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Old August 21st, 2011, 07:23 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
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Tall tripod recommendations please

Hi Folks - I'm looking for a tall tripod to replace my manfrotto 055PROB - I work alone and a good vantage point (particularly for the ceremony) for my second camera is a must. I really need to get over the heads of the congregation in fairly tight venues (small registry offices/hotels etc)

The manfrotto goes just over 6' but I'm looking for something a foot or two higher, but with preferably not a larger footprint

Any suggestions?


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Old August 21st, 2011, 07:31 AM   #2
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Re: Tall tripod recommendations please

I've been using a Bogen 3246 (now Manfrotto 028) for about 11 years. With the lower legs extended and the center column fully raised I can get it about 8 feet in the air. Of course I then need a small ladder to stand on to set the shot but.... :-)

The thing is you say you want a small footprint which I fully understand but you give up any stability you might have. As the camera goes higher you need a bigger footprint to stabilize with. I have in fact run my camera up at 8 feet but I keep the tripod fully open otherwise can be some shake and shimmey.

I'm sure there are probably other legs out there that get high but I only know about the Manfrotto 028B.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Tall tripod recommendations please

If your 2nd cam is quite small and lightweight then a lightstand can work really well. OK its not as stable as a tripod but the advantage it gives in height - easily 8ft or more - is terrific. If your B cams are the likes of the TM900 then the inbuilt image stabilisation function will counteract the vibration you get when adjusting the stand.

Lightstands have a much lower visibility than tripods and so are particularly suited for weddings where a lot of visible equipment can alter the vibe.

You can use a simple ball and socket head to attach the cam but a small light pan and tilt head is quicker and smoother to use. I use two lightstands each with a Manfrotto 701 head.

Don't forget you can also use super clamps, friction arms etc to mount cams to suitable fixtures or furniture in the room thereby reducing the footprint to zero :-)

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Old August 21st, 2011, 10:23 AM   #4
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Location: Woodinville, WA USA
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Re: Tall tripod recommendations please

I'm with Don 100% on this one. The big Manfrotto is what I use -- I've got a couple of them -- but you must have a big footprint to keep this beast stable at these heights. As it is, this monster is a bit wobbly, fully extended, due to the massive center column. You could lock the mid-level spreader to limit the footprint but I wouldn't advise this.

You'll need a stepladder. By the time you factor in the added (optional) ball leveler, the head and the height of the cam itself, the eyepiece/LCD is about nine feet in the air.
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
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Old August 21st, 2011, 10:35 AM   #5
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Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
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Re: Tall tripod recommendations please

Like Don, I have a pair of the 3246s and I am not sure it is possible to kill them! They are built like a tank and weigh about half as much as one too!

As far as footprint, the size of the footprint is directly relational to the height you want, the weight of what you have on top, and how sturdy a support you want that to have. We've used the 3246s with the footprint semi collapsed lots of times, but also had them in a "protected" environment when we did. I never had a concern with the tripod collapsing. My concern was always someone bumping into it while in the collapsed footprint state and it going over because of that.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 04:04 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Re: Tall tripod recommendations please

Don't know what this guy was using at a University graduation but the camera seemed to be about 3m off the ground. My better half was amused by the photographer's posture and took these pics.
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