Tripod for Wildlife Photography

birdbonkers84

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I normally shoot hand held or with a bean bag, but recently I've been toying with the idea of learning to shoot with my lens+body attached to a tripod. I recently tried it on my current tripod, but found with the weight of the D7100+Tamron 150-600, that the collar felt flimsy. I use this tripod for filming and with smaller lens, such as the 35mm or 50mm and it does the job very well.

So I'm looking at investing in a new tripod for my Tamron 150-600 and my newly bought second hand Nikon AF-S f/4 300mm.

I would say my budget is around £100.

Thanks!
 
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goooner

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Good luck on that budget. I'm not sure a tri-pod is ideal for wildlife tbh. I can use my tripod as a monopod as well, but I could not get the hang of it. I have a ball head, and I think you really need a gimbal if you want to go down the whole tripod-wildlife-heavy lens route.

The gimbal I'm looking at is upwards of 400€ and it really is one of the cheaper ones.
I always see these sport photogs with their monopods, so I guess I will have to practise some more.
 

astroNikon

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All those nice len$e$ ... maybe save up a bit more for a sturdy tripod and gimbal head.
 
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birdbonkers84

birdbonkers84

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All those nice len$e$ ... maybe save up a bit more for a sturdy tripod and gimbal head.

That's the thing I know nothing about what is classed as a decent tripod or gimbal, if I need to save then so be it, but I just don't know what I need to save for :D
 
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birdbonkers84

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Good luck on that budget. I'm not sure a tri-pod is ideal for wildlife tbh. I can use my tripod as a monopod as well, but I could not get the hang of it. I have a ball head, and I think you really need a gimbal if you want to go down the whole tripod-wildlife-heavy lens route.

The gimbal I'm looking at is upwards of 400€ and it really is one of the cheaper ones.
I always see these sport photogs with their monopods, so I guess I will have to practise some more.

Fancy chucking a link to your current tripod and that gimbal you have been looking at?
 

astroNikon

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Good luck on that budget. I'm not sure a tri-pod is ideal for wildlife tbh. I can use my tripod as a monopod as well, but I could not get the hang of it. I have a ball head, and I think you really need a gimbal if you want to go down the whole tripod-wildlife-heavy lens route.

The gimbal I'm looking at is upwards of 400€ and it really is one of the cheaper ones.
I always see these sport photogs with their monopods, so I guess I will have to practise some more.

Fancy chucking a link to your current tripod and that gimbal you have been looking at?
I don't know what this is in £
but I have this and it works well, when I use it. I rarely use it now.
Amazon.com : Opteka GH1 Professional Heavy Duty Metal Gimbal Tripod Head with Arca-Swiss Standard Quick Release Plate (Supports up to 30lbs) : Tripod Heads : Camera & Photo

If you think about movement of the subjects you want to take a picture of you can guess how useful a tripod/ballhead is versus a tripod/gimbal head vs a monopod vs handholding.

Let's say you are a distance from large birds. And those large birds are flying left to right.
A gimbal or ballhead would work fine.

Conversely, if those birds are flying directly at you and overhead.
as they approach your lens goes up, camera down. Now how do you aim? Through the viewfinder or a flat or tilting LCD ?

Do you continue to take pics as they are directly above you ?
If so, how ?

Do you move around often, or sit in one spot?

Think of what you take pictures of, and how their movement is to your position, etc.


As to price, you'll have to decide to go carbon fiber (really expensive) or aluminum (much less expensive). And normally the fewer leg extensions the better, but then the less portable in size. Pick one brand, such as Benro, ManFroto , etc and learn about their entire line and learn what makes a $700 tripod $70o dollars?? Then compare to other brands.

I think Anything under $200 USD /$155 GBP can be considered questionable in sturdiness especially for large lenses.

Next time you see other photogs with tripods dont' just look at the camera/lens. Looks at their tripod setup.
 
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goooner

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Good luck on that budget. I'm not sure a tri-pod is ideal for wildlife tbh. I can use my tripod as a monopod as well, but I could not get the hang of it. I have a ball head, and I think you really need a gimbal if you want to go down the whole tripod-wildlife-heavy lens route.

The gimbal I'm looking at is upwards of 400€ and it really is one of the cheaper ones.
I always see these sport photogs with their monopods, so I guess I will have to practise some more.

Fancy chucking a link to your current tripod and that gimbal you have been looking at?
This is my pod, with head. Bought it 2nd hand for around 90€. I haven't really used it that much tbh. The gimbal I will get back to you on. As I might only invest next year, I have not seriously looked.
Rollei Tripod C5i, the light-weight universal tripod
 

tirediron

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Also remember that tripods are a great buy on the used market; you can often save as much as 50% over new. Look at brands such as Manfrotto, Gitzo and Benro.
 
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birdbonkers84

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Thanks to whoever moved my thread for me, was unsure if it should be in the gear thread or the wildlife because it was specific to wildlife. :)
 

table1349

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I normally shoot hand held or with a bean bag, but recently I've been toying with the idea of learning to shoot with my lens+body attached to a tripod. I recently tried it on my current tripod, but found with the weight of the D7100+Tamron 150-600, that the collar felt flimsy. I use this tripod for filming and with smaller lens, such as the 35mm or 50mm and it does the job very well.

So I'm looking at investing in a new tripod for my Tamron 150-600 and my newly bought second hand Nikon AF-S f/4 300mm.

I would say my budget is around £100.

Thanks!
What is wildlife to you? I wouldn't be without one when I am out shooting but the wildlife I shoot is usually the 4 legged kind that you definitely want to stay away from unless you want to be dinner for one of them.

It depends on what you want to shoot and if you are willing to put the money into a good gimble head to go with it.
 

benhasajeep

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When your looking at heads. You will want a tripod head with quick release plates (QR plates). Pick carefully for what your getting for release plates. As you will not want to keep swapping plates between lenses or bodies. Your going to want extras. I have been with Manfrotto's RC2 system and 200PL plates for over 20 years now. Most of the big companies sell extra plates at varying costs. The 200PL's are about $15-$20 depending on where you buy from. Manfrotto has at least a handful of different plate styles. Some companies have copied other companies and will use plates on their heads.
 

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birdbonkers84

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I've got a cheap gimbal head off amazon:

Beike BK-45 Gimbal Tripod Head Specialized 1: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

For tripods I have a Velbon Sherpa 200R which I find ok, never really had any major stability issues. Dunno what it would be like with a big prime on it either though.

My 300 is smaller and lighter than my tamron so I might give your tripod a looksie, my current tripod has a quick release plate but the head attachment isn't what I would class as sturdy when the tamron is on it.


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