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Old December 2nd, 2007, 04:52 PM   #1
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Tripod Suggestions

Hello all,

I would like to tap into the vast experience and expertise this forum has to offer. I really need to upgrade my tripod and I don't have enough experience and am looking to for some advice. I am prepared to spend $600.00 for one. Do any of you have some suggestions for a brand and type? Maybe something you have used and liked. Thanks for any input you can offer.

Ron
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:06 PM   #2
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I'm a fan of my Bogen 503... but it really depends on your gear and setup. What camera do you use? What sort of situations (i.e. adventure, scripted film, etc) do you shoot often?

These details will help! :)

Carl
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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I use a Sony VX2100 and I use it for events such as: weddings, birthdays and funerals. I shoot about 1 event per month sometimes 2.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:23 PM   #4
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The Bogan 503 is a head not a tripod.

Do you want a mid-spreader, bottom-spreader, no spreader, single stage, two stage, three stage and on down the line. There are so many, it is just a matter of personal preference. Go to a store and check them out.

Check the weight of your camera and then go to say B&H and check what they have for that weight range.

Check the ones you can actually get your hands on and make a decision based on what or how they feel to you.

The head can be much more important than the tripod it sets on.

Mike
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Anderson View Post
I use a Sony VX2100 and I use it for events such as: weddings, birthdays and funerals. I shoot about 1 event per month sometimes 2.
Isn't the Sony VX2100 a camera? How good of tripod is it?
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:36 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Mike Teutsch;786013] Do you want a mid-spreader, bottom-spreader, no spreader, single stage, two stage, three stage and on down the line. There are so many, it is just a matter of personal preference. Go to a store and check them out.

Like I previously mentioned, I wouldn't know where to begin. So I guess I should go shopping. I was hoping to get some reliable info from some people that have actually used them and not trust someone who needs to make a commission.

Maybe someone from the Honolulu area could suggest some retailers I could check out. Some of the places I have looked before had low end products and were more for photography.

Thanks,
Ron
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
The Bogan 503 is a head not a tripod.
I will rephrase. I am happy with my 503 tripod head on my 3221WN tripod legs.

Quote:
Isn't the Sony VX2100 a camera?
Yeah, I asked him what camera he used, to better get an idea for what he does. :D

Ron,

I would recommend something along the lines of the kit offered at B&H of the 3221WN legs with a 501 head. I went with the beefier (and more expensive) 503 due to the amount of abuse I put my stuff through (jungle excursions and the like). As well, my Z1 with all the gear I typically dangle from it weighs a decent bit more than your camera and gear, more than likely.

The 3221WN is designed for wilderness stuff, but it's generally a simple, lightweight tripod. With what you do, it sounds like you'd want something you can pick up and move easily and repeatedly, the 3221WN/501 would be better for that than the 503 (it gets heavy after awhile, really).

Bogen also makes dolly wheels for their tripods, that would fit this. Might want to check that out, too, as dolly shots for the bride walking down the aisle are nice. For 600, you could probably get a 501 and some legs that fit your needs, plus dolly wheels and a spreader.

Some things to look for that you might or might not need:

Dolly wheels
Spreader
Crank for pedestal moves (instead of loosening a friction screw to raise manually)
feet that convert from pads for indoor to spikes for outdoor/dirt
push-button leg releases. these make setting up and leveling a SNAP. Hold the camera level and press a button!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! And keep in mind what Mike said, there is a lot that is truly a matter of preference. Only you know what is right for you (but we can answer questions =D).

Carl
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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What is your camera, what do you use it for, how often?

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:55 PM   #9
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Me?

I use a Z1U for adventure videography, corporate videography, TV commercials, simple local TV shows.... how often really depends. I haven't filmed more than 4 days this last month, and half of that was practice and trying out 50i->24p using Cineform, test run stuff.

Over the summer I spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica (bouncing back and forth between beaches and rainforests) filming adventure videography, a week in Bahamas filming random adventure stuff (took an A1 underwater for that one, too), sharkfishing up here in NE FL (strapped my Bogen to the roof of the boat, worked out rather well actually!) So yeah, how often seems to bounce between the two extremes. I really wish it would level out sometime!

Carl
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:12 PM   #10
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Carl,

Costa Rica, beautiful, love it. Enjoy!

Mike
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:17 PM   #11
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Oh, I did!!! They had to drag me back on the plane, and point out I was almost out of tapes. Otherwise, I'd still be in the jungle. ;)

You're not in a bad spot yourself - you're right around where the seawater turns that pretty light blue, aren't you? It's normally a navy or deep green up here, depending on the current algae levels pouring out from the St. Johns. :)

Carl
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:47 PM   #12
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Ya,

Florida is beautiful! It has just gotten so expensive because of migration and hurricanes!

Tripods have most to do with studiedness and convenience. Do yourself a favor and look for sturdiness over convenience. My two main ones are Bogan 3030a's I think. Older but great! Very much older!

The 503 Bogan heads are pretty good also, I have two of them!

Mike
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:57 PM   #13
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I agree, you can always say "Aarrgghh..." and lift an extra 4 pounds. You can't force yourself to pan stably every time through brunt effort. :)

Also, nothing like a tripod falling over and the agonizing scream that follows. Stability is number one! :D

Mike,

Have you been over to Bimini or anywhere else in the Bahamas? It's rediculously pretty there, and fairly close and cheap to get to from where you're at. :)
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 12:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Middleton View Post
I agree, you can always say "Aarrgghh..." and lift an extra 4 pounds. You can't force yourself to pan stably every time through brunt effort. :)

Also, nothing like a tripod falling over and the agonizing scream that follows. Stability is number one! :D

Mike,

Have you been over to Bimini or anywhere else in the Bahamas? It's rediculously pretty there, and fairly close and cheap to get to from where you're at. :)
Carl,

As crazy as it sounds, I have not been there, but I will soon. Since I've moved to Florida I have traveled to Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands. 90 miles away is the Bahamas and I will go soon. The weather is great now, so why not. I'll take my HV20 and no tripod! :)

Mike
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 07:33 AM   #15
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That's the way to do it! :D

I loved having my Z there but I hate exposing it to that much salty air. And it only touched a tripod during multicam shoots, and that's only because I was the only person on the crew who actually knew how to handle a camera, and had to shoot with the b cam. ;)

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