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Robust Ground-level Tripods
  
 
CreationBear
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


I was wondering if any of y'all were using some of the more robust "ground level" tripods like the RRS TP-243 (or its Sunwayfoto clone) or perhaps the Induro Baby Grand "high hat" design for your basic outdoor photography (which for me usually involves pretty tight landscapes/non-technical macro.)

As for a bit of background, I seem to be one of those guys drawn to oddball equipment--I currently bang around the Smokies with a Pentax 67 kit and either a Ries wooden tripod or Uni-loc Systematic 1700, both of which are doable for dayhikes, but a bit more than I'm willing to strap on for a cross country jaunt.

A more compact but still robust set of legs would solve a lot of problems, but I'm curious as to just how many shots you have to pass up during the day. (FWIW, I can see a "shorty" working in the mountains, where underbrush is a bit thinner and there's always a rock nearby, as opposed to here in the Tennessee Valley, where you need a bit of elevation to get above the thicket.)

Any thoughts appreciated!



Sep 22, 2017 at 01:14 AM
JohnJ
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


I cut the centre column in half on a manfrotto 055. This allows low level work, because the legs will spread pretty much horizontally, without inhibiting normal use. This is my standard tripod and is very flexible.


Sep 22, 2017 at 03:17 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


I use an 055XPROB - which is a discontinued model. It's okay. Not rock solid - the clamp has been redesigned on the newer 055XPRO3 to address the gimpy functioning of the PROB.

I can't recommend it.



Sep 22, 2017 at 04:05 AM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


Skimmerpod


Sep 22, 2017 at 04:26 AM
JohnJ
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Robust Ground-level Tripods



Paul Mo wrote:
I use an 055XPROB - which is a discontinued model. It's okay. Not rock solid - the clamp has been redesigned on the newer 055XPRO3 to address the gimpy functioning of the PROB.

I can't recommend it.


I've shot plenty of RZ67 with a 210 lens on the 055 and haven't had problems, at low level. On the other had it aint no gitzo G1504 tele studex but i know which of the two id rather carry. It just comes down to the application.


Edited on Sep 22, 2017 at 12:09 PM · View previous versions



Sep 22, 2017 at 05:21 AM
flash
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


My current Surui tripod puts my eye cup at 6 feet without a centre column (over 7 ft with) and down to about 8 inches by simply unscrewing the bottom of the column. 2.1 kg including a D4 geared head. How much more flexibility do you need than that in the field?

Gordon



Sep 22, 2017 at 06:01 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


I have a Gitzo Series 2 explorer with the off-set centre column that is just less that 4 pounds and might serve you very well. They are not too expensive if you get a used one (should be able to find one for about $400 to $500). Here is a link at B & H to the current model:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/548397-REG/Gitzo_GT2541EX_GT2541EX_6X_Carbon_Fiber.html?sts=pi

The centre column tilts and the legs go completely flat and are infinitely adjustable for angle. You can literally shoot this easily touching the ground. It is quite stable for shooting in "regular mode" too, although I have a berlebach wood tripod that I prefer when I really need stable. I think it would work fine with your Pentax 67 kit up to about 200mm or so.



Sep 22, 2017 at 11:25 AM
 

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CreationBear
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


a Gitzo Series 2 explorer

Thanks for all the insights, guys--I've got a nice tripod scabbard with molle webbing that will hold a standard tripod, and no doubt if I were to play the percentages, that option would allow me to get 90% of anything I wanted to shoot. No doubt that percentage would fall pretty precipitously if I limited myself to the "ground pod" option, but it was something that crossed my mind at about the Mile 15 mark the last time I was out!

(BTW, thanks for the Gitzo Explorer mention, too--as you might tell from my choice of the Ries and Uni-loc, infinitely adjustable leg angles are at a premium in this part of the world where nothing is quite plumb.)



Sep 22, 2017 at 01:38 PM
Lee Saxon
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


I haven't tried them but Really Right Stuff's Versa 3 Ground Pod looks like a much much sturdier option than the TP-243 to me.


Sep 23, 2017 at 01:38 AM
CreationBear
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


Versa 3 Ground Pod

I've seen those (but haven't handled one)...should be pretty bomber though considering the build quality of my other RRS gear. Thanks!



Sep 23, 2017 at 03:52 PM
ZoneV
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


I use the original old Manfrotto 055 with half centre column. Works most times well enough with 400mm/2.8 lenses and such.

But for really deep macro work I prefer the Pentacon Universal tripod with shortend center column. And mith my modification it is even better. But not good for very heavy setups. The legs are on a small ball heads, so the feet could be arranged as needed, not this fixed 120 setup.



Sep 26, 2017 at 06:10 AM
paulhofseth
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


Leicas very compact table tripod.


Sep 26, 2017 at 06:28 AM
CreationBear
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Robust Ground-level Tripods


Thanks for putting the Pentacon and Leica on the radar, guys--I actually was unfamiliar with the Pentacon, but its design looks very interesting. Speaking of interesting designs, I've got a Stabil Macro coming that I'm eager to put through its paces--depending on its load rating, it might make an interesting, if eccentric, option for "generalist" nature photography.


Sep 26, 2017 at 01:07 PM







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