I haven't been in the camera trade for long*
But your statement is the first I've heard suggesting Nikon used Sigma as a subcontractor. We know Leitz used Minolta for a couple of their lenses. Voigtlander & Zeiss are Cosina but again.
I'd go along with CGW regarding quality and price structure.
Nikon was using Sigma as a subcontractor for things like the kit 35-80 zoom lenses, which were high volume lenses that Nikon would have had a challenge delivering on time. Nikon, being as small a company as they are (relatively speaking) has always had some difficulties with volume production - I can't count the number of sales we lost because lens X was on back-order from Nikon for six months. Farming out production of the cheaper, volume lenses makes business sense - why tie up your lens grinding lines to make those lenses when you're having trouble getting your high profit margin, low volume optics out the door in a timely fashion? At least that was what I heard when I was working at Coopers Camera Mart in Baltimore (May it rest in peace). And I've been in the camera trade for almost 20 now.
Nikon was using Sigma as a subcontractor for things like the kit 35-80 zoom lenses
Guess that's what accounts for its dismal reputation...
Alright, after much reading/studying/asking/searching considering point and counter-point regarding a "reasonable" tripod solution, i've come to the end of my dilemma!!!
I've decided, for now, to go 1st with a good, solid support base-leg set:
and will choose the CT-3342 (and get the long spikes for it).
As to a head-unit, i'm going with a "just good enough" ballhead unit (w/machinist support on stand-by).
Thanks for all the help/tips/considerations and dialogue.
Now, to contact Kerry at really big cameras.....
Congrats on your decision. I'm sure you'll be very happy with it, brand fetishists comments aside. Ball heads (unless they're rather petite) are more than adequate to support an RB67. The reasons I've found to move away from a ball head were A: I needed something with more precise panning control for shooting panoramics and B: I needed something that could handle my very large and ultra-large format cameras.
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I'm pretty stoked to get the order in - though i've gotta figure out how/when i can get it over here..... shipping here would be at the least expensive and a gamble if i'd *actually* receive it...
If i have problems w/the cheapie ballhead i have friends in the engineering business who also have access to CNC machines, race-quality materials (i'm from Michigan - automotive central), etc and i'm *sure* they could come up w/something durable enough for me - just for the fun and challenge it would present....
Just talk to Kerry - as soon as he has it in stock if he doesn't already, he'll get it out to you and you'll have it in your hot little hands shortly thereafter.
Yea WOOT WOOT!!!
I contacted Kerry @ reallybigcameras.com, ordered my http://reallybigcameras.com/Feisol/Tournament_Class.htm tripod (which he had in stock!!!)!!!
Now, i've gotta figure out how to get it to me over here in Europe... Anyone heading to Europe in the near future?!?!??
Thanks so much for all the help - i'm really excited about getting my first *serious* tripod!
Ancient Thread Revival -
Tomorrow i'll be picking up the Feisol CT-3342 carbon fiber tripod and Manfrotto 498rc2 ballhead i ordered so looonnnnggggg ago - I can hardly wait!!!!
I'll probably do a bit of a eval/review of it in a new thread, but not sure where to post it.... The "Miscellaneous" thread perhaps?
Anyone else here use a Feisol carbon fiber tripod? What are your thoughts/opinions of it?
Thanks again everyone for all the help!
Try it but you might find the RC2 plate a bit small for your Mamiya RB67. I did. Manfrotto makes various quick release adapter plates that screw onto your ballhead. The old style hex plate model may still be available:
Originally Posted by fmajor