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Looking to upgrade tripod

  
 
shutterbug40
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Looking to upgrade tripod


For years I've been shooting with a Vanguard Alto Pro 263AB with SBH100 ball head. It's getting a little torn up these days, the legs don't extend easily, the head is showing some slight slippage. Looking to upgrade but the choices are just staggering. Shooting a Sony A7RV, biggest lens is a Sony 100-400 GM. My height is 5'7". This would be used in some travel but no distance backpacking/hiking, and probably not a lot of plane travel, mostly in the car. Landscape, architecture, product, a wide variety. No sports, probably not much birding.

I also would like to pick up an L-bracket which I don't currently use.

The Leofoto (LS-324C Ranger) and Gitzo (GT2545T Series 2) look promising. Legs only maybe a Leofoto LM-353C?

I've been searching on FM and YouTube, lots of choices.

Thanks!



Jan 16, 2023 at 04:04 PM
tsdevine
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Looking to upgrade tripod



Look at RRS and FLM too.

shutterbug40 wrote:
For years I've been shooting with a Vanguard Alto Pro 263AB with SBH100 ball head. It's getting a little torn up these days, the legs don't extend easily, the head is showing some slight slippage. Looking to upgrade but the choices are just staggering. Shooting a Sony A7RV, biggest lens is a Sony 100-400 GM. My height is 5'7". This would be used in some travel but no distance backpacking/hiking, and probably not a lot of plane travel, mostly in the car. Landscape, architecture, product, a wide variety. No sports, probably not much birding.

I also would like to pick
...Show more



Jan 16, 2023 at 04:10 PM
shutterbug40
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Looking to upgrade tripod


tsdevine wrote:
Look at RRS and FLM too.



Looked at FLM briefly. RRS would probably be out of budget unless found used.
Thanks!




Jan 16, 2023 at 04:11 PM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Looking to upgrade tripod


shutterbug40 wrote:
For years I've been shooting with a Vanguard Alto Pro 263AB with SBH100 ball head. It's getting a little torn up these days, the legs don't extend easily, the head is showing some slight slippage. Looking to upgrade but the choices are just staggering. Shooting a Sony A7RV, biggest lens is a Sony 100-400 GM. My height is 5'7". This would be used in some travel but no distance backpacking/hiking, and probably not a lot of plane travel, mostly in the car. Landscape, architecture, product, a wide variety. No sports, probably not much birding.

I also would like to pick
...Show more

Hi,

I have tripods from RRS, Gitzo, and Leofoto. Without question in my mind, the RRS are the best of the 3 followed by the Gitzo. The Leofoto CF tripods that I have are surprisingly good, particularly for the price. Maybe not quite as good as the Gitzo, but approaches the quality of the other 2 brands at an amazing price difference.

Rich



Edited on Jan 16, 2023 at 04:25 PM · View previous versions



Jan 16, 2023 at 04:17 PM
scrappydog
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Looking to upgrade tripod


shutterbug40 wrote:
For years I've been shooting with a Vanguard Alto Pro 263AB with SBH100 ball head. It's getting a little torn up these days, the legs don't extend easily, the head is showing some slight slippage. Looking to upgrade but the choices are just staggering. Shooting a Sony A7RV, biggest lens is a Sony 100-400 GM. My height is 5'7". This would be used in some travel but no distance backpacking/hiking, and probably not a lot of plane travel, mostly in the car. Landscape, architecture, product, a wide variety. No sports, probably not much birding.

I also would like to pick
...Show more

I have a Gitzo Series 2 traveler. It seems like a good fit for your needs. I would look for a good deal used. Gitzo is more common than FLM or RRS, so you should have more used Gitzo options to choose from.



Jan 16, 2023 at 04:24 PM
eyal
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Looking to upgrade tripod


shutterbug40 wrote:
For years I've been shooting with a Vanguard Alto Pro 263AB with SBH100 ball head. It's getting a little torn up these days, the legs don't extend easily, the head is showing some slight slippage. Looking to upgrade but the choices are just staggering. Shooting a Sony A7RV, biggest lens is a Sony 100-400 GM. My height is 5'7". This would be used in some travel but no distance backpacking/hiking, and probably not a lot of plane travel, mostly in the car. Landscape, architecture, product, a wide variety. No sports, probably not much birding.

I also would like to pick
...Show more

Are you me? Same height and use case but with the A1 not a7r5. Bought an RRS years ago and it continues to impress.

I got the TVC24L Versa series 2 in June 2013 for $1,019.80 (just found receipt in Mail) and had a Feisol before which was fine but not great. That and their BH30 ballhead has been a perfect setup and easily worth $100/year.

For my/our height, I find extending the bottom two sections is perfect and I keep the 3rd section for cases where I am standing on steps, a bench or want to shoot from slight elevated perspective and can use the angled screen to compose.

Though backordered now, it's incredible that the tripod is almost the same price today ($1,105).

BH does seem to have that tripod available used for $960...



Jan 16, 2023 at 04:42 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Looking to upgrade tripod


The best I think over the years has been RRS models I used the 2 series and the travel pod plus their little table top. I since moved to the Peak Design travel pod as today im using just a Sony . Back than it was Medium Format digital.I like the Peak design because its very small and light but was thinking of getting a new travel pod from Kickstarter forget the name off hand but I think its not out yet


Jan 16, 2023 at 04:52 PM
tsdevine
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Looking to upgrade tripod



I have a couple of RRS and one FLM. The FLM rates well on https://thecentercolumn.com/ and the only thing is the twists are metal, not rubber coated.

But it's a nice height and pretty sturdy. I use my TFC-24L for most serious stuff. I have the CP30-S4 II, got it on a sale at B&H for $374.85. If you want something bigger/sturdier than that, I believe the have models above it. Might be worth a look.

Sometimes being patient and watching the daily B&H DealZone deals, you can snag a nice tripod for hundreds off. Gitzo's pop up a few times a year.



Jan 16, 2023 at 05:02 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Looking to upgrade tripod


i finally upgraded to a pair of RRS TVC-34L MK2 this past November. Do I wish i had done that a decade ago. I came from a Feisol prior.

Also I had Leofoto knockoff of RRS BH-40, but it felt cheap to me. This was years ago though



Jan 16, 2023 at 07:01 PM
pjmsj21
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Looking to upgrade tripod


Contact FLM sales and support and give them/him (canít recall his name but heís great)Ötell him your lens inventory and what you shoot and he will come up with a couple of tripod and head solutions. I love my FLM tripod.


Jan 16, 2023 at 07:38 PM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

shutterbug40
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Looking to upgrade tripod


Really appreciate the advice!


Jan 16, 2023 at 07:41 PM
40Driggs
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Looking to upgrade tripod


I went from an RRS TVC 33 (older model) to a FLM CP30 S4 II to downsize for hikes. I haven't been disappointed in the FLM in any way and highly recommend it. If you need more height the CP 30 L4 is a taller version, but not as compact for carrying (19" vs 23"). I also owned a Feisol 3442 in the past which wasn't bad, but I didn't like how wide it was on the "spider" part of the tripod. It also wasn't as robust or well built and refined in my opinion as the FLM and RRS that I've used.


Jan 16, 2023 at 08:12 PM
shutterbug40
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Looking to upgrade tripod


What would be a good head for the FLM CP30 L4 II ?


Jan 16, 2023 at 08:46 PM
mike_the_kraken
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Looking to upgrade tripod


I have a RRS TFC-14 MK2 + BH-40, which is one of their smallest tripods. I can fit it into my carry-on if I unmount the head. After my last few trips with a lesser brand, Iím glad to go this route


Jan 16, 2023 at 11:48 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Looking to upgrade tripod


shutterbug40 wrote:
What would be a good head for the FLM CP30 L4 II ?


I went with the Acratech GP due to living in the southwest. Sand gets everywhere, and the design of the ball head makes it super easy to clean. Also if it freezes, easier to thaw out. I know these conditions are not what most will encounter, but that is why I went with the legs and ball head. The legs are dust sealed



Jan 17, 2023 at 12:27 PM
40Driggs
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Looking to upgrade tripod


shutterbug40 wrote:
What would be a good head for the FLM CP30 L4 II ?


I have the RRS BH40 and like it a lot.



Jan 17, 2023 at 12:34 PM
shutterbug40
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Looking to upgrade tripod


There is a FotoPro E-6 in the B&S.....I don't see it listed in the rankings on TheCenterColumn.


Jan 17, 2023 at 01:02 PM
spiritcraft
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Looking to upgrade tripod


I have a nice three legged tripod that the kids git me last year for travel landscaped. It is pretty stable for such a lightweight tripod that will easily fit in a carry on. It works well with my A7RIV and one of the small lenses I use for that purpose.

Recently though I have been looking for a very sturdy tripod for my big lenses with my Wimberley Gimbal head. I could not decide and wanted something eye level without using the center column. I was undecided as not that many options fit the bill exactly.

I then noticed, standing in the corner, my old trusty and rock solid Bogen 3021 that I used for a decade shooting with my Ebony 4x5. On a whim, I decided to reoutfit that tripod with new feet, and spare center column, leg wraps a new very nice German Made ball head. I have been using that for the last few weeks with the Wimberley and my 600GM with outstanding results. It may weigh a pound more than a CF tripod but that thing it as sturdy as it gets for a carriable tripod. My heavy Magnesium Gitzo head that I used for large format is now retired "art" sitting on a shelf in my office. Problem solved...



Jan 17, 2023 at 01:20 PM
photosbyjaron
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Looking to upgrade tripod


shutterbug40 wrote:
Looking to upgrade but the choices are just staggering. Shooting a Sony A7RV, biggest lens is a Sony 100-400 GM. My height is 5'7". This would be used in some travel but no distance backpacking/hiking, and probably not a lot of plane travel, mostly in the car. Landscape, architecture, product, a wide variety. No sports, probably not much birding.

I also would like to pick up an L-bracket which I don't currently use.

The Leofoto (LS-324C Ranger) and Gitzo (GT2545T Series 2) look promising. Legs only maybe a Leofoto LM-353C?

I've been searching on FM and YouTube, lots of choices.

Thanks!


I can only speak to what I own, but the truth is that they all will basically work just fine. I have a Feisol CT-3442 that mostly stays at home for portraits, an FLM CP-30 L4 II that I mainly use when shooting close to the car, a Leofoto LS-284CEX that has been getting more general use, and some table tops. They all have three legs and work fine. Tripods can really be a situation of analysis paralysis given that there are so many of them, and most are basically fine. I made detailed spreadsheets with max height, folded height, weight, load, etc etc, but that was all because I was planning to backpack 13+ miles with them and also fly with them.

It sounds like your parameters are far more forgiving. If you have money you're wanting to burn, get the Porsche (RRS) and rest easy knowing you own the best brand. If you just care about best value, Leofoto and FLM are great brands. Tripods aren't complex - just three legs holding up a camera. You pay a premium for reduced weight and size for increased strength and rigidity. But if you aren't needing something super lightweight for backpacking or that collapses super small for flying, then you really have a huge selection of affordable legs to choose from.

I love my FLM, but to be honest, I've been using my LS-284CEX more than anything else for the last year, including with my 100-400. It's just slightly smaller and lighter than my FLM.

The LS-324CEX would be more than capable for any need you'd have. And if you're going to upgrade to permanent use of an L-bracket, then I'd recommend one of the CEX Leofoto models that have the leveling base, especially if you do stitched pano landscapes. Even if you use a ballhead, a leveling base makes pano life easier. (That being said, I personally just don't see a use or benefit for a ball head if you're using an L bracket. I use a pano head and a fluid head with a leveling base, depending on the need.)

If you switch between multiple heads and legs, like I often do, having a QD setup between heads and legs is extremely convenient. All my legs have PCL-60s or similar at the apex, and all my heads have arca plates on the bottom, which makes it really easy to just switch and go.

Ultimately you just have to decide what needs you have, and then flip a coin on what you want to get. Plenty of options.

Here's some shots of my LS-284CEX and LS-223CEX at Laguna de los tres. Acratech pano head and leofoto fluid head.




  ILCE-7RM4    FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens    35mm    f/2.5    1/640s    100 ISO    -1.0 EV  














Jan 17, 2023 at 01:28 PM
pjmsj21
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Looking to upgrade tripod


I have the CP-30L II and use the Lefoto LH-40 and it matches nicely. The Leofoto is a RRS knockoff and most people have their thoughts on knockoffs. It is has functioned fine for my use, but if my budget allowed I would go the RRS.


Jan 17, 2023 at 01:33 PM
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