Help selecting a Tripod Head

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Kevinch, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Kevinch

    Kevinch TPF Noob!

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    Hi folks. First post from a new member, although I've lurked here for a while.

    By way of a Christmas gift from my fantastic wife, I recently graduated to a DSLR & I'm the happy owner of a Nikon D60. Now, I definetly need a new tripod.

    I've looked over the threads here on TPF, & think I've settled on the Manfrotto 190XPROB. I also think my first head will be a ball type. But beyond that I'm a little confused & could use some help deciding.

    My next lens will probably be the Nikkor 55-200 DX VR, so I will need a head to hold the camera secure whith that lens mounted. Sticking with Manfrotto, the 468 series looks to be outside my price range. The 488 is more to my price point; also the 490. Is one more appropriate with my setup than the other?

    Beyond the ball, I'm really confused over the QR systems. There seems to be a lot to pick from - there's an RCO; RC2; & RC4 system. Then there's all the different plates...I really don't have a clear picture & it's difficult to decide. Does the higher RC# mean a larger or more robust mount? Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    You are pretty much on the right track. The RC2 is the standard quick release plate that is a small rectangle. It will support most items up to 8-10 lbs or so. The larger RC4 is a octangonal plate designed for much heavier equipment. Medium format, super-telephoto lenses. Quick release is a convenient feature nowadays. Each manufacturer makes their own in a variety of sizes to suit everyone's needs. You should be fine with the RC2 since those lenses you have do not have a tripod collar. You will jsut attach the plate to your camera body.
     
  3. Warren_G

    Warren_G TPF Noob!

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    Unless you are gonna get really heavy glass, the 486-RC2 Manfrotto ballhead is pretty much the perfect head. I use one with up to a 300mm zoom and it is rock solid without being too heavy or bulky. The 488 is a step up, and gives you a panning lock, but the 486 is all I use now.
     
  4. Kevinch

    Kevinch TPF Noob!

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    ...thank you!
     
  5. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Might also check the 322RC2. That's what I use with the same legs and it's rock solid and the pistol grip makes changes to the setup effortless. I also added a panning base from FEISOL Technology Corporation to aid with panoramas ($30). Works like a charm
     
  6. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I like that panning base, but now it is selling for $39 plus $19 for shipping. Does anyone else sell one?
     
  7. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think that's as cheap as you'll find. It works rather well and has a really smooth action.
     
  8. I love geared heads.
     

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