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Thread: Will my tripod work?

  1. #1

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    Will my tripod work?

    Paying the Paypal invoice for the 4x5 Chamonix tomorrow : ) What I have on hand is a Manfrotto 3021BN with Manfrotto ball head. It lists support at 13 pounds, folds to 28" and weighs 5lbs. Not sure if I should start shopping for a new tripod or just buy a pan/tilt head to go on this? I am leary of carbon fiber because of the light weight, won't they blow over easier? I feel back asking so many questions on this forum, and if I find an answer after searching I like I don't bother you folks. Andy

  2. #2

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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    Opinions on ball heads vary greatly. I think you'll be better off with a 3-axis head, but since you already have a ball head try it with your new camera to find out whether you can stand it.

    About asking questions. By all means look for answers yourself before asking, but there's no shame in looking and not finding. Especially for questions like this one, which is about preferences, not specifications.

  3. #3

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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    Your questions are fine, many of us have been at this for a long time and enjoy welcoming more to the fold. I would suggest starting with the tripod and head you have. You will find out pretty quickly what features you feel need upgrading. Be aware that almost every answer is a compromise. On one hand you have light weight tripods and compact ball heads, which are great for carrying around; at the other end of the spectrum you have heavier tripods and easier to use 3-axis geared heads, which are more solid, easier to work with, but not as easily transported. Experience will tell you where on that spectrum you want to be.

  4. #4
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    Just my 10 bits - I prefer a 3-axis head with handles despite the difficulty packing them. The ball heads I've used from little ones to monsters had inadequate drag one can dial-in to keep me from flopping the camera during set-up. I'm not as strong as I once was.

  5. #5

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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laminarman View Post
    won't they blow over easier?
    Just place a toy laser pointer in the front standard and point at some distance, a vibration of the spot on the subject will tell exactly what will be blurred if a long exposure, if using a high shutter speed then perhaps it would be less blurred than what the vibration shows.

    This will tell you if your tripod is solid, how it stands when you have some wind, and how much time it takes to stop vibrating after inserting the holder.

    Also there is another important factor: after inserting the holder the laser spot has to return well to the same place, the tripod can be a bit elastic but without hysteresis, if the spot does not return to the same place and you made a tilt/swing then the inclinated plane of focus moves, this is extremly important for some portraits to nail the position of the inclined plane of fcous, say to make it remain in the shoulder and in the eyes.

    Not necessary that you are always using the laser, at all, but it will give you a good criterion about how the thing goes, in special when there is some wind.

    There were many urban legends about tripods, the $3 toy tells the truth.

  6. #6

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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    I have used a Bogen 3021 and 3 axis head with a Super Graphic 4x5 sporting a Meyer triple convertible, often using the longer focal length with no problems.

  7. #7

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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    Thank you, I like the laser idea and I have a few on hand. The only reason I am leery of the ball head is the D810 and 500 CM have both gone flopping violently down once or twice if I didn't wrench her down well enough. Or if I've slung it over my shoulder with camera attached to move positions quickly it might move. I'll try what I have, as I do like the tripod a lot, the head so so. I like it with lighter 35mm cameras, the D810 with a long lens is a bit much if I've not Hercules'd her down. But at least it sounds like the three legs I have will get me a good start.

  8. #8

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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    I agree about 3-axis vs ball head. I like ball head ONLY for MF using WLF. No need for a geared head. I use similar tripod quite effectively for that size/weight camera.

    But whatever you do, please stop carrying camera on tripod over shoulder. Recipe for disaster. Cradle it in your arms like an infant instead.

  9. #9
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    My Chamonix lives nicely on a ball head on various carbon fiber tripods. The camera is so light that the ball is fine. I wouldn't put my 57 Deardorff on it, but the 45 Cham is fine.

    Carbon fiber is a good tripod. Yes they are light. Yes they can blow over. Hanging you camera bag from the center post prevents this. Not photographing in the wind prevents this, too. But extra mass in the legs doesn't really help to hold things in place except the guy that has to carry it.

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Will my tripod work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Just place a toy laser pointer in the front standard and point at some distance, a vibration of the spot on the subject will tell exactly what will be blurred if a long exposure, if using a high shutter speed then perhaps it would be less blurred than what the vibration shows.
    The vibration shows only as long as it persists. The longer the exposure, the less shutter vibration will matter because it is the least of the total exposure; like when people walk through a long exposure and they do not show up.

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