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Thread: Tripod for EVIL / MFT / NEX cameras

  1. #101
    Pro rkane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobsen1 View Post
    come visit and check out my sirui. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
    Will have to do a Beavertail trek. Maybe Sunday morning, or the bridge then.


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  2. #102

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    nods head.
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  3. #103
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    Another bump. Roy, what did you end up getting?

  4. #104
    Pro rkane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frigidlight View Post
    Another bump. Roy, what did you end up getting?
    Did not take one sadly. You should have seen the stuff we had to leave behind. India trips, mean we have to take something for each of the 1.25 billion people there!

    But I will say that Ben's rig is what I would travel with. That size is perfect!

  5. #105

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    yeah, my little guy is great and I use it 75% of the time for scapes even when the big one is in the trunk...
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  6. #106
    tbert is as tbert does tbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkane View Post
    Did not take one sadly. You should have seen the stuff we had to leave behind. India trips, mean we have to take something for each of the 1.25 billion people there!

    But I will say that Ben's rig is what I would travel with. That size is perfect!
    I would have just gotten everyone a t-shirt that's made in India from Kohl's or something.
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobsen1 View Post

    oh, and yeah, I got a sirui CF travel tripod. I got the super light sirui to start but didn't like it. So I went with the CF version with a sunway tiny single knob ballhead which has been working well for me so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by jacobsen1 View Post
    yeah, my little guy is great and I use it 75% of the time for scapes even when the big one is in the trunk...
    I just realized you never said which one you got specifically or did you? Thought you got the aluminum 1005. Switched it out to a CF with fewer legs it looks like.
    Last edited by ppower; 06-18-2015 at 12:18 PM.

  8. #108

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    this is what I have: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...bon_fiber.html
    I had the 1005 (or something similar). It was a great concept and proved to me something small enough to fit INSIDE my bag was what I wanted... But I hated the extra leg lock and how skinny that last leg was. I also went for CF when I upgraded so I'd have no excuses. I like it a lot. It's about 75% as solid as my massive CT313. But it's half the size? So anytime I travel it's the choice and at least half the time I'm just shooting it is anyway. Longer setup/break down time bit it's so small/light I love it.

    Here it is INSIDE my incase DSLR bag (which I also love):

    incase DSLR pro pack by Ben Jacobsen, on Flickr
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  9. #109

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    bump!

    ok, so this thread needs some more life... I've gone and reviewed 4 travel tripods over the winter: http://www.benjacobsenphoto.com/2016...ions-reviewed/
    the tripods were:
    Gitzo series 1 traveler tripod GT1545T
    Feisol CT-3441S
    Sirui N-1204 X
    Davis & Sanford TR654C-36

    I ended up getting the gitzo at a used price from B&H so I went with it. I took it to Iceland and now have a few more thoughts on it and travel tripods in general...
    1. I LOVE having a nice/small setup, but it needs fine tuning...
    2. I need spikes on my travel tripod. It'd be nice to have a convertible setup but I at least need options
    3. I did NOT like the smallest leg diameter on the gitzo, after using it non stop for 4 days straight it just seems too small/thin
    4. The tripod spent the ENTIRE trip with the legs setup the correct way, they were only inverted to go in the backpack for the flights
    5. I can't stand knob clamps. In the last month I've had 2 near disasters where the knob wasn't quite tight enough almost dropping the camera. I caught it once in ME last month and have since put a peak design wrist strap onto the tripod to avoid issue.
    6. I don't love the center column lock on the gitzo, more than once I didn't get it tight enough leaving to a wobbly setup. I'd notice it and have to re-shoot some images with it tight again. It's just a weird place to get your hand into to get it as tight as needed where leg locks are super simple to get tight since there's nothing around them...
    7. I like simple ball heads w/o a panning clamp. I really like my sunwayfoto fb-28 (it's since been replaced/upgraded by the fb-28i which added a pan knob unfortunately but you can find the old one on a few sites).

    for point #2 above: I found these on amazon before I left and ordered them:
    http://amzn.to/1W77yiF


    problem was my gitzo's feet use a smaller thread... So I could tap the legs and make them bigger then use a bushing on the current rubber feet but this didn't come together until the day before we left...

    for #3 I'm looking at two different tripod options. Gitzo makes a series 2 version of the legs I have where everything is basically the next diameter up and it's ~1" longer when folded.
    Here's the series 1 gitzo (what I have): http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._traveler.html
    Here's the series 2 gitzo: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._traveler.html

    another thought for fixing issue #3 is to get the RRS set of legs, the TQC-14: http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/TQC-...eries-1-tripod
    now, it's legs DO NOT invert but the leg diameters are all +1 to the current options and it's short enough to fit inside the bag. I do find it VERY WEIRD that their center column is metal though, no CF... The fact the legs don't invert is something I realized isn't much of a problem from point 4. Leg inversion is something you need to get to your destination but not once you're there. It's a packing issue not a usage issue. Something to consider, more work when shooting (all day while on a trip) -vs- more work for packing (once each way on a trip). Basically, on a photo trip I don't care at all about leg inversion but on night trips to shoot around the house it's a nice option if that makes sense (since you "travel" once per shoot in that setup -vs- once per 100 shoots on an iceland style trip).

    for issue #5 I am 100% going to RRS lever clamps. I have one on my arch setup (induro CT313 with bogen geared head) and love it. Their smallest clamp will be on my final setup: http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/B2-4...-release-clamp

    Issue #6 also has me looking at the RRS TQC-14 as their column lock has "wings" that give you great grip/purchase on the lock. Their weird looking but they seem to work pretty well in theory...

    For #7 I like the head I have, it's simple and small and light and strong enough. The only reason I'd replace it is if the lever clamp pushes a different option onto me...

    ...continued in next post with possible solutions ...
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  10. #110

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    So Eric had posted a similar thread (or maybe it was a PM on FB) and he went with the RRS BH-25. This got me thinking and I actually ordered one as well because it's basically $70 if you're buying a lever clamp from them anyway ($105 for the lever clamp, $175 for the head with the same clamp). So I ordered a BH-25 with the lever clamp:
    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/BH-25-Ballhead


    while I was on the RRS I was drooling on this:
    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/TQC-...eries-1-tripod


    so I ordered it together with the BH-25 just to see how I'd like it since it solved the center column lock issue as well as the leg diameter issue... And for whatever reason if I end up with an expensive set of travel legs I'd rather have my money go to RRS over gitzo? 'Mericuh! Yeah, so anyway, it's here and some initial thoughts:
    1. RRS is really nice stuff. It's expensive but they do most things right which is nice to see.
    2. The "lever" shaped knob on the BH-25 makes it VERY easy to get enough pressure on the ball head.
    3. BUT!!! That knob "overlaps" the "wings" on the center column lock? WTF BBQ? If the lock screw was higher on the ball itself they wouldn't overlap. Of if the knob/lever on the BH-25 was shorter on the long end it'd be fine. Or if the wings on the ceneter column lock.... it'd be fine?....
    4. rock claws FTW. How has it taken me this long to find/use them? Oh, right, because they're $100 for a RRS set and even the amazon knock offs were $60....
    5. If I invert the center column it fits in bags easily for travel. Takes a second but it works. IE this takes more time twice on a long trip but it's a better setup for shooting. Kinda torn here as it'll be worse for quick trips to shoot here (most of the time) but better for a longer trip like iceland (where small details/issues bug me more).
    6. not ideal but you could also just spin the head off the tripod and it easily fits anywhere the gitzo would but I don't want to be spinning the head on/off all the time.

    so, how to fix/solve #3: First option is to live with RRS' head. The knobs can be pulled out and rotated at 60 increments (around the head of the bolt). I've got it in the "correct" position right now where tight has it horizontal and loose is a 180 turn with the long end of the lever going over the top so they DO NOT HIT. So this works but it just really bugs/baffles me that they'd miss that detail somehow? Now they sell the TCQ-14 with the BH-30 usually and it does NOT have this issue but it adds a pan lock.

    If I put the lever clamp on my sunwayfoto ball head it works. I don't mind that head at all and it's knob for tightening is large and nicely textured so this could be the best answer.

    Looking on amazon I've found another head option. This seems to be a clone of RRS' BH-30 with a few tweaks:
    http://amzn.to/1UE5Ynj


    it's got the nice lever knobs but it's got a pan knob (not a fan of extra **** to grab by mistake and I practically never pan). But the knobs appear to not go below the base which means it should play nice with the TCQ-14's winged center column locker... It's also got the wing knobs on both pan and ball lock which the RRS doesn't even do (I prefer the wing design as it's much easier to make sure you're getting things tight enough).

    but then googling a bit I found this on leofoto's site:
    http://en.leofoto.cn/products_detail.php?id=167


    of course I can't find it for sale anywhere...
    but it looks to be a BH-25 clone BUT!!! The locking tab/wing/knob seems to be higher up on the side of the head... So it might be just the right tweak to the BH-25 design that it actually would work better than the real RRS version?

    So I've emailed the seller on amazon (the only person I've found selling leofoto stuff sells them on both amazon and ebay). I'm trying to get their LH-25 but will get/try the LH-30 if I can't get them to sell me the 25 and see how much I hate the pan knob...

    So the head options boil down to this (with a RRS clamp going onto the winner for sure):
    • keep the RRS BH-25 and see if the 180 rotation above the center column wing works w/o bugging me.
    • put the RRS clamp on my current sunwayfoto head
    • leofoto LH-30 (over the RRS version for both price but also lever knob clamp).
    • leofoto LH-25 might be perfect if I can find/buy one AND if their lever knob is above the wings of the center column...
    • I could always modify the knob/lever of either the RRS BH-25 or the leo LH-25 so they don't overlap the wings for the center column on the tripod...

    So, yeah, I thought I'd share my thoughts. I know I'm SUPER picky with my tripod setup and have been searching for tripod nirvana for a long long time. What I had in Iceland worked and was quite nice. But a few things just bugged me so I'm looking to improve. The lever clamp is a must for me at this point. So that's opened up pandora's box on heads... I'll see how bad the overlap of the wings bugs me for a bit...

    So far though, the rock claws are just amazing... Wish I'd put that as a priority on a travel set of legs sooner. This DOES limit your choices as not only do you need removable/replaceable feet but they also need to be the larger diameter size to fit (gitzo's 1 series feet are too small and would need modification). The sirui and D&S from my review do NOT have removable feet (although the D&S has spikes that thread out of the rubber feet). These rock claws have always made me curious as their shape makes more sense than a spike to me. Spikes will obviously work better on some surfaces but for an all around option the claws seem better. I've shot with them twice now and on the smooth shale/slate we have here on the coast they've work REALLY well so far. I need to test them on some wet/slimy rocks a bit more but yeah, so far so good.
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  11. #111
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    I'm ISO a new ballhead so this is well timed. Here's my thought: the RRS isn't that much more expensive than the knock-off-with-no-reviews on Amazon so why take the risk? For me it's down to the BH-30 with panning or the BH-25 without. Will I find the panning feature worth the $100?

    I'm not wedded to the RRS though and I'll be in NYC on Thursday so I might take a stroll through B&H to see if I can find anything in person.
    Last edited by frigidlight; 06-20-2016 at 09:35 PM.

  12. #112

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    yeah, agreed except I don't love the BH-25. I have it here. The lever on the only control knob overlaps the lever/know for the center column. It also overlaps the clamp if you angle it up/down too much. My super cheap/small/light sunwayfoto fb-28 is just better all around except it's one knob is harder to really get tight. That's why I like the lever but it just doesn't work in the layout RRS went with. It needs to be smaller or you'll constantly be rotating it (which it's nice you have that option, I think where I have it it'd work 75% of the time once you learn to use it that way).

    The knock off LH-25 moves the axis up on the ball so it'd avoid the overlap with the center column locker but it could/should be worse with the clamp itself. But if the knob/wings/whatever were just smaller both/either could work. I like the idea of it NOT being a knob so it's easier to grab and really get tight but the RRS knob/wings are just too big. The knock off might be smaller but it's not available. The knob on my sunaway is very nice for a knob. Low profile but large diameter and easy to grab. But I still struggle to get it tight enough to put the head on the tripod w/o the panning portion spinning....

    So the LH30 is tempting because it's got levers. Maybe I'll like it? The RRS BH-30 has a round knob for the panning knob so I won't like that but I don't like panning knobs anyway. Maybe once it arrives I can toss together a quick video showing what I like/don't like? The LH-30 arrives tomorrow. I have my sunway and the RRS 25 as well as my old p0 still at this point.
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  13. #113
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    I'll be in NYC on Thursday so if you can get a video up tomorrow that would be helpful for me personally :P

    Have you tried either of the heads on your induro tripod to see if it overlaps with those legs? That's where I'll be using this.

  14. #114

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    it won't overlap on the enduro because the column lock there is flush with the head platform (as are almost all tripods). RRS gave their travel setup nice wings to make it really easy to grab but because it's a small setup they extended them above the head platform. It's a really nice setup, you just need a head that plays nice and their own BH-25 doesn't. Their BH-30 does but it's not cheap. The LH-30 arrived today and it's quite nice. The RRS lever clamp is plug and play so I'm pretty sure I'll return the BH-25 head but keep the clamp. It's a toss up between the LH-30 (amazon knock off) and sunwayfoto fb-28 as I prefer the lever locking knob on the LH but the FB has no panning knob which I prefer. The LH-30 w/o the panning base would be ideal and their LH-25 looks to be close to that so it could be my pie in the sky solution. For now the FB and LH are both very good options for me though.
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  15. #115

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    ok, so here's the skinny. I have the RRS BH-25, the leo LH-30 (RRS BH-30 knock off), my sunwayfoto FB-28 and my old p0. In playing around with all four I've realized the biggest reason I love NOT having a panning lock. Yes it reduces clutter and makes it so there's only one knob to grab in the dark but that's not really it. It's how you/I work with a single knob tripod and I never really realized this until two nights ago:

    When you have only one knob on your head you setup your legs any which way you want. Then you go to add your camera and you put it in the clamp. But you have a 1 in 3 chance you picked the correct legs to be aimed the correct way for where your control knobs are. If you're wrong you now HAVE to use the panning knob to rotate the whole head to be aimed the right way, lock it down again, and THEN start with the main knob to get everything composed correctly...

    When you have ONE knob you loosen that knob, compose the scene and just swing that one knob to where ever you naturally want the locking knob for how your hands work with both the camera and tripod (I can't tell you where this is for me but I know when it's wrong when shooting if that makes sense). It's just so much more natural and much quicker.

    The other question I have is what do people use a panning option for anyway? If it were at the clamp (as the p0 is) it makes sense because you can pan AFTER leveling the camera. But if you're panning at the bottom of the head, unless your legs are perfectly level (good luck with that) your pan won't be level which means a pano wouldn't line up or your horizon will be off in a video. So what's the point? Personally I've always wanted one of these (but haven't found $250 for one):
    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/PC-L...-panning-clamp


    so, anyway, heads... I want one knob. The RRS BH-25 has a wonderful lever knob but it wits the clamp a lot and is even worse with the "ears" on the center column of their travel tripod. So it's out. I tried the leofoto 30 but it's got two knobs so it's out. Their LH-25 looks promising but you can't buy them yet (the guy who imports and sells them on amazon is considering getting them but he'd need to order 50 and is unsure they'd sell). So this leaves me with the sunwayfoto FB-28! I've put the RRS lever clamp on it so I've solved my issue there and it seems to be a pretty good setup. If I can find a LH-25 in a few months I'll buy one but for now I've at least fixed the deficiencies in my setup that I realize after using it for four days straight.
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  16. #116

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    I have that RRS head from their panning kit. It is stupidly fast to set things up.

  17. #117
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    Anyone have any advice for a travel tripod that isn't $895 like the RRS one?

    Currently looking at the Sirui N1204X which is discontinued but available on Amazon.

    I also really liked my Induro setup but it's hard to tell from their website which travel tripods I would like.

    This one looks nice and is 18.5" folded but it's not reverse folding?

  18. #118

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    I get confused on induro (and whatever brands they're in bed with) and travel tripods so I'm no help there.
    But read this:http://www.benjacobsenphoto.com/2016...ions-reviewed/
    The D&S option is dirt cheap and pretty nice, especially for the money.
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