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Old Nov 12, 2010, 2:10 AM   #21
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Wow -- this is really helpful information. I'm glad I went with the CF. I do cross-country skiing, sometimes in the backcountry. Also, I am anything but slow and deliberate. I'm a 6'2", hamfingered klutz.

I ended up buying the CF, but easily could have gone with aluminum. I feel totally nuts for spending that much on a tripod, but I guess it's an investment. And your email helps me see that it was probably a good one. Although it's only .5 pound different, it adds up when you're hiking and skiing. I always try and keep my gear light. What do you think?

Last edited by yohy; Nov 12, 2010 at 6:37 AM. Reason: tightening
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 2:18 AM   #22
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wont freeze, and it is small and compact.
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 6:36 AM   #23
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wont freeze, and it is small and compact.
This one is $398, not transfunctional (does not convert to monopod), but more compact:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._C_Series.html
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 8:09 PM   #24
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You will be very glad you saved the weight. I ended up saving up for an expensive tripod but mainly because I had already used several other tripods and come to some conclusions about leg locks and tripod heads. I don't expect to have to replace mine for many years, if ever. The tripod head that came with your tripod will be nice for landscape stuff - it looks like it has a separate control for panning as well as the ball-head adjustment. That's very handy.

Have fun with the new tripod!
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 8:59 PM   #25
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You will be very glad you saved the weight. I ended up saving up for an expensive tripod but mainly because I had already used several other tripods and come to some conclusions about leg locks and tripod heads. I don't expect to have to replace mine for many years, if ever. The tripod head that came with your tripod will be nice for landscape stuff - it looks like it has a separate control for panning as well as the ball-head adjustment. That's very handy.

Have fun with the new tripod!
Thanks!

Is there something that it won't be good for?
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Old Nov 13, 2010, 8:13 PM   #26
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The ball head with separate panning control is definitely preferable to having a ball head without it - for any application. It's very convenient to just use the pan control to move the head from side to side, without having to release the tension on the ball. While you can live without it, it's well worth having. Also very useful for motor sports or anything where you want to pan from side to side easily.

Some people prefer a pan/tilt head over the ball head, but I found them way too fiddly for me. I'd get one control right, adjust the next one and then have to go back and fine-tune the first one again. The ball head is quick - loosen the tension, put it where you want and then tighten the tension again. But you do have to get used to having the camera/lens essentially free in your hand when the tension is off the ball.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 10:55 PM   #27
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About 18 months ago I upgraded tripods to the Benro Travel Angel - I forget the model number, but its the aluminum one, specifically because it fit into my carry on luggage - paid $150 for it. I like it a lot, however - the ballhead that came with mine was absolutely worthless. I think I read that they have updated the ballhead. I wound up getting an Acratech GP, mainly because I do stitched panoramas, and wanted to be able to pan on a level plane easily and it weighed in at 1 pound which made it easy for traveling. To do this it takes having the panning base above the ball rather than beneath it (or leveling the tripod perfectly - which just takes too much time with the leg adjustments). The GP allows for this as you can invert the ballhead. I must admit that I busted my budget on the ballhead, however leveling the tripod / ballhead combination is effortless, simple and quick, and I pan level every time now (10 second operation). My wife looked at the bill for the ballhead and told me that this better be gold plated and encrusted with emeralds. When it came, I got the dirty look - no gold, no emeralds - but she declared that it looks like an astronomical instrument, end of the subject.

I now have a second tripod (found a older used one - as size did not matter for it) for my backup body and trying NOT to spend on another GP. The saving grace is I want to mount a nodal ninja on it - which has its own panning base, so I should be able to use any ballhead - however I do want to keep everything arca swiss comparable on the base and quick release plates.

... hope that helps.

Last edited by interested_observer; Nov 15, 2010 at 11:12 PM.
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Old Nov 17, 2010, 12:35 AM   #28
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About 18 months ago I upgraded tripods to the Benro Travel Angel - I forget the model number, but its the aluminum one, specifically because it fit into my carry on luggage - paid $150 for it. I like it a lot, however - the ballhead that came with mine was absolutely worthless. I think I read that they have updated the ballhead. I wound up getting an Acratech GP, mainly because I do stitched panoramas, and wanted to be able to pan on a level plane easily and it weighed in at 1 pound which made it easy for traveling. To do this it takes having the panning base above the ball rather than beneath it (or leveling the tripod perfectly - which just takes too much time with the leg adjustments). The GP allows for this as you can invert the ballhead. I must admit that I busted my budget on the ballhead, however leveling the tripod / ballhead combination is effortless, simple and quick, and I pan level every time now (10 second operation). My wife looked at the bill for the ballhead and told me that this better be gold plated and encrusted with emeralds. When it came, I got the dirty look - no gold, no emeralds - but she declared that it looks like an astronomical instrument, end of the subject.

I now have a second tripod (found a older used one - as size did not matter for it) for my backup body and trying NOT to spend on another GP. The saving grace is I want to mount a nodal ninja on it - which has its own panning base, so I should be able to use any ballhead - however I do want to keep everything arca swiss comparable on the base and quick release plates.

... hope that helps.
A little over my head, but yes it does help. Thanks.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 11:13 AM   #29
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The whole leveling concept is difficult to visualize let alone read about. In this case a picture (or video) is worthwhile. Here is a quick video that shows the difference (at the 40 second mark).
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 11:23 PM   #30
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I must admit that I busted my budget on the ballhead,
I've been doing a lot of research and reading of opinions on tripods from all kinds of sources from professional photographers to amateur forums. One common thread that I have seen over and over from people who speak from experience is that if you go into researching tripods with no knowledge starting out and you DON'T blow your intial budget you are probably going to regret it later. Most of these people speak about the process of buying budget tripods and then later spending the money to upgrade. They would have saved a lot of money if they would have bought quality gear to begin with.

I'm realizing now that my best option is probably just going to be to save up more money to get something that I will be happy with long term. For me that's gonna mean waiting longer than I wanted to but it will pay off in the end. In the meantime I'll be watching craigslist for good deals.
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