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Looking for a tripod - 7DII + 100-400mm

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Old Wednesday 28th December 2016, 17:31   #1
Mr. Technology

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 16
Looking for a tripod - 7DII + 100-400mm


I'm looking for a tripod to support my new photo gear (Canon 7DII + 100-400mm). I've browsed the internet quite a lot recently, but finding information is difficult. Sure, everyone recommend Gitzo, but I don't really see myself spending 1000 on a tripod. Not yet at least.
I would rather aim for 400-500.

The other thing is, to get low to the ground, I would like to have it without a center column... which restricts the possibilities, and raises the height issue. I'm 178cm tall, what do you think should be the height of the tripod, considering that I want to put a gimbal head on it?

Last, I would rather have lever-locks than twist-locks, for the legs.

Does someone have experience with this kind of setup, from brands like Benro, Feisol, Manfrotto...? What about other brands?
I went to a local shop today, they told me that for many brands, you could actually remove a chunk of the center column, while some (Benro, I think) offer a shorter column (10-15cm) as an accessory. What do you think?

Thank you :)
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Old Thursday 29th December 2016, 21:20   #2

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Wales UK
Posts: 1,153
"Sure, everyone recommend Gitzo, but I don't really see myself spending 1000€ on a tripod. Not yet at least." There might be a reason that people recommend Gitzo? I use Gitzo tripods for one simple reason - they are the cheapest brand that gives me the stability/robustness that I want.

It is a pity that you didn't ask this question earlier as Gitzo had a 50% off sale! The GT 3532LS (more than you need but when you ever get that 500 F4) was 383 Euros - I picked up a 4 series systematic for about 436 Euros.

Looking at your original post I agree that, ideally, center columns are best avoided but it is not always an option. As to leg locks? I would not even consider the flip type leg locks - they are just too flimsy. My tripods get a fair bit of abuse being used as walking poles etc - and I need something I can rely on. For example I used to have a Manfrotto 055 X B Pro - when set up I could push it down with one hand. I also used to have an old Gitzo G1329 Mk2 (very old twist locks) which I couldn't push down full stop - my 100+ kilo weight was simply not enough. Note the newer Gitzo leg locks are better.

I would suggest that you get a Gitzo - they do not, necessarily cost a fortune. The G1329 that I mentioned cost less than 120 Euros! Keep an eye on sites such as FleaBay and any camera shops in your area. Even new they are not always too expensive:

Just some food for thought? Check that the GT2542S is tall enough for you before you buy.
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Old Thursday 29th December 2016, 22:16   #3
Dave Williams
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,606
For daylight photography I wouldn't even consider using a tripod with that set up as it's so lightweight. Low to the ground a bean bag should suffice if you need to rest the outfit.
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