Yet another tripod post

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by ELinder, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. ELinder

    ELinder Member

    Yes, another tripod post asking for advice. However, I've got a bit of a unique requirement. I need stability, small size, and light weight. I know, it's usually pick 2 of the three, but since I already walk with a cane, I need to get as close as I can to having all three. This would be strictly for night long exposure work. I need a large amount of stability not only for the camera, but for me as well, as I tend to lean on things slightly for balance (of course not while actually taking the pic).

    I've looked at the Velbon a lot of people here swear by, but I don't think it's stable enough for my purposes. I think I've narrowed my search down to the Manfrotto 322RC2 grip head with the Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 tripod. However, when I go to the Manfrotto webpage and use their tripod system configurator, it says I would have an unbalanced system with my D90 and either my 17-55mm or 70-200mm lenses. Either combo is only half the weight limit of the head and a lot less than the limit of the tripod, so I'm not sure what to think.

    Any other suggestions?

  2. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member


    You should probably look at a 3 section Gitzo; it'll be longer but more stable than a 4 section one like the Manfrotto.

    I've got a Benro now, seems to be okay. ; The carbon fiber likes to flex more than aluminum though.

    Now, Bogen/Manfrotto has an old style carbon fiber which may be good, you can't buy it new now, but I have the monopod in the series, and it's really sturdy....I looked at the tripod but couldn't pass up the Benro's length.
  3. ELinder

    ELinder Member

    The Manfrotto 055CXPRO comes in a 3 or 4 section version, with the 4 of course having a smaller folded length. All else being the same, would it make a difference in stability?

    I'm surprised you say the carbon flexes more than the aluminum. Everything I've read led me to believe the opposite. That's why I have been looking at CF tripods, that and the weight. I need to keep that reasonably low too.

    As for budget, well, I realized that if I'm going to get a quality tripod that will do everything I need, it'll come at the expense of cost. I might as well get something now that'll last a LONG time.

  4. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    Each section adds a flex point.

    Which is odd, yes, but it seems that the latest generation of CF is using stronger but thinner fibers to reduce weight, so it has the added flex. ; Granted, there is a reason why many have a hook to put weights on it underneath the center column - I haven't used that yet! ; Perhaps this summer!

    Don't be afraid of the Manfrotto. ; I love my tripod. ; Who knows, they may be using a thicker fiber in their latest version, like their older ones.
  5. ELinder

    ELinder Member

    Interesting. I wonder if that is part of the problem with the Manfrotto tripod configuration webpage. It may be saying my chosen configuration is unbalanced because my camera/lens combo is too light! It may need more weight to be more stable. When I pick another tripod, say the 190CX3, which supports 11lb vs 17.6lb for the 055CXPRO3, it says that combo is balanced. Strange.

  6. gary

    gary Member

    consider one of the gitzo basalt line, i have and very much like the gt 1930, combined with the acratech ballhead, it's a very nice stable platform, it's not as light as my velbon, and does not fold down as small, but it also does not seem to have the leg collapse issue i occasionally run into with the lighter tripod
    and i think if you know anyone in leathercraft you could have them make a custom quiver that you could buckle across your chest with it behind you, that might fit your particular needs
  7. ELinder

    ELinder Member

    I'm going to have to find a brick and mortar store that has all these and give them a shake test. Reading about them online just isn't going to cut it in this case. I like the idea of a custom quiver. Right now, I just take off the strap from a luggage carryon and use that to carry my current tripod quiver style.

  8. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I have an Optech tripod strap that I use with my old Focal (K-Mart) tripod. ; It has straps that wrap around the top and bottom of the tripod and make it easy to carry over the shoulder.
  9. ELinder

    ELinder Member

    Well, I went to a local store last week and ended up walking out with the 055CXPro4 and 322RC2. They had them both new in the box for slightly less than B&H is selling them for. I looked at a few Gitzos they had, but for the price difference, I didn't see much difference in stability. The clincher for me was the shorter folded length of the 4 section Manfrotto. I've only used it twice now, but I tried a number of night long exposure shots, and with the last section left folded up, it's incredibly stable, and still a good height for me to work with. Overall, I couldn't be more happy with the tripod or the head.

  10. gary

    gary Member

    good to here you have met your needs, now get out there and bring us some nightime long exposure downtown shots

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