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Old Jun 24, 2011, 7:08 AM   #1
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Default High tripod +head suitable for tele lens 500mm +

I am not new to photographing but new to tripods and need something decent. I have light gear with reach
- canon 60D (1.6 crop factor)
- sigma 50-500mm with OS, concidering the 1.6 crop factor a 80-800mm equivalent
- I am thinking about increasing reach with a 1.4 tele converter (because I heared 2X converters degrade quality too much)

Tripods are rated in weight or in usable tele reach. With long tele reach vibrations, creep, steadiness and even wind become important. I tried a very cheap tripod and all images were blurred by motion. How much quality / money is usefull?

I need a tall tripod
- I need incidentally to be able to just shoot over a 6"6 high obstacle
- I am 6"7 myself

I will both shoot objects at full tele reach that do not sit still long (like birds) and also low light shooting with shutter speeds of 1/60th up to a few seconds. I would like to be able to make multiple photo's if possible (My camera can handle about 5 a second).

For tripod legs I saw the Gitzo GT3531XLS http://www.gitzo.com/product/72038.7...pod_extra_Long
6"6 (198cm) tall and Rated suitable for "DSLR with with 300mm up to 500mm lenses"

For a head I saw the:
Gitzo GH3780QR http://www.gitzo.com/product/72038.7..._Quick_Release
and the
Markins Q20 (much more expensive over here) http://www.markins.com/2.0/eng/produ...eads/q20l.html

Completed by a manfrotto leveling plate.

This stuff is very expensive, I have nowhere to try it out and financially I cannot afford mistakes buying wrong gear at those prices. Is this adquate, not enough or overkill?

Last edited by photoaddiction; Jun 24, 2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 9:57 AM   #2
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Your link points to the GT3541xls not the gt3531lsv, however the gt3541xls is the tripod I recently switched too.
See that thread here: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...ll-head-2.html

I do use heavier lenses like the ef500 f/4, those work much better on a gimbal mount like the wimberley..
For more normal lenses I picked the RRS BH-55 head over the ones from gitzo, kirk, foba.

The cost does rise quickly, don't forget lens plates and camera brackets.
You need a lens plate for every lens that has a tripod collar and a bracket for for every camera you want to use with the head.
L-brackets run 129$ each, lens plates around 55$ each.

For me my initial purchase was the gitzo gt3541xls, RRS bh-55 head with clamp, 3 lens plates, 2 L brackets, Gitzo tripod strap, and Gitzo series 3 tripod transport bag.
Final total hovered close to the 2K$ mark after the government added their cut to the costs.

Finding a tall tripod was not easy, this Gitzo was one of the few I found that was really tall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photoaddiction View Post
I need a tall tripod
- I need incidentally to be able to just shoot over a 6"6 high obstacle
- I am 6"7 myself

For tripod legs I saw the Gitzo GT3531LSV http://www.gitzo.com/product/72038.7...pod_extra_Long
6"6 (198cm) tall and Rated suitable for "DSLR with with 300mm up to 500mm lenses"
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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I corrected the gitzo code to the GT3541xls.

Do you use a crop lens or extender on the ef500 f/4 and do you get it stable at slow shutter speeds?

I read that gimballs including the wimbley were harder to fixate for time lapse and remote shutter release. How does the wimbley handle tiny lenses? Might be a bit off balance if I mount the body to a wimbley.

I did not thik of the basalt head since over here the Gitzo GH3780QR is the same price as the basalt and the basalt does not have a friction setting. Which I hope might help precent my equipment flopping down at some point in future. The RRS BH-55 seems heavier than the markins q20 and I could not find an advantage over the Markins q20 and price seems higher.

I checked the lens and camera plates. Gitzo plates are a littler than markins but it adds up quickly.

I too did not find another good tall tripod. I got an address for professional tropods for the film industry but they are much heavier and much more expensive than the Gitzo.

I did not think about a shoulder strap or bag but I think one of those is also needed. Shoulder strap GC5210 might work, the tallest GC75X19A0 bag at 75cm seems too short to leave a head attached to the tripod in it. Is it?
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Gitzo GC5210 is the strap I picked up

This is the travel bag I selected http://vistek.ca/store/BagsCases/238...ag-padded.aspx
It just fits the gt3541xls with the rrs bh-55 & clamp in the padded pouch that came with the rrs head.
It is good for packing and protecting the tripod for travel, not so good for carrying it in the bush.

I agree I did not like the basalt stuff at all. Markins is not very common around here, so I have never seen one.

Gimbal heads are designed for long heavy lenses, they are not very good for anything smaller. They work very well for tracking things like birds in flight.
Never tried time-lapse with them.

I use full frame bodies, and yes I have tried using 1,4x and 2x TC's with them (A wimberley sidekick) seemed to work fine.

Though I have been downsizing on my equipment lately to reduce weight. The 500 f/4 & sidekick have been sold off.
Biggest lens I currently have is a 300 f/2.8 and the matched TC's.
Might add a 100-400 L, seems like a very nice lens.
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 12:20 PM   #5
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Gitzo gt5210 is the strap I picked up

This is the travel bag I selected http://vistek.ca/store/BagsCases/238...ag-padded.aspx
It just fits the gt3541xls with the rrs bh-55 & clamp in the padded pouch that came with the rrs head.
It is good for packing and protecting the tripod for travel, not so good for carrying it in the bush.

I agree I did not like the basalt stuff at all. Markins is not very common around here, so I have never seen one.

Gimbal heads are designed for long heavy lenses, they are not very good for anything smaller. They work very well for tracking things like birds in flight.
Never tried time-lapse with them.

I use full frame bodies, and yes I have tried using 1,4x and 2x TC's with them (A wimberley sidekick) seemed to work fine.

Though I have been downsizing on my equipment lately to reduce weight. The 500 f/4 & sidekick have been sold off.
Biggest lens I currently have is a 300 f/2.8 and the matched TC's.
Might add a 100-400 L, seems like a very nice lens.
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 2:02 PM   #6
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I have seen none of the stuff talked about in this thread so I need good advice. Buying something wrong is way too expensive at those prices.
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