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TRIPOD ADVICE WANTED (1 Viewer)

David55

Member
Scotland
Hi,
After over 20 years use my Manfrotto Carbon One 443 tripod has finally given up, disappointingly only because I can't get the replacement parts I need anymore.
Can anyone recommend a current similar tripod ?
Are Benro tripods any good?
I'm not to keen on Manfrotto any more as I have been continually replacing parts on this one.
I can spend up to a maximum of £1000.
I have a Harpia 95 scope (2.1kg) and I'm 5ft 10".
It can't be too heavy as I do a fair bit of estuary walking with it.
Any advice appreciated!
David
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Hi,
After over 20 years use my Manfrotto Carbon One 443 tripod has finally given up, disappointingly only because I can't get the replacement parts I need anymore.
Can anyone recommend a current similar tripod ?
Are Benro tripods any good?
I'm not to keen on Manfrotto any more as I have been continually replacing parts on this one.
I can spend up to a maximum of £1000.
I have a Harpia 95 scope (2.1kg) and I'm 5ft 10".
It can't be too heavy as I do a fair bit of estuary walking with it.
Any advice appreciated!
David

Gitzo GT2532, weight is 1.67 kg, max height 166/138 cm, max load 22 kg.

Should be tall enough without the center column extended.


Comparison between GT2532 and a similar size (Chinese) Induro tripod:

 
Last edited:

4John

4John
Hi,
After over 20 years use my Manfrotto Carbon One 443 tripod has finally given up, disappointingly only because I can't get the replacement parts I need anymore.
Can anyone recommend a current similar tripod ?
Are Benro tripods any good?
I'm not to keen on Manfrotto any more as I have been continually replacing parts on this one.
I can spend up to a maximum of £1000.
I have a Harpia 95 scope (2.1kg) and I'm 5ft 10".
It can't be too heavy as I do a fair bit of estuary walking with it.
Any advice appreciated!
David
David55,

Which parts do you need which are no longer obtainable ?
 

Mike Crawley

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
Supporter
England
Hi,
After over 20 years use my Manfrotto Carbon One 443 tripod has finally given up, disappointingly only because I can't get the replacement parts I need anymore.
Can anyone recommend a current similar tripod ?
Are Benro tripods any good?
I'm not to keen on Manfrotto any more as I have been continually replacing parts on this one.
I can spend up to a maximum of £1000.
I have a Harpia 95 scope (2.1kg) and I'm 5ft 10".
It can't be too heavy as I do a fair bit of estuary walking with it.
Any advice appreciated!
David
I can't really comment about the quality of Benro tripods but I can tell you that the RSPB sell a Benro tripod, it says it’s made from aluminium. My local reserve has one in the shop/reception building. I seems really light (2kg quoted) and looks O.K. and I was able to use it on Sunday as part of an optics day organised by the reserve team and Viking. The best bit is that it’s £150.

 

David55

Member
Scotland
I can't really comment about the quality of Benro tripods but I can tell you that the RSPB sell a Benro tripod, it says it’s made from aluminium. My local reserve has one in the shop/reception building. I seems really light (2kg quoted) and looks O.K. and I was able to use it on Sunday as part of an optics day organised by the reserve team and Viking. The best bit is that it’s £150.

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the reply I'll take a look at it.
Cheers
David
 

David55

Member
Scotland
David55,

Which parts do you need which are no longer obtainable ?
Hi John,
The part that I can no longer source is the metal bush that grips the central column inside the central casting. Can't get it new and have been unable to source any used. If I could get this I would still need to get a new central column (at £95) as mine is very worn and "slippery" as well as a screw knob mechanism(£20).
Cheers,
David
 

David55

Member
Scotland
Gitzo GT2532, weight is 1.67 kg, max height 166/138 cm, max load 22 kg.

Should be tall enough without the center column extended.


Comparison between GT2532 and a similar size (Chinese) Induro tripod:

Thanks for this Vestobuteo, I'll have a closer look.
It looks very similar dimensions to my existing tripod being slightly higher. When I use my Manfrotto with the central column extended I do get quite a bit vibration ( it's a bit windy here on the north east cost of Scotland), Is the Gitzo likely to be better? I see it doesn't have the clips on the leg adjustment which maybe help,
 

David55

Member
Scotland
Another member (forent) recently drew attention to these new tripods from Leofoto Leofoto inverted SOAR series with inverted leg segments.
If the rather long collapsed length is not a problem I would expect them to offer better stability than any other tripods of comparable weight.

John
Thanks Tringa45, I've had a look and I think that the collapsed length of 990mm would be an issue for me. I see that they do other models which have 3 leg sections so I'll take a closer look at them.
Cheers
David
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Thanks for this Vestobuteo, I'll have a closer look.
It looks very similar dimensions to my existing tripod being slightly higher. When I use my Manfrotto with the central column extended I do get quite a bit vibration ( it's a bit windy here on the north east cost of Scotland), Is the Gitzo likely to be better? I see it doesn't have the clips on the leg adjustment which maybe help,

My experience is that the weakest spot for vibrations is often the fluid head and also how it mounts to the tripod.
Smaller, lighter fluid heads may be more wiggly.

Also having a good quick-mount plate system is important.
Avoid any proprietary smallish Manfrotto plates (it's horrible engineering),
and go for a head that takes longer Arca Swiss plates with good locking-screws.
A longer plate might be useful for adjusting the balance of the scope.

The center column can off course be a weak spot if having to be set too high.
If getting a tripod with center column I would see to that it's not has to be extended more than 5-10 cm which make it useful for on the fly height adjustment, but still not extended too much.

For maximum stability I would look at the Gitzo Systematic series that has no center column.
But having a center column is a bit more convenient adjusting the height when on different surfaces etc.

I have both variants (Mountaineer and Systematic), but in windy conditions the thicker legs of the sturdier Systematic-tripod tend to catch more wind it seems...so I guess it's complicated...and comes down to preferences.

Total height will depend on the fluid head used, so you will have to try it out.
 

corvid-8

Well-known member
For all scopes 66 upwards LEOFOTO LS 323 w/ Manfrotto MVH 500 AH. No centre column 3 leg sections and long plate, fluid Head. Heads can be picked up used , a few available now (MPB, Birders Store, eBay ) Never let me down.
 

David55

Member
Scotland
Thanks to you both.
I find that I do use the centre column a lot for minor adjustments after moving, both when standing or sitting.
Although I do understand the benefits of a tripod without the central column would it not make minor adjustments a bit fiddly or is there a "knack"to using them?

On another matter: my current tripod has a strap attachment point on the central casting which I use to attach my shoulder strap to. This is the way I carry my scope at all times. I don't think any of these tripods have this facility....is there a way to do this
without a clip on the tripod?
Cheers
 

corvid-8

Well-known member
I never carry a large scope on a tripod with a strap, just the weight on the shoulder or any failure of strap or attachment due to said weight. Old fashioned "over the shoulder" balanced grip.
Height adjustment ; I have two rings (black Sharpie) on each smallest legs which the mid way point between is a "Dead Height" for viewing on flat surface. Each ring is about 2" each way of mid point a kind of max/min. So before planting tripod on the ground I extend fully top two legs and adjust bottom legs to marks, fine tuning above / below / in between marks as needed.
Having the larger diameter joints in full use gives more stability.
Hope this helps.
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Thanks to you both.
I find that I do use the centre column a lot for minor adjustments after moving, both when standing or sitting.
Although I do understand the benefits of a tripod without the central column would it not make minor adjustments a bit fiddly or is there a "knack"to using them?

On another matter: my current tripod has a strap attachment point on the central casting which I use to attach my shoulder strap to. This is the way I carry my scope at all times. I don't think any of these tripods have this facility....is there a way to do this
without a clip on the tripod?
Cheers

It's a bit more fiddly to unlock two-three leg locks instead of one on the center column.
But when you get used to it, it's not a major problem IMO.
The Gitzos have G-lock so you only have to twist/open the locks very minimal.
 

David55

Member
Scotland
I never carry a large scope on a tripod with a strap, just the weight on the shoulder or any failure of strap or attachment due to said weight. Old fashioned "over the shoulder" balanced grip.
Height adjustment ; I have two rings (black Sharpie) on each smallest legs which the mid way point between is a "Dead Height" for viewing on flat surface. Each ring is about 2" each way of mid point a kind of max/min. So before planting tripod on the ground I extend fully top two legs and adjust bottom legs to marks, fine tuning above / below / in between marks as needed.
Having the larger diameter joints in full use gives more stability.
Hope this helps.

I think should give a "no central column" a go, I suppose I could add a central column if I'm not happy with it.

I try not to use my car and can't carry a full days stuff on my back due to a back problem. I find carrying my scope and tripod on my shoulder(using a reliable strap) gives me a good balance, both folded and fully out, I walk up to 10 miles this way without any issues. Mind you my current total scope and tripod weight is 5kgs so might have to reconsider if increasing that.
Thanks very much for the feedback, much appreciated!
 

David55

Member
Scotland
It's a bit more fiddly to unlock two-three leg locks instead of one on the center column.
But when you get used to it, it's not a major problem IMO.
The Gitzos have G-lock so you only have to twist/open the locks very minimal.
I'll give it a go. As I said to Corvid-8, I suppose I could add a central column if need be.
Thanks very much for all your help and advice!
 

David55

Member
Scotland
Thanks again,
I can't really carry anything so heavy directly on my back due to spinal issues that I have, funnily enough using my shoulders is ok.
I have been comparing the Leofoto the equivalent Gitzo and pricewise it looks a no-brainer. The only real technical benefit I see is that the Gitzo has water proof seals on the joins, importantly the Leofoto has a substantial weight advantage.
Here in Nairn where I go it can be very (very) windy so it's very important that it has as little vibration as possible, in your experience is the Leofoto quite suitable for that type of environment? Every thing I can find suggests that it is, although I understand that nothing is perfect.. The weight of it together with the Manfrotto head will be less than my existing setup so that's a bonus straight away and the Arca type head should be an improvement on my trusty old Manfrotto 128RC.
 

corvid-8

Well-known member
Nairn ! call that windy, used to live 100miles north of you. Could only dream of the wussy winds of Nairn :)
BTW the Head Plate is NOT Arca Swiss.
The Leofoto has never let water in the joints if it did -strip it and clean- simple.
cheers
 

David55

Member
Scotland
Nairn ! call that windy, used to live 100miles north of you. Could only dream of the wussy winds of Nairn :)
BTW the Head Plate is NOT Arca Swiss.
The Leofoto has never let water in the joints if it did -strip it and clean- simple.
cheers
Ach you've obviously never been out on the Nairn Bar in January.
So it would perform well in the even more northerly breeze?
 

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