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Carbon Fiber Tripod?
Old 04-11-2006   #1
JoshRoot
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Carbon Fiber Tripod?

Any suggestions for a carbon fiber tripod that won't break the bank? I'd like it for some RF photos and to use when packing my 360VR kit through the woods.

I read a post somewhere that mentioned Gitzo copies on ebay, I think they were called Feisol. Anyone seen one of those in real life?
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Old 04-11-2006   #2
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I think there are some ones made by Dynatran, or something like that, on ebay. I think NL2377 bought one recently, you might ask him how he likes it. I know they can go for under $100...
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Old 04-11-2006   #3
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You might want to look at the Bogen/manfrotto DIGI series. I have had one for about 3 years and love it. It is tall enough, sturdy enough for an SLR kit but weighs about 3.5lbs.
I think the 724 model is most similar to mine. It also has a handy rucksack to carry it in included. You can get a ball head or 3 way head built in all for about $100. They are not
carbon but cost a whole lot less. I have hiked long distances with mine in the rucksack and it does not bother me.
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Old 04-11-2006   #4
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I use a Manfrotto 190 MF4 with a medium size b&s head (468 I think). Packs small. It's light and plenty sturdy for my Mamiya 7. Still not cheap tho'
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Old 04-11-2006   #5
Honu-Hugger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshRoot
Any suggestions for a carbon fiber tripod that won't break the bank? I'd like it for some RF photos and to use when packing my 360VR kit through the woods.

I read a post somewhere that mentioned Gitzo copies on ebay, I think they were called Feisol. Anyone seen one of those in real life?
I use a very small Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and within its limitations I am very pleased with it. It is very small and light, well constructed and a good leg lock system. It is outfitted with a similarly lightweight Gitzo ball head and as a system works very well. One nice feature is the ability to extend the legs into a wider than normal stance. This adds to the stability when doing close ground work. It's no Sachtler by any means, but then it doesn't weigh thirty pounds either . I'm glad it's in the arsenal -- although I'll often use a mono-pod instead of this little tripod.
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Old 04-11-2006   #6
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I've seen a couple of Feisols. For the money, they seem just fine. I'd get one.

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Old 04-11-2006   #7
tamerlin
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I just got myself a $300 Manfrotto, and thus far I'm quite pleased with it. Of course, I've only taken it out once, but that once was up a mountain

I'll give it a much more thorough testing out next week when I head out to the Smokies with the Manfrotto, a Leica m7, and an Ebony 4x5.

Of course, if that's beyond your budget, just ignore this part.

Quite a few people have recommended the Giottos carbon fiber 'pods, which are definitely on the inexpensive side compared to the likes of Manfrotto and Gitzo (well, pretty much anything but Linhof is inexpensive compared to Gitzo, but that's besides the point).
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Old 04-11-2006   #8
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Velbon's Carmagne series is also available at a good price. They use a bit of magnesium so they are a tad heavier but still very light.

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Old 04-11-2006   #9
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You're right:
http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?p...=el%20carmagne

And they're even a little bit less expensive than I thought.
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Old 04-11-2006   #10
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I bought a Velbon Carmagne 540 last week, not so much for 35mm rangefinders, but for those times I want to put my 4x5 on a tripod in the field. For that purpose, it is well suited, particularly if you're carrying a tripod and a big camera any distance at all.

The head doesn't have quick release but rather a knob with a tightener/loosener lever. It's not a problem for me but some folks might consider it one. Also, the feet are not spiked. Again, not an issue for me, but a goodly number of folks like to plant their tripod on turf or soil for the extra rigidity.

With a 35mm RF, I'd definitely hang a bag over it to give it some weight. It's stiff and rigid but I could see a gust of wind moving it around.

I also have a Bogen from the 3000 series with a 3030 head whose weight sent me looking at CF. With the Carmagne, I don't see myself using the Bogen outside very much any more.
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Old 04-11-2006   #11
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I use a Giottos MT 8180 carbon and am well pleased it is under 300 from Philly photo, on E**y . It is light plenty tall 6' without center column and will fold to more positions than a contortionist. Of course I shoot a lot of macro. I use it without the center column with the 4x5 Tachihara and am quite pleased
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Old 04-11-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeaky_clean
I think there are some ones made by Dynatran, or something like that, on ebay. I think NL2377 bought one recently, you might ask him how he likes it. I know they can go for under $100...
The Dynatran Tripods are great! I have 3 of them, a heavy weight i use in my studio, and a Carbon fiber i use in the field as well as the Carbon fibre monopod. All exceptionally strong and stable.
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Old 04-11-2006   #13
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Patman,

Which carbon fiber model do you have?

Last edited by JoshRoot : 04-11-2006 at 14:33.
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Old 04-11-2006   #14
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At what point does the bank break? I have two Gitzo carbon fiber models, 1127 and a 13XX ( don't remember the specific model). I paid $409 for the 11XX this summer from Camerawest and added a magic ball head. I purchased the 13XX a few years ago from a dealer on evilbay and think I paid about $475. They're very light and extremely durable.

If this isn't in the budget look at a used Tiltall made by Leitz. I still have four of them and used them for twenty plus years with my 35mm and MF equipment. A very clean used one will run fifty or so dollars.


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Old 04-11-2006   #15
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Get yourself a used Gitzo Josh and you won't ever have to buy another one. They run around 50% of the new price. Get new bushings for it, clean it up & spray with silicone and you'll have a new tripod. They are the best, no question.

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Old 04-11-2006   #16
Simon Larbalestier
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I bought the Giottos MT 8180 carbon but have had many problems with it. Maybe it's the heat and humidity over here in SE Asia but the legs bind together and I end up unscrewing the whole leg section (sometimes all three of them) and one of the feet "fell off" it was badly glued. I should have gone for the Gitzo CF
so i'd agree with Peter above.

Last edited by Simon Larbalestier : 04-11-2006 at 16:51.
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Old 04-11-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshRoot
Patman,

Which carbon fiber model do you have?
I have the AT CF985 which i got on ebay for $148.00!
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Spikes ?
Old 06-22-2006   #18
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Spikes ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Sprenger
Velbon Carmagne 540
Also, the feet are not spiked. Again, not an issue for me, but a goodly number of folks like to plant their tripod on turf or soil for the extra rigidity.
The rubber feet should screw up to expose the spikes :-)
Unless the Stateside model is to a different design - as well as name - but check the Velbon Sherpa Pro CF-540 or here ....


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