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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:33 PM   #1
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Alright so here's the deal. I'm an amateur photographer and I recently ordered the Nikon D200 with the Nikkor 18-200mm lens after thorougly researching everything. This will be my first DSLR. I'm going to be needing a tripod to work with, but I am confused as to what to look for or what kind to get.

I've read up on these forums and deduced that Manfrotto is a good brand and one I would probably be happy with. I've settled that, but now the specifics come in to play.

What kind of tripod legs would be good for a budget of around $200-$350? Suggestions of carbon fiber or aluminum tripods are fine.

Also, what kind of head? I know I'm going to need a ballhead to begin with (going to start with nature photography then move onto sports later). What kind would be ideal? Budget of about $100-200 for that. And for later, what kind of head do I need for sports or portait shots?

Also, this is unrelated, but is the D200 capable of a wireless release system as the D80 is, or is it wire only? thank you for any and all help. If you need more specific info, let me know.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 10:25 PM   #2
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The tripod for me was the most difficult piece of equipment for me to decide on. I wanted to buy new but my price range was about 1/2 of yours and I did not want to buy junk. I just bought a nice used tripod with head off of ebay for about $110 shipped. I bought the Bogen/Manfrotto meant more for video and the profissional but will work fine for me. I will buy a different head later that will better suit my needs. I wanted a tall and sturdy tripod with the geared crank up center, not the usual set up. This tripod alone is about 10 pounds so it is not light. I good place to look at tripods is B & H Photo and your local camera store. My advise is to take your time and do a lot of research and if at all possible, try out the tripod you are interested in buying before you buy. I am sure I will buy another two tripods later. I need one lighter that I can carry with me and a small one for table use. You might want to add up the total weight of your camera, flash, heaviest lens you plan on using and anything else that the tripod will have to support at any one time. The tripod and head should support all this plus have a little extra room just in case.

Allen
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 6:37 AM   #3
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mebareit wrote:
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... with the geared crank up center ...
What use do you have for that? Setting the vertical possition of the camera on a tripod is already the easest direction without the crank-up center post.
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 8:52 AM   #4
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The crank up allows me to look through the camera while I am adjusting the hight. I got use to using these when I was doing video in an ice rink filming skaters. No, it's not required, but if someone wasn't using this feature then the tripod manufacturs wouldn't offer it. I think it might also be a good feature for doing portraits allowing you to adjust the camera for the exact hight while viewing the subject. Another use would be for a very heavy camera set up, i.e. a long telephoto lens. Just my preference, like some will only use a ball head and others find a pan head better to their liking based on their needs and preferences.

Al
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 6:26 PM   #5
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I can offer you a sound piece of advise, this is one of the best tools your going to own next to your D200 and say an 80-200 2.8ED pro lens or any other pro telephoto lens you may invest in down the road, It's kinda sad when you setup your camera on a crap tripod on awindy day and you reach into your camera bag to get something and then when you turn your head your setup has justfallen over and smashed your best lens and camera body, And yes thishappens more oftenthan you might think.

Manfrotto Gitzo both make great tripods and heads, They also have a great guide on there website to help you pickthe right setup for your needs and itwill tell you how much load wieght these setup's can handle.

I use the Manfrotto 055PROB It's a great all around tripod that can handle any DSLR with big heavy lenses and then some, I selected this model because it was the best bang for the buck, andI like my money even more. I paid 200.00CDN. I also do a lot of HDR work that require's me to shoot the same scene using multipletime exposures, and ifyou get any camera shake it's over, Do I love my tripod? Yes and I never look back.Want great picture's get your self a great tripod.

Glen Lastiwka
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 11:40 PM   #6
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thank you all very much for the informative answers! Since I planned on doing some backpacking in the (near) future I decided to go with a carbon fiber, even if it did cost about $100-$150 more I feel the pound or so difference plus how it supposedly has more resiliency (and carries more weight by nearly 2.5lbs). To be more specific I got a 055MF3, still waitin on the shipment to come in though. May be expensive now, but if it lasts a lifetime it will have been worth it some time down the road

Also I hear for nature photography ballheads are the best (or at least real good), so I went ahead and got a 490 Maxi Ball Head with Rapid Connect 4 system. I thought the extra friction control would be beneficial for when I try my hand at sports photography (which I inevitably will).

Did I make good enough choices? Will the ball head work well enough for sports (as opposed to a pan and tilt?). Sure, the extra money may not be worth it to you, but to me, ya get what ya pay for.
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Old Mar 3, 2007, 8:13 AM   #7
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etalyx wrote:
Quote:
thank you all very much for the informative answers! Since I planned on doing some backpacking in the (near) future I decided to go with a carbon fiber, even if it did cost about $100-$150 more I feel the pound or so difference plus how it supposedly has more resiliency (and carries more weight by nearly 2.5lbs). To be more specific I got a 055MF3, still waitin on the shipment to come in though. May be expensive now, but if it lasts a lifetime it will have been worth it some time down the road

Also I hear for nature photography ballheads are the best (or at least real good), so I went ahead and got a 490 Maxi Ball Head with Rapid Connect 4 system. I thought the extra friction control would be beneficial for when I try my hand at sports photography (which I inevitably will).

Did I make good enough choices? Will the ball head work well enough for sports (as opposed to a pan and tilt?). Sure, the extra money may not be worth it to you, but to me, ya get what ya pay for.
Talk about the right stuff!! Yes you did. Now go out and shoot some great picture's and post them in the forums.

Glen Lastiwka
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