Feedback Request - Tripod

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Nate_Dogg, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Nate_Dogg

    Nate_Dogg TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 6, 2013
    Eugene, OR
    Nate Pfeifer
    So, currently I have a MeFoto Roadtrip, which I find to be a great match for my Sony A7 and A6000.

    That said, I saw a RRS BL-40 / Gitzo GT-2531 combo on Craigslist for ~$700. I know both these tripod components are highly regarded, but I'm wondering if I'd notice enough difference to justify the purchase.

    I'd mainly be using it for landscape photography, and do a fair amount of hiking to do so.

    Thanks in advance for any shared thoughts.
  2. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Legend

    Oct 8, 2013
    We all have different standards we try to achieve, place our priorities in different places, etc.
    But personally, I've never taken a shot that turned out bad because I was using a couple hundred dollar Bogen / Manfrotto was always some other reason. So for me, I'd rather spend that kind of money on lenses instead of a more expensive tripod.
  3. MizOre

    MizOre TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 18, 2014
    For me, I bought a cheaper brand carbon fiber tripod and an Acratech GV2 head, sort of splitting the difference. Had a Gitzo in the past paired with the same model Acratech. The Gitzo I had didn't impress me as being significantly better than my current Induro. Carbon fiber is nice if you're hiking, and Acratech has a ball head model (The Ultimate, I think) that's lighter than a number of other ball heads. Being able to use Arca Swiss standard plates is useful. Having plates on that don't interfer with camera battery and card doors makes life so much easier.
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    I as well don't see the need for a $700 tripod.

    My $130.00 does everything I need.

    If you are doing a lot of hiking, I would consider a monopod/walking staff.
  5. shotupdave

    shotupdave TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 22, 2014
    Torrance, CA
    as long as the tripod does its job it does not matter if its a $80 or $700. I do think a good head that can be locked down and can be used with gloves when it closed is important
  6. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    Heh this being a camera discussion forum... it's sort of like a discussion about golf clubs at a golfing forum, right? Well anyway, I agree with the rest, you need strong and light mostly (which the ~$100 up range does give), but very few people need the infinitesimal improvements beyond that. At least with lenses, even when most people (myself included if I am honest) don't actually "need" that corner-to-corner perfect lens, you can actually tell the difference if you pixel peep. I bet no one's ever said "You must have a great tripod" when looking at a photo though.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. MizOre

    MizOre TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 18, 2014
    It really depends on how long the lenses you use are and how much weight you want to carry hiking. The argument for better tripods for mirrorless is here: with a link to his earlier article for DSLR users.

    My other tripod is a $15 Ultra Pod II. My monopod is heavier than my tripod (Manfrotto height adjustable trigger grip with a Manfrotto monopod head with a Wimberley clamp).
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    When using it for landscapes and hiking, I'd definitely recommend the Sirui T-005X. Sturdy enough, extremely light (1,2 kg with head, 0,9 kg for the more expensive version), and doesn't break the bank at €100 for the aluminum version - and that's including the awesome head which usually sells for €80 by itself.
  9. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Watch craigslist for a used Bogen anything for $75. Swap out heads to suit your preference as necessary. Manfrotto, of course, is mostly the same thing, but Manfrotto's plastic tripods are Target/Walmart upsell accessory crap, stay away.
  10. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    I don't have these 2 tripods but I would guess no, you won't see enough different to warrant the $700 OUTLAY.

    The MeFoto Roadtrip is a pretty decent tripod for mirrorless by most accounts. I use the Sirui T-025X (same as Poki but the CF model) and there's no way I would spend $700 for another travel tripod.

    Are you having issues with the Roadtrip?
  11. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I use a mefoto also. I love it. I know it's not the best, but it has never been the reason for a bad shot. If you think otherwise, then you have your justification.
  12. josema

    josema TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 31, 2013
    Jose M. Alonso
    Taking up this old thread.
    I have been using a Manfrotto MKC3-P01‎. I've read on another, even older thread, Poki used to have one then moved to a Sirui T-005X.

    Sometimes I have experienced some blurry landscape images using the Manfrotto with my Nex-6 and SEL1018. I try not to extend it much and not to use the central column but still. I'm wondering if it's my lack of skill or that I really need something better.

    I travel quite a bit so I favor something light and compact (hence why I got the Manfrotto in the first place along with the nice, low price tag).
    The Sirui (or its longer brother TXL) look very good to me and it would be very helpful to hear from those who have it and ideally from those like Poki who have had both!
  13. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Legend

    Oct 8, 2013
    Strictly as an aside...if you want to get a new tripod, I understand as I love equipment.
    But I gotta tell ya, the only tripods I've ever used are Manfrotto and have never had a reject photo due to a Manfrotto tripod...if I have a screwed up photo its because I screwed it up, LOL.

    Example of a Manfrotto Tripod in action:
    Moon is a quarter million miles away, traveling at 2400 MPH:
    071016 PM 37% Waxing Crescent 13_FLICKR+HiDef+Brt10+Shp25_FS-Sat25+B&W.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    There's a lot of potential culprits for a blurry shot besides the tripod. (Focus, subject motion, diffraction from stopping down too far, etc...) That said, a tripod that is too flimsy certainly can be a drag.
    When using the tripod, IME it's a good idea to enable the "Electronic Front Curtain", disable the OSS (stabilization) and use a remote or the 2 second self-timer to trigger the shutter. Hope this helps...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    I'd guess even a small and light tripod won't affect sharpness much when using a wide-angle lens like the SEL1018. Be sure to switch off OSS because that can play nasty tricks on a tripod, randomly causing unsharpness, and check that focus is correct before releasing the shutter; maybe you'll want to switch off focus on shutter button half-press and use a separate button for acquiring focus, or focus manually.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA

    I have the original pistol grip version of the Manfrotto MKC3-XXX as my compact travel tripod and it has worked fine with my a6000. But I've not shot with any longer and heavy zoom lenses that are cantilevered off the camera body. The tripod is decent for its price, but a larger or wider-legged model will offer more rigidity.
    Are you shooting using the self-timer? When I shoot and need a longer shutter I usually use the 2 or 10 sec. timer to allow the vibrations to dampen out. The longer or heavier the lens, the 10 sec. setting is always used.

    The Sirui products are excellent, but I don't have experience with them. I would've considered it, as a replacement or additional tripod. But already selected a Dolica Proline CF model as a larger, higher capacity, but lightweight tripod.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  17. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    When traveling I use a Velbon UT-43DII which packs down nice and small, and I can still use my A7II + SEL24240 combo at eye level with it. I don't expect a lightweight travel tripod to have the stability of its heftier siblings, but it's much more stable than the heftier tripod I don't have with me. :D 
    • Funny Funny x 1

    DYNOBOB TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 9, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    I just went thru the tripod search a few months ago. It appears that many people prefer the newer T-004X series (over the T-005X) because the center column will collapse. I ended up catching a carbon version (T-024X) on ebay under $200. I also like the 4 leg sections instead of 5.

  19. josema

    josema TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 31, 2013
    Jose M. Alonso
    Guys, lots of wise advice in here!
    Just for clarification: OSS off, f8, remote trigger release (either wireless remote or via Playmemories app)

    All that said, in the occasions on which I had trouble it has been in dark environments or really long exposures mainly seaside with also some wind. So likely a combination of environment and skills.

    My latest fail was at a location I was eager to visit, Mount Bromo in Surabaya, Indonesia. Arrived before 4am for a circa 5:30am sunrise. Very difficult to focus on almost dark. Most shots blurry. But when light started to come up, I refocused. It improved but not as much as I had hoped.

    Thinking twice, it seems I need to improve my technique and not yet another piece of gear to replace one that works.
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