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  1. #1
    Sean's Avatar
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    I've seen metal, graphite, wood, 8 pounds to 20+ pounds. I am having problems deciding. I want it all but don't want to spend $800 US
    Main requirement is for it not to be the weakest link in my system. NZ can have windy conditions so I'll need all the grunt I can get without breaking my back in the process. thanks

  2. #2
    Ole
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    Get wood. Mine's a "Stabil", Swedish, mail order only from www.stabil.nu. Weight slightly under 3kg, price SEK 2300 (about $300) plus transport. I've supplemented mine with a big ballhead. I'll put a picture of it in the "non-gallery-gallery", with my 7kg Technika 5x7" and 1kg 30mm Xenar on it. Utterly stable in anything less than a hurricane.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #3

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    Ries Backpacker. Not the sturdiest but a great compromise for size and weight if you do a lot of hiking with your 8x10. I use a Wisner 8x10 Expedition on it with lenses mounted on Copal 3 (I have used a 750mm Apo-Germinar on it no problem). Do not know the new price these days but I am almost sure it is less than 800 bucks.
    Francesco

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Lots of nice legsets out there, but in the head department, I've been really satisfied with the Gitzo G1570M, low-profile, 3-way pan head. I particularly like it with my 11x14" camera, which is a flatbed design.

    I'm using a Bogen 3233 legset, but it will be fine on any Gitzo 3xxx or larger as well as others.

    Robert White has good prices on Gitzo.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5

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    If you want stable and inexpensive you may want to look into a wooden surveyors tripod. That is what I use and have used for years. I mounted a Majestic geared head on mine and it holds everything including my 12X20 with no problem. Cost to me was less then $300 US complete.

    Majestic geared heads can be had for a fraction of retail on Ebay. I bought the one with the 6 inch platform. The tripods come up as well. I think that bmac and others use these tripods as well.

  6. #6
    Sean's Avatar
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    good info, thanks! I'll let you all know how it goes..

  7. #7
    David R Munson's Avatar
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    Another vote for a Ries. I would say the J-100 with a J250 head. I know they're really expensive, but they're worth the cost and do show up on the used market from time to time. I got an older A-series set of legs and a J-250 head used for about $400 total a few years ago. If you could find a deal like that, it would be well worth it, I think. Alternatively, I've heard lots of good things about Berleback tripods, which you can get directly from Lotus View Camera (they ship worldwide). Might be worth a look.

  8. #8

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    Sean, I have a Berlabach. Solid, easy to use good in Wellington wind. I hang a plastic fuel can full of water on mine to give it more stability when the gentel wind blows.....
    David Boyce

    When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money. Oscar Wilde Blog fp4.blogspot.com

  9. #9

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    I've heard lots of great things about wood tripods, and maybe would get one of them if I could spend the $30,000 on all the other gear I want.

    There's one issue that these wood-heads don't recognize, which is that an equivalent cost and almost equivalent weight metal tripod will dampen vibration pretty damn well too. Why? Maximum capacity.

    I use a Cullmann Titan CT200. I've only had it for about a year, but am very happy with it. It's been beaten up from Rockport, Maine to standing in sea spray at the Jersey shore, and is built like a tank. It's the Saltzman of tripods, in my opinion. It has a few weak points, but I like it better than any of the Bogens or even the Majestic, though I haven't used one.

    The number one tripod which I would get if I had the money is a Schatler. I've used a 40-pound EFP camera on top of one, and it'a a beautiful tripod - the carbon fiber ones, I mean.

    Anyway, as to capacity, my CT200 is rated at 154 pounds, and withh hold my 25 pound camera no problem, and with VERY little vibration. The only time I notice vibration is with the tripod at full height, including center column (21" I think) putting the camera at about seven feet or so. Then, it takes a little while for the vibration to die down.
    -Jason Antman

    "There is nothing worse than a sharp photograph of a fuzzy concept." - A. A.

  10. #10
    cjarvis's Avatar
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    Something sturdy and economical: Bogen/Manfrotto 475 legs with a 3030 three-way tilt/pan head. It's not exactly light, but it offers good bang for the buck.

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