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PhillyPhotographer Jan 2, 2005 10:33 PM

~I am looking to buy a good tripod for my G5 and also one I can use with a DSLR in the future. I like the looks of a bogen/manfrotto and would prefer a ballhead. I am have some money/gift cards that I got for Christmasthat I can put toward it. My price range is around $100-$175. I appreciate any suggestions and information you can give me.~


jawz Jan 3, 2005 8:52 AM

I have a Bogen/Manfrotto 3001BPRO legs and 488RC2 ball head. This combination is a bit over $200. You could substitute the 486 ball head (less capacity and lacks separate pan axis) which is about $30 less than the 488. The 486 head should be perfectly adequate for your G5.

JohnG Jan 3, 2005 4:46 PM

IMHO, it would be wise to invest in the legs now, with an 'acceptable' head. The Bogen 3001 or 3021 legs (I use the 3021 BPro) would be a good recommendation. Then get whatever head you can afford. Later, when you get into a DSLR, you can upgrade the head to deal with the heavier weight, while still keeping the same legs. A well built set of legs will be imediately useful (independent angles on the legs, sturdiness in wind, etc). A heavier, better made head may not bring much of a difference while you are using the G5 as it's a fairly light camera by comparison. If you try to balance both the legs and the head and stay within $170 then you may find yourself replacing both when you get your DSLR. Just my two cents!

PhillyPhotographer Jan 3, 2005 5:35 PM

~Good suggestion. The Bogen does look ideal. Now for the ballhead.Can you give me a suggestion(s) of which ballhead?One that'snot that expensive, but is reliable and will work well with the G5? Thank you both for the replies.~


jawz Jan 3, 2005 6:30 PM

PhillyPhotographer wrote:

~Good suggestion. The Bogen does look ideal. Now for the ballhead. Can you give me a suggestion(s) of which ballhead? One that's not that expensive, but is reliable and will work well with the G5? Thank you both for the replies.~

As I said above, the Manfrotto 486 RC2 would work fine for a light camera such as the G5. It is $60 at B&H. The Manfrotto 488 RC2 is $90. Manfrotto heads are excellent quality for the money. To get significantlty better heads will move you into the $300+ Arca Swiss class of ball head.

I chose the 488 because I have SLRs with some pretty long glass and wanted to be sure that the head woulds hold the extra torque applied from these lenses.

PhillyPhotographer Jan 3, 2005 9:23 PM

~Jawz, I guess the 486 will suit my needs. Is not having the pan axis that big of deal?~


jawz Jan 3, 2005 11:36 PM

A head with independent pan axis is nice, but by no means necessary.

If you are going to shoot panoramas then keeping the camera level is important as you move from one frame to the next. Keeping the camera level can be done with any ball head by being careful. A spirit level attached to the camera's flash shoe would be helpful. Having a head with an independent pan base just makes it easier in that you only have to level the tripod once and then unlock the pan base to rotate the camera from shot to shot.

PhillyPhotographer Jan 4, 2005 10:25 AM



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