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36

Your last sentence pretty much describes what you need to consider with tripod heads: what and how do you like to shoot. As geared and gimbal heads are specialized, it's really between the pan-tilt and ball heads. Many start with pan/tilts due to relatively low costs, but will find themselves switching to the ball head for ease of use, and sturdier head ...


14

Typically when attaching a camera to a tripod it is designed to be attached in the landscape position via the threads on the bottom of the camera. This potentially creates three problems for the photographer if/when the photographer wants to rotate the camera into the portrait orientation: Once rotated, the weight of the camera is no longer directly over ...


10

I can't add much to the answer already given except to say that I switched from a pan/tilt to a ball and love it. Most photogs I know use ball heads, and one unexpected benefit of a ball is that if you end up with your tripod at a weird angle because you are on uneven ground you can still have your camera level no matter what with no concern over where your ...


9

There is no such thing as absolute safety. But you are probably fine doing this. A few things to consider: Some wildlife photographers say they are doing this (read this in a few blog posts, can't remember where). As well as a lot of sports photographers. But these guys also have equipment insurance and can be quite careless in what they do. I remember ...


9

There are plenty of factors which must be considered: Maximum Load: All ball-heads are rated to support a maximum weight after which they do not hold so steadily. Normally I aim for something that can hold about twice my current maximum weight of camera and lens, just to be safe. Independent Panning Lock: Some ball heads have a single dial, some two and ...


7

Most tripods are sold without a head so that you can decide independently on each part. They both have to match in terms of capacity but otherwise you are free to choose the right set of legs and heads according to your requirements. If they were bundled together you may not find the right combination for you. Particularly there are way more variety of ...


7

A sturdy tripod is heavy, basically the heavier the better. On the other hand you want it to be easily moved, which means that it should be as light as possible. Naturally it can't be both, so you have to find a compromise between them. There are some materials that are relatively sturdy while being light weight, like carbon fibre, but they are also ...


7

Expensive bubble levels are quite accurate and display an independent level for each axis. While the cost is certainly low to manufacture, there is a higher cost to getting consistent quality control. The accuracy of cheap bubble levels is not very accurate. They sometimes do not even have the bubbles parallel to the base of the hot-shoe! It seems like such ...


6

An L-plate is a quick release plate that extends to the side of the camera, offering two mounting options: landscape and portrait. Really Right Stuff sells them, and seems to be the most popular brand (if there are any other brands at all). They've got a video explaining them and showing why you might want one, which basically boils down to "you can attach ...


6

RRS, Kirk, Novoflex, that I know of. Be advised that my Novoflex lens/camera plates are just a tiiiiny bit too narrow to be used with an RRS quick-release tripod mount - the quick-release does not grip them securely and they can slide straight out which rather defeats the point of having the stuff in the first place!


6

Really Right Stuff Camera Rotation Device CRD-87 is a device designed for such use with lens without a collar. Its components are also available separately.


6

The simplest is to buy a second quick release plate. Keep one on your long lens and one on the camera. It looks weird because the second release plate is attached but unused when you have a long lens in use but never got me in trouble. If you do not find that then you would would have to buy a dual use lens like the ones from Acratech. They are pricier than ...


5

Normally I would recommend a geared head for precision work, particularly for a heavy camera, but I assume $1000 is your total budget. So, instead, you should look at a Hydrostatic head. This will prevent shifting while tightening the ballhead but you still need to support the camera's weight while adjusting its position. Carbon Fiber legs are awesome but ...


5

Never heard of a dedicated device but the easiest way to get this effect is to use a normal tripod and a lens with a tripod collar. This feature lets you attach the lens to the tripod and then rotate the lens within the collar. If you do not know what it looks like, here is an example. A number of lenses have this feature, usually long ones but they do not ...


5

I've bought and used two ball heads. I've decided that for me to be happy, it has to have two tension controls on the ball. One sets the basic drag and controls how fast the camera/head combo can move, and the second tightens down so that the camera is locked in position. The first ball head I bought had only a single tension, and when you loosened it so you ...


5

Essentially the only long-exposure astro-photograph you can do on a normal tripod/head is star trails. This is usually done with a fairly wide angle lens, so it isn't very demanding about the tripod or head you use. For essentially any other astrophotography, you need something like a Newtonian mount with a clock drive. This is adjusted to your latitude, ...


5

Between the 468MGRC4 and 488RC4, the difference is notable. The tightening of the Hydrostatic head is very smooth and applies even pressure which makes the camera stay in the same exact position. With the standard head, there is a slight drift in the order of one or two degrees as you tighten. When I purchased my ballhead I got the standard and eventually ...


5

Ball Heads Ball heads are probably the most popular type of tripod head. They are small, light weight, simple to use, and often come with a panning option. Most ball heads support a quick release mechanism, making it easy to mount and dismount the camera for changing out lenses and the like. For the majority of lenses, ball heads are quite ideal, and offer ...


5

Yes, they should not come with a ballhead. That lets you choose the ideal one for your needs. You need to calculate the weight of your camera and lens and multiply by two for good measure. Then lookup one that supports at least that weight. You will usually have a choice of direct attachment or quick-release plates. Your camera is small, so I would go with ...


5

I've used a couple of older pistol grip heads (Slik 2100 and Manfrotto 3265), and I really like the idea behind them. Squeezing a handle to free the head for positioning seems like a great idea. The problem I kept running into, however, is that I needed three hands: right hand on the shutter, left hand on the lens zoom ring, and third hand on the pistol ...


5

A big reason is that it just makes getting the shot sequence consistent and accurate. In general, you're looking to keep the vertical plane level through the whole sequence and move along the horizontal plane in smooth, even, steps. A panoramic head is simply going to make that easier to do with less effort and risk of a muffed shot at all kinds of focal ...


5

Most tripod heads have ratings for how much weight they are able to support. If you place 10 pounds of camera/lens on a head designed for four pounds, it doesn't matter how well made it is, it will eventually fail. The same is true of the tripod 'legs' themselves. They all have a maximum weight rating. From your question it is unclear if your camera fell ...


4

One of the features on many Manfrotto heads is that the quick-release plate knobs are spring-loaded... Essentially this will enable you to pull the knobs outward which will allow them to be readjusted without tightening (or loosening) the underlying bolt. This gives the ability to 'ratchet tighten' the bolt by shifting the knob when space gets tight.


4

I've heard people speak of tri-flow as significantly superior as a lubricant to WD-40. I don't have experience specific to ball-head maintenance, though, one way or the other. They actually have various products... their "superior lubricant" page claims to have a working temperature range of -60 to 475°F, though, which seems like it should work for you. I ...


4

my choice is Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) see amazon055XPROB I've been using it for 3 years and it handles all but my large lenses (its a little shaky for the 400mm) and it has a loop I can hook stabilizing weight to if I need it. Check it out it may be a bit above your price range but it will serve you well for several years. I used to buy ...


4

Yes, you can do it. I know some people that have, one friend made one out of wood because it was easier than metal. If you intend to do it for your 8mm, it will be relatively easy since there is ONE fixed nodal point, contrarily to the zoom. You said you do not do panoramas often but do you do Macro? If so, a macro rail is sufficient to work for a DSLR with ...


4

Sure, I do this all the time. Here is a tip: Thread your camera strap through the tripod legs. This way its 1) out of the way, and 2) if for some reason the quick release fails, the camera will drop only as far as the strap will allow. Good for an OMG! moment, but no sickly metal/glass crash sound at the end. Honestly, this is really the only time I ...


4

You need to choose a ballhead primarily by the weight you need to support. The load weight that manufacturers report is often difficult to use in making this judgment, though: the manufacturers assessment judges the weight to be perfectly balanced on the head, however depending upon your lens/body combination and how the head is positioned you may have a ...


4

The 100-400 really isn't that big, heavy, or long. In my opinion you don't need special long-lens support, you need better all-around support. I think the 055 is a great tripod, and simply looking at the price of the 391RC2 head makes me say that's the weak point. Looking at the rated load capacity (11 lbs/ 5 kg), I would expect the 100-400 & body to be ...


4

A good ballhead is very stable and so is a good pan head. The key is good. A cheap one of either won't hold and will drift over time. Heavy weight might be more difficult to carry but actually helps with stability. The advantage of a ballhead is mostly speed in setting it up. For heavy gear and precise positioning people use gear-heads because they ...



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