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Camera Tripod Advice

Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby Will N To » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:36 pm

I've also got a Manfrotto. Carbon fiber. I've been a professional photographer for many years so I'll unload all my pain and bandages.
1. If you are going to be more than 100 meters from a vehicle, try getting a carbon fiber, I slogged an aluminum one around China. It still hurts to think about it. (Ansel Adams after about 1930 never went farther than this from a car. He didn't have to. He was also hauling an 8x10 camera. Many film holders and 2 assistants.) Put a camera strap on the tripod, use velcro to hold the legs together. Store-bought straps seem to be more of a hassle. OP neoprene padded straps seem to cut the weight by 2/3rds.
2. Don't get a cheap knock-off tripod, it's likely to be junk that will never be right. A Manfrotto or Gitzo or other good brand (if you don't leave the studio, or have extra-Sherpas) will last you a lifetime. (Tripods are probably a lot like bicycles. Don't get one just because it looks like the good one. Cheap tripods fail in the heads they come with and the leg-locks are more of a suggestion than a lock.)
3. If you get any tripod/head with those little-clip-in-shoe/plates.... Find someplace on your tripod, and drill 3/16"? and tap 1/4"-20 threads. Then screw the plates in. Otherwise you will inevitably wind up without one. Manfrotto has never figured this out-I doubt they would even let me tell them. On my carbon fiber I drilled the knuckles where the legs meet the top. I did this 5 years ago, still working great.
4. Head. Get a solid head. If you intend to shoot video you'll need to pan and everything changes. The best small ball head should be enough for a DSLR. Get the one that the pros rate highly on B&H or Adorama. You can get a lighter weight tripod but don't get a lighter weight head. Example: my aluminum tripod is DSLR/Medium rated-I routinely use it for location shoots with a 4x5. The head on it is for 15 pounds (7kg).
5. A tripod won't solve all your problems. The sparkling and flickering caused by air and wind in a time exposure appears as shaking and blur. A really good trick is to set Continuous-Slow, meaning click-click-click, One of the 3-4 exposures will have noticeably less shake than the others. Best to delete these later after downloading, than to try clearing the card space in the camera. (This might be obsolete, or you might get away with it) trying to clear space in a card can sometimes corrupt it.
6. A trick I learned from birders. Set the ISO to automatic. What then happens is you can adjust your aperture or shutter-speed and the ISO will shift automatically. Bird on a branch, ISO 100 1/60th... bird poops, about to take off, crank up the shutter-speed to 1/1000 and the ISO will jump to 800 or 1200 (grain goes away by adjusting Luminance later). What this does for me on 'P' setting is I just shoot. If it's night the ISO goes up, daylight it goes down. (there's a bit more to this-google it.)
7. The newer lenses seem to be better and better. I've got a Nikon 28-300 zoom DX. It's Vibration Reduction is so steady it's spooky.
8. Buy used. A good tripod holds up well. Buy damaged? Make sure the parts are available first.
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Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby bydand_loon » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:46 am

Is the Pedco UltraPod any use? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pedco-UltraPod-Lightweight-Camera-Tripod/dp/B016P6SEO6

Very light & cheap, I only used a wee camera, so not sure how they are with the big fancy ones, mine was attached to a walking pole (handle end) with the velcro strap for years, but i recently took it off as I never really take a camera anymore.
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Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby crfishwick » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:47 am

Will N To wrote:I've also got a Manfrotto. Carbon fiber. I've been a professional photographer for many years so I'll unload all my pain and bandages.
1. If you are going to be more than 100 meters from a vehicle, try getting a carbon fiber, I slogged an aluminum one around China. It still hurts to think about it. (Ansel Adams after about 1930 never went farther than this from a car. He didn't have to. He was also hauling an 8x10 camera. Many film holders and 2 assistants.) Put a camera strap on the tripod, use velcro to hold the legs together. Store-bought straps seem to be more of a hassle. OP neoprene padded straps seem to cut the weight by 2/3rds.
2. Don't get a cheap knock-off tripod, it's likely to be junk that will never be right. A Manfrotto or Gitzo or other good brand (if you don't leave the studio, or have extra-Sherpas) will last you a lifetime. (Tripods are probably a lot like bicycles. Don't get one just because it looks like the good one. Cheap tripods fail in the heads they come with and the leg-locks are more of a suggestion than a lock.)
3. If you get any tripod/head with those little-clip-in-shoe/plates.... Find someplace on your tripod, and drill 3/16"? and tap 1/4"-20 threads. Then screw the plates in. Otherwise you will inevitably wind up without one. Manfrotto has never figured this out-I doubt they would even let me tell them. On my carbon fiber I drilled the knuckles where the legs meet the top. I did this 5 years ago, still working great.
4. Head. Get a solid head. If you intend to shoot video you'll need to pan and everything changes. The best small ball head should be enough for a DSLR. Get the one that the pros rate highly on B&H or Adorama. You can get a lighter weight tripod but don't get a lighter weight head. Example: my aluminum tripod is DSLR/Medium rated-I routinely use it for location shoots with a 4x5. The head on it is for 15 pounds (7kg).
5. A tripod won't solve all your problems. The sparkling and flickering caused by air and wind in a time exposure appears as shaking and blur. A really good trick is to set Continuous-Slow, meaning click-click-click, One of the 3-4 exposures will have noticeably less shake than the others. Best to delete these later after downloading, than to try clearing the card space in the camera. (This might be obsolete, or you might get away with it) trying to clear space in a card can sometimes corrupt it.
6. A trick I learned from birders. Set the ISO to automatic. What then happens is you can adjust your aperture or shutter-speed and the ISO will shift automatically. Bird on a branch, ISO 100 1/60th... bird poops, about to take off, crank up the shutter-speed to 1/1000 and the ISO will jump to 800 or 1200 (grain goes away by adjusting Luminance later). What this does for me on 'P' setting is I just shoot. If it's night the ISO goes up, daylight it goes down. (there's a bit more to this-google it.)
7. The newer lenses seem to be better and better. I've got a Nikon 28-300 zoom DX. It's Vibration Reduction is so steady it's spooky.
8. Buy used. A good tripod holds up well. Buy damaged? Make sure the parts are available first.


Co blimey that's a bit over the top :D For the question asked. :lol:
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Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby willsdad » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:04 am

Thanks for all the advice.

I've gone for a cheap tripod off eBay. Just over 400g. Seems pretty good to a beginner's eyes.
I'll bear in mind all the advice as I get more experienced.
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Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby crfishwick » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:31 am

willsdad wrote:Thanks for all the advice.

I've gone for a cheap tripod off eBay. Just over 400g. Seems pretty good to a beginner's eyes.
I'll bear in mind all the advice as I get more experienced.


Good enough IMHO. As your camera is a bridge camera and a lot lighter than a DSLR + Lens. To stabilise it in strong winds if shake is a problem hang your rucksack to the centre column. Plus TURN OFF Image stabilisation when using the tripod. Also shoot in RAW format so that with experience you can tweak the images better than a jpeg.

Best of luck.
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Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby Will N To » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:34 pm

Can't beat Raw. If you're not sure the differences between Jpeg and RAW is look into it. It's worth the extra step and effort.
The camera sensor captures a lot more information than what you can see in a photograph. A camera jpeg is like leftovers three days later. The jpeg you end with is almost never the jpeg a camera--even an expensive Nikon/Canon--will give you.
You can dial up the shadows taking them from murky detailess darkness to looking like you had a fill card or flash. You can dial down the highlights making blank clouds dramatic and full of detail.
Hope this isn't redundant.
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Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby Pastychomper » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:47 am

The only thing I don't like about my bridge camera is its lack of RAW output. It does pretty well at simulating HDR in jpegs, but as I usually GIMP up my pictures anyway, raw power (excuse me) will be on my list if/when I upgrade.
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Re: Camera Tripod Advice

Postby Bonzo » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:05 pm

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