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Old Aug 25, 2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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Yes, there's a tripod section on these message boards, but it doesn't seem to be very active. Besides, I'd like to hear from other Pentaxians. I'm looking for a solid, reliable (although not too expensive) tripod for my K200D kit. I'll be using fairly heavy lenses: the 16-50mm and 50-135 f/2.8 lenses and I'll probably be picking up the 55-300mm tele before very long. I'll be doing all kinds of things: shots of the moon, nature, landscapes, etc. I want to make sure I err on the side of caution in terms of what kind of weight the tripod can handle. Also, I might want to take into consideration the possibility that I may add the slightly heavier K20D to my lineup 12-18 months down the road. And while I don't want to overspend, I'm willing to spenda bit more for a solidly better product. What are you guys using?
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Old Aug 25, 2008, 3:41 PM   #2
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Hey Brio,
My best advice is to get the absolute best you can possibly afford. A good head will cost as much or more than a good set of legs. Remember it's a onetime investment that will last you a lifetime. Plus your best shots will only be as good as the support system.
GW
Also, if you think 10lbs is the max weight you need to support, then go 15lbs.
If you think 15lbs is the max, go 20lbs
Good luck and invest wisely, you won't be sorry.
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Old Aug 25, 2008, 3:59 PM   #3
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While i don't use a tripod very often, due to the type of Shooting i enjoy. I Own and love My SLIK Pro 700 DX. I Use the Stock head and it Suits My purposes just fine.

Heres a link http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_700DX_Pro_Tripod.html

BK
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Old Aug 25, 2008, 4:25 PM   #4
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I recently purchased the Manfrotto 190XB Pro with the 488 Midi Ball Head. The following link shows the set up except the head shown in the link has a quick release plate. I opted away from a quick release head and have the "screw-in" attachment. It is a rock solid set up and more than capable in handling the K20D + Grip+DA*50-135. The Midi Ball head I beleive is rated upto 15 lbs. What I love about this head is that it has an independent panning contol which rotates the base of the head 360 degrees on a horizontal plane. This is in addition to the knob that controls the ball. The tripod center column can swivel to allow for different angles of shooting. Also the legs flatten out to almost a ground level position. While this is a solid set up, it is a bit heavy. I got mine from Amazon.com (both open box, but in virtually brand new condition)!

Here is the link: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...gs_Black_.html
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Old Aug 25, 2008, 6:26 PM   #5
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Biro,

I've been using one of these for over 2 years. They aren't the most elegant but are plenty strong and light enough. If you just be patient and don't bid more than you think you want to spend, you should win one in good time.



http://cgi.ebay.com/DYNATRAN-PROFESS...742.m153.l1262

Dennis
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Old Aug 25, 2008, 9:32 PM   #6
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Biro, I ran into the same problem with the tripod board a while back when I was looking. So, came here and got wonderful advice.

I was going to purchase the Slik Pro 700 DX that Phil has, but ended up with the Manfrotto 055 (??? - it's in the car downstairs right now). I had bought a ball head for it, but exchanged it for a trigger type head instead.

Both were similar tripods spec wise, just a larger difference in price. I've been happy with the Manfrotto, but wish I'd just stuck to my original plan of the Slik. I'd have more money in my pocket. I was sales talked into the Manfrotto at a large camera show. I got a good price for it, but......

One thing I had to consider when looking was to make sure it was tall enough for me. I'm tall for a woman (5'11") and have back problems. So, wanted something I wasn't going to be leaning over to look into the camera all the time. A lot I looked at were just a tad too short.

The various tripod sites have "how to choose the right tripod" questionnaire. I'd use them to determine what types of features you want in one.

Hope this helps. Patty
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Old Aug 25, 2008, 9:42 PM   #7
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Okay, the feedback so far gives me a great start. Patty, I'm 5'11" just like you and have been actively thinking about the correct height as well. This will be a lot of fun. Thanks everyone! Any additional input is welcome and appreciated.

Biro
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 9:58 AM   #8
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Well, you definitely want STURDY. So the question becomes whether you need LIGHT as well. That's where things get expensive.

I have the Bogen 190 Bpro legs as well with 488RC4. A very nice and stable setup.

But not particularly light since it's aluminum. If you need lighter then you're looking at higher prices to get the same stability. A few things nice about it:

1. Very stable legs

2. Leg angles adjust individually and you can get it very low to the ground if you remove the center column

3. Center column will also go horizontal - useful for some macro work.

The head is a whole different ballgame. First you need to decide between a 3-way or ball head. The 3-way heads allow you to get great stability at a lower price than the ballhead but obviously it takes longer to adjust. The ball-heads allow for quicker adjustment but are pricier. For what it's worth I wouldn't advise going below the 488. Even the 488 has a little dip when I use heavier lenses (i.e. after I lock it in and release there is a tiny dip after which it's pretty stable). There are a couple features in a ballhead I suggest looking for:

1. Separate panning lock. This basically allows you to pan the entire head - so you can do panorama type shots without releasing the ball-head (so you can pan while keeping the other two axes stable).

2. A level on the head plate. This is why I liked the RC4 release plate. The benefit there is that you can set a level with head alone - i.e. it doesn't matter if the legs are level or not. I find it a very useful feature.

No reason why a good set of legs/head can't last you 30 years. So you can either buy a cheap $100 set now and end up replacing it or spend about $220 and get a decent (but by no means top tier) setup.
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 10:41 AM   #9
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That's exacty whatI mean, John, when I say I'm willing to spend a bit more to get something more substantial. $200 versus $100? No problem. $500 versus $100? I'm not so sure. As for lightness, sure, lighter is better in a general sense. But I don't think I'll be lugging the tripod any farther than I would lug my case with the full camera kit inside - K200D with two or three extra lenses, grip, flash, filters, etc. So we're not talking really long distances. Maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 mile - at absolute most. IfI need to walk farther than that, the tripod and full kit stay back in the truck. I pick a lens, put it on the camera and set off. BTW, thanks for the feature list for the head.
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 12:56 PM   #10
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Biro, one other feature on the Manfrotto 190XB Pro that John C also refered to is a hook on the top of the platform which could come in handy to either hang an extra weight (i.e. a sock with some rocks in it) to act either as a counterweight or additional stability. Or you can hang a lens pouch or your remote cord as well. I'd be interested to know if other makers such as Slik provide for this as well.

Jay
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