Several Decisions

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Roger_Federer, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Roger_Federer

    Roger_Federer TPF Noob!

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    Hello everybody!

    At the moment I own a Nikon D200 and a Tamron 17-50mm/2.8. In the next time I want to buy some more lenses and some more accessories.
    With accessories I mean a tripod, a flash, battery grip and a remote.

    Tripod:


    I really have no clue which tripods are worth it to take them into consideration!
    I want to need for situations with less AL, landscapes and macros. It shouldnt be too heavy, maybe I want to carry it with me or take it for travelling. In the "worst" case I would use my D200 with a battery grap and a 70-200mm.
    I dont want to spend that much money, because I am just a beginner and wont need the tripod all the time. Just want a transportable, robust (should at least be able to hold my d200 without issues) tripod.
    Any recommendations??

    Remote:

    Actually I want a third-party remote because because actually the original Nikon ones are too expensive. I have seen some good ones at amazon! Now I just dont know wireless or wirer. Or shouldnt I waste time thinking about that "issue"?

    Flash:

    For my requirements I guess the SB-600 will be fine! But what are about the alternatives to the SB-600 (Metz,...)? Would you recomment the original Nikon one or a third-party flash? If the second, which modell would it be?

    Regards Timo
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Tripods: DON'T BUY CHEAP. Yes, you can get tripods at Wal-Mart for $49.99, but ask yourself, does it really make sense to spend $50 to support $2000 worth of gear? Not in my book. Expect to spend $200 on a decent used set of legs and head, or $350+ for new. Stick with known brands such as Manfrotto, Gitzo, and Benbo. When it comes to heads, spend a little extra and get a ball head instead of a tilt/pan head. They're much more versatile for general use.

    Remote: By all means, there are LOTS of third party remotes (I use them myself) out there, and they're a much better value than the Nikon ones. I'd suggest a wireless version just for the convenience.

    Flash: The SB-600 is an excellent flash; if you can find a used SB-800, have a look at that for the Commander mode. Nice, but not essential. Metz, Sunpak and Sigma all make good, less expensive flashes which will work just fine with your camera. Be careful if you're buying those second hand however as the older Nikon modules for them may not be fully functional with newer bodies such as yours.
     
  3. Roger_Federer

    Roger_Federer TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Tirediron!

    Tripods: Yeah I've already read in some threads that you shouldnt spend too less money on tripods, especially on the heads. But in my case its a little bit "complicated": I am a German exchange student and atm I live in Australia for now 9 further months. I want the gear (especially the lenses) to take some great shops of animals and national parks over here.
    I want a tripod maybe for panorama-shots (so a rotating head would be desirable) and and maybe sunsets and landscapes.
    But I wont buy a tripod over here which I will use for the next 20 years. Just one which i can use for the next month and which is good for travelling. Is that possible? Which modells can you recommend?


    Remotes:
    Yeah, I've already figured out that its not the smartest thing (at least you dont have heaps of money to spend) to buy the original nikon-remotes. But which 3rd-party-remotes have a better value than the Nikon ones? Or do you just mean the price/performance ratio?

    Are there special wireless-remotes you could recommend (maybe the ones you are using)?


    Flashes:

    What is that Commander Mode?
    But acutally I think you use the SB-800 more for events like weddings, but I wont use the flash very often at all, just could be helpfull sometimes. And if I can save some money on it and spend it for lenses, it will be better. Because I think you always have to consider which investments give you the best results, in relation to the IQ, at the end!

    So which Metz/Sigma/whatever-modells are comparable to the Nikon SB-600?

    Best Regards,
    Timo
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    well on the tripod front if your after a cheap quick solition there are a few problems. Firstly they are light - really light - which means that often with a heavy DSLR your centre of gravity is very high up - which makes it unbalanced. Some people hang bags and such off a tripod to increase its weight, but with lower end models your abilty to stablize the legs is more limited.
    I admit when I started out I used a very cheapy (now slightly broken) tripod and I never trusted it. If I setup for a landscape or macro shot I was never relaxed with shooting - oh it could hold my camera steady provided there was no wind and it was on a perfectly flat suface. Its advantage was that it was super light, so I could use it all day in a zoo for some support and not notice it being there and it was quicker to use than my new manfrotto, but the lack of stabilty and the lack of versatility with positioning added up to mean that I needed something better - very quickly
     
  5. Roger_Federer

    Roger_Federer TPF Noob!

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    Could maybe anybody make a concrete recommendation for a tripod, thats good for travelling, landscapes and macro, can hold my d200 + lens and doesnt cost too much (probably i buy second hand)?? Or is there nothing like that?

    Which are the third-party alternatives to the SB-600?? And would you recommend them more than the original Nikon?

    Regards, Timo
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is the remote that I use it's not the cheapest, but it has both wired and wireless functionality and uses an RF signal rather than the more common IR, so it's not bothered if a leaf or person is between it and the camera. I've used it successfully out to 100'. The Canon and Nikon versions are identical (exept for the connector of course) and it's often cheaper on eBay.

    The best all-around tripod as far as I'm concerned is the Manfrotto 190 series. Top that with a 488 ballhead, and you've got a killer combination. I understand your concerns about buying a tripod, but even if you sell it before you leave Aus and lose $100, that's a whole lot better than dumping your gear.

    Flashes, I'll have to let someone else speak to that, I'm not an expert. Commander mode is the ability of the flash (In Nikonese) to wirelessly activate other flashes. The SB800 can activate others (Commander) but the SB600 can only be activated (Slave/remote).
     
  7. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm going to go against what everyone else is saying here and say that you don't need to spend a ton of money on a tripod

    Don't go bargain basement Wal-mart ones (I went through two of them), but one step up from that will work great. I use a Promaster 6100 tripod and its awesome for what I do, very sturdy, lightweight, and swivels and adjusts very nicely. I got it for $50 and I've been using it for two years now with a D300 and I've had 0 problems. It holds my camera still and is easy to use, thats all I need. If your going to be shooting with super heavy, long lenses its another story (I haven't used mine with a 70-200mm f2.8).

    For SB-600's, just get one. They are pretty much free if you include resale. Its an awesome flash! The 3rd party ones just don't work as well. Nikon's system is brillant!

    For remotes, get the cheap ebay cord ones, they work great!
     
  8. Roger_Federer

    Roger_Federer TPF Noob!

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    Remote:
    Thats a little bit too expensive for me :lol:
    I will have a look at ebay and amazon and then decide

    Tripod:
    The Manfrotto alternative sounds interesting! Would you recommend the latest version or is there any modell that is especially good? Is Manfrotto 190 + 488 Ballhead also good for big lenses like 70-200/2.8?
    Is the Manfrotto 190 able to rotate, so I can use it for panomara-shots?

    Flash:
    Then I will probably buy the Sb-600 (second-hand) if third-party ones wouldnt work as good as the original one.

    Regards Timo
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008

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