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Old Jun 17, 2007, 9:37 AM   #1
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I'm looking for a new tripod to use with my wonderful Olympus E-400. At the moment I have the 14-42 and 40-150 kit lenses, although I hope one day to be able to afford a longer one which will add only a little more weight.

I'm 5'7" (170cm) tall so reckon I'd need a height, without centre column, of around 5' (150cm)

I've been surprised by how few stores stock more than a few models, so I'm limited to looking online which is quite confusing. I've got more than a little cheesed off with making lists of various brands and how they compare. Do I choose 3 section or four sections legs, twist lock or flip lock, and so on. I've managed narrow the field to either Benro or Giottos, which are affordable at my maximum of around £200, although I'd be happy to spend less. I don't mind buying mail order but would prefer a UK seller.

The thing is that I'm quite taken with the idea of carbon fibre because it's lightweight and so more comfortable to carry around all day, but I wonder whether carbon fibre combined with the lightweight camera would be unstable. Physics was never my strong point, so it's probably a silly thought.

I'm also a little bewildered with the maximum weights listed in specifications. I don't know many people who use kits that weigh 8kg even including a head, so isn't it a bit of engineering overkill, or are the manufacturers just being careful?

The other thing I'm finding a bit difficult is the head/legs combination. Will heads only fit onto certain legs because of the top plate? I really like the Benro http://www.benro.cn/Product/2/ph38.html but the site suggests it isn't compatable with their lighter weight legs.

I'd never imagined that buying a tripod could be so complicated.
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 2:10 PM   #2
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hi

weight of tripod wont affect stabilaty too much what you want is a wide spread of legs

im 6 foot 4 and mine as 3 section legs and then a the center section and can get it to a very decent hight with legs a good 3 foot apart, it also has a hook to add camera bag to for a bit more stabilaty.

it was about £30 from argos, yes its cheap but pretty well made with quick release plate, and my oly e-300 is well supported on it, plus if it gets damaged im not gonna cry about buying another, its got plenty of battle scars allready :-)

oh it as quick cam lever type locks on legs, much much better that the twist locks

Gary
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Old Jun 17, 2007, 3:30 PM   #3
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Oly-E-User wrote:
Quote:
...
I'm also a little bewildered with the maximum weights listed in specifications. I don't know many people who use kits that weigh 8kg even including a head, so isn't it a bit of engineering overkill, or are the manufacturers just being careful?
...
Stability is the whole point of using a tripod, and weight adds to the stability. That weight can be in the tripod itself (making it cheaper and nastier to carry) or in weight hung on the tripod. Fill a bag with rocks/dirt/whatever- is-handy and hang it from the hook on the back end of the centerpost or on one of the legs. So even if you camera doesn't weigh much, there is an advantage to having a tripod capable of holding a fair amount of weight.
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Old Jun 18, 2007, 8:49 PM   #4
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Aha, thanks. I knew physics was in there somewhere. I hadn't thought of the angle of the legs.

I've got an old (ancient) aluminium tripod that was fine with a little camera but it doesn't seem very stable with the slightly bigger (and more expensive) Oly so I'm a bit scared to use it on anything but level ground.

I suppose I could hang the camera bag from the hook, as long as it touches the ground it would act as an anchor rather than a pendulum.
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