Tripod and head for Canon L 100-400 lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Mike K, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Mike K

    Mike K TPF Noob!

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    I don't have the lens yet but plan to. I don't want to do the tripod and head dance again down the road so, despite the high cost, I want to get the right stuff now.

    I'm looking at the Gitzo GT-3531 tripod and RRS (ouch!) and other ball heads. Any recommendations?


     
  2. Joey_Ricard

    Joey_Ricard TPF Noob!

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  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    On the head front its a bit overkill in terms of weight limits, but the Acratech GV2 Head might be worth considering:
    Acratech GV2 Ballhead*::*Ballheads*::*Acratech

    You get the ballhead performance, but you can also use the recess and the tripod collar on the 100-400mm to get a gimbal simulated effect.

     
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  4. analog.universe

    analog.universe TPF Noob!

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    I use a Gitzo GT-3531 and it's great, highly recommended! You pick it up and immediately know that it represents decades of engineering genius. I would recommend an upgrade to the spikey feet however (they still have rubber caps you can put on them for when you're indoors).

    I'm using a Markins Q-10 head, which I also like. I looked at RRS, and they are not any more capable than Markins, but they are a little more finished off ergonomically, and plastic free (my markins has a couple plastic parts). I chose the Markins because they have the best strength to weight ratio. I carry my tripod around a lot, and didn't want however much weight for the fancy machining on the RRS. Both companies' products are extremely accurate and strong however, and well capable of dealing with a 100-400.

    I did end up getting my QR L-bracket from RRS however, they had more options than Markins.
     
  5. Scuba

    Scuba No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not trying to be an ass but both of those tripods are listed at the same weight. 1.6kg. I guess if you look at the pounds it is 3.5 vs 3.6 lbs but I don't know if you could feel that difference.
     
  6. Joey_Ricard

    Joey_Ricard TPF Noob!

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    Yeh, I don't have a scale at home but the metal one feels like about 7-10 lbs itself
     
  7. Buckster

    Buckster In memoriam

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    My 100-400 flopped over one too many times after forgetting to lock it down after freestyle shooting birds or something. The pinched fingers and thumbs were no fun either when it happened!

    Thus, I really dislike using my Canon 100-400 L on any of my ball heads, and have found it much better to use a Gimbal head. They're generally more expensive, but you'll be glad you did. Reviews look good on this one, and it's about the least expensive I've found: Amazon.com: Manfrotto 393 Heavy Telephoto Lens Support for Monopod - Replaces 3421: Camera & Photo

    I actually DIY'd my own, and it works well for me:

     
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  8. Mike K

    Mike K TPF Noob!

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    What camera are you using? I'm using a Canon 60D but want to move up to a full frame some day.

    Do you absolutely need an L bracket to mount the camera vertically?

    Thanks everyone. Very helpful!
     
  9. Buckster

    Buckster In memoriam

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  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's the one I have for my vintage 500mm Takumar. Its probably one of the better of the cheap Chinese copies of the real thing and not up to par with the quality ones. The price difference between the "real" ones and "cheap" ones is 3-4x... so cost vs benefit to be considered. Its also not exactly lightweight. I have only used it a few times (got it in December) and so far I am happy with it. Eagerly waiting for the weather to warm up and some wing'd subjects to arrive.
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, for a telephoto lens, a Gimbal type head does seem to be the best option.

    As for they legs, they will be less important than the head, but you'll want something strong and stable. Height and weight will be major things to look at. Weight is an easy one, Carbon fiber is lighter weight, but a lot more expensive than aluminum. For height, look for a tripod that will be tall enough to use without raising the centre column. You greatly reduce the stability of the camera when you raise a center column. Many of the higher end tripods won't even come with a center column.
     
  12. Mike K

    Mike K TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Looks like I'll end up with a ball head (thinking the Acratech GV2 or GP) for short lenses and something like this when I get a "honker". Who knew the photo hobby would be so costly?:)
     

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