Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  

FM Forums | General Gear-talk | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       3       end
  

Archive 2013 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???
  
 
RS Photo
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


I want to replace my Manfrotto 055XPROB and maybe my 808RC4 head. I find it too heavy and too long when collapsed. I plan on buying CF legs and have no experience with any other head. After reading many forums on FM I find many of you recommend Feisol. I shoot a 5D3 and my biggest lens is a 70-200 2.8. I'm only 5'8" and with long exposures never use the center extender.

Since I started doing this research I learned that a 4 section will collapse smaller than a three but I do prefer the three. Many of you recommend the Arca Swiss clamp and ball head. I shoot landscape and never had any issues with my 808RC4 but than again i've never used a ball head. The reason I said maybe replace my head is the 808RC4 is very tall, my guess its about 6 inches. I plan to take this new tripod traveling so weight and collapsed height are very important.

Your comments are much appreciated as I ready to move from aluminum to CF.

Randy






Feb 14, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Lasse Eriksson
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


What's your budget for both the tripod and head


Feb 14, 2013 at 02:00 AM
RS Photo
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


I don't know, $600ish but could go higher if necessary. I just want to buy it once!

Raised to $1,000ish on 2/14

Edited on Feb 14, 2013 at 06:08 PM · View previous versions



Feb 14, 2013 at 02:02 AM
sjms
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


then its either Gitzo or RRS.

Edited on Feb 14, 2013 at 04:08 AM · View previous versions



Feb 14, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Two23
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


After going through a number of tripods, I bought a Gitzo and an AcraTech head. That was 8 years ago. Odds are I'll never have to buy another tripod in my lifetime. Both are very light, solid, and have even survived being hit by a train. If you don't get a Gitzo this time, I bet your next tripod will be one.


Kent in SD



Feb 14, 2013 at 03:54 AM
Glenn NK
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Two23 wrote:
After going through a number of tripods, I bought a Gitzo and an AcraTech head. That was 8 years ago. Odds are I'll never have to buy another tripod in my lifetime. Both are very light, solid, and have even survived being hit by a train. If you don't get a Gitzo this time, I bet your next tripod will be one.

Kent in SD



Which model Acratech do you have?

I'm presently north of Sacramento, heading south on I-5 and am planning on visiting their shop in Pomona CA in a few days.

Have you used the Acratech with the base reversed to become a levelling base - and how well does is work?

Glenn



Feb 14, 2013 at 04:39 AM
chez
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


I'd go with a Feisol. For the price to performance, it can't be beat. I have the 3442 and use it with up to a 300 f4 lens and it is very stable. Packs down to 19" and is very light. Have been using it for 3 years all over the place without any problems. Never has let me down. Highly recommended.


Feb 14, 2013 at 05:35 AM
peter_n
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


If you buy a new Gitzo or RRS tripod you'll more than blow your budget right away without even getting a new ballhead, clamp or camera/lens plates to fit that clamp. If you buy used maybe you'll have a bit left over but all of the high-end tripods and ballheads hold their value pretty well. I sold a number of tripods and ballheads last year and with one or two exceptions they sold for more than I paid for them.

Gitzo and RRS are self-evident when it comes to quality tripods but I think you should also heed the advice given directly above: the Feisol tripods. The specs of these tripods have improved considerably in the last couple of years and now many of them have milled aluminum bases and leg joints just like RRS tripods. Here's one example of a Feisol-based kit that I think you might like: Feisol CT-3342 tripod, Arca-Swiss Z1 ballhead, RRS lever clamp. The total cost of that rig is $875.00.

I don't own a Feisol tripod but I do use a Z1 ballhead and a RRS lever clamp on a different ballhead. The Z1 is the best head I've ever used and I've used quite a few. The Feisol tripod will give you 80/90% of the quality of a Gitzo/RRS tripod at a little more than half the price. Yes the cost is way above $600 but you'll have a rig that will really last. The panning base diameter of the Z1 is 70mm and it will fit comfortably on the base of the CT-3342. It also looks like the legs will fold back over the ballhead but you should check that with Feisol yourself.




Feb 14, 2013 at 05:43 PM
RS Photo
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Peter,
Thank you for the reply. I'm willing to spend more than the $600 I previously stated as now it looks like I should get a ball head for the new tripod. Lets say $1000ish. (could go a little higher if necessary) Which Gitzo would you recommend? I would like legs that fold over the head if possible.

I'll look into the Z1 head, someone mentioned Archtech but I see many people like the Z1.

Randy



Feb 14, 2013 at 06:01 PM
mike-in-ak
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Feisol makes a good set of legs. I have their monopod and it is sturdy enough to use as a walking stick.

You might want to look at the PhotoClam line of ball heads as well. I have two of them in different sizes and they have held up well during my travels in Alaska.

The longer the lens the larger the leg diameter needs to be to dampen vibration.



Feb 14, 2013 at 06:20 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



peter_n
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


RS Photo wrote:
Which Gitzo would you recommend? I would like legs that fold over the head if possible.


OK Randy let's assume you're never going to use a lens longer than your 200; I'd suggest the Gitzo 2532S which is a 2-series systematic with a max height of 53.5". Gitzo systematics legs don't fold back over the ballhead and the 2532S costs $670.00.

A very strong alternative is the RRS TVC-23 with a max height of 52.4" and its legs don't fold back either. The TVC-23 costs $830.00. Many users of RRS tripods on this forum and others consider them to be a better product than Gitzos in terms of build quality and performance. It's likely that if you bought a TVC-23 it would support lenses longer than 200mm for example, and it's lighter in weight than the Gitzo too. However I can't speak from personal experience with the RRS tripods as I've never even seen one.

One thing you should consider is the max height of these tripods. I'm also 5'8" tall and my main tripod is a Gitzo 3541LS that has a max height of 57.5". With a Fuji DSLR on top of the Z1 it's just a wee bit too high for me fully extended, so the Gitzo 2-series might be a better solution for you in terms of height.

Finally, if you want to buy it once you do need to future-proof your purchase. Are you never going to buy a lens that's longer/heavier than the one you're using?




Feb 15, 2013 at 02:53 AM
RS Photo
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Thanks to all that responded to my post. After my research I decided to get the Feisol 3442 and the Arca-Swiss Z1 head. I spoke to a very knowledgable person at Feisol and learned the CT3371 and CT3471 have some cast aluminum parts which have been known to corrode over time but the 3442 has CNC parts and have no corrosion problems. The tournament series all have center columns which I never use so they are out and the Elite series (also CNC) are just too big for my travels.

Thanks again guys!




Feb 15, 2013 at 09:30 PM
peter_n
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


RS Photo wrote:
After my research I decided to get the Feisol 3442 and the Arca-Swiss Z1 head.


I think that's a great choice Randy. You've gone with the 4 section leg Feisol which has a better folded length. Good luck with your new rig I'm sure you'll love it!




Feb 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM
RS Photo
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Part Two:
The Arca-Swiss Z1 comes in a single and double pan. I plan to do Panoramic and stitch (one day) so my guess would be to go with the double pan? then options; flip lock or quick release? BH is backordered, now it seems I'm up to $550 for just the head. What other heads would you consider or just spend the $550?



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:04 PM
M635_Guy
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


You might want to have a look at some of the Acratech heads.

I had (and just sold today) an RRS BH-40, which is a terrific head overall. I didn't care for the flap-paddle design of the tension knob, but that seems to be pretty much just me.

I now use a Sunwayfoto XB-44, which has been terrific. It is also an elliptical ball, but is a really low-profile design. They have a really cool panning clamp they've been bundling with it. Their quality is impressive. No, they aren't made in America, but they have a very interesting design, excellent quality and decent pricing (the XB-44 is a premium-priced product).

My write-up of the XB-44:
http://enthusiastphotographer.com/2012/05/04/sunwayfoto-xb-44-ball-head-review/



Feb 16, 2013 at 02:32 AM
Two23
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Glenn NK wrote:
Which model Acratech do you have?

I'm presently north of Sacramento, heading south on I-5 and am planning on visiting their shop in Pomona CA in a few days.

Have you used the Acratech with the base reversed to become a levelling base - and how well does is work?

Glenn


I have the original Ultimate ballhead 1. It's worked so well, I haven't even looked at other ballheads since I bought it. It's open design makes it jam proof. that's important for me as I love to photo in blizzards and very cold temperatures. It's impossible for the AcraTech to lock up. I use everything on it, including a Nikon 500mm f4 and heavy large format wooden cameras from the 1800s.


Kent in SD



Feb 16, 2013 at 02:54 AM
peter_n
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


RS Photo wrote:
The Arca-Swiss Z1 comes in a single and double pan. I plan to do Panoramic and stitch (one day) so my guess would be to go with the double pan? then options; flip lock or quick release? BH is backordered, now it seems I'm up to $550 for just the head. What other heads would you consider or just spend the $550?


I bought the single pan Z1 in my link in post #8 above. It comes with a universal round base that I removed, and then I fitted a 3rd party clamp to the ball stem. Don't buy a Z1 with the Arca-Swiss "double-decker" clamp. Your clamp choices are a lever release and a screw knob. There's a link to a quality lever release in post #8 above and I recommend the Wimberley C-12 or the Kirk SQRC-ARCA if you prefer the screw knob. Note that the knobs on these two clamps have quite different designs.

WRT other heads if you like the Z1 you should take a look at the Markins heads. They are Arca-Swiss clones, well designed and engineered and beautifully finished. The pricing is around the same as A-S but they have a wider range of models. I've owned three Markins Q3T heads (smallest model) and have found them to be excellent in use unless you're shooting in extreme cold (this issue may or may not apply to the larger models). We've had very cold weather recently and my Markins first worked OK but the main knob started to behave as if it was very heavily damped. Then the ball started to bind and finally locked up completely. This was a known issue years ago and I thought that they were over it. I had taken all the precautions necessary as per the instruction manual but still I experienced the issue.

I lost trust in the head and replaced it with a different brand. If you don't have severe winters where you live you should still give Markins heads serious consideration, I think they're a step below the Z1 but they are fine heads and the smaller Q10 may fit your needs. They come with clamps that are sealed to the stud with red Loctite thread locker. Normally you need direct heat onto the stud to unscrew the clamp. You can also buy Markins ballheads without the clamp.

I bought an Acratech Ultimate ballhead about 6 weeks ago. This is another beautifully built head but it sort of looks like a piece of surveying equipment. I got it because this model is reputed to be perfect for extreme environments because of its open design (see Kent's post directly above). I'm on beaches a lot too so I'm looking forward to being less protective of this head than the Markins. Can't say much about it yet except that I'm enjoying using it and it hasn't locked up so far...

If you're into stitched panoramics Acratech have the GP model that is said to facilitate panoramic shots on uneven surfaces. I have no idea whether it works well or not but it's certainly worth a look.




Feb 16, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Steezus
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


I'm another fan of the Acratech ball heads. They hold up better than anything else out there in all conditions. It is awesome not having to baby your gear so it will still function.

I also still have the 055XProB, but went with a CF tripod a few years ago for my main tripod. I see you haven't considered Benro, but you can pretty much match the comparable Gitzo in the size I got for a lot less money. In fact, my good friend has the comparable Gitzo and the the Benro is slightly better and comes with more extras.

One thing I have realized about photography is that the more people I meet that do this for a living use tripods other than Gitzo and RRS. There are those that are vocal on a forum that would have you believe that those 2 brands are your only options. I see a lot of people making a living off of Manfrotto, Induro, and Benro. I just think that it is a myth that these companies cut corners on all their lineups and the other two don't. Would prefer to put that extra money towards other gear and still have a long lasting tripod.



Feb 17, 2013 at 06:59 AM
peter_n
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Steezus wrote:
Would prefer to put that extra money towards other gear and still have a long lasting tripod.


Well that's exactly what the OP has done, he's getting a Feisol 3442.

Just over two years ago I was all set to buy the Benro C3780T when the Gitzo equivalent (3541LS) fell below it's price and I bought the Gitzo. I've been very happy with it but since I also use a Benro travel tripod I've found that because Benros are Gitzo copies there is crossover between parts in some cases. I use a Benro part on my Gitzo and vice versa.

I think the Benros offer good value and if I wanted a more stable tripod I'd have no hesitation getting a Benro C4770T or C4780T. What I'd like to see Benro do is replace their cast metal parts with milled aluminum pieces. That's what Feisol have done and they're cleaning up.




Feb 17, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Lasse Eriksson
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


sjms wrote:
then its either Gitzo or RRS.


+1



Feb 17, 2013 at 05:14 PM
1
       2       3       end




FM Forums | General Gear-talk | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       3       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password