Ball head tripod choice

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Siddhartha Jain, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. During my recent trip to Manila, I found that my pan-head tripod had
    gotten crippled in baggage handling. So looking for a new tripod that
    has a ball-head, light-weight (relatively), cheap and extends to
    atleast 68 inches (I am 5 feet 10 inches). The maximum load will be my
    Canon 300D and the heavist lens I own of about a kilogram (Jupiter
    200mm f4). The other lenses are lighter. I want the tripod to be ~2kg
    so I can carry it in some sort of tripod case on my back all the time.

    After some searching, I found these two components to mate together for
    my tripod. Welcome any suggestions for change.

    Tripod Legs:
    Velbon Chaser EL-3 (A) $58
    ATH 918 Ball Grip Head by DynaTran for $69

    Do I need any more accessories with this?

    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Feb 17, 2005
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  2. Siddhartha Jain

    Alan Browne Guest

    Velbon's are usually very cheaply made. They make one or two "pro" quality
    sets, the rest is pretty low market. I would never buy a Velbon unless I could
    handle it first to make sure it is not crap. (I do have an old cheap Velbon
    that I use as a light stand).

    I suggest that you look at Manfrotto products:
    (At B&H these are "Bogen" with a different product number)
    The head you link to looks like a re-badged Manfrotto.

    I dislike ballhead grips for two reasons:

    1) Strain. After 30 minutes of use, your hand is very tired.
    (I've been told it's adjustable, but don't believe you can get
    adequate ball-grip with lower handgrib release pressure.)

    3) Parallax: bad enough with most heads, with this it is extreme
    (going from landscape to portrait orientation).

    Again, Manfrotto have a wide range of heads that can fit your needs. There are
    better head$ available as well such as Acra-Swiss, Kirk, Arcatech, Gitzo, ...

    Alan Browne, Feb 17, 2005
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  3. Siddhartha Jain

    Tony Guest

    I wouldn't buy a velbon leg set. The company has a bad reputation for crap.
    The Bogen 300 legs were about 100 dollars last time I looked and I've been
    using a set for about 7 years now. They are 3 pounds and solid.
    Tony, Feb 17, 2005
  4. Siddhartha Jain

    rwesurfn Guest

    I like the bogen 3001 or 3221w series if you plan on using your tripod out
    in the elements a lot. I bought the 3001B pro set from b&h. it is a decent
    tripod, got a bogen ball head with quick release.
    rwesurfn, Feb 17, 2005
  5. Siddhartha Jain

    eawckyegcy Guest

    What Alan Browne said: avoid Velbon. Consider a Bogen 3001 (not as
    tall as you might like) or the 3021 (high enough, but perhaps too
    heavy). Tend to compromise for quality, not expense. How many tripod
    legsets are you going to buy in your life?
    I've watched people in the field with these things; in your minds eye,
    imagine flipping from a horizontal to a vertical shot with a
    non-collared lens. Also to consider is the "permanent extension" this
    head means. You want that camera of yours as close to the tripod's
    plate as possible.

    Recommend you save up a bit longer and get a "real" ballhead and the
    associated quick-release system. The best buy is the Acratech
    "Ultimate", but there are purists who insist that you need that 9834kg
    Arca-Swiss B1 or you are a wimpish poseur. (I exaggerate a bit: there
    are some interface differences between the two, but is it worth ~2x the
    price and weight for the B1 though?) The Arca-Swiss Q/R system --
    ubiquitous once you leave the local photoshop showroom floor -- is
    vastly superior to the Bogen/Manfrotto stuff. If you are serious about
    photography you'll eventually buy into it.
    eawckyegcy, Feb 17, 2005
  6. Looks like the Velbon's been universally rejected. Checked B&H again
    and found this deal. Its Manfrotto so the build quality should be good,
    lighweight, comes to 68" and cheap. I'll probably add the recommended
    set of QR adapter and plate.


    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Feb 18, 2005
  7. Siddhartha Jain

    Alan Adrian Guest

    That's what I have.... I love it.

    My camera is 20D with 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 so I can confirm that it
    will take some weight. The 24-70 system is quite front heavy too, and the
    lock for the ball is plenty good enough.

    It's a tad heavy to go on long hikes where Photography is not the main
    activity, but light enough if it is.

    I'll add my 2c worth here too... I have a couple of velbon tripods around
    here.... and I use one (the light one) as flash stand like the other poster
    too... =) The heavy one is a video tripod, and it quite nice.. but a tad

    Unless you don't use them... money on a decent tripod is well spent.

    Alan Adrian, Feb 18, 2005
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