So up until this point, I've been using the wobbly Sony tripod I had for my p&s camera and find that it is not sufficient for use w/ my Canon xsi in that it is just not sturdy enough. I'm finally able to invest in a better quality one and have my eye on the Manfrotto 190XPROB w/ 488RC4 head. Will this combo work? Any other suggestions?
I've been using a Pro Albinar tripod for ages (apparently the company went out of business in the 90's). One thing I love about it for nature photography is that the legs can be individually swung up to an almost parallel to the ground position and locked. Unlike many tripods, the footprint isn't fixed.
That flexibility is great for nature photography or anywhere else where the terrain may be uneven and allows getting very low angle tripod shots.
I'll see if I can find an in-production equivalent.
Thanks, George! Have you used a Cullman tripod? I haven't heard of that brand and haven't had an opportunity yet to read any reviews on it. I've heard nothing but good things about the Manfrotto tripods which is why I started there, but would consider the Cullman if anyone has used it and could recommend it. At this point, I'm still leaning towards the 190XPROB and either the 488RC4 or 322RC2 head...probably the 488 b/c of the pan lock, but I like the concept of the 322. It sounds really easy to use. Ugh. Decisions.
The Albinar is the only one I've ever used.
I can't say anything about Cullman other than the design. I only used that example because it was the first one that I found that had the design I was talking about. I didn't think I'd described it as well as an example could explain.
As with all such things, the best course is to go to the store and try a few out.
Thanks! I plan on going to my local camera shop this weekend, although they are somewhat limited on their supply. Hopefully they'll have a few different varieties.
Traci, I'm on my 4th(?) tripod. The 1st 3 were ultimately a waste of money, though at the time I didn't appreciate the value of a good tripod. My 4th is a Manfrotto/Bogen 3021BPro, now replaced by the 055XBPro. My 5th will tentatively be a Gitzo 2531 or 3531 CF tripod with a Arca Swiss Z1....right after I win the lottery!!! I'm using a 486RC2 head......often wishing I had bought the 50% heavier 488RC2 (for stability and panning, not the weight!!!).
I'd recommend you consider the 055XBPro model vs the 190 as its 55.9" vs 48" without using the center column raised (which you should avoid if at all possible). Figure on another 7-8" for your ballhead and camera viewfinder, then subtract 4-5" from your height to eye you'd have the 055 suitable for 56"+8"+5"=69" person, ie 5' 9". I'm 6'1", thus I have to bend a bit....assuming I never have any of the legs lower than where I'm standing (yuh, right!). The 190 would be equally suitable for a 5' 3" user. I never heard anyone complain about their tripod being TOO tall.
The 055 is 5.3 lbs vs the 190's 4 lbs so if you're hiking with it (as I can attest) that could be a factor. What's a little over a lb? Grab a tin can of food (usually about 1 lb) and carry it around in your hand for 15-20 minutes....the first 5, no problem! Thats part of why I originally went with the 486RC2....weight.
Besides the height, the biggest issue is the stability. The 190 is certainly better than most and infinitely better than not using a tripod at all.....but its going to be limited if you start to use heavier OR longer lenses.
Life is full of compromises.
Last edited by Russ; 02-18-2009 at 11:17 PM.
Russ, thanks for the info. I ordered the 190XPROB w/ the 488RC4 ballhead. I considered the 055 model, but the added weight was a little much. Also, I'm about 5'5" so having the the additional height of the 055 was not a major concern for me. Cannot wait until it arrives!
Traci I don't think you will be disappointed in the 190Xprob... I have long enjoyed the Bogen line, for Christmas I got a new 190 line not the pro. It replaces my 20+ year old 3021 pro. They are solid machines, and truly my 3021 would have been good as new simply by replacing a few leg levers.
Let me know how the 488rc4 works out, I am looking into a new head.
I really hate to give up my Hex plate, but I have little need for a super spendy 3 way control head again... so I will likely go ball head and work from there. :-)
I am not a pro photographer and if I have an extra $300 I put it into a new lens. However, I still have a need for a sturdy tripod and the get-a-tripod-free with your camera deal didn't offer one that would meet anybody's requirements. Hence to the local stores I went. I put hands on several (none of them more than $150) and took home the Sunpak QSZ 9502TM for $80. It weighs a bit at 6.2 lbs but then, I don't plan to go on long treks with it at this point. Basically for around town and vacation shooting plus sport video recording in local gyms. I like the smooth head movement. It locks solid with my D300 and 70-200 lens mounted on it. It has two bubble levels and an integrated monopod with it; the legs are supported with braces. Local store price was the same as on-line cost.