter unit the M-25, also from MiFoto.   I have a couple of really heavy units, but they are rarely used.

 

In reality the tripods are rarely used as I usually shoot hand-held.

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,751
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

I own several tripods and monopods and have versions with both styles.  I prefer the lever locks.  You will just occasionally need to tune the tension on the lever locks ... but once they're set, extending and adjust leg heights is a very quick operation.  

 

I have noticed the twist locks seem to be diminishing in popularity.  I've also noticed some brands that used to make aluminum or carbon fiber are just doing carbon fiber only.

 

To me, tripods are all about stability.  You can get tripods with very thin legs ... they're very light (which is good) but they're also a bit more "springy" so not as stable.  But this is true in both aluminum and carbon fiber version. Many tripods have a hook on the bottom of the center column and you can hang some weight (e.g. such as your camera bag) to help stabilize the tripod.  

 

Another consideration are if the legs can spread wide AND if the tripod either offers a removable center column or an optional “short” center column so that you can get the tripod low to the ground.  One of my tripods has an optional short center column accessory... the other has a removable center column.

 

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎05-25-2018

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

Hey Wadizzle, 

 

I made a (possibly) final decision on which tripod to buy.

 

You mention to me on an earlier thread/topic that the Benro Adventure tripod lineup is the one that I should get.

 

I am considering the adventure 1 series aluminum w/ the IB1 Ball head w/ separate purchase of the ASC1 (short column) worth $210 as my first tripod for the following reasons:

 

1. Legs separate from the head are carry-on compatible with domestic AND international flights/airlines. 

 

2. 17.6 LBS Load Rating (Legs and head). You recommended at least 15 LBS.

 

3. Light enough to carry with me on nature walks and/or backpacking, but weighty enough to be sturdy and sufficiently hold my camera (T6i). Tripod/Head combo weighs 4 LBS.

 

4. Bubble level on tripod and head for straight horizons and panorama shots. 

 

5. Intend to use it for macro and landscape shots hence the short column for low angle perspectives.

 

6. Reasonable Price (Not cheap but out of my budget either at roughly $225-$250)

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,332
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

Make sure any ball head you buy has friction control knob. Benro makes very good heads, but I do not think the 1B1 head has a friction control.

If you are in the US, then I suggest waiting for a B&H daily special on Benro kit. They usually sell at deep discounts.
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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎05-25-2018

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

I checked the B&H website description and the IB1 ball head does a friction control knob on it. I'll probably wait around the holidays. Thanks Waddizzle for helping me on a tripod.
Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
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Posts: 10,381
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

Andy,

I have four tripods.  They are something that needs to fit the need.  Unfortunately one size does not fit all.

I really like my Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum Tripod.  You may want to check one out. I think they are around two bills.  Along with the X-PRO 3-Way tripod head is the one I take to weddings and events, etc. I also have a gimbal head for it. Gimbals are expensive but nothing works as well as they do for telephoto lens work.

I have never used the Benro perhaps they are as good.

 

I prefer round legs with flip locks. I don't like twist locks.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less other stuff.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎05-25-2018

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion


@ebiggs1 wrote:

Andy,

I have four tripods.  They are something that needs to fit the need.  Unfortunately one size does not fit all.

I really like my Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum Tripod.  You may want to check one out. I have never used the Benro perhaps they are as good.

 


The Manfrotto legs you mentioned are definitely very good and carry-on compatible at 19.3 inches. Although, I prefer the ergonomics of the Benro Adventure series for their angle locks, ball heads, & a shorter center column. The closest one to the MT190xpro4 is the Benro Adventure 2 series, but I don't know that one is carry-on compatible at 20.7 inches assuming a US carry-on bag is 22 x 14 x 9. 

 

What I'll probably do is try out each one for the following factors:

 

1. Sturdiness/Flex of the legs

2. How well does it fit in a US and/or international carry-on bag

3. How long or far will I plan to carry it around on trips, hikes, etc.

 

In fairness, buying a tripod is never easy and will always involve compromises/sacrifices.  

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
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