Tripods for Macro Work: Bogen 3021PRO vs Gitzo Explorer G2220 vs Uni-Loc Minor 1600

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Peter Werner, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Peter Werner

    Peter Werner Guest

    I'm shopping around for a serious macro tripod for mushroom photography
    and have pretty much narrowed it down to either the Bogen/Manfrotto
    3021PRO, the Gitzo Explorer G2220, or the Uni-Loc Minor 1600.

    The Gitzo Explorer seems to be kind of the standard in macro
    photography. The Bogen 3021PRO is $50 less and seems similar, but I've
    heard vague reports that its not as versatile as the Gitzo Explorer and
    hence more difficult to set up.

    The Uni-Loc Minor is about $25 more than the Gitzo G2220, and features a
    single-bolt setup similar to the Benbo Trekker. (Uni-Loc is supposed to
    be much sturdier than Benbo, however.) The single bolt is supposed to be
    awkward at first and requires you to study the instruction manual, but
    is supposed to be a super-fast setup once you get the hang of it.
    Uni-Loc has a "System 1700" tripod that's supposed to be even more
    versatile, but at $65 more than the G2220, its starting to get out of my
    price range.

    Opinions on the above tripods and which would be best for field macro
    work? In particular, what can I do (or do faster) with the more
    expensive Gitzo or Uni-Loc models that I couldn't do with the Bogen?

    Also, what do you recommend in terms of a tripod head for the above
    tripods? I'm still not sure whether I want a pan head or a ball head -
    I've heard differing recommendations for macro work. I am trying to set
    up a macro system on a reasonable budget, so I find the expense of a
    good ballhead somewhat distressing. What would be the problem with using
    a simple Bogen 3262 (= Bogen 484) if I'm not going to have a lot of
    weight on the tripod? Any recommendations for a decent ballhead for
    under $150 (preferably under $100) would be greatly appreciated.

    I should probably mention the camera setup, since that would determine
    what kind of head I would use. Its a Canon Elan with a 90mm macro lens
    and I may at some point use a Speedlite 420EX flash and softbox mounted
    on an off-camera bracket with it.

    Peter Werner, Sep 24, 2004
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  2. I will be buying a 3021 for general work but I was able to get an old
    Kennett Benbo model 1 off of Ebay recently and I love it. It does take
    practice to get used to it but, it's a great pod and very sturdy. The down
    side is it's huge even fully closed. this is not a attach to the backpack
    hiking pod. I've never used the 1600/Trekkers but have heard they are
    subject to vibration.

    FYI in order to be really comfortable with the unit I've been using it for
    all of my shooting. It's really very versatile but, I think a standard
    tripod is better in most non macro situations
    Ray Creveling, Sep 24, 2004
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