Tripod for my OM-D

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by jaiho, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. jaiho

    jaiho Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2012
    I did not know buying a tripod will be such a taxing proposition.Phew!

    And prices ranging from 150 US to almost a 1000 US!

    Tripod for me is not a priority. The oly 60mm macro is ;) Should I gather resources and invest in one of the more expensive carbon fibre ones later

    What is your opinion please?

    Thank you.
  2. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Real Name:
    Jeff Grant
    Your tripod will outlast your camera many times over, so buying a good one makes sense. If portability isn't a problem, Berlebach make excellent wooden tripods. I use them and Gitzo.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  3. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Real Name:
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    You want to buy a tripod. That is a little like saying you want to buy a motor vehicle. What do you want to do with it? Travel? Macro? Studio? Landscape?
  5. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I"m in the process of researching looking at new tripods for my OM-D-right now I have an old Sunpak that isn't great and and UltraPodII. I'll share some of my findings.
    I just discovered these at B&H store in nyc-it is tripod that also has a lateral arm feature, so you can use it straight up traditionally, or with the lateral arm for overhead positioning of cam. I do some still life photography, and would also be good for macro. I really like this convertible feature.
    Oben AC-2310LA 3-Section Aluminum Lateral Tripod Legs
    They make carbon fiber models as well.

    It's not very portable though, so I'm also looking at this lightweight tripod for travel and hiking. I asked for this for xmas:)
    Benro MeFoto Travel Tripod
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    That one lists an extended height of only 51", which probably includes extending the center column. (a) 51" is awfully short. I'd suggest that you try standing with someone holding your camera at that height, then bend over and see if that is acceptable for shooting. It would kill my back. YMMV. (b) Extending the center column greatly reduces the stability of any tripod.

    I like the Benros. I have a Travel Flat C2192 but the Travel Angels are well thought of too. Not as small as that Mefoto but IMHO a better tradeoff of stability, convenience of use, and compactness.

    In any tripod go for bigger leg diameter than the minimum. Stiffness increases greatly with even small increases in leg diameter, while weight and bulk does not.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dagaleaa

    dagaleaa Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 4, 2011
    Naples, Fl
    Real Name:
    I found a really nice one on craigs list... older manfrotto....I am going to change the head eventually, but for $ 50.00 you can't go wrong!!!
  8. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    A couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a tripod for an OM-D:

    - It may look like a SLR, but there's no mirror or mirror slap.
    - There is an anti-shock setting that delays opening the shutter that can greatly reduce shutter induced vibration.

    A much less robust tripod is needed for the OM-D than a SLR, particularly when using native, µ4/3 lenses. A worthwhile item to get is one of the aftermarket wired remote shutter releases, They only cost a few dollars and will cut down on vibration when tripping the shutter.
  9. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    I disagree with the attitude that you need to buy a bajillion dollar awesome carbon fiber do-everything support-everything tripod. The OMD is, in its very heaviest forms with large lenses, about two and a half pounds. Get something reasonably sized for that. No need to spend more than $250 at the upper end IMO, and you can get away for much less.
  10. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for the info. B&H lists the Benro MeFoto Maximum Height w/o Column Extended as 3.77' (45.24"). I think the height is going to be ok-I'm 5'11". For a travel tripod I'm willing to make concessions on max height vs lightness and minimal packability. Maybe one day I'll look into getting a carbon fiber model, with a higher height if the meFoto doesn't work for me. On a tripod I sometimes prefer composing using the tilt LC-D on my OM-D over the EVF, anyway.

    For indoor, non-travel use-that's why I was looking at the much more robust Oben lateral arm, as well.

  11. IcemanYVR

    IcemanYVR Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    This one here? I'm thinking about that one as well... I just want something really small and light for travelling.
  12. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    No. That's the more expensive, and slightly heavier and larger convertible model. You can pull off a leg I think and convert it to a monopod. The one I was looking at is here I've held and played around with this model in the store, seems solidly made, has a nice ball head. Collapses really small. Note the earlier comments about the max height below. Seems sturdy enough and perfect size for most m43 cameras + lens combos, but probably a little on the lighter side for full-size DSLRs.

    Reminder to anyone reading this thread who decides to buy anything from B&H (or Amazon etc) remember to click out first using one of the affiliate links to help support this site! :thumbup:

  13. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Real Name:
  14. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    I am getting a Sirui carbon fibre travel tripod they are very good value and great quality.
  15. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    I except for one thing. The weight of the camera is only one factor in using a tripod. The focallength selection is another factor. It's common for m4/3 enthusiasts to have long lenses (300mm equiv and over) right up to 600mm equiv. And not one of them has a tripod collar.That means the weight is all away from the centre of the head and puts a lot of extra strain on the ability of the tripod to keep things steady.

    There's a saying with tripods. "Cheap. Light. Good. Pick any two."

    However there are dozens of decent brands apearing making carbon fibre tripods in China that don't require an inheritance to own. I recently bought a Siuri brand tripod. It's fantastic. Not quite as smooth in use as my old metal Gitzos, but a quarter of the price and full carbon. It's used every week. It's done 6000km road trips. And now, 18 month old, it still functions like it did new. I'm not saying you should buy a Siuri, although I'd recommend it. There are a few brands using the same legs from China. Giotto is another brand that springs to mind.

    For the $250.00 mentioned above there are options that will get you a good tripod. A very good tripod.

    The other thing is that cheap tripods come with cheap heads and that's where the real problems are. You're better off getting a head that's a bit better and cheaper legs rather than the other way around. A good quality head is more stable and easier to use. If possible get one with an Arca Swisse type quick release plate as there's lots of compatible accessories from many brands. The other major alternative is Manfrotto, but you'll be using only manfrotto plates. All the cool L plates for landscape shooters from the like of RRS use Arca Swisse compatible plates.

    I've had cheap heads and good heads. I've never regretted getting a good tripod head. I've never enjoyed using a cheap and nasty one. And get one that looks like it's rated two or three level above your camera. You'll need it for any telephoto lenses you have. Say you have 400.00 to spend. I'd look at $150.00 for the legs and the rest on the head.

    * Get a tripod that can extend as high as you need it without the centre column. That's for emergency use only. If you use it all the time you may as well have bought a monopod.
    * Get a tripod that has adjustable legs for use on uneven ground.
    * Ball heads are faster to use but geared heads are more accurate and generally have more stability.
    * Get a tripod that can remove or shorten the centre colum enough to get close to ground level. Vital for macro shooters. Mine has a 6" centre colum and an 18" column in the bag. The 6" column stays on the tripod and I can get from 12" off the ground to 6'2" with no centre column use. That's including the height of the head.
    * To get real stability expect to pay as much or more for the head than the legs.

  16. Joe_B

    Joe_B Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2012
    Davis, California
    Tripod - Not so heavy that I leave it at home or in the car

    The key in my mind is a tripod needs to be heavy enough to give good support, but not so heavy that I leave it at home or in the car.
    Carbon fiber has become more common and less expensive, but not all carbon fiber gives good support....

    Here are links to four great Web articles about tripods...

    How Much Tripod Do You Need? | Sans Mirror — mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan

    Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

    Ron Martinsen's Photography Blog: Tripod Recommendations–2011 (Updated 12-31-2011)

    Is this the world's best tripod?
  17. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I have taken my Benro Travel Angel all over the world. I would buy another (especially the flat version) in a heartbeat.

    You talk about buying the 60 macro. Without a good tripod, that is money flushed down the toilet. With the shallow DOF it generates, it is practically impossible to get the image you want without good stable support.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. jaiho

    jaiho Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2012
    Thank you all for your wonderful inputs. I understand now that like lenses even tripods can be made specifically manufactured for macro,panorama,stills etc.

    I am into aviation and travel and hell lot. From your suggestions I will consider something which is light weight, smaller in size and allow me to do a bit a portraiture and macro (once in a while).

    Thank you once again for your thoughts.
  19. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    The Travel Angel style designs (Benro and copies), where the legs fold up and over the column would probably be a good choice. Carbon if you can afford it and 30mm leg diameter.

    If at all possible, get one where a leg unscrews to be used as a monopod. There are many travel situations where a monopod is preferable due to the ease of carrying and others where it can be used where a tripod is not permitted or would be awkward. It does not add much to the cost and almost nothing to the weight.

    My Travel Flat would work for you up to the point where you say "macro," but for Macro you really need a center column and the Travel Flat's column would be pretty awkward.

    Re heads, I bought the Benro B1 head bundled with my tripod for an extra $30 or so. I would not say it is a great head but it is relatively compact and I do not use the tripod all that frequently, so it is adequate for my needs.
  20. m43dex

    m43dex Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    Step up to the angel and get the better height... Your back will thank you.