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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎01-04-2013

Tripod Recommendation for Milky Way Photography

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!

 

Edward

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,612
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Tripod Recommendation for Milky Way Photography

Do you already have a tracker?

VIP
Posts: 8,870
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Tripod Recommendation for Milky Way Photography

[ Edited ]

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.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎01-04-2013

Re: Tripod Recommendation for Milky Way Photography

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.

VIP
Posts: 8,870
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Tripod Recommendation for Milky Way Photography

[ Edited ]

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.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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VIP
Posts: 11,902
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Tripod Recommendation for Milky Way Photography

"... 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.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎01-04-2013

Re: Tripod Recommendation for Milky Way Photography

[ Edited ]

Thank you and Waddizzle for your helpful comments.  

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