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Tripod Advice Please

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Anonymous
September 5, 2005 3:16:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

I need some advice on a tripod. My wife and I have been sharing an old
clunky Slik 504QF (not the II) which is really made for video but it's
worked well for us to this point. Lately we've found that one tripod just
isn't enough so I want to buy a new one.

First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.

I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
and compact when folded.
I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.

I realize that my budget won't afford me the best possible option but I have
to believe that there is something out there that comes close to my
requirements. I'm willing to compromise a bit as needed.

As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

--

Rob
"A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"

More about : tripod advice

Anonymous
September 5, 2005 7:55:07 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Sun, 4 Sep 2005 23:16:28 -0400, Robert R Kircher, Jr. wrote:

> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
>
> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
> and compact when folded.
> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.

The Benbo Trekker Mk II may meet your spec's. B&H has them in
their large catalog so a picture and description should be on their
website. Its legs can splay out individually, allowing it to get
very close to the ground, as well as being able to more easily
accomodate uneven terrain, and the bottom leg is supposedly
waterproof. The head is attached to an arm that allows the camera
to be extended to places a regular tripod wouldn't allow. The "kit"
version includes the Pro Ball Head and a carry bag and is listed in
the catalog at $179.95. From the picture in the catalog it appears
that the Pro Ball Head includes a panning base. It weighs 4.5
pounds, collapses to 33" and extends to 61". There's also several
other models including the larger Benbo #2, which weighs 8.27 pounds
and extends to 101". The catalog says that the Pro Ball Head is
capable of supporting SLRs equipped with long lenses. The lower end
of the center columns of the tripods have hooks that allows you to
hang weights from them if additional stability is needed.
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 9:48:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

For less than US$200, you will not get a decent carbon fiber tripod. Hence,
you should look at the aluminum tripods from Bogen/Manfrotto.

I purchased the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021BPro tripod legs (black) for US$149.95
with the 488RC4 Bogen/Manfrotto midi ball head with RC4 rapid connect for
US$95.00. It's a great combination. Of course, you will also need the
Manfrotto 3044 long strap for US$29.95 or something similar.

Gregor

"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:U9SdnZ2dnZ0baHTfnZ2dnRElht6dnZ2dRVn-0J2dnZ0@giganews.com...
>I need some advice on a tripod. My wife and I have been sharing an old
>clunky Slik 504QF (not the II) which is really made for video but it's
>worked well for us to this point. Lately we've found that one tripod just
>isn't enough so I want to buy a new one.
>
> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
>
> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
> and compact when folded.
> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.
>
> I realize that my budget won't afford me the best possible option but I
> have to believe that there is something out there that comes close to my
> requirements. I'm willing to compromise a bit as needed.
>
> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS
>
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
>
> --
>
> Rob
> "A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
>
Related resources
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 4:32:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Robert R Kircher, Jr. <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote:

> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.

Wow, that's pretty funny. You should do stand-up!

Having said that, I echo the other recommendation: go for the Bogen/Manfrotto
3021BN with 488RC4 head. It'll be a bit more than $200, but only a bit, and
you won't get anything nearly as good for $200.

Note: the RC2 version of the head has a smaller and more convenient-looking
quick release assembly, and the RC4 is described as being appropriate for
large-format cameras. Stick with the RC4 anyway. Really.

> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS

The above tripod and head will not suffice at 400mm. You can get away with
300mm if you use a cable release or wireless remote, don't touch the camera
at all, and use mirror lockup; or use a high enough shutter speed. The
experience, however, will convince you that a better tripod is a good
investment. (I honestly don't know whether IS will help or hurt in that
situation, but it's probably worth a shot trying it.)

--
Jeremy | jeremy@exit109.com
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 5:09:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Call me stupid, but wouldn't weight be an advantage when supporting a
smaller camera? Not that I'd want to carry around a 50 lb tripod.


"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:U9SdnZ2dnZ0baHTfnZ2dnRElht6dnZ2dRVn-0J2dnZ0@giganews.com...
>I need some advice on a tripod. My wife and I have been sharing an old
>clunky Slik 504QF (not the II) which is really made for video but it's
>worked well for us to this point. Lately we've found that one tripod just
>isn't enough so I want to buy a new one.
>
> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
>
> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
> and compact when folded.
> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.
>
> I realize that my budget won't afford me the best possible option but I
> have to believe that there is something out there that comes close to my
> requirements. I'm willing to compromise a bit as needed.
>
> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS
>
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
>
> --
>
> Rob
> "A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
>
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 7:03:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 12:32:55 -0000, Jeremy Nixon wrote:

>Note: the RC2 version of the head has a smaller and more convenient-looking
> quick release assembly, and the RC4 is described as being appropriate for
> large-format cameras. Stick with the RC4 anyway. Really.

Good advice, but which RC4? My catalog show the 488RC4 (Midi Ball
Head) at $95 and the 490RC4 (Maxi Ball Head) at $178.95. There's
also a 490 Maxi Ball Head for $160, which lacks the 490RC4's
quick-release plate, secondary safety catch and spirit levels.


> The above tripod and head will not suffice at 400mm. You can get away with
> 300mm if you use a cable release or wireless remote, don't touch the camera
> at all, and use mirror lockup; or use a high enough shutter speed. The
> experience, however, will convince you that a better tripod is a good
> investment. (I honestly don't know whether IS will help or hurt in that
> situation, but it's probably worth a shot trying it.)

There may be exceptions, but everything I've read about IS
indicates that it should always be disabled when tripods are used.
I guess that ideally one would have the choice of several tripods,
so the best one that's still practical to use could be selected.
September 5, 2005 7:29:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:U9SdnZ2dnZ0baHTfnZ2dnRElht6dnZ2dRVn-0J2dnZ0@giganews.com...
>I need some advice on a tripod. My wife and I have been sharing an old
>clunky Slik 504QF (not the II) which is really made for video but it's
>worked well for us to this point. Lately we've found that one tripod just
>isn't enough so I want to buy a new one.
>
> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 is the one for you.
>
> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
> and compact when folded.
> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.
>
> I realize that my budget won't afford me the best possible option but I
> have to believe that there is something out there that comes close to my
> requirements. I'm willing to compromise a bit as needed.
Everybody has a budget. Everybody has to compromise somewhere.
>
> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS
The 3265 ball grip head is adequate for your use. You ought to keep the
total weight at no more than 6 pounds.
If, for example, you attempt to make shots of the moon, you will probably
find (as I did) that this head will be deficient. The 3021 is none to
sturdy for this application either. Of course, you can only take shots of a
full moon during a very limited time frame.
Jim
>
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
>
> --
>
> Rob
> "A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
>
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 7:39:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 5 Sep 2005 13:09:38 -0600, Sheldon wrote:

>> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
>> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
>> and compact when folded.
>> . . .
>> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
>> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
>> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS
>
> Call me stupid, but wouldn't weight be an advantage when supporting a
> smaller camera? Not that I'd want to carry around a 50 lb tripod.

Extra weight would be an advantage. If you don't mind paying a
porter to carry all of the extra weight. With a light tripod, the
camera and a lens or two you're already toting the equivalent of a
bowling ball. That's enough to severely shorten most hikes, if not
have them cancelled altogether. :) 
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 8:27:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 15:39:43 -0400, ASAAR <caught@22.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 5 Sep 2005 13:09:38 -0600, Sheldon wrote:
>
>>> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
>>> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
>>> and compact when folded.
>>> . . .
>>> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
>>> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
>>> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS
>>
>> Call me stupid, but wouldn't weight be an advantage when supporting a
>> smaller camera? Not that I'd want to carry around a 50 lb tripod.
>
> Extra weight would be an advantage. If you don't mind paying a
>porter to carry all of the extra weight. With a light tripod, the
>camera and a lens or two you're already toting the equivalent of a
>bowling ball. That's enough to severely shorten most hikes, if not
>have them cancelled altogether. :) 

Get married, have kids. Free porters.
And by the time they are able to carry all your gear, the gear will be
better, too! :-)

--
Bill Funk
Replace "g" with "a"
funktionality.blogspot.com
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 9:13:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

ASAAR <caught@22.com> wrote:

>On Sun, 4 Sep 2005 23:16:28 -0400, Robert R Kircher, Jr. wrote:
>
>> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
>>
>> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
>> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
>> and compact when folded.
>> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
>> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
>> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.
>
> The Benbo Trekker Mk II may meet your spec's.


The Benbo Trekker is nowhere near stable enough for a 300mm lens on a
35mm camera, let alone the long end of a 100-400mm zoom on a Canon
20D. That equates to the field of view of a 640mm lens on 35mm, and
the Trekker isn't remotely suitable for that.

I would recommend the Manfrotto/Bogen 055/3021 Pro, which has a
detachable center column that can be used horizontally for low shots.

The OP should also spend time learning about tripod heads. People
tend to have a strong preference for either ball heads or pan and tilt
(3-way) heads, so it is best to find which you prefer before buying.
Take your cameras and lenses to the photo store and try the available
heads with the gear you use.
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 9:13:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Tony Polson" <tp@nospam.co.uk> wrote in message
news:f4roh15mnse89j9ca65jcglj78auet0mj9@4ax.com...
> ASAAR <caught@22.com> wrote:
>
>>On Sun, 4 Sep 2005 23:16:28 -0400, Robert R Kircher, Jr. wrote:
>>
>>> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
>>>
>>> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
>>> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light
>>> weight
>>> and compact when folded.
>>> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
>>> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
>>> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.
>>
>> The Benbo Trekker Mk II may meet your spec's.
>
>
> The Benbo Trekker is nowhere near stable enough for a 300mm lens on a
> 35mm camera, let alone the long end of a 100-400mm zoom on a Canon
> 20D. That equates to the field of view of a 640mm lens on 35mm, and
> the Trekker isn't remotely suitable for that.
>
> I would recommend the Manfrotto/Bogen 055/3021 Pro, which has a
> detachable center column that can be used horizontally for low shots.
>
> The OP should also spend time learning about tripod heads. People
> tend to have a strong preference for either ball heads or pan and tilt
> (3-way) heads, so it is best to find which you prefer before buying.
> Take your cameras and lenses to the photo store and try the available
> heads with the gear you use.

Thanks Tony and everyone else who answered. I'm glad some of you found my
request amusing. ;-) I wish I had more money to spend in this right now
but unfortunately I don't.

As to ball vs. pan/tilt, I've noticed that all the recommendations are for a
ball head. I've very interested in opinions as to why one would be
preferred over the other.

TIA

--

Rob
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 9:13:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 17:13:35 +0100, Tony Polson wrote:

> The Benbo Trekker is nowhere near stable enough for a 300mm lens on a
> 35mm camera, let alone the long end of a 100-400mm zoom on a Canon
> 20D. That equates to the field of view of a 640mm lens on 35mm, and
> the Trekker isn't remotely suitable for that.

It's far more than adequate, especially if the alternative is to
do without because of weight or price. Did you miss the word
"Trekker" in the name? The 3021 Pro that you prefer is a decent
tripod, but with the addition of a head you're near (for the Micro
Ball Head at $31.95) the $200 limit, or well above, as most of the
others are quite a bit more expensive, some priced several times
higher than the tripod alone. And the Trekker does weigh less.
Either one would do a good job, but as I already said, the
independent leg articulation of the Trekker makes it uniquely
suitable for ease of use in uneven terrain.
Anonymous
September 5, 2005 11:59:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Thanks Tony and everyone else who answered. I'm glad some of you found my
>request amusing. ;-) I wish I had more money to spend in this right now
>but unfortunately I don't.

Your budget is reasonable. We all have to work within a budget. ;-)

>As to ball vs. pan/tilt, I've noticed that all the recommendations are for a
>ball head. I've very interested in opinions as to why one would be
>preferred over the other.

Pan and tilt is a 2-way head, used for video. For most still
photography you need a 3-way head so you can flip the camera 90
degrees to change from landscape to portrait format.

With a 3 way head, you adjust each setting (pan, tilt, flip) one at a
time by loosening a clamp, making the adjustment and re-tightening.
With a ball head, you can adjust all three settings together at the
same time. That is basically the difference, and which one you prefer
is a very personal thing.

Some 3-way heads offer fine adjustment with a geared thumbscrew. In
my experience that is the very best type of three way head, because
there is always a danger that tightening the clamps can throw off the
setting you just made. With the thumbscrew you can make precise
adjustments very quickly. However, they are fairly expensive.

With ball heads, you get what you pay for. Cheap ball heads often go
completely floppy as you loosen the clamp. The best ball heads allow
you to make fine adjustments without fear of losing control.

Unfortunately the best ball heads (Arca, Kirk, Acratech, Wimberley)
cost more then your total budget, so you should take your cameras and
lenses with you to the store and spend a couple of hours trying the
ones that are within your budget. There is a huge variation between
makes and models - try mounting your heaviest camera/lens combination
and then try making small adjustments. With cheaper ball heads, each
individual ball head may perform very differently to others thanks to
manufacturing tolerances, so make sure that you buy the exact one you
liked, not a similar one off the shelf, one that you haven't tried.

Tripod heads to avoid include the 3-way Manfrotto 460Mg, which lacks
rigidity to the extent that it vibrates alarmingly in the wind, and
any ball head with the name Velbon on it. Velbon ball heads are made
from very soft alloy and are not sufficiently firm and stable to give
any confidence, especially when supporting expensive cameras.

Good luck!
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 12:29:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

ASAAR <caught@22.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 17:13:35 +0100, Tony Polson wrote:
>
>> The Benbo Trekker is nowhere near stable enough for a 300mm lens on a
>> 35mm camera, let alone the long end of a 100-400mm zoom on a Canon
>> 20D. That equates to the field of view of a 640mm lens on 35mm, and
>> the Trekker isn't remotely suitable for that.
>
> It's far more than adequate, especially if the alternative is to
>do without because of weight or price. Did you miss the word
>"Trekker" in the name? The 3021 Pro that you prefer is a decent
>tripod, but with the addition of a head you're near (for the Micro
>Ball Head at $31.95) the $200 limit, or well above, as most of the
>others are quite a bit more expensive, some priced several times
>higher than the tripod alone. And the Trekker does weigh less.
>Either one would do a good job, but as I already said, the
>independent leg articulation of the Trekker makes it uniquely
>suitable for ease of use in uneven terrain.


The Trekker is superb for use with light cameras and short telephoto
lenses, and it is indeed very versatile. However, it simply isn't
stable enough for the equipment the original poster is intending to
use - not by a long way.

I like Benbo tripods. I bought my first in 1987. At various times I
owned four - a Trekker, a Trekker II, a Mark 1 and one with very short
legs which i think was a Mark 4.

The Mark 1 would be very suitable for the OP's equipment, but it is a
heavy beast and costs a lot more then the OP's budget, even without a
tripod head. It is also very bulky and is difficult to carry thanks
to the awkwardly bulky leg clamps.

The Manfrotto 3021 Pro (055 Pro) is lighter, but just as stable. It
is almost as versatile as the Benbo Mark 1 thanks to the removable
center column which can be clamped horizontally just above the
tribrach for low shooting. The legs work at four different angles
including one that is almost horizontal.

The Trekker is nowhere near as stable as the Mark 1. It has similar
overall dimensions but by comparison with the Mark 1 it is very
spindly, with lightweight legs. It is neither sufficiently stable nor
sufficiently rigid to support for a 640mm (35mm equivalent) lens.

If I still had my Trekker (I or II) I would probably restrict it to my
35mm rangefinder outfit where the maximum focal length would be 135mm.

One problem I didn't mention, which applies to any Benbo or Uni-Lok
tripod (they are similar) is that loosening the BENt BOlt suddenly
transforms a rigid tripod into a set of loosely connected components.
It is very, very easy to send an expensive camera/lens combination
crashing to the ground. Too easy. :-(

Yes, you should always remember to hold the camera/lens firmly when
loosening the bolt. But there will always be one occasion when you
forget, or when the sudden and total lack of stability takes you
completely by surprise.

I have several friends who have used Benbo or Uni-Lok tripods at one
time or another. None of us uses Benbo now. The experience of seeing
tripod, head, camera and lens (and often the photographer) collapse to
the ground has been a major reason why. It only needs to happen once,
and it is enough to put you off Benbo for ever.
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 12:29:49 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 20:29:48 +0100, Tony Polson wrote:

> I have several friends who have used Benbo or Uni-Lok tripods at one
> time or another. None of us uses Benbo now. The experience of seeing
> tripod, head, camera and lens (and often the photographer) collapse to
> the ground has been a major reason why. It only needs to happen once,
> and it is enough to put you off Benbo for ever.

I suppose the theory that a child that sticks a finger in a flame
will never repeat that mistake is correct only because they're
forever put off from using anything that burns with a flame? :) 

Thanks for the additional information and I'll carefully examine
other makes, including Manfrotto before getting my next tripod And
like the OP, I also want one both stable and portable. But
assertions such as "nowhere near as stable" and "spindly legs" are
probably over exaggerations. Even if the Manfrotto surpasses the
Benbow in these areas, more objective data is needed. As Jeremy
pointed out, even the Manfrotto model you recommended isn't (in his
opinion) sufficient for the 100 - 400L IS lens. But it may be more
than adequate for the OP's purposes, as might the Benbow. I should
point out though since the OP also wants a compact folded tripod
that the Manfrotto 3021 Pro collapses to only 25.6", vs. the 33" of
the Benbo Trekker,
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 3:07:54 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

With tripods there are three critical variables...

Rigidity
Weight
Price

Low weight + low price = low rigidity
Low weight + rigidity = high price
High weight + rigidity = lowish price

If you want rigidity + lowish cost then look at Manfrotto etc. (high-ish
weight)

If you want rigidity + low weight look at Gitzo (high price)

Second hand is a good way to go... much more bang for your buck.

Guy


>ASAAR wrote:
> On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 20:29:48 +0100, Tony Polson wrote:
>
>> I have several friends who have used Benbo or Uni-Lok tripods at one
>> time or another. None of us uses Benbo now. The experience of
>> seeing tripod, head, camera and lens (and often the photographer)
>> collapse to the ground has been a major reason why. It only needs
>> to happen once, and it is enough to put you off Benbo for ever.
>
> I suppose the theory that a child that sticks a finger in a flame
> will never repeat that mistake is correct only because they're
> forever put off from using anything that burns with a flame? :) 
>
> Thanks for the additional information and I'll carefully examine
> other makes, including Manfrotto before getting my next tripod And
> like the OP, I also want one both stable and portable. But
> assertions such as "nowhere near as stable" and "spindly legs" are
> probably over exaggerations. Even if the Manfrotto surpasses the
> Benbow in these areas, more objective data is needed. As Jeremy
> pointed out, even the Manfrotto model you recommended isn't (in his
> opinion) sufficient for the 100 - 400L IS lens. But it may be more
> than adequate for the OP's purposes, as might the Benbow. I should
> point out though since the OP also wants a compact folded tripod
> that the Manfrotto 3021 Pro collapses to only 25.6", vs. the 33" of
> the Benbo Trekker,
September 6, 2005 3:07:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Bigguy wrote:
> With tripods there are three critical variables...
>
> Rigidity
> Weight
> Price
>
> Low weight + low price = low rigidity
> Low weight + rigidity = high price
> High weight + rigidity = lowish price
>
> If you want rigidity + lowish cost then look at Manfrotto etc. (high-ish
> weight)
>
> If you want rigidity + low weight look at Gitzo (high price)
>
> Second hand is a good way to go... much more bang for your buck.
>
> Guy


Speaking of Gitzo, anybody seen an example of their Ba$alt models?


--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 3:32:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Robert R Kircher, Jr. <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote:

> As to ball vs. pan/tilt, I've noticed that all the recommendations are for
> a ball head. I've very interested in opinions as to why one would be
> preferred over the other.

Pan/tilt heads are really made for video; they're an unmitigated pain in the
butt for photography. I guess some folks like them, but I find a ball head
both faster and easier to use. It's also more flexible, because you can
flip the camera to a vertical position.

--
Jeremy | jeremy@exit109.com
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 3:47:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

ASAAR <reply@tueue.com.invalid> wrote:
> On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 12:32:55 -0000, Jeremy Nixon wrote:
>
>> Note: the RC2 version of the head has a smaller and more convenient-looking
>> quick release assembly, and the RC4 is described as being appropriate for
>> large-format cameras. Stick with the RC4 anyway. Really.
>
> Good advice, but which RC4? My catalog show the 488RC4 (Midi Ball
> Head) at $95 and the 490RC4 (Maxi Ball Head) at $178.95.

The 490RC4 looks to be a bit beefier. How much, or whether it's enough to
be worth the extra money, I really don't know. The 488RC4 (which I have
used quite a lot) is something I would consider "good enough", but you'll
grow out of it, so you'll replace it with something better later on -- and
I don't think the 490 is going to be a "lifetime tripod head" either, so
why spend the extra money?

> There's also a 490 Maxi Ball Head for $160, which lacks the 490RC4's
> quick-release plate, secondary safety catch and spirit levels.

The safety catch and levels are incidental, but you really want the quick
release. The inconvenience of having to screw your camera onto the tripod
every time *will* lead you to not use it at times when you should.

> There may be exceptions, but everything I've read about IS
> indicates that it should always be disabled when tripods are used.

Me too. However, that tripod and head will not be stable at 300mm; I speak
from direct personal experience. It can be used with a cable release or
remote and mirror lockup, but even then, with only about a 75% success
rate at low shutter speeds, depending on the wind (if there's no wind, you
can do very well). I don't have IS (or VR, since I use Nikon) at 300mm,
so I have no experience as to whether it would help or hurt in that
situation.

Basically, sticking a long telephoto on that rig is a really good way to
convince yourself that a better tripod is a good investment. :)  On the
other hand, if you are on a limited budget, I fully recommend it and I
think it will serve you well.

> I guess that ideally one would have the choice of several tripods,
> so the best one that's still practical to use could be selected.

Yes. Ideally, one that's small and light for when you'll need to lug it
around, and one that's nice and sturdy for when size and weight are less
of a factor.

--
Jeremy | jeremy@exit109.com
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 3:53:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

ASAAR <caught@22.com> wrote:

> Thanks for the additional information and I'll carefully examine
>other makes, including Manfrotto before getting my next tripod.

You're welcome.

>And like the OP, I also want one both stable and portable.

Those requirements are shared by 100% of tripod buyers. :-)

>But assertions such as "nowhere near as stable" and "spindly legs" are
>probably over exaggerations.

I tell it as I see it. I don't think my commitment to giving Benbo a
try is in doubt; I used four different Benbo tripods over a period of
more than a decade before finally deciding they weren't for me. I
still have a soft spot for the design; I might have recommended the
Benbo Mark 1 to the original poster but for the fact it was way
outside his budget.

Benbo tripods certainly have their virtues, notably the excellent
flexibility of the tripod and the completely sealed lower leg
sections. However, the risk of losing camera and lens (thanks to the
locking system) ensures that Benbo will always be a niche product.
Best avoided IMHO. Your mileage may vary.

My preferred tripod for outdoor 35mm, digital and medium format is a
Tiltall. I always used to choose the Tiltall over the Manfrotto 055
Pro (3021 Pro) so I sold the Manfrotto.

My studio tripod is a large, heavy Manfrotto 075, which I ought to use
for large format photography, but it is too heavy for me to carry
along with all my gear. So I use the Tiltall and hang a heavy
equipment bag underneath to increase the stability.
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:16:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Robert R Kircher, Jr. wrote:
> I need some advice on a tripod. My wife and I have been sharing an old
> clunky Slik 504QF (not the II) which is really made for video but it's
> worked well for us to this point. Lately we've found that one tripod just
> isn't enough so I want to buy a new one.
>
> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
>
> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
> and compact when folded.
> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.
>
> I realize that my budget won't afford me the best possible option but I have
> to believe that there is something out there that comes close to my
> requirements. I'm willing to compromise a bit as needed.
>
> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS
>
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

See "http://www.nordicgroup.us/tripod/"

The short answer is the Velbon PH-273QL ball head, and the Velbon CHASER
EFL-3. $140 for the ball head, $55 for the legs, bring it in at just
under your price limit, with a weight of 4.5 pounds. Unfortunately, the
Velbon EFL4 is apparently no longer available, it had four section legs,
rather than three section.

Forget about the heavy Bogen/Manfratto legs, i.e. the 3021.
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 4:00:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Tony l wrote:
> "Robert R Kircher, Jr." <rrkircher@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Thanks Tony and everyone else who answered. I'm glad some of you found my
>>request amusing. ;-) I wish I had more money to spend in this right now
>>but unfortunately I don't.
>
>
> Your budget is reasonable. We all have to work within a budget. ;-)

Don't forget second hand.
I would be a little concerned about a second hand camera,
since they're complex, and difficult to check/test without time and skill.

But a second hand tripod (and/or head) is fairly easy to evaluate.
And they're a low glamour item, which may sell cheap on the s/h market.

> Pan and tilt is a 2-way head, used for video.

Indeed. Doesn't alway mak 'em cheap though.
*Some* 2-way video heads are expensive
because they are (very) carefully made to give a smooth fluid
motion (for tracking shots), whereas for still work, as long
as the movement is tolerable and can be locked, the "jobs a good 'un"

BugBear
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 5:11:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

There are lots of models.

Manfrotto tripods are available widely. Stop at any good camera shop.


Robert R Kircher, Jr. wrote:
> I need some advice on a tripod. My wife and I have been sharing an old
> clunky Slik 504QF (not the II) which is really made for video but it's
> worked well for us to this point. Lately we've found that one tripod just
> isn't enough so I want to buy a new one.
>
> First I'd like to spend no more then $200.00.
>
> I'm looking for something that I can attach a strap to and sling over my
> back when I go hiking so I'd like something that's relatively light weight
> and compact when folded.
> I'd like it to work low to the ground as well as at standing height.
> I believe a tilt pan or ball head will be fine but I'd like to hear some
> comparisons, advantages, disadvantages etc.
>
> I realize that my budget won't afford me the best possible option but I have
> to believe that there is something out there that comes close to my
> requirements. I'm willing to compromise a bit as needed.
>
> As to what we'll be mounting on the tripod... The wife uses primarily an
> Elan 7ne with either a 28-135 IS or a 75-300 IS. I use a 20D and a 300D
> with a 28-135 IS or a 100-400L IS
>
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
>
> --
>
> Rob
> "A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 8:06:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Hey Stupid!




Sorry, couldn't resist, no insult actually intended........warped sense
of humor. :-)

Paul



Sheldon wrote:
> Call me stupid, but wouldn't weight be an advantage when supporting a
> smaller camera? Not that I'd want to carry around a 50 lb tripod.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 12:26:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

GTO wrote:

> For less than US$200, you will not get a decent carbon fiber tripod. Hence,
> you should look at the aluminum tripods from Bogen/Manfrotto.
>
> I purchased the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021BPro tripod legs (black) for US$149.95
> with the 488RC4 Bogen/Manfrotto midi ball head with RC4 rapid connect for
> US$95.00. It's a great combination. Of course, you will also need the
> Manfrotto 3044 long strap for US$29.95 or something similar.

Old M-60 machine gun strap works resonably well with that combo.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 12:30:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

ASAAR wrote:

> On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 17:13:35 +0100, Tony Polson wrote:
>
>
>>The Benbo Trekker is nowhere near stable enough for a 300mm lens on a
>>35mm camera, let alone the long end of a 100-400mm zoom on a Canon
>>20D. That equates to the field of view of a 640mm lens on 35mm, and
>>the Trekker isn't remotely suitable for that.
>
>
> It's far more than adequate, especially if the alternative is to
> do without because of weight or price. Did you miss the word
> "Trekker" in the name? The 3021 Pro that you prefer is a decent
> tripod, but with the addition of a head you're near (for the Micro
> Ball Head at $31.95) the $200 limit, or well above, as most of the
> others are quite a bit more expensive, some priced several times
> higher than the tripod alone. And the Trekker does weigh less.
> Either one would do a good job, but as I already said, the
> independent leg articulation of the Trekker makes it uniquely
> suitable for ease of use in uneven terrain.
>

OTOH, the 3021/488cr2 combo's damn sturdy & reasonably portable. And
with a little careful shopping, it can come in quite close to the $200
target.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 5:00:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

no one wrote:

> OTOH, the 3021/488cr2 combo's damn sturdy & reasonably portable. And
> with a little careful shopping, it can come in quite close to the $200
> target.

I have a 3021, and wouldn't dream of taking it hiking, far too large and
heavy.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 8:00:42 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 20:30:50 -0400, no one wrote:

> OTOH, the 3021/488cr2 combo's damn sturdy & reasonably portable.
> And with a little careful shopping, it can come in quite close to the
> $200 target.

Yes, but with one of the lesser Manfrotto heads. But it's only
about 1/2 lb. heavier than the Trekker, and as I already noted, does
collapse to a smaller package, which could more than offset the
additional weight if that's what the OP wants.
Anonymous
September 16, 2005 3:52:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <dgdgtq$qs4$1@otis.netspace.net.au>, Eugene
<nospamthanks@nospam.com> writes
>I use an old Manfrotto ART 190 + 141RC 3-way head that I've had for
>about 15 years. I think I prefer having the extra control of the 3 way
>adjustments. It's more bulky and slower to set up initially, but then
>it makes it more accurate to adjust each angle without affecting the
>others. Like you can adjust the angle of elevation without
>inadverdently tilting the camera sideways and mucking up your horizon
>line. For moon photos and other extreme telephoto shots I find it's
>difficult to do fine enough adjustments though. Like I loosen the
>handle and move it and it's inclined to jump a bit too far.
>
>I haven't used any of the really good ball heads though, so I can't
>really offer an opinion on those.
>
>Something I really wish I had on this tripod would be some bubble
>levels. If I was buying another I would try to find someting with a
>round level in the base and two regular levels for pitch and yaw at the
>top. These would be a God send for doing panoramas as you really have
>to make sure the camera stays perfectly level as it's panned around.
>It's not too difficult to eyeball the camera itself and get it level
>with the pitch yaw adjustments, however it's much more difficult to
>estimate when the base is level.
>
If you are serious about this, check out the Manfrotto 058 tripod. This
has a circular level at the top; it also has legs which can be
independently or simultaneously adjusted for length from the top, using
levers. It is the easiest tripod I know for getting the axis truly
vertical. It's not the lightest of tripods though!

I use mine with a 229 3-way head - top quality, and ideal for larger
formats. This also has its own levels (3) built in. However, if you
really want the ultimate in control, the geared head may be what you
want; I have never handled one of these, but it looks just what you
need.

David
--
David Littlewood
September 16, 2005 6:16:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

I use an old Manfrotto ART 190 + 141RC 3-way head that I've had for
about 15 years. I think I prefer having the extra control of the 3 way
adjustments. It's more bulky and slower to set up initially, but then it
makes it more accurate to adjust each angle without affecting the
others. Like you can adjust the angle of elevation without inadverdently
tilting the camera sideways and mucking up your horizon line. For moon
photos and other extreme telephoto shots I find it's difficult to do
fine enough adjustments though. Like I loosen the handle and move it and
it's inclined to jump a bit too far.

I haven't used any of the really good ball heads though, so I can't
really offer an opinion on those.

Something I really wish I had on this tripod would be some bubble
levels. If I was buying another I would try to find someting with a
round level in the base and two regular levels for pitch and yaw at the
top. These would be a God send for doing panoramas as you really have to
make sure the camera stays perfectly level as it's panned around. It's
not too difficult to eyeball the camera itself and get it level with the
pitch yaw adjustments, however it's much more difficult to estimate when
the base is level.

>
> Thanks Tony and everyone else who answered. I'm glad some of you found my
> request amusing. ;-) I wish I had more money to spend in this right now
> but unfortunately I don't.
>
> As to ball vs. pan/tilt, I've noticed that all the recommendations are for a
> ball head. I've very interested in opinions as to why one would be
> preferred over the other.
>
> TIA
>
> --
>
> Rob
>
>
>
Anonymous
September 16, 2005 6:16:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Eugene" <nospamthanks@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:D gdgtq$qs4$1@otis.netspace.net.au...
>I use an old Manfrotto ART 190 + 141RC 3-way head that I've had for about
>15 years. I think I prefer having the extra control of the 3 way
>adjustments. It's more bulky and slower to set up initially, but then it
>makes it more accurate to adjust each angle without affecting the others.
>Like you can adjust the angle of elevation without inadverdently tilting
>the camera sideways and mucking up your horizon line. For moon photos and
>other extreme telephoto shots I find it's difficult to do fine enough
>adjustments though. Like I loosen the handle and move it and it's inclined
>to jump a bit too far.
>
> I haven't used any of the really good ball heads though, so I can't really
> offer an opinion on those.
>
> Something I really wish I had on this tripod would be some bubble levels.
> If I was buying another I would try to find someting with a round level in
> the base and two regular levels for pitch and yaw at the top. These would
> be a God send for doing panoramas as you really have to make sure the
> camera stays perfectly level as it's panned around. It's not too difficult
> to eyeball the camera itself and get it level with the pitch yaw
> adjustments, however it's much more difficult to estimate when the base is
> level.
>


Thanks Eugene, I've already bought a Manfrotto 3021BPro and a 488RC4 ball
head. The head has the levels on it. I see you point about making one axis
adjustment with out affecting any other axis. Not sure if that will be a
problem for me. If it turns to that it is I'll look at a different head.

--

Rob
Anonymous
September 16, 2005 6:16:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In rec.photo.digital Eugene <nospamthanks@nospam.com> wrote:

: Something I really wish I had on this tripod would be some bubble
: levels. If I was buying another I would try to find someting with a
: round level in the base and two regular levels for pitch and yaw at the
: top. These would be a God send for doing panoramas as you really have
: to make sure the camera stays perfectly level as it's panned around.
: It's not too difficult to eyeball the camera itself and get it level
: with the pitch yaw adjustments, however it's much more difficult to
: estimate when the base is level.

One possible solution for your lack of a level is available. If you can
locate a flat point on the top of the tripod but below the tilt head you
might want to install a stick-on bubble level (or two). If you look in the
camping or automotive sections of your local mega store (walmart, target,
etc) you may be able to get these levels. Mostly they are made for camping
trailers. They either come as seperate linear bubble levels that you would
use in pairs placed at right angles around the base, or a single bullseye
level that gives one single level that workes in all four directions at
once. If you can find a flat surface that is parallel to the floor (and
the plane of the base of the pan/tilt head) or can use some material to
build up such a parallel surface, such a bullseye level would be
easiest. But if there is no good place to put a bullseye level, the two
linear levels could be stuck to the sides of the joint above two legs.
This would not be a perfect right angle between the two levels but would
still give a fairly good level indication. In either case these stick on
levels of either type should be very inexpensive to purchase. The only
difficulty will be to make very sure that the level is oriented correctly
when sticking it on to make the readings meaningful. :) 

One other thought, a seperate "string level" that can be put in your
camera bag to level the tilt head before a panorama shot may come in
handy, and is small enough to slip in an odd corner of the camera bag,
camera case, or pocket. Of course if you want to get fancy, look in the
tool section of your local home improvement store. There are levels that
not only tell you the correct way up, but can give you an angle
measurement if you wish to check your tilt angle (not very necissary for
most photog use). I know that is probably not of need for you, but I
thought I would give you the choice. :) 

Randy

==========
Randy Berbaum
Champaign, IL
September 16, 2005 7:20:52 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Randy Berbaum wrote:

> In rec.photo.digital Eugene <nospamthanks@nospam.com> wrote:
>
> : Something I really wish I had on this tripod would be some bubble
> : levels. If I was buying another I would try to find someting with a
> : round level in the base and two regular levels for pitch and yaw at the
> : top. These would be a God send for doing panoramas as you really have
> : to make sure the camera stays perfectly level as it's panned around.
> : It's not too difficult to eyeball the camera itself and get it level
> : with the pitch yaw adjustments, however it's much more difficult to
> : estimate when the base is level.
>
> One possible solution for your lack of a level is available. If you can
> locate a flat point on the top of the tripod but below the tilt head you
> might want to install a stick-on bubble level (or two). If you look in the
> camping or automotive sections of your local mega store (walmart, target,
> etc) you may be able to get these levels.

Or look in a camera store for a level designed to sit in your shoe/hot
shoe (plastic non-conductive). You'd have to take it out to mount a
flash, but ...

I think mine cost about $4.00 US.

B&H has them for prices ranging $6.95 to $130.00. The one I have looks
like the Bogen/Manfrotto 2-axis spirit level, but I'm pretty sure I
didn't pay 40 bucks for it.

But the problem is you need to have the tripod itself "level" (actually
plumb) when taking pictures to combine into panoramics. With just the
camera leveled, when the head is rotated it can change camera elevation
or go out of level again.

One way to adjust for this is to shoot overlapping vertical format shots
to combine into your panorama, expecting to crop the top & bottom. But
if the tripod is out of plumb, you still have to re-level the camera
itself for each shot.

B&H did list a monopod bubble level that attaches with velcro straps. If
it works on a monopod, it should work on the center column and you could
use it to plumb your tripod.

Availability: Accepting orders. B&H # KABLM $38.95
Anonymous
September 16, 2005 10:27:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Stick-on bubble levels are dirt cheap, assuming the tripod has a place
to stick it on. At a cost of perhaps $0.50 it makes litte difference to me.

3-way heads are very easy to adjust axis by axis. You can controll each
axis separately. Ball heads are faster to adjust because you adjust all
3 axis at the same time. That makes them sometimes more difficult to
adjust though.

So, if you need/like fast adjustment go for ball head. If time is
permitted and you like the easiness of adjusting one axis at a time go
for a 3-way head.
--
harri
September 17, 2005 5:19:42 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Thanks David. I just looked up the 058 tripod. It looks fantastic,
although I suspect it'd be pretty expensive here in Australia. I do find
that the 190 tripod can get a bit wobbly with the 20D and my 100-300mm
lens, so eventually I'd like something a little more solid. I have
actually used my little tripod before with a 5x4 monorail view camera.
It held it up, but it wasn't exactly steady ;-)

Another product I've been looking at is the 338 leveling base. That
would fit on my existing tripod, and it looks as though it'd make life a
little easier. Ultimately I'll also need something to let me mount the
camera in portrait orientation so that it rotates about the nodal point.
Manfrotto have dedicated heads for this, but they're very expensive.
I'll probably just try to assemble something myself to do the job. It'll
likely be made of wood, and it wont be so fancy, but hopefully will
achieve most of what I need.


> If you are serious about this, check out the Manfrotto 058 tripod. This
> has a circular level at the top; it also has legs which can be
> independently or simultaneously adjusted for length from the top, using
> levers. It is the easiest tripod I know for getting the axis truly
> vertical. It's not the lightest of tripods though!
>
> I use mine with a 229 3-way head - top quality, and ideal for larger
> formats. This also has its own levels (3) built in. However, if you
> really want the ultimate in control, the geared head may be what you
> want; I have never handled one of these, but it looks just what you need.
>
> David
September 17, 2005 5:24:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Thanks for the suggestions Randy. I actually bought a bullseye level
from a local hardware store. There's a place on just under the head
where I can put it, but it's kind of awkward to use. Your idea of
attaching a couple of linear levels to the sides might be a good idea,
at least until I can get something like a dedicated levelling base.

>
> One possible solution for your lack of a level is available. If you can
> locate a flat point on the top of the tripod but below the tilt head you
> might want to install a stick-on bubble level (or two). If you look in the
> camping or automotive sections of your local mega store (walmart, target,
> etc) you may be able to get these levels. Mostly they are made for camping
> trailers. They either come as seperate linear bubble levels that you would
> use in pairs placed at right angles around the base, or a single bullseye
> level that gives one single level that workes in all four directions at
> once. If you can find a flat surface that is parallel to the floor (and
> the plane of the base of the pan/tilt head) or can use some material to
> build up such a parallel surface, such a bullseye level would be
> easiest. But if there is no good place to put a bullseye level, the two
> linear levels could be stuck to the sides of the joint above two legs.
> This would not be a perfect right angle between the two levels but would
> still give a fairly good level indication. In either case these stick on
> levels of either type should be very inexpensive to purchase. The only
> difficulty will be to make very sure that the level is oriented correctly
> when sticking it on to make the readings meaningful. :) 
>
> One other thought, a seperate "string level" that can be put in your
> camera bag to level the tilt head before a panorama shot may come in
> handy, and is small enough to slip in an odd corner of the camera bag,
> camera case, or pocket. Of course if you want to get fancy, look in the
> tool section of your local home improvement store. There are levels that
> not only tell you the correct way up, but can give you an angle
> measurement if you wish to check your tilt angle (not very necissary for
> most photog use). I know that is probably not of need for you, but I
> thought I would give you the choice. :) 
>
> Randy
>
> ==========
> Randy Berbaum
> Champaign, IL
>
Anonymous
September 18, 2005 4:55:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,rec.photo.digital,rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Eugene writes

>Another product I've been looking at is the 338 leveling base. That
>would fit on my existing tripod, and it looks as though it'd make life
>a little easier. Ultimately I'll also need something to let me mount
>the camera in portrait orientation so that it rotates about the nodal
>point. Manfrotto have dedicated heads for this, but they're very
>expensive. I'll probably just try to assemble something myself to do
>the job. It'll likely be made of wood, and it wont be so fancy, but
>hopefully will achieve most of what I need.

The pieces which make up Manfrotto's cylindric pano head kits are
available separately. If you're on a tight budget you can do without the
rotation unit (which is the least essential part of the kit) and the
levelling base and get just the elbow bracket, hexagonal plate adaptor,
and two micro positioning plates. The elbow bracket and hex adaptor will
also provide a robust tilt/ quick release systems, and you may find the
positioning plates useful for macro work.

BTW the Gitzo Explorers are excellent, versatile medium-sized tripods.

--
Hil
Anonymous
September 18, 2005 7:38:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Eugene wrote:
> Thanks for the suggestions Randy. I actually bought a bullseye level
> from a local hardware store. There's a place on just under the head
> where I can put it, but it's kind of awkward to use.

That's usually the trouble with stick-on levels. I will no longer buy
heads or legs that lack levels. It's such an easy thing for the
manufacturer to add, but such a PITA to add yourself.
!