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Old Jul 18, 2010, 7:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
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Default ... a second set of legs

About a year ago, I picked up a new tripod (travel) and a ball head after my $7.11 evilbay special finally bit the dust after several years of use. It was the perfect choice and has worked out very well (sized to fit into my carry on luggage) (took a fair amount of research too). About the same time (April) I upgraded to a Pentax K20 keeping my K100.
Now as I use my K20, I have found that there are other opportunities to use the second body, and usually entail needing a tripod too, since its in the evening. So - I launched the quest. Since I already had a good travel setup, I went in search of a larger, heavier one (size and weight were of no issue) - that was relatively inexpensive - that, I could just toss in my truck's back seat.

Several weeks ago, I found one locally, an older Manfrotto 3031 tripod with a 486RC2 ballhead - all in excellent condition for a great price. I want to use this unit to mount my Nodal Ninja 3 on and use the K100 for multiple row stitching. On my current setup - I use an Acratech ballhead - which is Arca Swiss compatible. I am finding that the Manfrotto RC2 clamp and plate really takes 2 hands to disengage the safety and flip the lever, detaching the Pano Head - however need a third hand to hold the pano head from falling. So, now I am looking for an Arca Swiss compatible clamp and plate that will replace the Manfrotto RC2 clamp and plate system (keeping the ballhead - just unscrewing the RC2 clamp assembly and screwing on the AS clamp).

It really is amazing the usability differences between the two systems, and the preferences one has acquired for one over the other. Anyway, I have a line on a clamp and plate set that is within budget. Just waiting on the physical dimensions of the unit to be sent, so as to be perfectly sure as to how all of this is going to go together.

Between evilbay and craigslist, I found this used tripod. Its amazing the price used tripods command these days. A good set I am finding maintains its value relatively well.

Edit - Just an aside - last weekend I drove up to Flagstaff to drop number one son off at school and stopped at Montezuma's castle, a 1,000 year old indian cliff dwelling, along the way. Here is about 24 of 36 shots stitched together (hand held - I sort of shot an oval area that was then cropped) using a 55-300 at (the camera says) 97.55mm. I actually have a better one from a FA31 that was a 5 shot bracket - so I stacked them in to an HDR shot. Other than stitching, untouched - but I think I need to do a couple of minor adjustments.....

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Last edited by interested_observer; Jul 18, 2010 at 8:01 PM.
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