View Full Version : Tripods, The Life Blood

01-12-2010, 04:42 PM
Ok now that we have some of our equipment stuff out of our system. We need to talk about one of the most crutial pieces of equipment known to a budding photographer.


This piece of your armor is a underated item. But it will make a good shot into a keeper.

Key answer......spend money. Get good and solid. not this ratchet up crap from Walmart and such. Bogen and Gitzo have ruled this world for a long time. Get a good ballhead. Arca Swiss, Really Right Stuff, Kirk Enterprises is where I would shop. I also have a good monopod to be a little bit more mobil when needed.

So what say you on this item???
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01-12-2010, 05:11 PM
I have a cheap tripod, but a good one is on my list. This is an expensive hobby.

01-12-2010, 05:16 PM
I have a cheap tripod, but a good one is on my list. This is an expensive hobby.

You got that right. I may sell either my tripod or mono will have to see how things go in the next month.

01-12-2010, 07:19 PM
I run two tripods, a Bogen 3001 legs with a 3025 head and a Manfrotto 482. The Bogen is an OK tripod for 35mm but it's a little short for me. The Manfrotto is a mini tripod that I bought to take to Germany. It turned out to be super useful but is really limited to rangefinders and non-motordriven bodies. But it's always with me.

01-12-2010, 09:46 PM
I went with the low/middle of the road for my tripod (manfrotto) that I really like for the money; I think it was like $120. Personally, I really like the flip-lock legs, it's just so convenient. Of course, I really do want a nicer setup if I get more serious. I do agree, this is one of the most essential pieces not to skimp on.

I didn't put enough thought into a nice ballhead, mines only OK. It' doesn't have a really positive lock on it, meaning I have to really torque it when I have a heavy lens. It's rated for enough weight (supposedly), but I think it struggles with my big glass.

I love my monopod, but nothing replaces the tripod. I shot the Teva Mtn. Games and the monopod was perfect for that. I was able to get at an awkwardly low angle and keep it stable.

01-12-2010, 09:58 PM
Basically the ballhead is the attachment point from a tripod or monopod to the camera with, yes, a ball joint to allow you rotate, tilt and hold the camera in that position. typically with a quick release plate. Or another way to say that is, you don't screw the camera directly to a tripod.

What should I be looking for in my next ballhead or maybe a better question is what do YOU have and why do you like/dislike it? What say ye?:)

integrated bubble levels?
handles or knobs for adjustments?
grip-handle (seems kinda cool)?
light weight? big and burly?

I have the lower end Bogen/manfrotto and it's OK, It serves it's purpose.

01-12-2010, 11:13 PM
I have an Arca Swiss B-1 Ballhead I bought from Kirk enterprises before they started doing there own. Really no troubles except I kept the pan knob to tight once and now it doesn't hold the rotation the best but I live with it. I use the Kirk plates for lenses and Camera bodies. Someday I will change to the Really right stuff bracket. More versitile. You can do a vertical by just remounting the camera on its side rather than moving the ball head to that position.

The tripod is a Bogen 2021 if I remember the model correctly. I choose it because I don't have to extend the head very much when I stand behind it. I'm 6'0" so I can basically look straight into the viewfinder. I put some pipe insulation on the upper legs so in cold weather it won't cool my hands.

I also have a small Gitzo tripod I use for backpacking. A heavy one but very steady. I'll carry the weight for sharp images. And a Bogen Monopod with a normal head. Again this monopod extends taller than I am so I have versatility.
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