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Discussion in 'Accessories' started by skadoosh, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. skadoosh

    skadoosh Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    I just got a E-P1 and I don't have a flash. So i was thinking of getting a tripod for low light picture taking.

    Does anyone shoot with a tripod, and what is your favorite?

    What should I look for when looking for a tripod?
  2. ill_dawg

    ill_dawg Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2010
    How into the idea of a tripod are you? How much are you willing to spend? Are size/weight important to you?

    Personally, I don't have a real tripod at the moment, I just got rid of my old one and am currently looking for something that better suits my needs. In the meantime, I'm just using a gorillapod. These little guys are pretty good, cheap, and flexible (literally and figuratively); however they don't give the sharpest pictures if there is any wind, or if you can't find something completely stable at the right height. Despite its limitations, I'm a fan of the gorillapods.

    When choosing a tripod, look for something stable. Fewer leg sections are better for stability, but worse for travel. Carbon fiber is better for weight, but more expensive. Better triopds generally come without a head, but heads are expensive. Unless you are on an unlimited budget, you will have to compromise somewhere. Let us know what your priorities are, and we can probably point you in the right direction.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    I use a little Slick 500G with a bogan head for close work, usually shortened way down to stiffen it. I use a focusing rail with it to do macro. I don't use it for heavy lenses for distance use. Just not strong enough. I rely on "props", leaning camera/lens against something solid (Tree, building,etc), for heavy long lenses. I am not willing to carry, haul, a large stable tripod around. It negates the purpose of small, light, mobile kit.
    For events, I sometimes use large tripod.
  4. skadoosh

    skadoosh Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    Oh. I actually have a gorillapod, but I didnt think that it would handle anything more than a point and shoot. I will try it when I get home tonight. Thanks!
  5. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
  6. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    I like the tabletop tripod, small, easily packed and doubles as a flash stand (if you've got something to screw your flash onto!).

    I removed the circular base pad and replaced it with an arca compatible quick release too, works great.
  7. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Depends what version of GorillaPod you have, and what body/lenses you are going to use mounted on it. The GorillaPod SLR-Zoom is a lot beefier than the standard P&S GorillaPod, but can still be a little unstable if you use a really heavy lens and don't position the legs in a supportive way.
  8. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    What kind of low light photography will you be doing? A flash and a tripod are not replacements for each other and their usage are not mutually exclusive. A tripod will let you have a solid platform for your camera, which will allow you to use a slow shutter speed without camera motion causing blur. Subject blur can still occur if your subject is in motion.

    A flash will allow you to add illumination to your subject and will permit a higher shutter speed if so desired, and the short duration of the flash will stop motion in a low light environment.

    If you can tell us what you have in mind, then maybe we can narrow down the choices for a tripod. :) 

  9. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I have a Gorillapod SLR zoom, and it works well enough for my m43 cameras and camcorder, but it's a bit tipsy with my 7D.
  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    There are various models/sizes of Gorillapod for different cameras. The "basic" (smallest) Gorillapod is basically designed for use with P&S cameras, and may not provide a stable platform for a :43: camera with anything bigger than a pancake lens.

    I think the Hybrid model is probably the best size for use with :43:. However, I don't have any personal experience with using a Gorillapod with :43:.

    I have a Cullmann Magnesit Copter tabletop-style tripod (similar to the Manfrotto recommended above) which works great.

    I've been considering a full-size tripod to help me get into doing some HDR and have got my eye on a Benro Travel Angel which has come recommended by others on this forum.
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    The answer to this depends completely on how you will be carrying and using it. Indoors? Outdoors? Travel? Portraits? Video?

    But it sounds like you really don't know. My suggestion would be to buy a medium priced tripod off CraigsList or eBay and start working with it. The Gorillapod has its uses but I'd suggest starting something more solid. There about 1,500 used tripods on eBay right now. For example, I used to own one similar to this: Davis & Sanford. It was well made and would be a good starter.

    There are many items where the first one you buy just teaches you what you really wanted. Nothing wrong with that, especially if you can get out of the first purchase without losing a lot of money. I recently bought a GF2 that taught me that a GF1 was what I really wanted.
  12. Sawfish

    Sawfish Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 11, 2011
    I have a Travel Angel (aluminium) with the BH0 head. These can be had for very fair prices, and I am very fond of mine. I use it with a GX1 and Canon FD lenses. However it is not suited for low level macro work, because the camera has to be suspended between the legs.

  13. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    +1 for the Travel Angel with BH0 ball head

    An excellent choice for quality per dollar spent.
  14. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    Just got the Vanguard carbon-fiber Alta Pro 284CT with their BBH-200 and it's an awesome combination. The central column swings out and can go completely upside down for low level macro work.

    Vanguard Alta Pro 284CT



    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The BBH-200 ball head has this cool feature that let's you lock in the ballhead completely centered and leveled. It's Arca compatible and the open design keeps it a bit lighter. Easy to use and a pretty cool design.

    Vanguard BBH-200

  15. Pim

    Pim Mu-43 Regular

    I use the exact same one. Off course it is not a replacement for a regular tripod as you always need to find a wall or something to put it on, but with some improvising it can be very useful, and fits in most medium sized camera bags of course...
  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    The point I was trying to make to the OP is that his "what tripod" question really can't be answered without also answering the question "for what purpose?' The Vanguard looks like a nice unit, but for travel it appears to be too long to fit (with head) into a 22" carry-on bag. At 4# without head it is also a little heavier than many travel tripods. But the fancy column movements are generally not available in the smallest, lightest travel tripods.

    Personally, I have settled on the Benro Travel-Flat (Carbon) C2192T, which also features a monopod conversion leg but has only a rudimentary column. Obviously my needs are different than jambaj0e's.
  17. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    The largest Gorillapod works very well, and they make a small ball head which fits it. The whole thing is very versatile. I already owned a full-sized tripod with a heavy ball head for my dslr setup, I also have a threaded rod embedded in a walking stick that will accommodate a ball head and work as a monopod.
  18. skadoosh

    skadoosh Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    I have a regular gorillapod (for point & shoots). I tested it out last night and seems to work ok with my e-p1 and panny 14mm pancake. I am sure if I use a bigger lens, it will not work as well so I think that I will look into the beefier gorillapods. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I also remember that there were times when I hiked out somewhere, that there wasnt a good place for a gorillapod. :frown: But most of the time it worked. I liked that it was compact and I can throw it into my bag and forget that its there.

    I actually don't really want to shoot with a flash. I think it is because in all the photography classes I took in school we didn't use a flash, so it is probably just an old habit. I am sure I am going to use a flash later on when I get used to this camera, but so far I never felt like I needed extra illumination. I like to take pictures of things the way they are without any artificial illumination. I know that some people will probably think that is stupid... but that is how I learned.

    I wanted the tripod mainly so that there is not camera shake for longer shutter speeds in low light situations. I also wanted it so that I can experiment with shutter speed. I have horribly shakey hands so I thought a tripod would help.

    I plan on using the tripod both indoors and outdoors. No portraits right now, but I am not against it. I usually like street photography or landscape photography. But I am still experimenting with my style, so I am not really focused on one area. I do intent to travel around with it when I go on hikes or walk around the city, so I dont want anything big or heavy.

    I do agree that I should just get a starter one to figure out what I like and dont like about it. Thanks for the suggestions!!
  19. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    In that case, you want sturdy and stiff. A light camera is actually a disadvantage. Increasing leg diameters increase stiffness by huge amounts, so look for 1 1/4" at least. Since you're not looking at a lot of airplane travel, heavier tripods would be an advantage to you and (bought used) they will probably be cheaper too.

    Ah, well ... Life is a tradeoff. If you end up with a lighter tripod, try to figure out how to hang some weight from it for shooting outdoors (i.e., in the wind) at long exposures.

    Long exposures can be fun. Here's what f22 and 4 seconds got me last week:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Have fun!
  20. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Part time philistine

    Aug 10, 2011
    Take the gorilla pod out of a warm house to shoot a long exposure and see what happens. I found out in a once in a lifetime shot :mad: 
    My 20sec exposure was completely ruined by all the segments contracting in the cold air. I could have hand held better.
    Gorillapods need to be allowed to settle to the ambient temp.
    I wondered what the clicking noise was during the shot. Its now gathering dust in my garage.

    Try it next time you have a cold night.

    The ultrapod 2 handles my G3 + 20. In emergency.
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