01-13-2020 04:45 PM
I have zero experience with tripods and would appreciate some help. Wanting to try some sky photography, I will need a tripod. A couple from Manfrotto, the MT190XPRO3 and the MT190XPRO4 are recommended in an on-line website, along with one of the Manfrotto ball heads. Does anyone have experience with either of these? Are there others that might be better or more versatile, but still in this price range?
Thank you for your comments!
01-13-2020 05:23 PM - edited 01-13-2020 05:27 PM
Define Milky Way photography. Wide angle with landscapes or long focal length long exposures. In either case, I think you may find the Manfrotto 190s to be not quite enough.
You want a tripod that is very sturdy and robust you want one that will [not] budge in wind gusts, which almost rules out any tripod with a long center column. If you have a center column, then you will want to keep it fully lowered for long exposures. I use a Induro alloy video tripod, which has 75mm bowl and flat base bowl adapter.
When it comes to a tripod head you will want the strongest head you can afford. Have ever taken photos of the Moon before, and the head may shift ever so slightly as you tighten it down in place? That is called backlash, which is caused by heavy off-acid loads like a big lens pointing up at the Moon. My favorite ball head is a Benro B3 or V3, but I prefer to use a heavy duty pan-tilt, or the Benro geared head, for shots of night landscapes. Because they suffer from less backlash than ball heads.
01-13-2020 07:53 PM
No, I will not be using a tracker. I want to use a 14 mm or 16 mm f.l. wide angle lens and keep exposure times short enough to minimize star trailing (I estimate that, with my APS-C sensor, a star's image will shift by one pixel in slightly less than 4 seconds, so I'll experiment and see how long an exposure I can get away with.) I know that there are some decent, inexpensive lenses with f/ numbers of 2.0 or 2.8.
01-13-2020 10:51 PM - edited 01-13-2020 11:50 PM
There is no need to experiment when the work has already been done. Use the 500 Rule, which says “FL * SS <= 500”
Since the FL is the [full] frame equivalent of 16mm, 24mm on APS-C sensors, you could use a shutter of up to 20 seconds. In practice I would go with 15 seconds, which Is a long time for the average tripod.
Using a heavy duty tripod makes a big difference in how detail you capture. I do not recommend a tripod kit that includes a head and tripod together in one package.
01-14-2020 03:58 PM
"... the MT190XPRO3 and the MT190XPRO4 are recommended..."
These are good choices. I have the MT190XPRO3. It is a very good tripod and will be useful with general photography too. In formal shots with a DSLR is probably going to be exposures of 30 seconds or less. This makes any heavy duty tripod workable. The MT190XPRO3 is a great choice.