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Old Aug 5, 2004, 6:32 PM   #1
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I was considering to buy the SLIK AF2100 to photograph wildlife (plants of insects) and also sceneries, landscapes, and travelling snapshots

The AF2100 is light weight, small and very fast ball head. I would like to read some comment of people who uses this ball head and tell me if it is wonderful as I think or there is many things to think about

My alternative was a pan/tilt/QR head, that is the Bogen Manfrotto 3437, but I am more for the AF2100 when I saw it on the web (no shop have it here in Malta)



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Old Aug 5, 2004, 9:07 PM   #2
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first of all you have to decide how serious your going to get when using a tripod and when it comes to work like macro and such.

legs- a much better design for the money is the manfrotto 3001pro. fairly reasonable weight and monumenally higher versatility then with the slik legs you were looking at. the major improvement is the center post. it can go bo the vertical and lateral allowing for easier closeup images to be framed and produced

head- manfrotto also makes a far superior pistol grip type ball head whichis easier to control and considerably more compact and practical in height then the one you posted. the lateral grip on low makes it easier to manouver you camera. also in low it balances better. it can be set to high vertical and low vertical easily

http://www.bogenimaging.com

http://www.manfrotto.com in the EU











the versatilty in this combination will more then offset the prices

head- $99

legs- $123

prices quoted from B&H photo. for a qualty tripod setup it is very reasonable

these are products that work and perform.they don't end up taking up room in your closet due to poor design and lack of use. you get what you pay for.

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Old Aug 6, 2004, 4:23 AM   #3
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I already have the Slik Sprint Pro which for now I am happy with its legsand works fine in wild rough terrain.


Regards the ball head I have mixed opinions between AF2100 vs 322RC2. Some recommends the Slik and some the Manfrotto!.

I am trying to image both of themin action in my mindand the manfrotto is actually more easy to manouvre because there is more roll control (vertical plane)in your hand if you grip the manfrotto (like the gears of a motorcycle)rather then if you grip the Slik (pistol type).

What I am concerned is the shadow that the manfrotto will have on the plants / macro since it occupies a larger surface area. The Slik pistol is more compact. I will be photoing plants with the sun at my back, and at a very short distance from the object, the shadow is considerable and annoying. They also say that the grip release press button is (much ? ) more tough in the Manfrotto so it is more tiresome to the hand.


On the other hand the manfrotto is a much later design and maybe it is better quality.



Another thing - I will be using a small focusing rail and I do not know which is suited the best for this addon equipment.




More feedback is much appreciated.





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Old Aug 6, 2004, 11:29 PM   #4
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personally i would just invest in a reasonably good normal type ball head to begin with. thy're not cheap though.i'm not a fan of trigger types and possible creep. the bigger the ball surface area the less chance of creep. larger braking surface.

the manfrotto has a slightly larger ball. also it can be mounted two different ways. it also has tension adjustment

as far as lighting and shadow at macro/close up distances:

the shadow from back of the camera should not be an issue. because if you do see the shadow from the grip you will most definately see it from the camera, strobe(s) tripod and you. that makes it a fair none issue. that means you didn't set up for the shot right as far as lighting. macro is a different kind of shooting. its as bad if not worse then portrait work. if your getting into focus rails and such you will start to think of light control. that is strobe and reflectors and such.

if you want to see rails. go to http://www.reallyrightstuff.com and they will scare the stuff out of you. i've been dealing with them for about 8 years now and they are responsable for parting a good piece of my GNP for precision machined gear. i have their Ball head ordered for the last 4 months. finally getting it next week.



also what camera are you using?

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Old Aug 7, 2004, 4:30 PM   #5
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Thanks again for the reply.



I already have a macro focusing rail from Manfrotto (3419 if I remember) and so i do not want to look at more rails to get enchanted and spend more money !!



I have an A80 plus add-on filters and macro lenses. I have Nikon 4T which I find superb, andnow wanted to add more macro power by

1)buy a +10 Macro lens (Eg Tiffen, BW, Hoya ??which is the best??)

or

2) buy another Nikon #4T



I am leaning more to the Manfrotto action Grip, but still not 100% sure. have you usedBOTH Manfrotto 322RC2 and Slik Af2100 and so your comments are not down to earth hands on experience ?



www.maltawildplants.com
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Old Aug 7, 2004, 7:59 PM   #6
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my setups are as follows

1 gitzo cf 2227 w/ a markins Q ball m10 ball head





1 manfrotto 3021pro w/ RRS BH-55 ball head (at least in about 3 days after a 4 month wait).



the gitzo setup is for travel. light and stiff for its build and the markins is right up there with arca-swiss and RRS.

cameras: canon EOS-1Ds, Minolta A1, and a Olympus 5050z in a UW housing. along with these digital wonders still shoot film with various nikon and olympus cameras. oh yeah a few lenses too.

i've been shooting since 1976



you have an outstanding site there.

Hoya and B+W. but hoya will do the job well for generally less $

very simply the build, design, and functionof the manfrotto is of a much higher calibre then the the slik hands down





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