Tripds and ballheads....another part of downsizing

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by mcasan, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    We have Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballheads over Gitzo GT-3531S tripods. The set was rock solid and great for our DSLR gear. That was then, this is now.

    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
    Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
    And whether pigs have wings."
    Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

    This morning I picked up a box at UPS from B&H. It contained two Feisol CT-3442 tripods. A photographer friend of ours, Kevin Adams, recommended Feisol tripods to us. The CT-3442 legs are a couple of inches taller than the Gitzo legs. What the wife likes the most....they are around half the weigh of the Gitzo legs. The Feisol legs seem sturdy. Of course real world experience shooting in the middle of a stream will tell the tale. The fit and finish seems to be first rate. The legs where shipped in a nice carrying bag.

    Very likely I will order RRS BH-40 ballheads for these legs. We have used RRS ballheads, L plates, flat plates, and clamps for years. No complaints about RRS products. Granted they are not inexpensive. IMHO, you do get what you pay for with an RRS product. Going from BH-55 to BH-40 will again drop the weight roughly in half. And the BH-40 should more than handle any m43 body and lens we will have.

    Looking for to any and all comments on the Feisol legs or BH-40 bullhead.

    Wishing all every photographic success!!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Jun 16, 2012
    Cool buy. However, no center column and weighs more than my POS cheap CF Milano tripod bought at London Drugs (you know, the one I toss in the box of the truck without feeling too sorry about it.) And double the price. :/
     
  3. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I have the same set of legs, but am using it with an Arca-Swiss Monoball P0.
    Because of its unique design it allows you to level and then pan while staying leveled.
    I have not submersed the legs and while a good tripod should certainly handle that I would recommend wiping the legs off before collapsing to avoid getting crud into the joints.
    Tripods made by Benbo are (supposedly) great for use in water.
    They have the lower leg segments go on the outside of the upper and are thus completely waterproof up to the joint.
    Rudy
     
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    For me center columns offer no value, only weight. An extended center column makes a 3 legged monopole. :wink:
     
  5. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I keep looking toward CT-3442 and will appreciate your future impressions here.

    Thank you!
     
  6. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I thought the same for a while. No question it is sturdier and lighter without. However it is a lot quicker to make a height adjustment using the center column.
    Rudy
     
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  7. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    If you're using the center column you're using your tripod wrong (it becomes a poorly supported monopod). A proper tripod reaches eye level without the need for a center column. If POS cheap is enough for you that is fine but a sturdy tripod is really the only tripod worth buying. If I were tossing my feisol tripod in the trunk, I'd trust it a lot more than a cheap-o after that kind of treatment as well next time around!

    @mcasan - where did you purchase your feisol, adorama or reallybigcameras? I use a photoclam ballhead - works as well as a markins and is standing the test of time extremely well (probably had it for 4 years now I think, still works like new).
     
  8. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Got them from B&H. I have purchased stuff from them for many years. I have found that on average they have the lowest prices, free shipping (if via ground), no sales tax collected (unlike Amazon) and excellency service when needed. I also get rewards points for my purchases that turn into discounts. I recommend anyone purchasing from B&H to set up an account with them to track you purchases and collect the rewards points.
     
  9. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    680
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott

    I generally agree with this, and in fact have removed the center column from my Gitzo Series 2. However, there is an argument to be made for using small amounts of the column to make minor adjustments to the height of the camera as part of framing your image. It's far simpler than adjusting all three legs. In addition, I have a very small tripod - a Me-Foto Backpacker - which collapses to 12.6" and fits easily into my backpack when I'm hiking. Again, a good use case for a center column - but there are always trade-offs.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Jun 16, 2012
    I'm thinking I must've been doing it wrong for the last 15 years or so :) Customers and employers never seemed to have a problem with it, and I never dropped one single piece of equipment in the process.

    Perhaps I should add that I am using a Manfrotto for studio work. (The same I bought a decade ago when I began putting $ in my own gear, not the one supplied by the news wire I was working for.) I mentioned this in another thread I guess. But you see, the daily hauling of a backpack full of SLRs and zooms, shooting sports for a living, kinda took a toll on a few vertebrae. I'm a happy camper now with the m4/3, as for me lighter is better. The Manfrotto stays at home, I shoot handheld whenever I can (or with a Pedco UltraPod II) and the CF thing is there just in case.

    My point was, actually, that I'm not going to spend on cameras and gear more than I make off of cameras and gear. Everything I own paid for itself... and since I'm but a retired / reinvented photojournalist, I don't see the point of buying expensive stuff for what now is a weekend hobby, between a better paying day job.

    However, there are people who buy a Mustang and don't street race it. YMMV. I respect that, it's not $ I worked for myself. Just take my word for it, I know how to use a tripod. :thumbup:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    A Feisol 3442 at around $400 is middle of the pack cost wise for legs. If someone wants to spend big bucks, there are the Really Right Stuff and Gitzo legs at $800+. I just put my Gitzo GT-3531S and RRS BH-55 and a couple of RRS L plates on ebay. They were great when I needed to support a heavy 35mm DSLR stack. If I am lucky the ebay sales will just about cover the new setup.
     
  12. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Also note that Really Right Stuff make an $850 tripod with a centre column. What were they thinking? :tongue:

    A tripod with a centre column can be done right. A tripod with no centre column can be done wrong.
     
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  13. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    A fool and his money are soon parted. :wink:
     
  14. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    Been using acratech ball heads for quite a while pretty much since they first came out been very happy :)

    Also being from the islands shooting on beaches all the time they are easy to keep clean :)

    Been looking for some newer lighter legs for my M4/3 so good post :)
     
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    You guys are lucky to have all these featherweight lenses, with my ED lenses, I'm just going to have to stay with my alloy Manfrotto tripod and Novoflex head (3.5kg) or else everything will be' blowing in the wind'. :)
     
  16. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    I searched in B&H for ballheads with best reviews. One of the top 10 or so was the Feisol CB-40D for $129. Anyone tried it?
     
  17. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Ordered Sirui K-20X ball heads. Will likely replace the clamp with a RRS quick release lever clamp.
     
  18. AL904

    AL904 Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Mar 29, 2012
    Jacksonville Beach, Florida
    Allen Forrest
    I have an Acratech GV2 that I bought almost five years ago, and love it! I use a RRS BH-55 for my much heavier Nikon full-frame gear, but for MFT the Acratech is perfect!
     
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