Birding tripod recommendations needed

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Dordeda, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Dordeda

    Dordeda TPF Noob!

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    Hi all. I specifically want it to use with the Sony 200-600 that is about to come out, plus an eventual 300 2.8 or possibly even 600 f4 in the future.

    The cheaper the better. Would like to use it with a ball head and Wimberley Arca Sidekick Ball to Gimbal Head Adapter.

    Not likely for travel, but that would be a nice option.

    Any thoughts?


     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Weight - Stability - Price

    You get to pick two, not three. Weight will also influence stability as generally heavier legs will provide more stability, especially for larger and heavier lenses of the kind you are looking to use. Though many higher end tripods will have hooks on the underside ot hang weights from to increase weight (eg fill it with some local rocks).

    For what you're after and considering the class and price of the lenses you're looking to mount and the head I would say you want to avoid cheap. If you go for cheap then you'll have a very heavy set of legs to use, which whilst that is a bonus for stability, it can be a negative for birding if you are walking long distances to get into position to shoot. Modern carbonfibre legs might well help you out in a practical sense of lightening the load - which will already be heavy with large f2.8 and f4 lenses of those kind.


    Gitzo would be the brand I'd look at; that's basically the high end tripods most use (its the higher end of Manfrotto - different brands, same company, with Manfrotto generally doing more toward the lower and intermediate end).
     
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  3. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    used...

    Go for an older but high end tripod from a used supply.

    As per above, you cannot go lightweight and expect to hold a heavy lens.

    The heavier and more stable the tripod the better overall.

    DON'T GO CHEAP on the head!
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    "The cheaper the better." Uh, no, not really...you are looking to stabilize LONG focal lengths....a light, cheap tripod is not what you need...exactly the opposite, in fact. My wife's cousin has a Sony 200-600 ( the current version) and it is a FINE lens.
     
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  5. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    I agree with the above statements about price.

    Cheap tripods will eventually lead to camera repairs. I've used them and they just aren't worth it.
    On the weight, ensure it can not only handle the weight of your gear but also and added weight you may add for stability. i.e. A tripod that can handle 8lbs is no good if you intend on using 7lbs of gear plus a 3lb stability weight. Always err on the heavy side of capacity.
     
  6. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Wildlife / Birding is my passion and have a couple of long heavy zooms and a 600mm f/4 that I nicknamed Behemoth and I do hike in with it. If you buy less expensive gear you will end up replacing it. I recommend a mid sized carbon fiber tripod with a gimbal head. Neither is inexpensive. Do not buy a cheap gimbal. If you are looking for something to start out with, go with a monopod with a ball head where you can adjust the tension.
     
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  7. Space Face

    Space Face Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a Manfrotto heavy duty thing which I bought to support the Sigma 800mm when I first got that. It's metal not fibre and a beast of a thing so no use for trekking but ideal for a short walk and sitting in a hide or specific place etc. I'll see if I can find the model No.
     
  8. Space Face

    Space Face Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ..........475B
     
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  9. Rickbb

    Rickbb TPF Noob!

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  10. Rickbb

    Rickbb TPF Noob!

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    After it using a bit this weekend I can say that as a sub $150 tripod this one is one of the best ones I’ve tried. Smaller and lighter than my current “cheap-o” travel model. The 10 lb capacity holds my largest lens steady, (70-300), not rock steady like my 50 year old Bogen, but it’s 1/4 the weight of the Bogen.

    So I’ll keep it to replace the “cheap-o”as it suits my needs.

    But for a 600 mm or more no, not unless you want to risk seeing it do a face plant in the dirt.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  11. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Buy once cry once when it comes to tripods and heads. I started with the cheap route @50 years ago, then bought a Manfrotto ART.055 which I still have, sure it is aluminum but still very capable. My studio or drive location tripod is the Manfrotto ART.161 beast, it is not a back packing set but will support 8x10. Foba Ballo Superball is my working head with RRS lever clamps and rails.

    If you want light go carbon fibre and a good ball head by quality name brands. If you buy right you can own them for your lifetime and therefore the investment over that span of years is very reasonable. If you buy cheap you will end up replacing it and eventually end up at the pointy end anyway.
     

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