Beginner needs tripod advice please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by BGAndrea, May 14, 2009.

  1. BGAndrea

    BGAndrea TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    My university photo professor told me that I need a tripod for some of the shots I am trying to accomplish. Historically, I have never used any tripod I have owned because of the weight issue and I do a lot of hiking. I have been looking at getting a new tripod but am OVERWHELMED by the options. I know that I want to stick with Gitzo for the legs but I have no idea which model Gitzo to get as they seem to have thousands. Also, I want some sort of a ball head with one or two knobs only for any sort of adjustments. Should I stick with Gitzo for this or some other brand? I have seen these priced from $50 to $500, what is the difference? My heaviest camera/lens combo is a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 70-200VR. Please let me know your recommendations. I would like either a basalt or carbon fiber preferably (not sure of the difference between the two). Money is not really a problem as I plan on keeping this tripod for A LONG time but would like to spend under $1000 for the whole setup if possible. The cheaper the better but I do not want to sacrifice weight or quality. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think the best thing to do, is go into a well stocked camera store and see what they have. The primary function of all tripods is the same, but it's the little difference that separate them. You might prefer something that someone else doesn't...it's something that has to be a personal decision.

    Gitzo is a good brand, I wouldn't worry about that. I like Manfrotto myself but not for anything in particular.
     
  4. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    wow those tripods linked to are EXPEN$IVE.

    let us know what you decide on. :D
     
  5. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    Take a look at the manfrotto 055CXPRO3 and the 468MGRC2 and 468MGRC0 heads.
     
  6. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    I've been thinking about a different tripod as well and know next to nothing about them. I currently use an old tripod that my dad used for his camcorder.

    So you need or should purchase the tripod and then purchase a seperate head? Do all heads fit any tripod or are they proprietary?


    Thanks
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most 'good quality' tripods do come separate from the heads. The cheap ones are usually the ones with built-in plastic heads. And just like cameras with interchangeable lenses, it's more versatile to have a interchangeable heads.

    I believe the standard tripod to head connection is a 3/8" threaded stud...so just about every tripod will have the stud and just about every head will have matching threads.
     
  8. JP164

    JP164 TPF Noob!

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    I don't know if Gitzo has something comparable, but I just bought a Manfrotto 222. It is a ball type head with a pistol grip. It is great for quick one-handed operation, let go and it is locked. Disclaimer: I'm pretty new to all of this. Good luck.
     

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