What Tripod for Macro??

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Fremen, May 23, 2010.

  1. Fremen

    Fremen TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Just ordered my Canon EF 100mm Macro. Was wondering what tripod do you work with for macro? like bugs.

    I guess for flowers and other stuff i can use my daily tripod.

    Thx for time and suggestions.


    Fremen
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Tricky to choose and there is a good chance you might end up going through several (even pro grade ones) to find the one you like.

    First off there is the manfrotto range - the 055XPROB - which is a popular choice, though myself I find that I dislike the setup. The centre column does shift into low mode very fast, but you end up with a long arm that gets in the way and also your tripod head will be at a 90 degree angle, losing you some motion control. Furthermore you generally have to keep the head close to hte middle, so it negates the point of having the extandable arm (which as I said tends to get in the way a lot).
    I do know that you can put the centre column in upsidedown to get low angles as well and I know a photographer who does this, but I've not experimented with this method myself.

    The older design manfrotto and existing Gitzo tripod legs have a removable centre column and you then bolt the tripod head to the middle of hte legs direct to get low, a setup I think I might end up shifting toward.

    There is also the Benbo tripods that are different again:
    Benbo Camera Tripods from Paterson Photographic
    A single lock for all three legs and I do hear they are hard to get used to and often turn people away from them - but overall a solid set of legs.

    Finally its not all legs but heads to - for macro I really really love the manfrotto junior geared head - don't let the junior fool you, its a heavy and very solid head, which allows you (slow) but ultra fine controls in each plane of motion - this is important in macro work where these tiny changes can result in big swings in the viewfinder image. For landscape, buildings, macro and other static subjects its an ideal head - for motion based subjects (like pets, birds and kids) its useless as it can't move quick without your hand on the pressure release - and hten you can only move one axis at a time.
    Ballheads tend to make poor macro heads unless you go for the ultra high grade ones and high strength - even then you can suffer from ballhead droop when you move your hands off the setup - something not noticable normally, but very visable with macro work.
    Regular 3way heads are ok, but not as fine to control as the geared head.

    Also no matter what head you go with you will certainly need a set of fousing rails for macro work - to let you move the camera and lens back and forth on the tripod - needed to help aquire focus. This is far easier than trying to move the legs since you will be talking millimeters of motion which you just can't get outside with the tripod legs.
     
  3. Fremen

    Fremen TPF Noob!

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    Thx for your time, much appreciated
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ooh wait I missed something out!!
    The focusing rails - avoid the manfrotto (its ok for macro, but I never found it fantastic and more of a pain to use than not). Have a read of this thread here for some views on focusing rails ; http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...ails-comparison-different-market-options.html

    the upshot is the ebay rails (or adorama ones) are about the best budget option and after that prices jump up very quickly
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the love of god, don't get one with a ball head. They are a pain in the arse for micro fine adjustments.
     
  6. Reese's PB Luver

    Reese's PB Luver TPF Noob!

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    I love my Gitzo Explorer. The center column is off-center so can be tilted horizontally (at any vertical or horizontal angle), which works well for macro without focusing rails (great if you take both macro and non-macro shots in the same places, especially if you travel). It also gets ground-level. The one I have folds up short enough to fit in the length dimensions for airline carry-on items (at that price, you sure don't want to stick it in your checked baggage!) - you can tilt the center column 180-degrees to keep the tripod head from making the size longer (or you can take the head off and carry it separately, of course).

    I have the Gitzo Off-Center Ballhead (Series 3) to use with it and it works well. Unlike the PP, I have no problems focusing macro shots with a ballhead. The focusing-rail-like center column of the tripod legs makes focusing easier, too, though that's a time you want to definitely use a counter-weight on the built-in hook.
     
  7. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    You don't need a tripod....especially bugs. Bugs are constantly on the move and you are gonna be hard pressed to move your tripod around and get set up before they move again.

    Feel free to take a look at some of my bug pictures. I shoot everything handheld and I shoot almost twice the focal length at 1:1 as what you've ordered (I shoot 180mm macro). I even focus stack handheld so if I can focus stack handheld, then surely 100mm handheld can't be too hard.

    I even see people using the MPE-65, shooting all the way in the 5:1 range handheld for bugs, so I really don't see the need for a tripod. Save your money and work on technique. If you don't have a flash, then your money will be much better spent on a flash than on a tripod in my opinion.
     
  8. IslandShooter

    IslandShooter TPF Noob!

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    I just started getting into macro photography and thought I didn't need a tripod. But for my situations I am going to need one. Some of the shots I want the shutter to be open for at least a second to get certain effects. After reading this article I think I am going to go with either Ravelli apgl4 or the Manfrotto 055xprob. I think a basic tripod will work for me as long as it moves the camera to vertical position.
    Top 3 Tripods for Macro | Device Raters
     
  9. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Got to love a website with no expertise and their disclaimer begins with:

    All articles, images, logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners. Comments are property of their posters and DeviceRaters.com. The information on the blog may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up to date.

    But since this thread is so old I doubt that the OP really cares.
     

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