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Old Apr 27, 2006, 9:26 PM   #1
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I use a RebelXT with a Canon 70-300IS USM. I shoot mainly small birds from a blind. I will be getting a Manfrotto 3021bpro or 3001 bpro tripod. I need a head that I can follow (track) these very fast & erraticsmall birds with, (They are constantly moving up, down, left & right, fast.)Would also use it for wildlife out in the field.I need to be able to follow them & lock focus preciselywhere & when the shot looks good. I use a remote cable so I need something that I can easily use with one hand. Is there something out there that fits my needs? Been looking at the joystick types, but think my hand might get sore. I can spend up to $125.00 on a head.

Thanks for any suggestions

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Old Apr 28, 2006, 1:32 AM   #2
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You are probably better off with a monopod and small head and quick release.

Something like a Bogen \ Manfrotto 681B series monopod $50.00 and a Bogen \Manfrotto 3229 Swivel Tilt Head with QR Plate 3157N $30.00

or a Bogen \Manfrotto 3232 Swivel Tilt Monopod Head and a Arc Swiss style quick release the set plate and quick release will cost you about $100 - $150 for the set from Kirk or Really Right Stuff

You have a lens with IS putting it on a tripod you'll need to turn it off anyways.

You can leaveIS on with a monopod and trying to use a remote in the way you mention will be most awkward I think.

Using a monopod correctlyalso its learning curve but I think its better suited for what you want to do.
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Old Apr 29, 2006, 12:50 AM   #3
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You will have more chance with small active birds by hand holding than using tripod or monopod. Your 70-300IS lens should be easy to hand hold. I use my Nikkor 80-400VR for birds and almost always hand holding. You need to set higher speed for active small birds. Even without IS/VR the higher speed necessary for active birds will make tripod or monopod non necessary.

Attached picture was taken with my D50 + 80-400VR lens, hand holding.
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 5:22 PM   #4
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The fastest, smoothest, Most degree of movement ball head I have ever seen is the novoflex Magic ball. If this one is not fast enough then there isn't one.
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Old Jan 5, 2007, 2:51 PM   #5
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I have exactly the same comb as you & love taking pictures of birds, big & small. I prefer to go hand-held, up the ISO to 800 or even 1600 to get a fast shutter speed in Av mode. I then run the keepers through Noiseware to remove noise & process as required to get the desired result. I get more than satisfactory results using just Picasa2. Using a monopod I feel is bestforvery slow speeds with a steady subject.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 9:09 AM   #6
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