Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

One head suits all??

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 1st January 2008, 17:23   #1
Tim Taylor
work in progress
 
Tim Taylor's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Somerset, UK
Posts: 8,244
One head suits all??

OK, I'm still stuck between the Benro Flexpod C-298n6 and Feisol CT-3442 tripods but will probably get one or the other (but I might get a Manfrotto 055ProB to save cash!). Now the problem is what head to get. I've got a Manfrotto 486RC2 ballhead that I use on my monopod and it would do as a stopgap but I need something that will be OK for macrophotography and landscape lenses as well as OK for (eventually) a Sigma 500mm. Camera is the 30D. I really want as little hassle as possible with setup so I was thinking that something like a 701RC2 or 501Pro video head would do the business for all projected uses. Another possiblity would be a bigger ballhead like a Benro KS-1. I shudder at the prices of Arca Swiss, Really Right Stuff, Kirk etc...

Any ideas?

Thanks

Tim
__________________
More bird photos, insect macros, blog and other bits and bobs on my website.
Tim Taylor is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st January 2008, 18:41   #2
postcardcv
Super Moderator
BF Supporter 2019
 
postcardcv's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 17,093
I don't think that there is an easy solution... the 701 really is to small and lightweight for a big lens, but the 501 will handle even big primes with ease. However I would not like to use the 501 for macro or landscape work. I don't like ballheads for long lens use, but if you're OK with one it's probably a more workable 'one head' solution.
postcardcv is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 1st January 2008, 20:00   #3
Tim Taylor
work in progress
 
Tim Taylor's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Somerset, UK
Posts: 8,244
What's the problem with the 501 and macro/landscape? Is fine adjustment not as easy as with a ball or other head type?
__________________
More bird photos, insect macros, blog and other bits and bobs on my website.
Tim Taylor is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd January 2008, 13:34   #4
postcardcv
Super Moderator
BF Supporter 2019
 
postcardcv's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 17,093
As the 501 is a video head you have pan and tilt controls, but you do not have movement in the third plane, so keeping things level can be an issue. With a long lens you can roate the set up on it's tripod collar to get round this, but there is no such easy fix with wide angle and macro lenses (well at least not the ones I use).
postcardcv is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd January 2008, 13:54   #5
Tim Taylor
work in progress
 
Tim Taylor's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Somerset, UK
Posts: 8,244
Ah, I see where you're coming from. The Sigma 150mm macro has a tripod collar so I it would probably be OK. I guess careful levelling of the tripod is the best bet for landscape stuff. If I get the Benro tripod, it has a built in bubble level and I've seen little levels for the hotshoe plate on the camera. With a combination of the two levels it should be possible to get level panning worked out.
__________________
More bird photos, insect macros, blog and other bits and bobs on my website.
Tim Taylor is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 2nd January 2008, 19:09   #6
Tim Taylor
work in progress
 
Tim Taylor's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Somerset, UK
Posts: 8,244
In case anyone else reads this thread, I found a brief page that discusses macro requirements here. It mentions tripods, heads and focus rails and is a pretty good jumping off point for more research.
__________________
More bird photos, insect macros, blog and other bits and bobs on my website.
Tim Taylor is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 3rd January 2008, 07:46   #7
Markulous
Registered User
 
Markulous's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Peak District
Posts: 297
I wanted a tripod/head combo that was reasonably light but would remain as flexible as possible as I do macro, landscape and some wildlife, with a bit of hiking. In the end I opted for a Benbo Trekker (for flexibility/weather resistance) and use a standard Benbo ballhead at one end (of centre column) for wildlife/landscapes and a no-name joystick at the other for macro/landscapes. Combo works very well for me - only downside is that the QR plates are different (but I leave the ballhead plates on my large lenses and the joystick on the camera, so only needs an occasional change!)
__________________
~SigmaReality~ ΜΛЯΚ ~CanonCreativity~
Markulous is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 3rd January 2008, 12:39   #8
Tim Taylor
work in progress
 
Tim Taylor's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Somerset, UK
Posts: 8,244
Thanks Markulous, that's really helpful. I'll find out more about the options you mention. I love the macros in your gallery and look forward to having a go at things like that when the fly season starts.
__________________
More bird photos, insect macros, blog and other bits and bobs on my website.
Tim Taylor is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 8th January 2008, 15:11   #9
SLRShooter
Nikon user - D300, D1X, 9 lens, SB-800, and many bags
 
SLRShooter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Taylor View Post
Thanks Markulous, that's really helpful. I'll find out more about the options you mention. I love the macros in your gallery and look forward to having a go at things like that when the fly season starts.
All those options are viable until you buy that 500mm lens, then everything is out the window! You will probably find that the tripod won't give you good sharp pictures and the head won't be suitable for following the action of wildlife. Many people who do wildlife/birding use a gimbal head like the Wimberley because it balances the load by mounting to the lens and thus making it much easier to follow the action. It isn't locked down like a ball head and you don't have to release the horizontal or vertical levers/dials.

A good tripod and gimbal head will set you back about $1,000 or more. Also, don't try to use a large lens on a tripod with a center column extended. You will effectively have traded in your tripod for a monopod. It will shake!!! I just purchased a Gitzo 3540xls that extends to over 70 inches and doesn't even come with a center column. If you don't need the fourth set of legs, it will still extend to 59 inches. The maximum load is around 38 pounds (18kg).
__________________
Norm (SLRShooter)
Laurel, MD USA
SLRShooter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 8th January 2008, 15:27   #10
Markulous
Registered User
 
Markulous's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Peak District
Posts: 297
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLRShooter View Post
All those options are viable until you buy that 500mm lens, then everything is out the window!
Whilst I wouldn't entirely disagree, I wouldn't be too hasty to jump to conclusions. This was taken with [email protected] with 1.4x Extender (so 560mm equiv). Since this was my first day out with this combo, I was pretty well pleased with it! I've since got better shots but wanted to show what can be done from the first off - not the best/sharpest shot, I know!

350D+100-400 resting on Benbo Trekker ballhead (using IS 2). Not that far off a monopod combo (my usual useage) but a touch more stable
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	_MG_6977.jpg
Views:	163
Size:	137.5 KB
ID:	120768  
__________________
~SigmaReality~ ΜΛЯΚ ~CanonCreativity~
Markulous is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 8th January 2008, 15:46   #11
Tim Taylor
work in progress
 
Tim Taylor's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Somerset, UK
Posts: 8,244
Thanks for the comments Norm and Markulous. I've ordered the Benro C-298n6 with the flexible centre column and the KS-1 ballhead. It will allow me to do significantly more than I can at present. If the ballhead at least pans smoothly I'll be able to add a Wimberley sidekick if I wish although I may have to crouch a bit to use it without the column extended. Other alternatives would be to go for the Manfrotto 393 head if I get a 500mm. We'll see how it goes.
__________________
More bird photos, insect macros, blog and other bits and bobs on my website.
Tim Taylor is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
410 geared head and 501 fluid head greg g Photographic Tripods / Heads 1 Saturday 6th January 2007 01:07
Great Legs, Bad Head, Zhumell WDF4 tripod and head Lou H Tripod and Heads 0 Thursday 9th November 2006 15:18
Ghillie Suits? Camo? photo_luver Outdoor Clothing 16 Tuesday 3rd January 2006 17:12
head to head with a moth--19 June Surreybirder Butterflies and Moths ID 9 Sunday 20th June 2004 09:42

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.23031807 seconds with 24 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 05:24.