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Photography Question 
Frank P. Luongo

Best Camera Tripods

My current tripod is too small. Unless I raise the center column to its max height, it is not at eye level. Without raising the center column (which I would prefer) to have more stability, I find myself bending over too much to look through view finder. And, I'm only 5'6" in height. What do people do who are 6 feet and up?
Anyway, I have been searching online looking at the Bogen/Manfrotto tripod legs and ball heads.
Max heights without center column are 51".65" with column raised.
Prices for legs only range from 150.00 to 500.00. Pan heads run about 100.00. Should I spend 400.00 or so?
Is this a good investment?
I like architecture, which I'm told needs a 3 way panning head.
Hope you can help. Thanks.

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5/17/2005 5:33:00 PM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  I'm 6'4". This tripod works fine for me:

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5/17/2005 7:18:05 PM

Martin Ebbesen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
  Hi Frank,
I'm 189cm and I just got the Giottos MT9170, a great set of legs for about $150. As for a head, well, I'm mainly into nature photography so I decided on a Kirk BH-3 ballhead. But my advice to you would be to bring your camera to a store with a selection of tripods and heads, and see what head best suites you.
Regards, Martin

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5/18/2005 6:27:11 AM

Kevin Ekstrom
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/20/2005
  Try a Calumet tripod. They're great and priced right. You won't go wrong. Also SLIK makes some nice tripods. I own an ABLE 300 DX with a pan head that I purchased for 100.00. I use this tripod every time I go down to the lake or out in the woods. It's very sturdy. I've owned it for years.

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5/21/2005 2:24:11 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
There is nothing wrong with raising your center column when the conditions warrant the extra height. Just be sure not to be touching your camera or tripod during the time the shutter is open ... especially with long exposure times.
Using your timer (or a remote shutter release) will help to eliminate movement due to the decreased level of stability when the center column is raised.
(P.S.: I'm 6' and would rather stoop than raise the center post and worry about remotes or timed releases.)

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5/21/2005 3:33:32 PM

Doug  Elliott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/18/2004
Look into a Bogen 2021n and a 322r head. At B&H, it runs about 254.95. I have had the 2021 legs for 15 years and they are still working. Today, I replaced my 3047 three-way head for the new 322r. 3047 froze at a wedding last week. I will be sending it in for repair. However, since I am out shooting almost every day, I can only say that the Bogen has been a great tripod. I am 5'10" and when the tripod is fully extended without the center post being raised, I have to stand on an apple box to see through the viewfinder. If at this height I have to extend the center, I am using a step stool.
I hope this info helps. Good luck and keep shooting.

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5/21/2005 7:53:32 PM

Lamont G. Weide
  Best is relative. I have more tripods than I need. One reason is that I did not have help when I first bought one, another is that carbon fiber was not available when I started. The "best" tripod is one that you use! I just purchased the Bogen 055MF3 carbon fiber tripod. It is compact, light, and versatile. It is by far the "best" tripod that I have purchased, I can actually carry it! Cost $300 at B&H. I purchased the Bogen 488RC2 ballhead. It is solid - cost about $100. Again, you will get many recommendations - the "best" tripod is the one that fits your needs and that you use. If you spend more on your first one and get it right you won't have to replace it for a long long time:)


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5/24/2005 11:40:10 AM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Yeah, my tripod from Dutch Hill is kind of weighty. But in a pinch I could probably jack up my car with it..:-)


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5/24/2005 12:02:03 PM

Michael Kettler   Frank, I've recently purchased a bogen 3221WN tripod(brand new, tripod only) that I'm looking to get rid of asap. If you are interested in a steal of a deal give me a email:

Thanks, Michael

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5/26/2005 9:48:02 AM

Frank P. Luongo   Thanks to all of you!
I appreciate your comments.
I've learned that I can get a very good tripod for a reasonable price.

I am temted, though, to go for the Bogen tripod and head.
We'll see.
Anyway you guys and gals gave me some direction.

Thanks Again!!

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5/30/2005 3:41:57 PM

Fred Bergman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2005
  Hi, probably late with my answer. Been on vacation. But I have a Bogen 3021pro, with a 3029 head. Cost less than 200 dollars. I stand 6' 4" Fully extended, it is above my eye level. It is a very sturdy tripod, that you can remove the center post, and put it in horizontal, if you do any macro work this is a nice feature. My only change I would make is a different head. The 3029 is a 3 way, but no quick release, for a few dollars more, the 3030 has the quick release platform, or look for a ball head. That is going to be my next head. I ordered mine from B&H photo, which has prices cheaper than anything I can find locally. Good luck with your choice.

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6/1/2005 5:38:52 PM

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