Tripods/Monopods

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cvjarrod, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. cvjarrod

    cvjarrod TPF Noob!

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    First off, thanks to everyone that helped me pick out my DSLR (D200). I have a lot more confidence going into this purchase because of all the help everyone gave me.

    First, the easier question:

    Looking for a recommendation for a good tripod. Would be used mostly for portrait work, but I love the outdoors and shooting wildlife also. Should I get two different tripods for the different applications? What brands/models would you guys recommend?

    Second, the harder question:

    I want to mount several fixed mount monopods around my boat. I was thinking about buying several tripod heads and fabricate stainless fixed mount bases that will fit the heads. It's a marine application so all stainless/plastic construction would be required.

    Is there an existing marine system out there that would meet my needs? If not what brand/model of tripod head would you recommend?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Bogen/Manfrotto is a great brand name for tripods. I highly recommend them.

    The way I see it...there are three main factors. Price, Stability and weight. If you want stable and innexpensive...it will be heavy. If you want Stable and light...it will be expensive. If you want it cheap and light, it will not be all that stable etc.
    Carbon fiber is the best for strength to weight ratio...but they are expensive.

    As for the head...try some out and get something that is easy to use. Pan/tilt heads are good for some aplications...but are not always quick to use. Ball heads are nice and fast. Pistol grip ball heads are super easy to use but can be expensive.

    As for mounting several around your boat...I don't think you would need to buy 'monopods' to mount. The heads all have a universal thread mount (I think it's 3/8")...so all you would need to mount the heads...is a stud.

    You could even mount 1/4" studs, which would screw into the camera's tripod socket...but that's not as versatile as a head at each spot. Ideally, you could get all the heads the same...with quick release plates. That way, you put one plate on the camera...and you can very quickly mount it onto any of the heads.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have to agree with Big Mike about tripods. Bogen/Manfrotto makes excellent equipment. My personal favorite is the [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Manfrotto 3021BPRO Tripod Legs with 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead. I have nothing that stresses the 11 pound support so it suits me quite fine. The legs would be good for heavier weights with a different head for large lenses when shooting wildlifewith a big lens.

    For a monopod I went with the
    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Bogen / Manfrotto 680 with a [/FONT][/FONT]3229 Swivel Tilt Head. It has the same quick release plate as the 322RC2 grip so a plate stays on my camera body most of the time and the second plate is on my Canon 70-200.
     
  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I am also on the Bogen tripod band wagon. Sort of. I have a Carbon One tripod with several different heads (everything Bogen, ball, mini ball, grip, 3-way). I love the grip head. It is now my favorite, first pick normally. I also have several cameras so the option of QR (quick release) plates are a must. The tripod is very strong for the weight. I have used it with a 4x5 largeformat camera with a huge ball head (very near or over the tripods rated load weight). And have not had a problem with it.

    Now here comes the sort of. I wanted a second carbon fiber tripod. But didn't want to pay the big $$. So I bought a china cheapie carbon fiber tripod. It is almost identical to the bogen. But 3x less expensive. The one thing I noticed is the leg locks are not as strong, and the leg material seems to have a thinner wall thickness. But it is a very stable tripod. And is a bit lighter than the Bogen. I am very happy with the quality vs. price. However I will not mount the large format on it. But a DSLR and say a macro lens. I have no worries at all about it.

    I have 2 older aluminium Bogen monopods and will probably replace them with carbon fiber ones. Again will probably by a Bogen. And maybe a cheap one from ebay.

    As for the boat I have an idea for that. :)

    Look up Manfroto 2929 or 2930 articulated arms. You can get them with a standard camera base or with a base with QR plate (ex 2929QR). Then add a 2900 super clamp. With this set up you can clamp the arm to anything the clamp will fit over. Hand rail, outrigger arm, radar arch, broom stick in a rod holder, . . etc). I use 2 of these set ups when I work on aircraft engines (video boroscope). The 2930 arm uses a lever for tightening so would probably be quicker (better for quickness lighter camera / lens). The 2929 uses a knob so its easier to adjust tightness (ones I use, better for heavier set ups).

    With these you dont have to mount any studs and can move it around at will! Plus have some height / angle adjustments.
     
  5. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Another note. With the super clamp you don't have to have the arm. The 2900 comes with a stud you can directly mount a head to it. Don't have to have the arm. I just thought the arm will be usefull / easier to compose shots.
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with mike on mounting studs to your boat and screwng on tripod heads this will save alot of money on buying monopods just one thing though I'm sure you realize that the movement of the boat will negate any advantage you might have mounting the tripod in a fixed position on the boat.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Good recomendation. :thumbup:
     
  8. cvjarrod

    cvjarrod TPF Noob!

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    Wow, two questions and two unbelievably informative threads for me. The contributors on this site are AWESOME.

    Here's the tripod I'm now leaning towards now that I've gotten some feedback from you guys.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=Search&A=details&Q=&sku=353329&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

    Any feedback on this choice. Do you all think this is an appropriate head?


    This arm is EXACTLY what I was looking for. It probably won't be used as much for still photography as for video on the boat.

    http://www.pictureline.com/product.php?id=1417#


    These clamps will make it an absolute no-brainer for installation:
    http://www.pictureline.com/products/MO0326/Manfrotto_2915_Super_Clamp_w/o_Stud.html


    As far as I'm concerned, you guys hit home runs with both of the threads I submitted. Thank you very much for sharing your considerable knowledge with someone MUCH less knowledgable.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    That certainly looks like a great tripod & head. The magic arm and super clamp combo are great. A photography instructor of mine said that they have had people climb on them...as well as any number of practical uses.
     
  10. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Where should we send our consulting bill too?? :D ;)

    You will not be dissapointed with tripod / head. And the arm and clamp are well built. Ours gets used very regulary and look like they have been through a rock tumbler. But they perform as new. I could believe people could climb on them. But I will save that for someone else. :D
     

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