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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Panama City, Fl

    What tripod and what tripod head should I buy

    I am looking to add a tripod to my collection and need some advice as to which one. I take landscape pics (sunsets, wild life, etc) as well as portraits. I have a Nikon D80 with the following lens: 80-200mm f/2.8; prime lens 50mm f/1.8 and the standard lens that came with the Nikon D80....I would like to be able to remove the camera with a quick release and then place it back on the tripod without too much trouble...the 80-200mm is a heavy lens that has the tripod collar for quick vertical......thanks for your advice.

    I saw some manfrotto 3021 with 3047 heads on ebay?

  2. #2
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Paris, France

    Re: What tripod and what tripod head should I buy

    I have the Manfrotto 190DB legs with 354 ball head and the quick release platform. It's very solid and not too heavy.

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  3. #3
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Re: What tripod and what tripod head should I buy

    Tripod choices are one of the hardest to make in my opinion due to the potential of sticker shock and the vast amount of choices. First suggestion is read this article by Thom Hogan.
    You don't have to spend the money Thom does to get a good setup, but the point that he makes about starting right the first time is valid.

    If you are not looking for a backpacking tripod then I would recommend the Manfrotto 190 or even better the 055 series. The 055 is sturdier and supports more weight. Even if you are not planning on that much weight, it will be sturdier than the 190. If you are looking for backpacking then I would suggest Gitzo carbon fiber. They are expensive, but they are very well constructed and will last a lifetime.

    For heads, a lot of people are probably going to suggest a manfrotto ball head of some model, usually the 488 or 486 RC2 head. I have used them and have just as quickly left them. The big fault that I find with the Manfrotto heads is the lack of a seperate friction control knob. With out that knob, when you loosen the ball head knob, the camera has a tendency to flop. Yes you get used to holding the camera, but it is not convenient and I find the head to have a bit of lens dip when the knob is tightened. The Giottos MH1302 is comparable to the Manfrotto 488 at a price that slightly less then the Manfrotto. You will have to choose a QR head for it. It will accept the Manfrotto RC2 QR head I do believe if you want the RC2. The RC2 is popular as you can buy additional plates almost anywhere.

    The MH1301 is a superior head to the 488 for a few dollars more than the 488. It supports more weight, has a separate friction control knob and panning knob. It can be purchased with out a quick release head so again you can choose the type you want.

    If you have the money to do so, I would suggest that you look into the Arca-swiss quick release system. The Giottos system is Arca-swiss compatable, however there are better systems out there. It is probably the most stable and secure of all the systems out there. There are several companies that make Arca-swiss quick release. Here are three of my favorites.

    A decent ball head does not have to cost you $250-$350, although I will say that my RRS BH-55 pro is pure pleasure to use. But it is not pure pleasure to purchase.

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