Do you need the 70+" of height? If not you can use a tripod w/o a center column.
I use an old bogen 3001. I only have a waist level finder so around 4' is enough for me, I'm still flexible enough to bend a few inches.
I cut the center column off for two reasons, it saves a little(very little) weight and allows very low level work. You could always mount the column upside down for low work but would need a prism finder.
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Manfrotto make some snow shoes that fix on the bottom of the tripod legs that are ideal on snow ,mud, sand etc http://www.manfrotto.com/product/230.
Originally Posted by fmajor
Thanks everyone!!!! What a great Community!
OK, i'm not as concerned w/the 'pods feet in snow per se. I usually stamp a small platform for the legs so i don't need 'powder baskets' for them (or can fashion my own disks from laundry detergent bottles). However, on hard-frozen snow/ice the spikes *need* to be able to really bite into the medium. This is why the Feisol spikes/legs get the nod in this criteria - their spikes are awesome!!! Honestly, I could probably have a machinist make some for me if it comes to that.....
My next thought is why wooden 'pods (as awesome as they are) are 2-fold non-options:
1) they're too hefty to drag up technical routes in the winter mountains (where some awesome pics can be had)
2) i don't want to have to be concerned if they get wet/moist/damp (i'm not saying CF pods are impervious either, just thinking they're lower-maintence) - winter is a very moist environment
I'm looking at and liking more and more the Feisol legs (though having a dilemma about which set, but budget constraints are great for that....).
Next task then is finding a good, sturdy head unit w/a level and at a good price... Doesn't have to be "light weight"
1) strong enough to stabilize RB67 Pro-S in 'awkward' positions/conditions (wind, etc)
2) have a Level
3) good price
I have a Manfrotto myself (can't remember the model #) but is very good. You could look up KEH and buy one used.
I recently got the Feisol 3442 Rapid (no column; it reaches head-height on legs alone, higher than you cam use with WLF) and 50mm ballhead direct from Feisol; they are beautifully made and quite sufficient support for my RZ. It was about twice your budget, but maybe a 3-stage non-rapid set might be OK.
They don't have a level but the leg hinges are the usual multi-angle things that let you cram it into all sorts of crazy places stably. The horizontal arm of some of those manfrottos is appealing until you consider how flexible/unstable it will be with an RB swinging on the end.
Feisol sells a levelling head; I've not tried it though. I'd just stick a level in the flash shoe if I cared that much, which I generally don't.
Last edited by polyglot; 09-09-2011 at 01:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Another brand to toss into the mix is Induro. I recently got an Induro carbon-fiber leg set to replace my aging and undersized Manfrotto carbon-fiber legset. This new Induro legset will go higher than I need 99% of the time, and can handle the weight of any camera I've got with the possible exception of my 14x17. Actually, it probably would take the weight of the 14x17, but it would get too top-heavy and tip over easily. It wouldn't even sneeze at your RB-67. The Induros have interchangeable rubber feet and spike feet, and the center column has an anti-rotation feature when raising or lowering it, which is very nice, as well as a retractable hook for hanging a gear bag or other counterweight under the pod for extra stability. Mine is the CT-314. You could get away easily with the CT-014 or the 113 or 114 (The 014 has a weight limit of 11 lbs, which is still more than your RB plus any lens you'll put on it will weigh, but if you want to be sure, the 114 holds 17.6 lbs). They're at the upper end of your budget, but when you compare them to the Gitzo CF tripods (their closest competitors in terms of features and quality) they're a bargain.
hi.. here is some information about berelebach tripods
Originally Posted by fmajor
Berlebach ash wood tripods are low-vibration products. Ash wood is capable of compensating for the shudders and vibrations that constantly occur in the working environment. It will ensure that you get exceptional results with your camera or your sensitive optical or measuring equipment. Wood is electrically non-conductive, thus preventing the damaging effects of electromagnetic fields and electrostatic charging. Thanks to their favorable weight. Berlebach ash wood tripods deliver optimum stability under load. Berlebach ash wood tripods are robust and ideal for tough day to day use. Berlebach ash wood tripods can be used in climatic extremes. They have served, for instance, on expeditions to the north and south pole, in the desert and the rain forest. Unlike metal tripods, wooden tripods warm up very slowly in direct sunlight. In extremely cold conditions, you can touch a wooden tripod without having to wear gloves. Berlebach has been using ash wood- a renewable raw material- for almost 100 years. The processed wood, know as sport ash, comes from the best controlled forests in Europe. It is especially hard-wearing and elastic, as well as resistant to the forces of nature. Having been dried, the wood is stored, prior to processing, for two years to eliminate any tension within the wood as a result of growth. Several layers of protecting varnish guarantee long-term care of the wood’s surface. Berlebach ash wood tripods have earned several awards.
and i just found this topic http://www.lf-photo.org.uk/forum/vie...php?f=3&t=2134
PolyGlot you bring up a couple good points - maybe i don't need the center column. Also, potential instability from the horizontal column was something i didn't think about removing the Manfrotto, without a hitch, from the mix. I'm pretty certain i won't need the non-rotating legs so the price is becoming more manageable.
The Induro 'pods look really nice and are packed with features i like, but unfortunately they're outta my range.
The Berlebach's probably have the best vibration resistance/damping, but they're much heavier than the CF 'pods and simply don't make my criteria.
I probably go with the Feisol legs though not sure exactly which ones?!? I really like the C-3442 especially for the price, but i'd have to adjust my budget to ~$400.
Now I'm needing to figure out which head will work out best as i try to keep the numbers in range....
I like the philosophy of someone who said that a tripod is such a critical thing that you can either buy The Right One, or you can buy a cheap one now and then The Right One later, obviously spending more in total. That assumes you don't break tripods and are in this for the long haul.
Of course, it's better to have a cheap but OK tripod in the meantime than none; I did my Cambodia trip with a *nasty* mini (20mm C-section leg) Al tripod that could barely support a P&S... but using mirror pre-fire and a TEN SECOND wait before firing the leaf shutter, I got sharp pics. Wouldn't work with a focal-plane shutter though; it was blurry even at 85mm on a DSLR. When lifting the mirror, the RZ67 would visibly nod for about 2s at minimum (350mm leg) extension. In other words, leaf shutters make up for significant shortcomings in tripods if you're careful.
I'm thinking for now, i'll buy 'good enough' tripod legs (the Feisol CT-3442's), some long spikes and a more budget conscious head for it.
As for a bubble level, i can pick one up for a couple dollars (the flash-shoe mounted ones).
I currently have an OK 'pod - an older alu. Velbon for video, but the tilt/pan is massive. All the weight is located in the spider/head whilst the legs are weak, spindly and pathetic... I have the "cheap one" now!