Tripod Legs

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by die_piggy, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    For my birthday last week my wife picked up a new tripod head for me, the Manfrotto 500 MVH500AH ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/944774-REG/manfrotto_mvh500ah_pro_fluid_head.html )

    This head is amazing, and exactly what I needed after suffering with the small c-10s ball head on the Sirui T-025x travel tripod. The only issue with the new head is, unsurprisingly, that the legs I currently have arent solid enough.

    So that brings me on a search for better legs, and I have a budget of approx $350. The legs dont have to be "backpacker" light, but I do want them to be somewhat portable.

    Currently I am looking at the Manfrotto 755XB video legs (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...5XB_755XB_MDeVe_Aluminum_Video.html?sts=pi-ps ) Does anyone have an opinion on these legs? Or dopes anyone have any ideas on what else I should be looking at?

    I shoot with a Canon 6Dmkii and the largest lens I shoot with is the Sigma 150-600C so total weight is approx 3Kg
     
  2. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Noone has an opinion?
     
  3. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

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    I really dig my Sirui N-2204x legs I go on sale for about $360 a while ago. I have it paired with a RRS BH-40 head and its a great combo.

    Otherwise I am a big fan of Benro kit too, depends if you want the balance of travel/weight/studyness etc.
     
  4. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Hey man thanks for the reply!

    I'm definitely looking for clip lock legs rather then the twist ones on your Sirui. (I fractured both my wrists 3 weeks ago (and one elbow, fell off a dock at work...screwed up my noggin pretty well to), so twisting isn't great right now :p (neither is pretty much any form of photography, cooking, wiping my...you get the point) Weight is a secondary consideration as I will always have my Sirui tripod for travel.

    Some of the Benro legs look OK, but seems like the better legs (well, more stable looking legs) are all twist types and only the lower quality ones are flip lock? I have noticed that the RRS legs (not that I can afford them) are also twist lock, is there something I don't know?

    I am also currently looking at the Manfrotto 190x3 ( https://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/manfrotto-mt190x3-tripod-legs-only )
     
  5. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    190 is too small for that head.

    Are you doing video or stills with it primarily?

    Twist locks are more common in higher-grade stuff because they don't break as much, the little clips on clip lock style ones tend to be attracted to every single snag in the world and as such often get caught and snap.
     
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  6. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Good to know re the clips, what would you suggest? Mainly stills, astrophotography star trails and wildlife/landscape photography
     
  7. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

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    Also find the clips get harder and harder to open in time (especially if used outdoors and what not).
     
  8. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    Piggy definitely go for Carbon Fibre, Sirui are cheap and ok so are Gitzo and RRS, Manfrotto makes some great stuff too.
    I would suggest you figure out your height and weight requirements first, biggest lens you are likely to want to use etc

    You may want to get a dedicated Astro mount (Skywatcher eq5 or 6?) as that will be better for long term use in that field?

    IMHO Twist lock legs are better for keeping out crap from the moving parts and reducing points of failure or snagging - like others have said
     
  9. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Hey Derf, I actually did get a telescope (skywatcher ed80) and a heq5, my wife loves wide field starscapes with a 14mm lens, so no tracking required.can't wait till my wrists get strong enough so I can set up the telescope (Physio has given me 1kg limits at the moment)

    I'm going to go look at a few legs today so I'll keep in mind what you said.

    Is there any negative to carbon fibre? I kind of thought a heavier aluminium would dampen vibrations
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  10. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    Biggest Negative of carbon fibre is the cost,
    carbon fibre and wood both dampen vibrations better than aluminium.

    For a good solid large carbob fibre tripod expect to be paying $1800+ but will / should last a few decades
     
  11. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Lol, yeah Def out of my price range :p
     
  12. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    I don't want to rain on your parade here, but that head you've bought is a fluid video head and is next to useless for the things you have mentioned. Also, 190 legs aren't going to cut it for long lens work; start at the 055 size and work from there.

    For astro/startrails/landscape you'd be better off with a good 3-way head or a ballhead (the existing ballhead you have would probably be fine for all those things)

    For wildlife on the other hand... You probably want to look at a gymbal style head, cheap seats would be manfrotto 393 : https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554099-REG/Manfrotto_393_393_Heavy_Duty_Gimbal.html
     
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  13. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    I completely agree with bigger legs, most likely picking up a set of 055x. The 190s looked like a children's toy.

    However I couldn't disagree more about the head. I absolutely love this thing so far. Maybe it's confirmation bias, but I cant see myself replacing this with anything else. The balance even with the 150-600mm on it fully extended is perfect. And it seems easier to use and lock on then the one gimbal I have used (I'm pretty sure it was a very high quality gimbal too, am I right Derfman?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  14. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Videos heads are exclusively designed to move smoothly, so you don't get juddery/stuttery movement of the camera; this is anathema to stills photography where you absolutely don't want movement, at all, during the exposure. With perhaps the exception of panning shots like motorsports or some such.

    However, in my experience, while the initial 'wow' factor of a smooth moving head is somewhat intoxicating- over time the honey moon does indeed come to an end.

    I reckon if you got the 100 top wildlife photographers in the world you'd find 95+ using something like a RRS, Arca or some other high end gymbal head that has been setup correctly to balance their chosen long lens(es). I have personal experience dealing with a wildlife photographer of some note who shoots for major publications- doesn't own a video head- wouldn't use one if you paid him.
     
  15. Michael H

    Michael H Member

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    Give serious thought to buying second hand. You will get lot more tripod buying second hand, for your budget. Good quality tripods last many years, so buying second hand makes sense.
     
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  16. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    I actually did exactly that today Michael, only thing holding me back is that I want hands on with a 2nd hand tripod before paying for it. Going to check out a 055x tonight and a 755pro3 tomorrow if I don't buy the first
     
  17. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    Yes, Wimberly WH100

    Interestingly in Japan most wildlife photographers use large fluid heads and not gimbals.

    Pic below related.

    20181111_184352.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  18. Frozen_Hell

    Frozen_Hell Member

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    I hear this, I broke my left arm (distal radius fracture) whilst out photographing a few years back and at that point I'd had my Gitzo for only a short time and I couldn't loosen the twist locks with one hand. So ended up walking back up to the car from the bottom of Hopetoun Falls (in the Otways) with my tripod legs fully extended in my right arm. That said, I wouldn't use having a broken arm as a guiding factor for choosing clip locks versus twist locks. :)

    Yep, to the extent where they start really hurting your fingers - especially when its cold. Had this happen with my Manfrotto, even after pulling them apart, cleaning etc. still very stiff.


    Related to both these comments, I'd up your budget and get something really good now, so then you don't come back into this forum in 2-3 years time looking to spend another $300-400 on another tripod and end up having spent as much as a really good one anyway, but suffered with mediocre ones in the meantime. I've had 3 tripods since 2003, a Velbon (still have it and used it recently for my Gopro), a mid-priced Manfrotto and head, and what I've had for around 7-8 years now - Gitzo GT2541 legs and an Acratech GV2 tripod head (also have an Acratech levelling base on it).

    I'll also say that my tripod is the one bit of gear I own that I don't treat very well (everything else I treat very carefully and keep in immaculate condition), I don't clean it after using it at the beach, half submerged in a creek, in the dust, dirt, mud etc and I just throw it in the boot of my car where it sits rattling around when I'm not using it. In fact I've never cleaned it, in 7-8 years now - still works flawlessly.
     
  19. OP
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    die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    I Just picked up a set of MT055x legs 2nd hand in perfect condition for $220
     
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  20. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    We used to set up long lenses on video heads in the shop because they could be configured to bounce back to level and clients couldn't put them off balance like a gymbal- which could lead to some very interesting in-store experiences :p

    And they feel good :)
     

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