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Support for 500mm f4

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Old Saturday 5th April 2008, 09:58   #1
Roy C
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Support for 500mm f4

I am trying to gauge the weight I would need to carry around if I got a 500mm f4. I thought about a Monopod and decent head as the lightest solution but the disadvantage would be that I could not plonk it down if I wanted a break from the weight.
What is the lightest tripod and head that would support the 500 and 40D without paying big money are there any budget models out there? Is the Manfrotto 393 head any good for this combo?.

I have a Manfrotto 055 Pro tripod at the moment but I think it would be pushing it with the 500.

Once I settle on a good combo I am going to try a few route marches with the same weight to see if I could manage it without becoming to knackered
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Old Saturday 5th April 2008, 12:13   #2
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You could probably just get away with the 055 legs, but really to get the best out of the lens you'd want to go for Gitzo legs, I use old 1349CF legs which weigh less than my 055 pro. The Manfrotto 393 works fine with this lens (a number of BF members use it) though personally I didn't get on with it. You can get away with using it on a monopod (BF gallery regular Nigel Pye almost always uses his on one), but for me the advantages of a tripod make it well worth the extra weight.
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Old Sunday 6th April 2008, 20:25   #3
Duke Leto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postcardcv View Post
You could probably just get away with the 055 legs, but really to get the best out of the lens you'd want to go for Gitzo legs, I use old 1349CF legs which weigh less than my 055 pro. The Manfrotto 393 works fine with this lens (a number of BF members use it) though personally I didn't get on with it. You can get away with using it on a monopod (BF gallery regular Nigel Pye almost always uses his on one), but for me the advantages of a tripod make it well worth the extra weight.
I think its the weight of the head that is a major problem, not sure what a quality head for a big lens weighs, I do know that mine when mounted on a head with a nice tripod puts it at the high end for transportability (after carrying around Snettisham for a day it started to tell!! I have had success on a monopod but I do tend to use it directly on the monopod rather than on a head.
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Old Monday 7th April 2008, 08:15   #4
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I think its the weight of the head that is a major problem, not sure what a quality head for a big lens weighs, I do know that mine when mounted on a head with a nice tripod puts it at the high end for transportability (after carrying around Snettisham for a day it started to tell!! I have had success on a monopod but I do tend to use it directly on the monopod rather than on a head.
This is the head I use - http://www.jobu-design.com/catalog/i...54/2040287.htm it's not that heavy and is more than capable of holding the load.
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Old Saturday 12th April 2008, 08:39   #5
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This guy uses a Slik monopod (600 I think), and a Manfrotto 234 RC2 head for his 500. The important thing is the belt mounted pouch to support the monopod:

http://bigal-sa.smugmug.com/photos/71489988_BPCYS-M.jpg

I use a similar setup for the Bigma. I have a Manfrotto monopod which is Ok for my height, but the Slik's 4 sections make it easier for a shorter person.
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Old Saturday 12th April 2008, 09:04   #6
Roy C
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Originally Posted by alan carr View Post
This guy uses a Slik monopod (600 I think), and a Manfrotto 234 RC2 head for his 500. The important thing is the belt mounted pouch to support the monopod:

http://bigal-sa.smugmug.com/photos/71489988_BPCYS-M.jpg

I use a similar setup for the Bigma. I have a Manfrotto monopod which is Ok for my height, but the Slik's 4 sections make it easier for a shorter person.
That's interesting Alan, is this method better than using the monopod on the ground?
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Old Saturday 12th April 2008, 11:22   #7
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That's interesting Alan, is this method better than using the monopod on the ground?
Roy, it works really well when you're moving around or panning. It's also really steady and stable if you can lean up against something. What I've found is that my Manfrotto (679b) tends to flex a bit at the joints if it's fully extended with the Bigma mounted - with this method, the monopod is never extended by more than about 20cm.

In this gallery, I've indicated where I've used it by adding (SdP) to the title (the page I've linked to has quite a few pics taken using this method).
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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 11:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan carr View Post
This guy uses a Slik monopod (600 I think), and a Manfrotto 234 RC2 head for his 500. The important thing is the belt mounted pouch to support the monopod:

http://bigal-sa.smugmug.com/photos/71489988_BPCYS-M.jpg

I use a similar setup for the Bigma. I have a Manfrotto monopod which is Ok for my height, but the Slik's 4 sections make it easier for a shorter person.
Quite scary, if you use a monopod with spiked foot ...
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Old Tuesday 15th April 2008, 09:30   #9
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Roy,
If you go down the Manfrotto 234 head route, note that this head is rated at a load of 2.7 kg, make sure you are happy in your own mind that it will support a 500/4.
regards I4ani
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Old Tuesday 15th April 2008, 09:45   #10
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Roy,
If you go down the Manfrotto 234 head route, note that this head is rated at a load of 2.7 kg, make sure you are happy in your own mind that it will support a 500/4.
regards I4ani
I tested a 234 on a monodpod and think it is a very good little head, but there is no way that I would trust it with the 500 f4. If you want a fairly light weight head that will hold the weight look at a ball head like the Manfrotto 486.
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Old Tuesday 15th April 2008, 12:09   #11
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Roy,
If you go down the Manfrotto 234 head route, note that this head is rated at a load of 2.7 kg, make sure you are happy in your own mind that it will support a 500/4.
regards I4ani
I certainly would not use the 234 head with a 500/4.
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Old Wednesday 16th April 2008, 04:47   #12
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I'm actually more worried about a fully extended monopod being able to carry the weight than the 234. Here is a message on another forum from the guy in my pic above - for the record, he's a pro sports photographer so needs to rely on all his equipment far more than serious amateurs. He also "invented" the monopod pouch that I mentioned earlier.

Last edited by alan carr : Wednesday 16th April 2008 at 04:51.
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Old Wednesday 16th April 2008, 11:22   #13
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I have seen a few guys using a monopod with the lens directly on the pod screw with no head. Anyone tried the manfrotto 393 on a Monopod (according to Manfrotto it is for a Monopod).
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Old Friday 18th April 2008, 21:51   #14
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Roy,

Regarding monopods. Have you looked at Monostat monopods? They support 30 pounds (about 13.6 Kilograms) and are very stable. They have a really nice base foot. They will accept any ballhead that you would use with a tripod.

I use a ballhead on my Monostat and love the setup.

As mentioned earlier, Jobu Designs has some interesting supports.

Good luck,
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Old Friday 6th June 2008, 12:53   #15
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I'd suggest that if you're going to spend thousands on a lens, that you don't skimp on the support. Doesn't mean you have to spend top dollar, but I wouldn't go for low-end budget models either. The cost of quality support is simply part of the overall cost of having a large super telephoto. Not only is it reliable and sturdy, but much easier to use, for example the full Wimberley head vs. the Sidekick. Not that the Sidekick is low-end, but the full head is just so much better with such a heavy lens.

As for monopods. I use one and have the lens directly on the clamp (a Gitzo monopod with a RSS Pro2 clamp). RSS has just come out with a high capacity monopod head which I will likely get.
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Old Friday 6th June 2008, 21:16   #16
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[quote=gymell;1214992]I'd suggest that if you're going to spend thousands on a lens, that you don't skimp on the support. Doesn't mean you have to spend top dollar, but I wouldn't go for low-end budget models either. The cost of quality support is simply part of the overall cost of having a large super telephoto. QUOTE]

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What's the tripod you're using in this shot, please?
http://www.pbase.com/gymell/image/88961320
Some sort of Gitzo by the looks of it.

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Old Friday 6th June 2008, 23:31   #17
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It's the Gitzo 3530S with a Kirk BH-1 ball head and Wimberley Sidekick. I've since gotten the full Wimberley head and I love it!
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Old Saturday 7th June 2008, 11:55   #18
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It's the Gitzo 3530S with a Kirk BH-1 ball head and Wimberley Sidekick. I've since gotten the full Wimberley head and I love it!
Thanks, Liz.

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