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Old Sep 18, 2007, 6:32 PM   #11
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tnaskedov wrote:
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I see you have soccer in your icon, do you coach? I'm the head baseball coach at my high school.
Yep, I coach boys soccer and both boys and girls tennis, am the PA man for all stadium sports, and host a photo website for sports...can't get a break from the program, lol. I teach in the school's International Baccalaureate Program. The website for my sports shooting is:

www.flickr.com/photos/trojansoccer

It's also where I store the rest of my shooting.

mtngal, I understand what you mean about the grip. The camera does get heavy with it. I've found myself with a very sore thumb and wrist after a weekend in which I've shot a lot. I wouldn't do without it, but I can see where it would be a problem for someone with smaller hands.
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Old Sep 19, 2007, 10:20 AM   #12
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Good deal! I teach English. I used to coach golf as well, but baseball is definitely my #1, so I stopped this year. Plus, I had the opportunity to work with the 16U National Team for USA Baseball in August, so I wasn't around for the start of golf season (probably too much info). I like the teaching/coaching sysytem, but I find the problem is that I have plenty of time to go travel and take pictures, but rarely any money to do so! Luckily my wife is Dutch so we get a mandatory trip to Holland every year or so!

Anyway, about the grip. I think I want it eventually, but I haven't held the camera and grip together. I think if I were to get a heavy lens, I'd like the balance of the setup with the grip, but I don't know. Do you find this to be the case (heavier lens offset by heavier camera?) I think I'd use a tripod more, and I don't have a good one. So that money might be better spent in that direction first. Any suggestions on tripod? I definitely want one that's sturdy, but we hike a lot, so moderate to light in weight is a must as well.
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 5:34 AM   #13
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tnaskedov wrote:
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Anyway, about the grip. I think I want it eventually, but I haven't held the camera and grip together. I think if I were to get a heavy lens, I'd like the balance of the setup with the grip, but I don't know. Do you find this to be the case (heavier lens offset by heavier camera?) I think I'd use a tripod more, and I don't have a good one. So that money might be better spent in that direction first. Any suggestions on tripod? I definitely want one that's sturdy, but we hike a lot, so moderate to light in weight is a must as well.
With a heavy lens I definitely like having thegrip, not so much as a point of balance, but because the grip provides a fulcrum to resist the natural tendency of the lense to want to go head-down.

I don't really have a good recommendation for a tripod that meets the twin needs of lightweight and sturdy. I have a couple of good pieces of evidence for why you don't want to get a cheapo that will break in just a couple of uses, and I have a Bogen/Manfrotto with a pistol grip head that will withstand an earthquake, but the thought of hiking with it makes me settle deeper into my recliner. Because of zero cartilige in both knees, heavy hiking is pretty much a thing of the past for me, but there are many in this forum who can offer good suggestions on that score. Fortunately, I live in the periphery of a National Park, so I don't have to go far for good nature sites.

My Masters' is in English, and I taught it many years, but I'm currently teaching philosophy, psychology, and world history.

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Old Sep 20, 2007, 10:50 PM   #14
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Do you like the pistol grip? I found an "Amvona" tripod with pistol grip ball head for $150, seems like it would work.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 12:20 AM   #15
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tnaskedov wrote:
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Do you like the pistol grip? I found an "Amvona" tripod with pistol grip ball head for $150, seems like it would work.
Hi Todd,

I don't have the Amnova grip head, but from what I've read, it's good, and some have said that it's better than the Manfrotto grip heads. Personally, I'm not a grip head fan, but there are plenty of people that love them.

I do own 2 of their carbon fiber tripods and one of their top line ball heads, and though they are not the absolute best you can buy, they are, IMO very good, and certainly not junk. If you choose to buy from them, unless you're used to Gitzo or the high end stuff from the other major mfgs, you'll probably be very happy with their quality.

One tip about Amnova -- look at their auctions on ebay -- just about everything they sell is offered in no reserve auctions. Do a search on the model you like for completed auctions, and you can find out what they've been going for recently at auction. It'll probably be considerably less than their usual price -- start bidding for the upcoming auctions, and you'll eventually win one for a price that you'll probably find hard to believe. Patience is really a virtue in this case.

To give you an idea of what I mean here, one of my carbon fiber legs and pro-featured head cost less than $100 shipped.

Scott
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 5:02 AM   #16
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snostorm wrote:
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One tip about Amnova -- look at their auctions on ebay -- just about everything they sell is offered in no reserve auctions. Do a search on the model you like for completed auctions, and you can find out what they've been going for recently at auction. It'll probably be considerably less than their usual price -- start bidding for the upcoming auctions, and you'll eventually win one for a price that you'll probably find hard to believe. Patience is really a virtue in this case.

To give you an idea of what I mean here, one of my carbon fiber legs and pro-featured head cost less than $100 shipped.

Scott
I agree, I lost the first model 828/858 I was bidding on and thenwon the same tripod and grip head with a huge photographic backpack for a lower bid?!?!? The backpack has a very nice exterior but the interior dividers are not up to mainstrem standards so it sits in the back of the closet with all of my inactive gear (the thing is huge).

As for quality, I did have to tighten a couple of screws on the tripod (somehow they got missed when the others were treated with a Locktight like substance) but it is closerto Manfrotto than the price would suggest.

Ira
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 5:56 AM   #17
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You should pay more attention to Scott and Ira's advice when it comes to tripods. I use mine very seldom, really not enough to have an informed opinion.

I bought my tripod used off ebay with the grip head. I can't say I really like it. It would seem that it would be easy to follow movement with it, but when I have done so, it just felt like the head was flopping around and was hard to get the camera square with the horizon of the shot. That, probably, is lack of experience more than anything. However, it is more than adequate for the small amount of tripod work I do.

Since getting the K10d, I just haven't felt the need for a tripod very often for most of the shooting I do.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 9:01 AM   #18
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All right! Thanks for the good advice! My K10 comes today (already "on FedEx vehicle for delivery"), so I'll start scanning the ebay pages.
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