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Archive 2013 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???
  
 
Steezus
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p.2 #1 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


peter_n wrote:
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.


I've heard that Benro stole designs from Gitzo before, but never seen any real proof other than a random Internet poster on DPR. For the most part, sizes for spikes, plates, and screws seem to be standard for most tripods no matter the manufacturer. My C-258M8 spec wise is almost identical to the Gitzo GT2541 that my friend owns, but looking at the two tripods together and using them, the Gitzo is definitely clunkier and looks like an older design. The Benro also uses magnesium instead of aluminum that the Gitzo uses. If Benro stole that design, they made it better. They are both fine tripods, but even if price was equal, I would go with the Benro. I just don't have experience with all Benro and Gitzo tripods to be an authority to say all are better. I'm sure some designs in both camps suck and some are superior, same goes for Feisol. It is good to have choices!



Feb 17, 2013 at 11:17 PM
peter_n
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p.2 #2 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


My recollection of the explanations of the Benro/Gitzo "similarities" is that Gitzo were in negotiation with Benro for Benro to be the OEM for some of Gitzos tripods. Benro went beyond their remit and suggested design changes and that ticked Gitzo off.

The talks broke down and both went their own ways but presumably Benro had a lot of Gitzo drawings. I'm sure they copied a lot dimensionally but their tripods aren't clones, they are different and in some ways Benro have improved on some of the Gitzo models as you say.

I just have the one Benro tripod but so far it's been very reliable and is apparently quite durable. The thing I like most about it is the way the twist locks work, they are as smooth as my old Gitzo 1228.




Feb 18, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Glenn NK
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p.2 #3 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Two23 wrote:
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


On Friday I was in the Acratech shop and bought the GP.

Used it extensively yesterday at Joshua Tree NP (spent a very interesting few hours in Hidden Valley); the GP worked like a charm. I chose this model as I would like to do some stitching and by inverting the head, it becomes a leveling head. Also got the clamp release so that I can shift the camera to compensate for parallax when using my TS lens (the clamp is marked in mm - I will now have to have a single vertical mark etched on the camera plate).

You are right, this is a very good BH to work with.

Glenn



Feb 18, 2013 at 03:19 PM
zesto
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p.2 #4 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Steezus wrote:
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.


You'd better not head over to the Nikonians site as most of them believe in options as long as it's a Gitzo tripod or a Markins ballhead. Happens to be two brands they sell but that has nothing to do with it - of course.



Feb 18, 2013 at 06:43 PM
peter_n
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p.2 #5 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


zesto wrote:
You'd better not head over to the Nikonians site as most of them believe in options as long as it's a Gitzo tripod or a Markins ballhead. Happens to be two brands they sell but that has nothing to do with it - of course.


So they're still doing that? It's unfortunate, at first I really thought they were impartial, but I finally realized that they didn't seem to give a hoot about the conflict of interest.




Feb 18, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Lasse Eriksson
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p.2 #6 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


zesto wrote:
You'd better not head over to the Nikonians site as most of them believe in options as long as it's a Gitzo tripod or a Markins ballhead. Happens to be two brands they sell but that has nothing to do with it - of course.


But it's two very good brands. So you can't go wrong if buying a Gitzo tripod with a Markins head.
In many other sites every Chinese copy is recommended instead of those two brands



Feb 19, 2013 at 06:24 AM
zesto
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p.2 #7 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Lasse Eriksson wrote:
But it's two very good brands. So you can't go wrong if buying a Gitzo tripod with a Markins head.
In many other sites every Chinese copy is recommended instead of those two brands


Agreed Lasse. However, have you ever heard of one of the Nikonian admins recommendIing RRS tripods which is also a very good brand (better than Gitzo IMHO)? Therein lies their conflict of interest because they sell Gitzo.

On a recent post by a senior administrator, "The only professional ball heads we can recommend are: Markins Q3, Q10, Q20; Arca-Swiss Z1; Novoflex ClassicBall 5." Seriously, what happened to all the other ultra high quality ballheads that they can't recommend such as the Arca Swiss cube or RRS ballheads or quite a few others?

Then, there is the infamous test that a senior Nikonian did not long after the RRS TVC-33 tripod became available. He claims that his Gitzo GT3541LS produced slightly sharper images of his test target than the RRS. Maybe they did, however, what's more important is that had his test gone the other way, does anyone honestly believe it would have been posted on the Nikonian site?



Feb 19, 2013 at 08:36 AM
Lasse Eriksson
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p.2 #8 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


zesto wrote:
Agreed Lasse. However, have you ever heard of one of the Nikonian admins recommendIing RRS tripods which is also a very good brand (better than Gitzo IMHO)? Therein lies their conflict of interest because they sell Gitzo.

On a recent post by a senior administrator, "The only professional ball heads we can recommend are: Markins Q3, Q10, Q20; Arca-Swiss Z1; Novoflex ClassicBall 5." Seriously, what happened to all the other ultra high quality ballheads that they can't recommend such as the Arca Swiss cube or RRS ballheads or quite a few others?

Then, there is the infamous test that a senior Nikonian
...Show more

I don't read Nikonians so I don't know whar they write or recommend. But have you heard any place selling tripods or heads, that recommend the stuff they don't sell I don't think you will see RRS recommend people to buy Feisol, Kirk or Markins either



Feb 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM
sjms
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p.2 #9 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


zesto wrote:
Agreed Lasse. However, have you ever heard of one of the Nikonian admins recommendIing RRS tripods which is also a very good brand (better than Gitzo IMHO)? Therein lies their conflict of interest because they sell Gitzo.

On a recent post by a senior administrator, "The only professional ball heads we can recommend are: Markins Q3, Q10, Q20; Arca-Swiss Z1; Novoflex ClassicBall 5." Seriously, what happened to all the other ultra high quality ballheads that they can't recommend such as the Arca Swiss cube or RRS ballheads or quite a few others?

Then, there is the infamous test that a senior Nikonian
...Show more

well regretfully I couldn't recommend the AS cube under the nomenclature of a ballhead either. too many sharp edges

as far as professionalism on the net you need to dig hard for the real objective view. really in the long run its mostly smoke and mirrors w/o a reference (technical or otherwise) to be had most of the time.
"testing" w/o regiment is worthless.

Edited on Feb 19, 2013 at 02:26 PM · View previous versions



Feb 19, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.2 #10 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


zesto wrote:
Agreed Lasse. However, have you ever heard of one of the Nikonian admins recommendIing RRS tripods which is also a very good brand (better than Gitzo IMHO)? Therein lies their conflict of interest because they sell Gitzo.

On a recent post by a senior administrator, "The only professional ball heads we can recommend are: Markins Q3, Q10, Q20; Arca-Swiss Z1; Novoflex ClassicBall 5." Seriously, what happened to all the other ultra high quality ballheads that they can't recommend such as the Arca Swiss cube or RRS ballheads or quite a few others?

Then, there is the infamous test that a senior Nikonian
...Show more

I left Nikonians a few years ago, largely because of the heavy-handed self-promotion of the admins. I was a contributing member, but didn't support the move to a pay-to-read format, and I was always bothered by how heavily they promoted their particular products (the less said about the officious "Nikonian" credentials/badges the better). Quite a few of us left around the time, and the site's dual identify as both a forum and a business was a big part of it.

You're mistaken about Neil R., though. When I was there, he did a lot of tests, and posted quite a few results -- and more than once they went against the admins' orthodoxy. I never got the sense that he was the least bit invested (materially or otherwise) in promoting Nikonians products, and he always seemed to call them like he saw them. His tests were also genuinely instructive exercises, too, since he paid particular attention to the difficult shutter speeds between 1/s and 1/60s, assessed hands-on vs. hands-off shooting, etc. He's not a shill.



Feb 19, 2013 at 02:15 PM
 

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zesto
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p.2 #11 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Smiert Spionam wrote:
You're mistaken about Neil R., though. When I was there, he did a lot of tests, and posted quite a few results -- and more than once they went against the admins' orthodoxy. I never got the sense that he was the least bit invested (materially or otherwise) in promoting Nikonians products, and he always seemed to call them like he saw them. His tests were also genuinely instructive exercises, too, since he paid particular attention to the difficult shutter speeds between 1/s and 1/60s, assessed hands-on vs. hands-off shooting, etc. He's not a shill.


That's good to know. I see that Neil is very knowledgeable about tripods, particularly for use with heavy lenses. As for the Nikonian admins; I for one won't be paying them a dime.













Feb 19, 2013 at 07:31 PM
peter_n
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p.2 #12 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Lasse Eriksson wrote:
I don't think you will see RRS recommend people to buy Feisol, Kirk or Markins either


Maybe not Feisol, Kirk or Markins but until fairly recently RRS did sell Gitzo tripods and accessories. They seem to have stopped and about all that's left are a few Gitzo accessories. When they're gone it'll probably be all over.


Smiert Spionam wrote:
He's not a shill.


I agree with your assessment of Neil.




Feb 19, 2013 at 07:42 PM
zesto
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p.2 #13 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


sjms wrote:
well regretfully I couldn't recommend the AS cube under the nomenclature of a ballhead either. too many sharp edges

as far as professionalism on the net you need to dig hard for the real objective view. really in the long run its mostly smoke and mirrors w/o a reference (technical or otherwise) to be had most of the time.
"testing" w/o regiment is worthless.


Good point about the cube.

As for professionalism on the net, I think you're absolutely right. I see digilloyd now claims that the RRS tripods have less vibrations than the Gitzos; according to what he has found. No concrete examples to back it up though. Nevertheless, I think I'll buy a RRS TVC-34L - life is too short to deprive one's self.




Feb 19, 2013 at 07:46 PM
sjms
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p.2 #14 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


I have one of the original TVC-33's


Feb 19, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.2 #15 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Can't go wrong there -- I'm sure it will be great.

;- )

"Stable" is a very poorly qualified term in most reviews. It can mean anywhere from "won't tip over" to measuring arc-seconds of movement on an astro rig mounted on a concrete pier. The vast majority of the time, it means the former.

For a while, I got a bit obsessed with building the lightest long distance hiking rig I could, and I did a lot of my own testing of various combinations. Eventually, I decided to lower my expectations of ultra light gear, and figure out how to carry what I really needed (largely giving up on the ultralight middle ground between a high quality table tripod and a series 2 legset). The process, though, was instructive -- it gave me a much better sense of the dangerous shutter speed ranges of particular lens/body combos, the relative benefits of hands-on vs. hands-off shooting, the effect of leg extension, etc. Part of what you get with a more conservative tripod choice is a wider window of performance that can soak up some of your errors: difficult footing, wind, being cold and shaky, rushed, etc. The real question isn't whether a given tripod is or isn't "stable" as some sort of absolute condition, but whether you can rely on it to generate consistent results using your particular shooting style and equipment. That's something that's tough to put on a graph.



Feb 19, 2013 at 08:34 PM
zesto
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p.2 #16 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Lasse Eriksson wrote:
I don't read Nikonians so I don't know whar they write or recommend. But have you heard any place selling tripods or heads, that recommend the stuff they don't sell I don't think you will see RRS recommend people to buy Feisol, Kirk or Markins either


The difference is that Nikonians is primarily a website for Nikon gear and associated camera equipment much the same as NikonCafe except it's pay view. They also own and run a shop that sells Gitzo and Markins. Now that's fine, except when people are asking for honest, reliable information on a tripods and ballheads in a particular thread and they get the hard sell from the admins who obviously have profit in mind. There lies the conflict of interest. Now, you'll hear the admins respond to such accusations as, "we are only recommending what we really believe is the best". Yeah, right.



Feb 20, 2013 at 05:56 AM
sjms
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p.2 #17 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


so far in my trips around the web and in the interests of photography I found less then a handful of sites the were less "compromised". ones that stand/stood out to me are/was http://robgalbraith.com/bins/index.asp. unfortunately it is frozen in time as of 18 Jul 2012 while he teaches journalism (which is his profession). then there is http://www.outbackphoto.net/ from Ewe/Bettina Steinmuller. it does promote his and a few others methodologies and views without the flash and heavy handedness. up north there is http://www.luminous-landscape.com/index.shtml
all of these were and are consistent and fairly unbiased unless they say so.



Feb 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM
newtophoto
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p.2 #18 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Can anyone assist me? I'm looking to pick up a feisol 3442 along with an acratech ultimate ballhead.

1. What type of quick release clamp option should I go with the ballhead?

2. Can anyone recommend a plate for my camera?

3. Is there anything else needed for this set up?

Thanks!



Oct 17, 2013 at 10:54 PM
secondclaw
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p.2 #19 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


I have an Acratech GP2 ballhead with a twist-lock clamp. Honestly I am struggling with the lock, as its texture is similar to other twist-locks on the ballhead and I on occasion caught myself loosening the wrong one. Unfortunately the lever lock has its bubble level on the inside of the clamp, instead of outside, so I'd have to remove the camera to level the head - it really isn't convenient. So - to me that's the only difference, and I haven't decided what to do yet. I may actually replace the ballhead if I can't find a good solution.

All my plates are RRS - they're perfectly compatible with Acratech clamps - i haven't really looked back since I got them.

newtophoto wrote:
Can anyone assist me? I'm looking to pick up a feisol 3442 along with an acratech ultimate ballhead.

1. What type of quick release clamp option should I go with the ballhead?

2. Can anyone recommend a plate for my camera?

3. Is there anything else needed for this set up?

Thanks!




Oct 20, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Daniel Smith
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p.2 #20 · Feisol, Gitzo or Manfrotto Tripod???


Buy a used Gitzo. Many for sale and you know they last.

Get a pan/tilt head. Much easier to make adjustments without fiddling back and forth like a ball head. Especially when cold, icy or wet. You adjust one plane at a time. With a ballhead when it gets rushed it gets more difficult as you adjust level side to side and end up pushing a touch forward or back - then lose it when trying to compensate.

Both heads work but adjusting planes separately makes for fewer mistakes.



Oct 21, 2013 at 02:28 AM
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