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Old May 24, 2005, 7:28 PM   #1
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I need a good sturdy tripod that will be used for wildlife shots and macro shots. So it has to be able to get close to the ground please help.

Lonnie
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Old May 24, 2005, 10:09 PM   #2
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How much money are you willing to spend?
How far do you hike for the wildlife shots?
How much weight are you willing to have?
What equipment do you use? Obviously, macro lenses for the macro work, but what about the "wildlife" shots?

All these are interrelated questions. Gitzo makes (in my opinion, and many others) the best tripods out there. Bogen/manfrotto make very good tripods. I wouldn't buy any other brand than those (and I own one of both for different purposes.)

If you use a Point&Shoot or smaller camera, most tripods will work. The smaller cameras don't have much weight, so stablizing them isn't that hard. I still recommend the above brands, but not necessarily the ones I list below (which are more expensive but more specialized.)

If you use a Digital SLR then you have more weight to handle and that means you need a better tripod.

If weight matters and you can spend the money, get a Carbon Fiber tripod (both Manfrotto and Gitzo make them.) They are amazingly stable and much ligher than aluminium. But they are much more expensive. If you use upwards of 400mm f4 lenses for the long stuff, the G1227 is very good and would fit the bill.

If you use an 400m f2.8 or 500mm/600mm lens, then I would say you only have two choices. The G1348 or G1548. Both have prices that would knock your socks off, but the are the best tripods around.

More info about your gear is needed.

Also, don't forget that you'll also have to consider which tripod head you'll use. I recommend a ballhead, not a pan/tilt head. For macro some like slider rails, others dislike them. Either way, I believe they still require a head. For the telephoto work for wildlife either a good ball head in combo with a Wimberley Sidekick or the full Wimberley.

I have a G1348, Arca-Swiss B1G (both purchased used in mint condition cheap) and the full Wimberley. Together I paid over $1,000 for them but now that I've used them I wouldn't go back. They don't limit me in any way, and basically disappear when I'm shooting. I just naturally use them.

Eric
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Old May 24, 2005, 10:47 PM   #3
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I agree with Eric on the choices of a Gitzo or Bogen/Manfrotto lines of tripods. They are both owned by http://www.bogenimaging.com/

IMHO: If your lenses are on the long and heavy side the Wimberlys are expensive but are the way to go.
For more normal lenses choose a good ball head.
And for macro work a set of focusing rails would be very usfull.

Peter.
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Old May 25, 2005, 9:43 AM   #4
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I agree with the Gitzo/Manfroto/Bogen recomondation, though I do like a three axis head - not the pan tilt video head. Personal preference strike again.

If you are on a tight budget, and don't plan on long hikes, keep in mind that the heavier versions of those tripods are much cheaper. Heavier also means more stability (though you can always weigh down the lighter ones with rocks in a bag(s)) and stability is the major reason to use a tripod.

http://www.bythom.com/support.htm is worth reading. It is aimed at pro photographers, but the point that you won't save money by buying a cheap tripod is valid for amatuers as well.
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Old May 25, 2005, 9:53 AM   #5
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BillDrew,
Thanks for posting that link. I usually do when tripod discussions come up, but I forgot this time. I love that one.

I should also say that there are some good, cheaper ball heads, so you don't have to get something as expensive as an Arca Swiss style head. I only got it 'cause I got it used. Bogen makes some ones that while not great are certainly good enough if you're using less than 300mm.

Eric
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Old May 25, 2005, 10:30 AM   #6
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Recently I got the Feisol CF CT3301 tripod. Happy so far with it. It is very light and can easily support my 100-400L along with Markings head. Some guys even using their 500mm F4 on it. But for that I will get 1325.
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Old May 25, 2005, 10:31 AM   #7
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I forgot, I paid $180 plus s&h for it.
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Old May 25, 2005, 5:49 PM   #8
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as far as money $100-$250

hike maybe 1mile

not sure on weight

I use nikon D70 with nikon 80-400 VR and a 60mm micro lens
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Old May 26, 2005, 12:59 PM   #9
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Take a look at www.feisol.com

Well worth the money. If you plan to buy heavier lens in future, then check out Gitzo CF line but they are in $500-$600 range.
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Old May 26, 2005, 2:15 PM   #10
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PeterP wrote:
Quote:
I agree with Eric on the choices of a Gitzo or Bogen/Manfrotto lines of tripods. They are both owned by http://www.bogenimaging.com/

IMHO: If your lenses are on the long and heavy side the Wimberlys are expensive but are the way to go.
For more normal lenses choose a good ball head.
And for macro work a set of focusing rails would be very usfull.

Peter.
i'm afraid they are not owned by bogen imaging they are the distributers in the US though.

they both are owned by a UK holding company Vitec Group PLC

take a good hard look at the manfrottomagfiber 055MF3. at $300 and a massiveamount of versatility it is an outstanding set of legs.







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