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TRIPODS


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#1 brycegroark

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 05:10 PM

Looking for any history or comments on tripods, used both for video and stills - Are some better than others for underwater use? Topside use? etc?

Also curious which ones do best with the rockiness of a boat in the ocean?

Thanks!
Bryce Groark
Living Ocean Productions
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#2 fdog

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 06:28 PM

Video and still photography use quite different tripod/head assemblies.

Generally, video uses a fluid-damped pan/tilt head, and still uses a ball head. The tripod depends on the weight of the camera and head.

After shooting stills on a ball head, you will positively turn up your nose at a pan/tilt head, but, I would imagine that shooting video on a ball head is almost impossible to make look nice.

I guess it all depends on what you want for the end use. Mixing uses will predictabally be poor for some applications.

A very good quality tripod/ball head for heavy still use will be about $1000-$600 or so, depending on the tripod legs (Gitzo or Manfrotto) or ball head (Manfrotto, Kirk or RRS). Lightweight, $800-300.

As for underwater, here is a recent thread on the subject.

Shooting on a boat, I've always hand-held. Can't help you here.

However, I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of video tripods comes from watching the news guys; maybe someone who actually does video will chime in...

All the best, James

#3 brycegroark

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 08:28 PM

Thanks James - I use a pan tilt right now for topside and ball head for stills, but nothing u/w - it's just a thought for me right now. My tripods are also very basic as well. Not very happy with their performance.

Likewise, I shoot hand held on a boat - shooting whales in Hawaii during the winter season can be challenging and I was curious if anyone new of a miracle tripod that could offset the roll of the ocean! Ha!

Many Mahalos!
Bryce
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#4 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 07:36 AM

Topside I use:

Gtizo 1227 Carbon Fibre Legs $350 from eBay
Kirk BH-3 Ball head $255 from Kirk Photographic
(get the Arca Swiss version...)
L-plate for camera body from Kirk Photographic
Lens plate for 70-200 that replaces original foot from Really Right Stuff.


This combination is pretty stable, but does need some weight hung from the center post when using the 70-200 to keep it truly stable.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
D300, D200, D70, 12-24 f4 AFS DX, 60mm f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 AF-S VR, 105 f2.8 AF-S VR, Tokina Wunderlens.

Photo galleries @ Ruaux.net

#5 Paul Kay

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 09:39 AM

To provide stability a tripod needs to be rigid and secure. Solutions are many and varied but to speak bluntly you can't really beat weight! Personally speaking, I use a 1548 from Gitzo - heavy despite being extremely rigid carbon fibre, and mine is fitted with alloy lowers and spikes - with an RRS ball head (superb but ***** expensive), but this is overkill for many situations. For usability a tripod head needs to be quick release and I would strongly recommend the Arca Swiss style dovetail - there are many manufacturers building to this 'standard'.

I've still to find a really effective solution for underwater use!

Video requires a totally different set-up as has been already stated.
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#6 brycegroark

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 08:01 PM

Right on guys! Thanks so much for the responses.

Aloha
Bryce

ps - still would like to hear from the u/w videographers out there!
Bryce Groark
Living Ocean Productions
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