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Photography Question 
Kristi Eckberg
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/22/2003
 

looking for taller tripod


Anyone know where to get a really tall tripod or can I get extenders for mine?
There have been a couple shoots where I have had tall people and nowhere for me to get above them and needed a tripod for low light. Plus I'm always having to bend lower even with mine fully extended. you would think they would make them to extend a bit higher for taller people.
Thanks!


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7/8/2006 11:15:49 PM

 
Stephen J. Innes  
 
  Aroooooo
Aroooooo
400mm, image stabiliser thing to counter my shaking and a reasonably clear night in Ayrshire!
© Stephen J. Innes
Canon EOS 20D Digi...
 
 
G'Day Kristi - love the "collage"! From your gallery it looks like you prefer to move quickly so maybe tripods are a secondary bit o'kit for your main photography!

Tripods are funny things. Years ago I had a rickety thing with three flick-clips per leg which took forever to get set up.. when fully extended the thing was absolutely terrible - wobbled like mad and had a wobbly, crank-up centre column which made the wobbles even worse. A passing fly would upset a 10-second exposure type thing. I ended up getting a Manfrotto 055 with 029 head - well extinct I believe as they've moved on to better bits but the ensemble is so tall (I'm about 5' 6" and the whole thing goes to about 6' tops)I have a bit of extra height when it's fully up. A test - when fully sorted I had to stand on my camera case to get up to the eyepiece!

The quick release plate setup allows for me to have a few spare so my old Rolleiflex T 3.5 with bigger screw fitting has its own plate for quick change and no fumbling with stupid screw things while the photo opportunity fades right in front of me.. argh.

The Manfrotto has only two flick clips per leg and as such is much quicker to deploy. As well as that it is very sturdy and gives good stability even in windy-ish weather. I never use its pull-up centre column as I don't need to and anyway find the further the camera goes up with one of these extension things, the more I risk camera shake as it's further from the tripod's centre of gravity type thing.

I doubt a clip-on or screw-on extension for your existing 'pod would help much so you're probably going to need a good, solid and stable tripod that extends higher than you might need just to cater for a bit of excess height should you need it - yet be light and portable enough so you can get about with it! I believe you get good quality carbon-fibre type ones these days and are probably pricey but you gets what you pays for. I'm very happy with the old Manfrotto but it is a bit heavy and unwieldy. I use a Tamron monopod with lovely foam handle for when out and about. It makes a great walking stick too!

Given you definitely know what you're looking for, maybe a quick trip to the tripod shop is in order - I'd recommend avoid pistol grip things and certainly a quick release plate as a priority. This setup has a separate bit you screw into the camera base and you attach the camera to the tripod head by way of a flick clip - be careful it's seated before you let go of the camera and be sure not to lose it! Spares are a good idea if you have more than one camera or a lens with its own tripod mount - that way it's quicker to attach things to the tripod so you get that elusive beauty! Some folks go for spirit levels all over the thing but that seems to be a gimmick to me as any SLR user will instinctively know when the vertical or horizontal is off kilter just by looking at the image.

All the best! It'd be cool to see your results with the new baby!

S

PS.. why not shut up.. attached is a picture of the full moon done on the sturdy-ish tripod.. a bit enlarged and contrast-up, brightness down in Photoshop but pretty much unaltered otherwise..


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7/9/2006 4:25:23 AM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Kristi, I have been using the Bogen-Manfrotto 3021-B-pro tripod with the 3047 3-way pan head for one year and really like it. I'm a little over 6' tall and I can look through the viewfinder without bending over when the legs are fully extended. I don't have to extend the center post at all, which adds to the tripod's stability. best of all was the price--$138 for the tripod and $83 for the head.

John


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7/9/2006 6:36:49 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
Good day,
also for in studio portrait work you could use a Salon such as the one I have posted ( which is also in my CD on Building a home studio)- I love them for thier versatility - 7 feet tall & a arm that circles 360 degrees .

heres a link for one one ebay now:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=006&item=160005286415&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

I do hope this helps,
Debby


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7/9/2006 8:37:08 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
  Salon Tower
Salon Tower
Salon tower being used - not at it's tallest
© Debby A. Tabb
Canon EOS 20D Digi...
 
  Salon Tower
Salon Tower
Salon tower being used at it's lowest.

**How ever these are not something that you can trasport alot.
it was a pill trasporting to a home for shots for my Cd.

© Debby A. Tabb
Canon EOS 20D Digi...

 
 
Good day,
also for in studio portrait work you could use a Salon such as the one I have posted ( which is also in my CD on Building a home studio)- I love them for thier versatility - 7 feet tall & a arm that circles 360 degrees .

heres a link for one one ebay now:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=006&item=160005286415&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

I do hope this helps,
Debby


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7/9/2006 8:37:50 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  The thing with tripods, Kristi, is that one day some photographers will open a closet door and about a dozen of them in various sizes, shapes and accessories, will tumble out along with about 18 gadget bags and two boxes of filters that don't fit any of their lenses any more.

Salon stands are mainly used to support large format view cameras. If you shoot with one of those you can always add a bracket for a smaller format, but generally they're bulky to work with, even counter-balanced, they remove spontanaiety from your ability to shoot fast and aren't very portable.

The Manfrottos are good. My own preference is Gitzo. Both are pricey but tripods are an investment in the quality of your work and future photography. One should last your career or at least just serve to supplement a smaller more portable rig like a monopod for travel and a more portable tripod that will attach to something like your gear bag.

The legs on my Gitzo Studex will go up to about 9 feet and the support is quite solid even with a view camera riding on a ball head and quick release. I have a Gitzo monopod and a Gitzo Reporter, both with Linhof Quick Releases and Profi ball heads. It seems I've had them forever, at least 20-25 years, used them daily and never had any maintenance issues with either one other than a worn rubber foot. B&H in New York has the best prices on Gitzo, but I recommend going to their web site to see what's offered. Find the Gitzo link along with Manfrotto's at http://www.bogenimaging.us/

BTW, once in awhile you can find a used Gitzo although they're a bit difficult to come by because people tend to hang on to them forever. There's a good reason for that. But in the meantime, don't rush your decision, look around, check available models with features you want and buy a headless tripod unless you really need and want the head they're offering with it. Then pick out a head you like, drop the dime and get quality and something you think will last into your photographic future and it probably will.

Take it light.
Mark


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7/9/2006 9:53:49 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  I have not put out theexpence of a bracket- I use the same ball grip I use on my location tri pods.
I do not find that it hinders how fast I shoot at all.
and have felt it has been a real addition to my studio.
hope this helps,


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7/9/2006 10:53:34 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Well Deb, of COURSE it's a "real addition" to your shooting room. Look at the size of the thing compared to the room !!! LOL !! Looks pret-ty 'pro-fessionale' though. Very stylish too, particularly if you were to just mount a view camera on whatever bracket you're using. ;>)
M.


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7/10/2006 7:37:46 PM

 
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