Home Open Account Help 46 users online

Railfan Technology > Need a tripod


Date: 03/22/20 09:55
Need a tripod
Author: radar

I need a nice, smooth, steady tripod for shooting video.  I'm willing to spend what it takes and would appreciate recommendations.  I am shooting a church service indoors, due to the coronavirus closeures.  I have a cheapo right now and it's impossible to pan smoothly and lock it down without sag.  It's very frustrating.



Date: 03/22/20 11:12
Re: Need a tripod
Author: exhaustED

I've got a Velbon Videomate 638 and I'm very pleased with it. Manfrotto seem to have a very good reputation...



Date: 03/22/20 12:03
Re: Need a tripod
Author: NormSchultze

www.dpreview.com.   There is a video forum,ask there.



Date: 03/22/20 12:25
Re: Need a tripod
Author: goneon66

how much do you want to spend?

66



Date: 03/22/20 15:51
Re: Need a tripod
Author: overniteman

Try here:https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/

The best of the best.



Date: 03/23/20 09:46
Re: Need a tripod
Author: march_hare

They're probably shut down right now, but B&H Photo in New York has the best selection of tripods I've ever seen. 

If you're willing to part with the shekels, its hard to go wrong with a Manfrotto.  I own 4, from one compact enough to fit in a carry on bag, to a studio pod that would probably work as a jack stand under my SUV. Good build quality on all of them.

And remember for video, the smoothness of the pan head is as important as the tripod itself.



Date: 03/23/20 10:31
Re: Need a tripod
Author: bobwilcox

I've used Gitzo tripods for many years and am very happy with their performance.

Bob Wilcox
Charlottesville, VA
My Flickr Shots



Date: 03/23/20 10:33
Re: Need a tripod
Author: clem

I'm happy with a Manfrotto 501. It has adjustable spring balance and pan resistance. The 502 i similar. "radar", where are you located? Tripods are best "test driven;" and perhaps some local TO user could lend you one for a test drive, conditions permitting. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/20 10:34 by clem.



Date: 03/23/20 11:09
Re: Need a tripod
Author: walstib

Really Right Stuff makes great stuff. Not cheap, but you’ll be happy with their gear.

Their Utah headquarters remains open and is fulfilling orders. B&H also sells their stuff, and last I checked, they’re still fulfilling online orders.

Reallyrightstuff.com

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/23/20 13:55
Re: Need a tripod
Author: overniteman

If you want quality, you're going to have to pay when it comes to tripods. Same with tripod heads and It can get pricey and confusing.

Stay away from any brand head that has their own proprietary plates and clamping, such as Manfrotto. Been there and done that.

Go for a head that uses Arca-Swiss clamping for rock solid stability and get Arca type plates for your camera(s) and lenses.

Take a look at Arca-Swiss, but RRS or Kirk products are equally good.

You'll buy it once and it'll last a lifetime. Here:https://photographylife.com/arca-swiss-quick-release-system.

 



Date: 03/24/20 04:18
Re: Need a tripod
Author: bobwilcox

I've been using my Gitzo forty years and it's still going strong.  I strongly recommend you test drive a tripod or head you plan to buy with the heaviest combination of body and lens you own.

Bob Wilcox
Charlottesville, VA
My Flickr Shots



Date: 03/24/20 09:30
Re: Need a tripod
Author: SOUCF25

As of 12:27 EDT on March 24, B&H is still in business on-line.

I have a Manfrotto 055 and a Gitzo 028.  Both are great.

Neil



Date: 03/24/20 13:48
Re: Need a tripod
Author: Alco251

overniteman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you want quality, you're going to have to pay
> when it comes to tripods. Same with tripod heads
> and It can get pricey and confusing.
>
> Stay away from any brand head that has their own
> proprietary plates and clamping, such as
> Manfrotto. Been there and done that.
>
> Go for a head that uses Arca-Swiss clamping for
> rock solid stability and get Arca type plates for
> your camera(s) and lenses.
>
> Take a look at Arca-Swiss, but RRS or Kirk
> products are equally good.
>
> You'll buy it once and it'll last a lifetime.
> Here:https://photographylife.com/arca-swiss-quick-
> release-system.
>
>  

The original poster specifically asks about tripods for video use, and unless the camera he is using is a DSLR, I'm afraid the Arca-Swiss system is a fine one for DSLRs but comes up short for video use.

I have the Arca-Swiss system (RRS, Kirk, etc.) on my three DSLRs and plates on assorted lenses, tripod heads and monopod. Love it...fine for still work.

The higher-end video-specific tripod heads sold by Manfrotto are good for the money, and their Manfrotto camera plates are better suited for video cameras. If money is no object, look at the fluid heads made by Sachtler...their carbon-fiber tripods are very good, but you might spend more on a tripod/head combo than I spent on my first car. And their camera plates are brand-specific, but you won't find a better fluid head.

The tripod itself is an interesting issue. With tripods, mass=stability...the heavier the better. That's a real trade-off when you do run-and-gun railfan shooting, where you want something light enough to not require a Sherpa to carry it for you, and small enough to stash in baggage if you are flying somewhere. For your church work (which I also do) you want something heavy.. at our church we use the high-end Manfrottos and just got a Sachtler...a DV8, I think (donated).

Over 40 years I have used many diffrent brands of video tripods. When I retired from a big TV network, I was using Sachtler every day, with a big fluid head and a 30-lb. video camera. Before that, Cartoni (not a favorite). Before that, Vinten. Before that, Miller. And so on.

For still photography I have used Gitzo and Manfrotto over the years and currently have relatively inexpensive Manfrotto aluminum legs with various ball heads that cost more than the tripod. If I drop the tripod, run over it with a rental car or break a leg somehow, I'm not out the major dollars as I would be with the fine RRS, Gitzo and other carbon fiber products. Railfan use can be rough.

Back to your video question. I'd highly recommend the Sachtler DV8 with Sachtler tripod.

Again, this all depends on the camera you use, but if you do buy a high-quality tripod with fluid head, and have something other than a DSLR camera on it, you may want to look at purchase of remote focus, zoom and iris controls, which you can buy from B&H and others under several different brand names. Make smooth camera movement a snap for your church use, but may be awkward in the field when you are shooting trains.

My .02 worth.



Date: 03/31/20 18:15
Re: Need a tripod
Author: ironmtn

Thanks to everyone for their responses. Let me complicate the discussion a bit -- maybe some of you are in my situation, or are leaning my way.

I have a compact Manfrotto for travel, and a larger one too. Satisfied with both for DSLR still work. But I am seriously thinking about a new Nikon D7500 camera, both for it's much enhanced low-light capabilities as compared to my old D5000, and much expanded video capabilities as compared to the D5000 (which was one of the first DSLR's to have video capability, rudimentary though it may have been). The old D5000 has been a warhorse and through a lot, but it's getting twitchy in some control functions, and I'm just not sure I want to put any money into it. It's done yeoman service, and it's probably time for it to go out to pasture as a backup.

Leaving aside -- please --  the camera and lens choice, and the discussion about whether or not I should use a DSLR for video, what would be suggestions for a reasonably priced tripod that would be good for both DSLR still work, and some occasional DSLR video. I do want good quality out of the video when I shoot it, including good pans. My current Manfrottos do not yield good pans with the heads that they have. The head on the compact (another warhorse), which I will use most often simply because it's so light and compact, is not replaceable. Not sure on the bigger one, but probably can be replaced. I plan to remain primarily a still-image shooter, probably about 85% to 90%, But sometimes I just really want video, and I do not want to carry and manage both a DSLR and a video camera. My style is to travel, move and shoot light. My choice, and I fully accept all of the necessary compromises. My current max-sized lens is a jack-of-all trades Nikon 18-135mm compact zoom. I am considering moving up to the 18-300mm f 3.5 Nikon AF-S DX zoom, still a fairly compact zoom, to go with the new body. I'd love to go with the "long guns", but they are just out of my price range.

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/20 18:17 by ironmtn.



Date: 03/31/20 18:38
Re: Need a tripod
Author: exhaustED

Istand by my Velbon videomate 638 recommendation - it's fluid head gives nice panning/tilt capabilities for video, and is very solid for stills.



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.083 seconds