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  1. #11
    gnashings's Avatar
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    My humble opinion is that for any kind of out door shooting, small is not the way to go. I would lean towards a full size, sturdy tri-pod with legs that adjust individually (and go out to 180 deg realtive to each other), has a centre post that inverts and attaches horizontally (your choice). I have used a friend's 3021 in some rocky conditions (river bank), low to the ground, and found that the limiting factor was... my big head. Which leads me to the next suggestion - a 90 deg finder (available for most SLRs) - I think you would find that an absolute joy for such work.

    Peter.

  2. #12

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    i have struggled with the tripod dilemma too. this year i am planning to use a small tabletop tripod and this new beanbag that i found. i supports the cameras with a mounted lens and for lens with a tripod mount such as my 300mm, i simply move it forward. this year i plan to get dirty and use knee pads and a tarp when i get close to the ground. http://www.thepod.ca/content/pod.html
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  3. #13
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    I added an image of a Bogen 3D head to a previous post to show how it works near ground level on a reversed center post. Any of the three Bogen 3D heads can do this move and be mounted on nearly any tripod column.

    Lee

    (Thanks to my younger son for the loan of a digicam.)

  4. #14

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    My wife has used a Velbon Mini-F for years, with a 35mm/Macro lens combo, and been very happy with it. Covers a range from 8 to 20". I have used it myself with a Mamiya M645, but the head is a bit light for it. But since my wife like the head with the 35mm, I've never changed it.
    JeffW.

  5. #15
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by stark raving
    A request: spring is upon us, and it's time for one of my most favorite things, shooting spring wildflowers. For years I have improvised and made do with less adequate equipment, and have resolved to change that this year!

    Many early spring wildflowers are tiny, and the camera needs to be very close to the ground.
    If its a lighter weight camera then my favorite is the Bolex (Paillard) macro support affectionately called by it fans the "praying mantis". Its quite equisitely made, portable, extremely versatile (can be also used a a chest pod) and was exactly designed (albeit for a Super-8 camera that had macro abilities) for doing these kinds of shots. Its quite steady and I've used mine even with some of my TLRs.
    If you find one on the (used) market--- they are not overly common--- it should be relatively inexpensive.
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

  6. #16

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    For christmas my wife bought me a Velbon ultra max i sf for exactly the situations you describe. When I first opened it I thought that she meant well, but bought junk. This little thing is great. Much, much, sturdier than it looks, gets down all the way to ground level. I had been in yellowstone last spring, and there were tons of teeny tiny blooming things that I was trying to shoot with a macro lens on 35mm slr. My big tripods won't go down far enough, and I guess she got sick of seeing plumbers butt watching me contort. This little bugger fills the bill perfectly.

  7. #17
    Ole
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    Yet again my Stabil is perfect. It flattens out completely, and has held a 8kg Linhof as low as 20cm off the ground. Perfectly stable.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #18
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unohuu
    ...this year i plan to get dirty and use knee pads and a tarp when i get close to the ground...
    Like I said, I found the size of my "heeed" to be the limiting factor - look into a right angle finder I say!

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    Yet again my Stabil is perfect. It flattens out completely, and has held a 8kg Linhof as low as 20cm off the ground. Perfectly stable.
    Ole, that's a nice reply that opens the question of what we mean by "ground level." IMO, ground level means just that, not 20 cm above it. But both of our interpretations are irrelevant here.

    Jonathan, WHAT do you mean by "ground level"?

  10. #20
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    Ole, that's a nice reply that opens the question of what we mean by "ground level." IMO, ground level means just that, not 20 cm above it. But both of our interpretations are irrelevant here.

    Jonathan, WHAT do you mean by "ground level"?
    Short of putting the ball head directly on the ground, or dispensing with the tripod and head altogether, I can't really imagine a way to get a LF camera much closer to ground level...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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