View Full Version : Tripod: what is a good weight

Raven Garrow
23-Sep-1999, 19:56
I'm confused. My camera is a Calumet 45N, weighing 8 lbs. I can afford Bogen. Wh en looking in the B&H catalogue, the descriptions say that the tripod holds a ce rtain amount of weight, enough for this camera, but then the tripod itself weigh s less, making me feel that it is not enough. I was told in a store when looking at tripods, "oh, that one's to light for your camera". What would be a good wei ght? Or model recomendation, include a suggestion on a head. Appreciate your com ments.

Robert A. Zeichner
23-Sep-1999, 20:10
The question of what weight of tripod to use is somewhat dependent on the shooting circumstances you'll encounter. One important thing to look for is rigidity. There are some lightweight legs that are fairly stiff. Gitzo makes some really good ones, but they're not cheap. The weight of the camera actually helps some lighter tripods behave better, but if you plan to shoot in other than windless conditions, you may encounter problems when using longer lenses. Another issue is one of vibration. Metal tripods tend to transmit vibration, while wooden ones help to dampen out vibration. There are some fairly inexpensive wooden legs on the market, some of which collapse to a manageable dimension. You might check these out. The design of wooden legs also offer added torsional stability (resistance to twisting). This might be your best and least expensive bet. Don't forget about selecting a rigid head as well. Ones that are rubbery, even after you've tightened everything down are a real source of trouble. Check out the used camera shows. I saw some older Gitzo stuff at the last one here in Detroit that were real bargains.

Sean Billy Bob Boy yates
23-Sep-1999, 23:44
go to Ebay and do a search for "tripod" there's some really nice stuff there now including an Ooooooold Ries. Don't rule out film/video tripods/heads either expecially if they are ball&socket style like the older Miller's and O'Connors, etc.

I have a Bogen 3046 which weighs 8.25 lbs (+/-) and have used it under my 13 lb 8 X 10 without any problem. The tripod's rated for 26 lbs max. The head is really the key - I feel under-gunned with a 3047, even though it is suppossed to be good for 16 lbs or so.

24-Sep-1999, 01:24
i've got a Bogen 3221 with a 3030 head. there are doubtlessly lighter and fancyer tripods on the market. but i've hiked with this one and used it with everything from 35mm to my very heavy metal 4x5 and a Eastman 2D 8x10. it was cheap and it does the job. one thing, make sure whatever you buy extends/raises your camera to a height which is comfortable to you and for me that is generally eye ball to center of the ground glass (with some in reserve for uneven ground), and that height is acheived where the legs converge instead of with a single shaft cranked out all the way for support. i've also found with this bogen you can get very close to the ground with the need arises.

24-Sep-1999, 04:31
I have Manfrotto 455B legs and 309 Head (cost $140). It's solid like a rock. Takes my old 3.5kg metal field camera with out complaining. Even at full leg extension it's pretty sturdy. Comes with two center columns.

John H. Henderson
24-Sep-1999, 10:36
I have a Bogen 3046 legset and 3047 like Sean above. I use it with a Toyo 45A (camera alone 6.1lbs) and see no signs of vibration in my pictures, even though I shot half a dozen holders last week in a pretty good wind.

This combination was $192 new from Tri-State.

The 3046 was the lightest Bogen that held 26.5lbs. It gives up some of the fancy adjustments and stuff to save weight, but I haven't found that much of an annoyance.

Like others said - you can get lighter tripods, but at a price. The Bogens, in my opinion, were the best for the money.

Be careful on eBay. People are bidding Bogen equipment above the NEW NY discount store prices. There are a couple of used 3047 heads that sold for near $75 recently. It is new from Tri-State for $59. The 3046 legset is $136 from Tr-State, and one recently went on eBay for $140+. The 3055 ball heads are $39 new, and one just sold for $47!