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Pro Tripod Recommendations.
  
 
gsxturbo11
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


Hi all, looking for recommendations for a nice pro tripod. I do a lot of traveling doing Karate and Dance studios and I've been using a Bogen Manfrotto Model 3036 & 3047 head. It's pretty beat and time for a new one.

I've been looking at a head like the Manfrotto Xpro but I've also been tossing around the idea of getting one of the Manfrotto Ball Heads which seem to be nice also. I do a lot of switching from landscape and portrait and was wondering if either one of them made it easier or if just having the L bracket would be the best way to go? I guess when it comes to budget I'd like to stay at or below $800.



Apr 19, 2014 at 03:11 AM
peter_n
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


Welcome to the forum! You have a decent budget and you'll get plenty of recommendations here. The high-end tripod models are made by Gitzo and Really Right Stuff (RRS) and both manufacturers tout their "professional" users. Down from there are many good value brands, the most popular here are seemingly Feisol and Induro, you should take a look at those.

Get a ballhead that uses the Arca-Swiss type of connection system which is very widely used. The Manfrotto heads are not well reviewed and also use a proprietary connection that many Manfrotto head users have replaced (at some cost). Buy an A-S type head from the get go. Photo Clam, Sunwayfoto and Sirui make well regarded heads.

An L-bracket is the quickest landscape/portrait switch, RRS make quality L-brackets that have an index mark in both orientations so you can center the body's sensor immediately as most clamps also have a center index mark. See if you can get a used one for your camera body, they're quite pricey.



Apr 19, 2014 at 01:06 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


I would suggest an L bracket and good, sturdy ball head. For legs, look for the height that you want without the center column being extended and look for the leg release type that you want and if you travel a lot maybe the close size is important. I favor aluminum vs carbon fiber unless you do cold weather shooting. for ball-heads, it's more of a personal taste thing. I like my manfrotto hydrolic fluid model, but there are plenty of other brands/models that are very good.


Apr 19, 2014 at 01:51 PM
sjms
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


peter_n wrote:
Welcome to the forum! You have a decent budget and you'll get plenty of recommendations here. The high-end tripod models are made by Gitzo and Really Right Stuff (RRS) and both manufacturers tout their "professional" users. Down from there are many good value brands, the most popular here are seemingly Feisol and Induro, you should take a look at those.

Get a ballhead that uses the Arca-Swiss type of connection system which is very widely used. The Manfrotto heads are not well reviewed and also use a proprietary connection that many Manfrotto head users have replaced (at some cost). Buy
...Show more

i will agree to a point. there are nuances that can make a difference but first we need to get down to the basics of how you define "professional" and your actual needs.

included brandings are RRS, Kirk, Arca Swiss and Markins



Apr 19, 2014 at 02:08 PM
 

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gsxturbo11
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


All great help thanks so much! I guess "professional" is kind of open to interpretation depending on who you talk to. In my case, for something that provides my family half of our income. If I'm going to spend hundreds of dollars on something high quality I want to plan on that being a good investment and lasting me many years. One of the areas my tripod struggles with is switching between landscape and portrait. It may take me 20-25 seconds to really dial in all the adjustments and make sure I'm square and dead on. It may take me longer upfront but on the back end after taking thousands of photos it makes a big difference. So something that I can shave off 10-15 seconds between going from landscape to portrait the L bracket seems the way to go. When it comes to height the higher the better and need to be over 6'5" on multiple occasions.


Apr 20, 2014 at 04:06 PM
danski0224
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


gsxturbo11 wrote:
In my case, for something that provides my family half of our income. If I'm going to spend hundreds of dollars on something high quality I want to plan on that being a good investment and lasting me many years.


You specified a budget of $800 in your first post, and indicate that photography provides over half of your income in this post.

"Pro level" tripods (excluding Chinese copies) easily exceed your budget alone, without a head.

L brackets from reputable sources (excluding those copies again) also consume a good portion of your $800 budget.

I don't know if I would be willing to invest in product knockoffs if a substantial portion of my income was dependent on them. This is what separates a hobbyist from a professional.

I bet you need to expand that budget by a factor of at least 2 to get gear that you will be both productive and happy with.



Apr 20, 2014 at 04:17 PM
rkgatteleport
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


You might also try looking for some generation or three old equipment - there's lots of "camera horses" out there and you can often find basically unused/babied gear at very good prices as they upgrade/go out of business/.... - that may be the only way you'll hit your budget, as most top end makers are now charging like wounded bulls for their gear...

On the L bracket, that's the hot ticket if you're flipping a lot between portrait and landscape orientations and don't want to have to jump the perspective around by flopping the camera to the side using your head's adjustments...

Good Luck,

rkg
(Richard George)



Apr 20, 2014 at 04:23 PM
gsxturbo11
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Pro Tripod Recommendations.


All great comments, thank you.


Apr 20, 2014 at 04:56 PM





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