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  1. #1
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Tripod Upgrade Question
    I am trying to stretch my photography budget, but am looking at tripods. My basic question(s) are as follows:

    I currently have a Velbon tripod very similar to the one in the link below.

    Amazon.com: Velbon DF-60 Dual Function Light Weight Tripod: Electronics

    The legs and construction appear to be reasonably substantial, so I am thinking of just replacing the head right now and following up with a new leg set later on.

    The heads I have been looking at are below:

    Amazon.com: Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 488RC2: Camera & Photo

    Amazon.com: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head Short: Camera & Photo

    So, my questions are:

    1) Good idea/bad idea to do what I am thinking of?

    2) Better choice for head?

    EDIT: I probably ought to list my normal kit that I would use with the above tripod

    Nikon D5000
    18-55 VR, 55-200 VR, 70-300 VR, 35 f1.8 and soon (probably late Aug) Tokina 11-16 f2.8
    SB400
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  2. #2
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    nickyr's Avatar
    Member Since
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    What type of photography do you do most?
    what have the Roman's ever done for us?


  3. #3
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickyr View Post
    What type of photography do you do most?
    With the tripod

    1) The Moon and night landscapes
    2) Landscapes
    3) Flowers, bugs etc

    Without the tripod I mostly do candid portraits and family&pet photos, plus whatever catches my eye while hiking.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  4. #4
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    nickyr's Avatar
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    In that case, I'd go with a 3 way pan and tilt head that you can lock out to hold your kit rock steady.

    I'm not sure whether the tripod you've got now would facilitate changing the head, but even if it did I would go for something different as the leg brace on it means that you cannot get really close to ground level which you'd need to do for plant / insect close ups.

    I'm in no way connected to Manfrotto but use their tripod (MT294A3) and head (804RC2) which I got in the UK for just under 100 last December.

    I have a D90 which I use with a 18-105 lens or a Tamron 10-24, and once tightened down there is no movement. One down side is that it isn't the lightest to carry around.

    Oh, and the man in the shop reckoned it'd last longer than me!!!
    what have the Roman's ever done for us?


  5. #5
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Thanks, I appreciate the reccomendation.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  6. #6
    Tripod Upgrade Question

    Member Since
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    I have a Velbon Ultra-Maxi F. It is extremely portable and versatile and can get really low down for stable macro shots. It packs down to 14 inches into a small shoulder bag. The head is a Velbon PHD-31Q if that helps any.
    iMac 27-inch Mid 2010 (wow....that old...eeeks!), WD My Book 1TB Firewire,WD My Passport Air 500GB, Magic Mouse,Magic Trackpad,
    iPhone 5C, iPod Nano 4GB 3rd Gen, ATV2.
    MOTM October 2012. These days normally happy with an occasional grumble.

  7. #7
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    I have a Velbon Ultra-Maxi F. It is extremely portable and versatile and can get really low down for stable macro shots. It packs down to 14 inches into a small shoulder bag. The head is a Velbon PHD-31Q if that helps any.
    Thanks . . . I'm curious now exactly what model Velbon I have; it has to be over 20 years old (don't remember when I got it). Its fairly substantial and mainly metal (and not particularly light to carry).
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  8. #8
    Tripod Upgrade Question

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
    Thanks . . . I'm curious now exactly what model Velbon I have; it has to be over 20 years old (don't remember when I got it). Its fairly substantial and mainly metal (and not particularly light to carry).
    Pic attached. This model extends to about 5 feet. You can hang a weight from it for more stability.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    iMac 27-inch Mid 2010 (wow....that old...eeeks!), WD My Book 1TB Firewire,WD My Passport Air 500GB, Magic Mouse,Magic Trackpad,
    iPhone 5C, iPod Nano 4GB 3rd Gen, ATV2.
    MOTM October 2012. These days normally happy with an occasional grumble.

  9. #9
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Way... way too many specs to list.
    I'm a big ball-head fan. My current tripod has a 3 way, and man.. I curse that thing. The problem is that a good ball-head ain't cheap.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  10. #10
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
    I'm a big ball-head fan. My current tripod has a 3 way, and man.. I curse that thing. The problem is that a good ball-head ain't cheap.
    Do you have a reccomendation . . .?

    My big problem is I look at the pictures, descriptions and reviews on B&H and Amazon, but I really don't know what I should be looking for and how to judge between the models.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  11. #11
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Specs:
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    Well, the one I'm going to get is...

    the BH-55

    Really Right Stuff - Item Listing

    It's very likely overkill. I've never, ever, heard a bad thing about RRS (other than their prices)
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  12. #12
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
    Well, the one I'm going to get is...

    the BH-55

    Really Right Stuff - Item Listing

    It's very likely overkill. I've never, ever, heard a bad thing about RRS (other than their prices)
    Owww!

    You are right about pricey . . . I'm afraid my Velbon legs would die of embarrassment if I mounted that ball head on them.

    Seriously though, would I be crazy to go for a ball head like that and use it on my tripod legs until I could afford something better?
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  13. #13
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Way... way too many specs to list.
    You can, but legs are more important IMO (which is how I ended up with a head I don't prefer).
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  14. #14
    Tripod Upgrade Question
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Those RRS heads are great, and would highly recommend them if budget allows one day. Problem with most of the Manfroto heads (speaking from current experience) is that even after locking the ball, there's a bit of drift, so you always have to judge just how much you think it will drift, and set it a bit higher than that. It can become a hindrance and pita for sure, but not an immediate deal breaker when on a budget.

    But I agree that the legs are also highly important. I recently had legs cr@p out on me, and had to get something rather cheap but good for my Cali trip. Went to B&H to test some out and wound up getting a great pair of legs super cheap: giottos mt-9251

    Of course stupid me... first time I went to use them was on the beach at high tide... salt sand and H2O really don't mix well with tripod legs! But after easily disasembling the legs and cleaning them off, they're great! Highly recommend this one.

    The Manfroto Head will do just fine as well, until you can afford better. A friend of mine has the Joystick head, and said he likes it a lot. I have a ballhead, and it does experience that "drift", so I'm also saving up for a better one. It's just too bad that I'm also saving up for a new phone, iPad, iMac, Camera, diamond earings etc.. etc..

    Doug

  15. #15
    Tripod Upgrade Question

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
    With the tripod

    1) The Moon and night landscapes
    2) Landscapes
    3) Flowers, bugs etc

    Without the tripod I mostly do candid portraits and family&pet photos, plus whatever catches my eye while hiking.
    Razormac,

    I revisited your OP and the word 'hiking' caught my eye (pun..sorry). Mine weighs 2 1/4 lbs.
    and the pack size and weight were considerable factors when I chose it.
    iMac 27-inch Mid 2010 (wow....that old...eeeks!), WD My Book 1TB Firewire,WD My Passport Air 500GB, Magic Mouse,Magic Trackpad,
    iPhone 5C, iPod Nano 4GB 3rd Gen, ATV2.
    MOTM October 2012. These days normally happy with an occasional grumble.

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