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Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,604
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

Andy,

 

Food for thought.  How do you plan to use the tripod?

 

Most of the people who replied on this thread own multiple tripods, just as they own multiple lenses for different shooting scenarios. I am getting the impression that you are looking for a universal tripod.  I own multiple tripods partly because I have more than one camera, but mainly because my different tripods have different uses.

 

BTW, the Mefoto, Benro, and Induro brands are all made by the same manufacturer.  The Mefoto brand is aimed at consumers.  Benro is more aimed at prosumer photographers.  Induro tripods are mostly professional grade now.  I might be mistaken, but I think the 3 Legged Thing brand is part of the same family of brands, too, and is mostly aimed at point and shoot users.

 

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Using a tripod taught me a lot about photography because it allowed me to take time to THINK about what I was doing.  As I became more experienced with my camera bodies, I use the tripods less and less.  But, I will almost always have one in the back of the SUV when I go out on a photo adventure somewhere.

I have a lightweight, carbon fiber Benro TMA18CV1 Mach 3 tripod kit that is good for travel.  I got it on a B&H daily special for 50% off regular list price  It has fthree leg sections, so it does not fold down to a very compact size.  I have an Induro aluminum tripod with four leg sections that can fold down to 18 inches.. I use them when I expect to be carrying a tripod on foot for extended periods, which really isn’t very often. The aluminum one lives in the SUV.  They only get used when I have not packed a bigger one.  Either will vibrate in a moderate breeze.

 

When I travel by auto to a spot for landscape shots, I take a more robust Benro Combination Series 3 tripod and head combo, which can handle upwards of 35 pounds.  This is my favorite.  It has a flat plate, instead of a center column, which is an option.  I liked it so much that I had to buy second one while they were on closeout clearance.  

 

One has a Benro B3 ball head with a leveling base.  The other is actually the Induro version of the legs, with a 75mm bowl.  It has an Induro PH3 5-way pan/tilt head mounted on a bowl adapter.  I will take one or the other with me when I know I won’t have to walk very far on foot.  This does not mean that I will use it, and most of the time I don’t.

 

I also have a very heavy duty Induro 100mm video tripod fitted with a Manfrotto 502 flat base video head, with a 100mm bowl adapter.  The legs can support 70+ pounds.  It is a heavy rig with a wide footprint, but it is extremely stable.  The tripod bag is 36 inches long, which allows room for a fluid video head to remain mounted.  It is used primarily for shooting video with a C100 cinema camera.  It also gets some use for long exposure shots of the night sky with the Induro PH3 5-way pan/tilt head and a 75mm bowl adapter.  I also have an Induro hi-hat tripod with a 75mm bowl for video use.

 

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I think you will enjoy your Benro tripod.  I would get a stronger head than the IB1, though.  Just a camera rig is not better than the lens.  A tripod rig is no better than the head you pair it with.  I would suggest the Benro B2 or B3.  These are excellent ball heads that do not have any backlash, except with very heavy, off-center loads using a super telephoto lens.  Think pointing at the Moon.  Backlash means the head will shift slightly as you tighten it down.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎05-25-2018

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

[ Edited ]

Food for thought.  How do you plan to use the tripod? 

 

I will use the tripod at eye-level (I am 6'00 tall) for long exposure, landscape, and macro photography where getting low to the ground is crucial. Lens is probably up to a 100-400mm L IS II. I also want to take it with me on an airplane so the tripod legs being carry-on compatible at under 21" is paramount to me.

 

Most of the people who replied on this thread own multiple tripods, just as they own multiple lenses for different shooting scenarios.

 

Great input Waddizzle, I will probably start out with a heavier alumnium platform + ball head at 5 pounds rather than a flimsy aluminum travel tripod which is more prone to vibration & camera shake anyway. In addition, I will find travel CF legs perhaps used or at a discount/clearance sale like you mentioned. That way, I can configure to one or the other depending how far I have to hike/backpack.    

 

Using a tripod taught me a lot about photography because it allowed me to take time to THINK about what I was doing.

 

Definitely. Tripods allow you take the time to set your shot and figure out the best compsitions in each scene & lighting scenario.

Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎05-25-2018

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

I really learned a lot more about tripods than I had to begin with. So thanks again for the information and assistance.
Andrew
Nature Photography Hobbyist / Enthusiast
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,604
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

Take a look at the Benro tripods on sale at B&H for their daily special. That is what I have been talking about.

Not the type you are looking for, I know. But, wait it out because something that is and within your budget will pop up soon.
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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 93
Registered: ‎09-13-2014

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

Best thing to a closest all around tripod I have found is the Manfrotto 190
Specially because I dislike ball head, still prefer pan/tilt, just me... But I love the 90 degree option that allows the ability to invert and get higher angle shots
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,781
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion


@Mitsubishiman wrote:
Best thing to a closest all around tripod I have found is the Manfrotto 190
Specially because I dislike ball head, still prefer pan/tilt, just me... But I love the 90 degree option that allows the ability to invert and get higher angle shots

I was talking to Manfrotto a while back ... the 190 and the 055 series are their most popular (apparently by far).  The 055 is a bit beefier series than the 190 series.  I own an 057 series which is even beefier still (it's one of their largest & strongest tripods).

 

I own three tripods (well... three serious tripods anyway... I have a few junk-grade things as well).  One is exceptionally light and it's great for travel (it easily fits in any suitcase) and is also great to carry on long hikes (I really don't notice the weight).  BUT... it's not nearly as solid.  So I have to protect it from vibrations when I use it.  

 

My 057 is basically the opposite... it's rock solid but noticeably heavier and you probably wouldn't want to carry it on a long hike.  But for most of what I do ... I'm not going to need to carry the tripod very far.  That means the weight doesn't really bother me (I can carry a tripod 100 yards without complaining about it) and I love the stability of a really SOLID tripod.

 

 

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Valued Contributor
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion


@TCampbell wrote:

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.

 


I agree. I still use an inexpensive (about $100) Vanguard Veo 235AB, which has served me well. It is aluminum, light and compact, with a ball head. Nothing fancy but I was not going to spend $1000 on a tripod. The 235AB also features the lever-lock style of legs. Very easy and I can adjust the tension if need be. My major requiurements was that it be affordable, light and compact. It is all of that.

 

Tim, I have had this thing out in the Mojave facing desert winds and it has proven adequate. I have boulder hopped with it in JT around the Wonderland of Rocks areas and The Maze, and I don't have to worry about it if it slaps against the sides of boulders. Some scratches give it character LOL. I've shot with it during Santa Anas and I've not had an issue. When guys start talking about fiber this and gimbal that, I always ask where they shoot. And not a one of them has shot in the conditions or in similar geography where I shoot. So I don't care about fiber. For me, a ball-camera leveler. which I don't yet have, is more desirable than fiber. YMMV. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,604
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion


@Mitsubishiman wrote:
Best thing to a closest all around tripod I have found is the Manfrotto 190
Specially because I dislike ball head, still prefer pan/tilt, just me... But I love the 90 degree option that allows the ability to invert and get higher angle shots

I like both.  They each have their uses.  I did not like my first ball head.  I bought a good one, Benro B3, which had a friction adjustment, and fell in love with it.  

 

I have also fallen in love with a Kirk MPA-2 tilt head on my monopod.  It has strong friction control, too.  I can tilt a 7D2, w/grip and a Sigma 150-600mm C, and it stays put.  I no longer need to tilt the entire rig to change shooting angle, and my horizon stays more level.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,781
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: General Tripod/Monopod/Tripod Head Discussion

I have a couple of Benro tripods and heads.  I do like their gear.  The "B" (ball head) series comes in numbers ... "3" being a pretty beefy ball head (they have a "B2", "B1", "B0", and even a "B00" size ... the "00" is pretty tiny).

 

But ultimately I do like that the tripods let you swap heads.  I have three nice tripods, but several different heads including ball heads, pan-tilt (video) heads, and a gimbal head (awesome for action photography because you can set the center-of-mass so that it's "neutral" and swing the camera around to follow action without having to ever snug down the axes.  A friend of mine uses this for air-shows.)

 

One of my own pet features is the ability to spread the tripod legs and drop the camera height to just a few inches above the ground.  But a center column gets in the way of that.  One of my tripods has a swappable center column (you can swap the standard column for a short post).  The other (my Manfrotto 057 series) lets you completely remove the center column and attach the head-plate directly to the leg assembly.  With no center-post to stop me from getting low to the ground, I can drop the camera height to just a few inches above ground level.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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