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elnino2783 Jun 19, 2009 12:30 PM

Tripod setup with a rented canon 100-400mm lens
Hey everyone, here is my current situation. I will be going on a Hawaiian cruise in August for my honeymoon and in my arsenal of lenses I will have a RENTED canon 100-400mm lens from . I capitalized rented because I want to stress I will not need a super heavy duty tripod for any of my shooting for probably a couple of years to come until I purchase such a lens permanently.

Basically I'm wondering if there are any tripod setups that can handle that lens with a Rebel XT attached that come in under $100. I've been interested in the Slik Sprint but question it's capabilities with this lens, and I know there is a similar Manfrotto that competes with it but I forget it's model number and haven't read too much up on it yet. Also, I am 6', so anything that can at least reach the mid 50" range would be nice.

Any help would be great though, thanks in advance.

JohnG Jun 19, 2009 1:43 PM

What are you planning to shoot with the lens? This is important. The reason it's important is one major benefit of the 100-400 is that it has Image Stabilization.

Also - if you haven't traveled with a tripod before, it adds a LOT of bulk / difficulty to things. It's not so bad if you're in a car and just have the tripod in the back seat/trunk.

One of the reasons I like the 100-400 as a vacation lens is because I DONT have to use a tripod with it (it's primarily a wildlife lens for my purposes).

So, what are you planning on using the lens for?

elnino2783 Jun 19, 2009 2:33 PM

I guess I don't know what my main use will be having never been in Hawaii, but I assume I will be taking shots from the ship itself and doing some excursions where I will appreciate the extra versatility of the lens' zoom range. I don't expect long exposures with the 100-400 (crop factor will help here) but I have a feeling I'll be using a tripod with other lenses and might as well have the capability to put this lens on it.

Other lenses I will have:
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
EF-S 18-55 non-IS (kit lens)
An as of yet to be determined wide angle lens also to be rented from, but considering either a fisheye to defish or plain old wide angle no larger than 77mm diameter.

Oh, and I've done some high elevation sight seeing (not hardcore hiking, but everyone was winded because we weren't used to it) carrying a lot of stuff and occasionally my brother's camera setup so I think I could handle it. I figure the biggest difference here will be heat but I also used to play football in full padding in 90 degree weather full humidity and survived.

elnino2783 Jun 19, 2009 7:09 PM

This looks promising:

Doesn't look perfect as there was 1 major complaint out of 32 total reviews, but someone with the 100-400+40d+grip said it worked for them.

Further review with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xs fitted with a Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro, a battery grip, with a total estimated weight of 14 lbs

Mugmar Jun 20, 2009 8:10 AM

I am not sure about a tripod in your price range, but I know that has some for rent. Might be better this way.

elnino2783 Jun 20, 2009 3:29 PM

Yeah, I guess the other part of my problem is the rental will be for 14 days, and the tripod rental would cost about $85 then. This is pretty much the reason I am going for a tripod $100 or less because I might as well own it if I'm going to pay that price.

Mark1616 Jun 21, 2009 1:14 PM

I agree with John, I really wouldn't want to be travelling with a tripod as there are such limited times that I would want it for normal photography. Tripod work generally is for more time consuming/precise shots and if I were on honeymoon I wouldn't be considering this sort of photography as your other half is likely get really bored.

I personally use a tripod for less than 1% of my shooting for stills but about 90% for video.

My suggestion is save weight, save space, save money and save time while out there and not bother with a tripod.

StevieDgpt Jun 21, 2009 5:13 PM

How about an inexpensive monopod? Or better yet a simple bean bag.

Slap the bean bag on a sturdy surface (hood of car, fence post etc) and shoot all the landscapes you so desire. And bean bags are cheap (or even free if you are the creative type).

elnino2783 Jun 22, 2009 12:36 AM

Ok, so I suppose I've probably underestimated the lens itself. Thanks for all the help everyone. I'll probably consider the monopod option, but it won't really be too high priority.

Thanks again.

elnino2783 Aug 17, 2009 12:08 PM

Just got back from my trip, which was great by the way, and I am mighty impressed with the 100-400mm. You definitely get what you pay for with this lens, and the IS works pretty amazingly well, even in dimly lit situations.

The lens does have it's faults, but I feel they are outweighed by the advantages. The only set of pictures that came out too blurry were shots of the the lava flowing at night in pitch black with only the orange glow of my subject illuminating the area. This turned out to be the one time a tripod or super steady hands (still working on that) would have worked to my advantage. I had made a string tripod for myself, but accidentally made it about 6 inches too short so I was out of luck when it came to trying to shoot at night with the heavier lens.

All in all though, excellent lens. I doubt anyone without high quality professional lenses was able to achieve quality shots that were able to reach the distance required to even frame shots of the lava without them looking like little specs of orange.

I did see the pro shots made by the pro photographers working for the cruise line on the ship and they were nice, all be it that they were only on 4x6 prints being sold in the ship gallery of photos fellow cruisers could buy. The pictures were pretty clear (a selection of about 4 different views) so I can only assume they had tripods and long prime telephotos and were probably close to 100% crops printed onto 4x6 sized paper.

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