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Moving on to Tripods (attention Scott Merryfield) (1 Viewer)

ManW_TheUncool

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Didn't actually use the PD travel tripod out in San Diego... though I did find it fairly luggable in its carrying case attached to one side of my old Kata sling bag (via its unique clips) -- it ends up more or less on the bottom side (as needed) when the bag is slung either behind or besides me... and seems to adhere well w/out flopping about...

Of course, I also don't usually lug any big glass in that sling bag anymore... and the Z6 is also considerably smaller/lighter than D800...

_Man_
 

Mike Frezon

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I'm familiar with Manfrotto. We have a couple video camera tripods that we use at my work. We also have some Sachtler sticks.

I'm not going to break the bank on this purchase. But I am now kicking myself for not taking part in that kickstarter for that Peak Design travel tripod months ago.

I actually got my hands on one of those (aluminum version) this weekend. It is a pretty neat (yet sturdy) little package.

I see PD is doing another kickstarter on another updated version of their design--which will be available in March. I'm not sure I want to spend as much as $289 though. Correction. I KNOW I don't want to spend $349 on a tripod.
 

Scott Merryfield

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It's just not a "system" in the sense that the Arca is.
Thanks for the clarification, John. I am not intimately aware of all their products. My first tripod was a Manfrotto with one of their ball heads, and I absolutely hated their mounting plate. When I upgraded to a better tripod, I moved on to a ball head that supported Arca Swiss plates and was much happier. I have been using AS ever since.
 

Mike Frezon

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Okay. To start my research, I re-read this entire thread. My head is spinning. :D

One thing of note. A tripod that was recommended to Johnny Angell (the Vanguard 263) is back down to $150 on Amazon.

So, for the amount of use I give a tripod--which isn't much--that seems like about the pricepoint I would want to go. I'd have some flexibility...but I feel my cheapo unit served me well for what I needed. Like Johnny, I feel like anything at this level would be a huge step up.

Although...watching the video on Amazon for this model...I really doubt I need the flexibility that the leg angels and moveable center column provide. I might be paying for design stuff I don't need.

Do you guys think this is still a decent unit--given the pricepoint?

I also know someone who could get me a deal on the Peak Design travel tripod (but it would still cost me about $280. Twice the price of this tripod).

I don't do a lot of actual travel so the small compact size is not crucial. I'd prefer a good, solid build. Quick release has never been a big concern of mine...as long as I can get the camera on/off easily. As it is I already have to remove my R-strap from the plate attachment hole when I go to use the tripod.

This is still the beginning of my research. I have to still investigate whatever Manfrotto units are within my desired pricerange/features/etc.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks for the clarification, John. I am not intimately aware of all their products. My first tripod was a Manfrotto with one of their ball heads, and I absolutely hated their mounting plate. When I upgraded to a better tripod, I moved on to a ball head that supported Arca Swiss plates and was much happier. I have been using AS ever since.

Yeah, Manfrotto's basic RC2 definitely isn't great... although I've used it (sparingly) for a long time as I just didn't like using tripods for the longest time anyway (mostly because of what and how I tended to shoot). But of course, John's right they're really kinda all over the place w/ their QR models, except maybe for video heads I guess...

Honestly, I'm not that fond of Manfrotto myself, but now, I guess I'm sorta invested in their video solution(s)... and just switched to an Arca adapter for their Nitrotech N8 head for better compatibility -- thanks, Sam, for the rec. And along w/ acquiring the new PD travel tripod, I guess I'm definitely migrating to Arca... although even that travel tripod can accommodate a dual Arca-RC2 plate, which I bought (of PD's own design) as part of my transition.

Manfrotto's RC2 (and similar) seems quicker and probably simpler to use though, which is probably what most casual users want... at least compared to using twist knobs to tighten down an Arca plate mount... though of course, the latter is much more stable (at least when use right anyway).

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I'd prefer a good, solid build. Quick release has never been a big concern of mine...as long as I can get the camera on/off easily. As it is I already have to remove my R-strap from the plate attachment hole when I go to use the tripod.

This is still the beginning of my research. I have to still investigate whatever Manfrotto units are within my desired pricerange/features/etc.

Mike, maybe some QR plates can be mounted to be compatible w/ your R-strap mount. Think I saw something like that... though I've never actually looked into it myself since I don't use that kind of strap mount.

Certainly, I can't see myself (or most photogs) using such w/out that option for monopod/tripod uses.

Not sure if some photogs actually also use stuff like an L bracket on top of such though... I suspect not too many...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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BTW, I'm considering getting a cheaper, lighter Manfrotto video head like the 502AH to use w/ my old Fiesol legs for sporadic attempts at shooting birds w/ my Tamron 150-600 as suggested by Sam. I can't see lugging my actual Manfrotto video rig for that though -- it's waaay too hefty for even a modest hike and the Nitrotech head is probably just overkill for shooting birds specifically w/ one long tele setup likely paired w/ another camera (that I might use w/ the PD travel tripod, if not just handheld).

I probably have until early April to decide though...

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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Well, I like my Manfrottos, but I'm not very cool. I have one that's virtually the same as the one Scott linked earlier, except it retracts shorter and has three extensions, instead of two.
 

Mike Frezon

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Well, I certainly haven't completed my research (or, to be fair, even had time to do exhaustive research)...but here's where I am right now.

HERE'S a Manfrotto Travel Tripod with a fluid head for $199. I could see wanting to use it for video at times. I'm leaning towards this one at the moment. This tripod uses the Manfrotto 501PL QR plate.

Here's a similar set of Manfrotto sticks with a ball head for still camera setup. $159 on Amazon. This uses a Manfrotto 200PL-Pro plate.

And for the QR issue (involving my BlackRapid strap which utilizes the tripod hole on the bottom of my Canon 80D), I have found a few different options. This one seems to make sense to me. It is a "universal adapter plate" made by Cotton Carrier which basically allows you to attach both your camera strap and your QR plate to the plate which allows for the attachment of both to the tripod.
 

Mike Frezon

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Done. [and my head hurts!]

I have ordered the Manfrotto Travel Tripod with fluid head (from B&H). B&H is running a deal right now in which that tripod comes with a BONUS FREE JOBY GorillaPod 3K Video PRO. It's a $97 item and I've used lesser cheapo small, flexible tripods on numerous occasions, so I figured I'd buy it from them (rather than Amazon, which had the same price).

I also ordered a ProMedia adapter which will fit in the 501PL head of the Manfrotto tripod and transform the RC-2 mount into an arca swiss unit (at Scott & John's recommendation). So I've also ordered a couple Arca Swiss plates.

I will wait and see if the D-ring on the Arca Swiss plates are sturdy enough to handle the attachment to my BlackRapid strap. If not, I'll bite the bullet and order the BlackRapid T-1 D-ring fastener which will attach to the Arca Swiss plate. This will still mean I'll have to unhook the quick-release plate from my strap...but I have never been in a position in which getting the camera off-strap and onto the tripod needed to be done all THAT quickly. [For that matter, I'm not all that certain sticking with the RC2 quick-release system wouldn't have also worked for me--since I'm not that demanding--but I respect you fellas in this thread too much not to see what the Arca Swiss system brings to the table.]


This video (starting at 5:07) shows how the adapter works:

 

Scott Merryfield

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Mike,

I would advise looking at different mounting plates than those Manfrotto ones. If you are just starting out, stick with Arca Swiss. It's a better system, and is used by just about every manufacturer. Just looking at those two links you provided, you can see that Manfrotto's stuff isn't even compatible between those two products of theirs.

Edit: looks like we were cross posting and you went with the AS mounting. Great choice!
 

Mike Frezon

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Thanks, Scott.

You probably don't have any experience with a unit like the one that's shown on that video. But it looked pretty efficient at converting the video head mounting unit into an Arca Swiss receptacle. I hope it is a sturdy & effective way-to-go.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Mike,

Not sure how that BeFree video head will do, but I suppose it may be fine enough as long as you don't use it w/ heftier, long lenses and/or very long exposures.

Let us know how that ProMedia adapter works out. I had previously considered getting that, but ended up going w/ something quite a bit more costly to better match the bigger, Nitrotech N8 video head -- it's similar in size and capacity to the 504 head w/ same, longer QR mount type in your linked YouTube video, but contrary to that video's advice, the length can often make a diff for needed balance once you start attaching more than just a body+moderate-size-lens to the head... though that won't be your case, especially w/ the BeFree.

Anyway, if I do get a smaller video head for hiking and birding, I may go for that cheaper, lighter ProMedia adapter... or I may just entirely skip the adapter since I'd probably only ever use that setup w/ the big 150-600 lens just for birding or the like...

To be clear, if you have to use such an adapter for Arca-Swiss, then you're not really gaining much of any stability inherent to well implemented Arca-Swiss system... because you'll still be relying on the original Manfrotto mount (and now, w/ the adapter in between) for your foundation. The whole chain/setup is only going to be as strong and stable as its weakest link afterall. You might gain a little bit simply by not relying on Manfrotto's system to remount each time, but whatever other issues it has will still be there (plus whatever issue the adapter itself might introduce)... although I do think their 50x video plate mounts do seem much more reliable/stable than their RC2 and other similar variants used primarily for still photography.

For many of us, we only go w/ the adapter because we want to use their video heads for video (and in some cases like Sam suggested, birding), but still want to use Arca-Swiss (w/out such adapter) for normal still photography -- and Manfrotto doesn't make still heads w/ those 50x video mounts anyway, except the odd dual-mode, mixed use, video/still head that seems very quirky.

_Man_
 
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Scott Merryfield

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Thanks, Scott.

You probably don't have any experience with a unit like the one that's shown on that video. But it looked pretty efficient at converting the video head mounting unit into an Arca Swiss receptacle. I hope it is a sturdy & effective way-to-go.
Correct, Mike. I don't shoot video seriously, so my experience is with ball heads for still photography. I will defer to the opinions of members like Man and Sam on this.
 

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