CAMERA TRIPOD REVIEW. CAMERA TRIPOD
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Camera Tripod Review
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Looking for a tripod?
My quest for a good-cheap-flexible-transportable tripod ended with the purchase of Manfrotto Bogen 190XPROB Tripod Legs and 486RC2 Ballhead. It cost me close to $200.
It is extremely stable for my Canon 40D. The LiveView screen shows very little shake when I am trying to adjust the focus when working on macro shots. My old tripod would never let me focus because it was too jittery.
The center column goes from vertical to horizontal in a snap. No need to remove the column or special tools.
It lets me shoot at almost ground level. The legs fold flat, the ball head adds some height.
The legs have quick release levers, much better than those twist to tighten system. The tripod is very stable with single extension, when both the sections are extended the legs do have a flex. So when it is windy I would not recommend full extension.
The ballhead locks pretty tight, even when the camera is facing at an angle. Ballheads are better than the pan handle heads, it lets you move the camera freely in any direction yet have enough tension to stabilize the shots. My old tripod had the pan handle head; the handle would always poke me in the chest while taking shots. I had to always remember to put the handle in the same direction as the lens.
The package weighs little over 3lbs, and is close to 25" when closed. The folded length is the only thing I don't like. I don't think I will take it when I go to India, but for trips with US, it will travel with me. Definitely can be carried during hikes. It has rubber grips on two of its legs.
I don't think you can get everything in a single tripod, but this is the closest I could get to my needs.
It has been almost an year now: The tripod went to India with me last year. It is relatively light weight, yet has a strong build; it survived the plane ride to India and back. It has been with me on hiking trips, where the camera (40D / 50D) was mounted on the ballhead, and the tripd slung over the shoulder (rifle style); the ball head still works great.
Serious tripod for a serious compact camera?
New Slik Sprint Pro II with Canon G9 mounted compared to Manfrotto 190MF3 with Canon 20D.
the Sprint Pro is actually taller than the 190MF3.... even with a tall ballhead like the Markins mounted to the Manfrotto. So more than tall enough for serious use... this is no mini/micro pod that's for sure
I took the main part of the extension column off and swapped the Slik quick release mini ballhead with a Giottos MH 1004 micro ball head, (not that the Slik head was bad just a slight bit of overkill for a 330 gram compact camera)
I can screw mount and unmount the G9 in less than 3 seconds so lack of quick release is not a big issue.
Between swapping the ballhead and dropping the main extension column this shaved a couple hundred grams off the weight AND as a bonus alows the column to be inverted and stored between the legs making the whole unit a measly 41cm long... even shorter than the Manfrotto 785B (Maxi Modo)
At 760 g it is significantly lighter than the Manfroto 758B and lighter than even almost all quality full sized carbon fiber tripods designed for compact cameras (yes... of course carbon fiber dampens vibrations better than aluminium but ... at 1/3 the price of the cheapest equivalent carbon fiber tripod? sure, I can live with that)
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