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Thread: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt head?

  1. #1

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    Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt head?

    Hi all,

    So I currently have a Slik PRO700DX which includes a pan/tilt head. I've had this tripod for about 4 years and it has served me well, BUT it is heavy and cumbersome. (I understand, however, that for LF photography that's actually a good thing.) Carrying this tripod around with my camera bag is killing my back, and is actually preventing me from going out doing my photographic work.

    Anyway, I'm looking for a sturdy carbon fiber tripod that is very light and sturdy, as well as either a good ball head or pan-tilt head. So I appeal to you experts.

    I'm looking for a light(er) carbon fiber tripod that weighs between 3lbs and 5lbs and is between 70" and 85" in total extended height (fully unfolded). As for ball heads or pan-tilt heads, I am totally lost.

    I would be using this new tripod and ball head/pan-tilt head for my Linhof Technikardan 45S and my medium format Bronica GS-1 (6x7).

    Clearly I would like to keep the cost down, but I'm expecting to pay from anywhere from $300 to $500, just for the tripod legs. God only knows how much a good ball/pan-tilt head will cost.

    I have a few choices in mind that I wanted to run by you guys:

    TRIPODS
    1.) Sirui W-2204 Waterproof Carbon Fiber Tripod
    2.) 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 Tripod

    BALL HEADS/PAN-TILT HEADS
    1.) Sirui K-20x Ball Head
    2.) Sirui G-10X Ball Head
    3.) 3 Legged Thing AirHed Pro Ball Head (Blue)
    4.) Manfrotto MH293D3-Q2 3-Way, Pan-and-Tilt Head with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate
    5.) Manfrotto XPRO 3-Way, Pan-and-Tilt Head with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate
    6.) Manfrotto MH804 3-Way, Pan-and-Tilt Head with 200LT-PL Quick Release Plate

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    I bought FLM CP38-L4 II 10X Carbon Fiber Series II Tripod with FLM HB-100 Half Ball for CP38 Series Tripods

    I love mine

    Also use https://www.kesslercrane.com/kwik-release with the XL Plate
    Last edited by Tin Can; 29-Oct-2020 at 14:42. Reason: add plate
    wear mask or NOT

    is ???

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    Those tripods seem undersized for your cameras at that height. Gut reaction is they'd be unreliable in any kind of breeze. Does the GS-1 have significant mirror/shutter vibration?. A used Gitzo might be a good option.

  4. #4
    Les
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    Good ball heads will cost quite a bit (take a pic from about 1/2 dozen vendors)....my personal choice was Arca Swiss. You are reaching for a wicked stratosphere (over 70") and the only two respectable manuf (carbon fiber type) would be Gitzo or RRS. Tripods with mid column may be great initially, but there is a wear out factor....and these can be found at folks closets....quite reasonably, I might add. Good luck finding something that works at that price range.

    Les

  5. #5
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea


  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    Any kind of ballhead is going to be counterproductive with that kind of torque vector if you TK is at a long extension. You might look at one of the semi-ball options, where the just a hemisphere is seated in a concavity. Extended columns are also a very bad idea in term of inducing vibrations. Don't substitute that idea for actual stiff longer leg sections if you really need that much height. You're only as good as your weakest link. Take it from someone who's had four decades of monorail backpacking experience.

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    May tomorrow be a better day.

  8. #8
    Foamer
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    Oct 2010
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    South Dakota
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    Look for a used Gitzo 1325. It will do what you want and used ones are a helluva of a value. I ve had one since 2006. It's never failed and even holds my Kodak 2d 8x10 in a pinch.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  9. #9
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    Kent, I have one. It's a good tripod, but it's not tall enough for the original poster.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  10. #10

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    Dec 1999
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    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    Re: Can anyone recommend a sturdy tall carbon fiber tripod and ball head/pan-tilt hea

    I recommend a Feisol tripod, like a CT-3372. Or even better, a CT-3372LV with longer legs . . .

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...372_Rapid.html

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._LEVELING.html

    There's also a 3472, four section tripod that collapses to a smaller size.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...T_CLASSIC.html

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...id_Tripod.html

    I have the 3372 and really like it. It has beefy legs and is very sturdy. I use it with a Manfrotto 229 3-way head that takes hexagonal quick release plates. (Formerly the 3039 head.) This combination works fine with my 13 lbs 8x10, and of course with 4x5 or medium format cameras.

    If I need height, I picked up a relatively inexpensive, Gitzo Giant Studex V. Super heavy and super tall, but not suitable for hiking.
    Last edited by neil poulsen; 4-Nov-2020 at 11:25.

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