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Photography Question 
Nilesh J. Bhange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/1/2006

Quality Tripod?

I am currently using following equipments:

Canon EOS-400D Rebel XTi

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

I need a lightweight, compact & quality tripod with a facility to shoot by bending center column horizontally.

What are the options with reasonable price?

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9/3/2009 2:40:34 AM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Hello Nilesh,
I have the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 tripod and it runs a little over $100 and is a durable & sturdy tripod. The center column does come out but not easily but I bet the newer ones have made changes for this.
The 3021 is a bit heavy and also has 3 sectioned legs which doesn't collapse down as much as a 4 sectioned ones do. Since I do a lot of hiking and I prefer to carry my tripod with me everywhere, I recently bought the Bogen/Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod w/Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead. The 190CX carbon fiber is very light and this one runs about $325. It has 4 section legs and it collapses down and fits nicely on 2 of my Lowepro backpacks. It also has an easy means to position the center column. I highly recommend this tripod and I would only consider a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod over it.
The Gitzo carbon fiber tripods are very nice but most of them are $600 and up. Really Right Stuff also makes great ballheads but they are pricey as well. You can get a good Bogen/Manfrotto ballhead for little over $100 . I have the Manfrotto 322RC2 Pistol grip head which works well for my small lenses but for my 70-200 & 100-400mm lens, it droops. Its about $125
The 468MGRC2 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead is very sturdy and easy to manuever and does well with my long lenses and after a recent price drop is about $250. Wimberly also makes incredible heads for long lenses but these are also $600+

My Ideal setup would be the Gitzo 3541GT and its about $800 with a BH-55 Really Right Stuff ballhead for about $500 -
total = $1300

My 190CXPRO4 carbon fiber tripod & 468MGRC ballhead - total = $575

& the 3021 w/322RC2 pistol grip head - total = $250

My friend uses a Benbo tripod that is lightweight & flexible positioned center column, so you may look at those & also Induro is another less expensive line.

Tripods are great, they allow you so many more options for shooting and are essential for landscape, macro & night photography. I believe that one thing that seperates a pro from an amatuer, is that the pro will carry their tripod with them everywhere. - my .02 :)

Hope this helps,

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9/3/2009 2:36:36 PM

Nilesh J. Bhange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/1/2006
  Thanks a lot Carlton for such detailed information & yes I agree about pros with tripod:)

These prices are a little high for me. Can you comment on MANFROTTO 190XPROB TRIPOD WITH 486RC2 COMPACT BALL HEAD ?

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9/3/2009 9:12:32 PM

Tareq M. Alhamrani
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
  Manfrotto 055XProB + 486RC2
Manfrotto 190XProB + same above head

Manfrotto 190CX or any carbon fiber tripod.

I have 190XProB + 804RC2, but last 2 years [since 2007] I bought Gitzo tripods [I have 4 different series of Gitzo now] and I never look back to Manfrotto, I use it with RRS BH-55 and I have also Markins Q3T.
I spent on Photography about over $80,000 since 2006 with top equipment mostly and still I am not that good or talented photographer.

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9/4/2009 7:01:36 PM

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