Sunday, January 03, 2016

Binocular/camera 'pod support

Tripod. Makes I've been looking at: Manfrotto / 3 Legged Thing / Vanguard / Giottos

Head: joystick style grip ball head - Manfrotto 2 is perfectly suitable but no longer made. There's a cheap chinese copy without the tension adjustment (even if it says it has one, thats an out of date description; ignore it) and the trigger is hinged the other way round for ~£40 by the time you add p&p. Or Calumet have a proper copy (including tension wheel), coded 7033 (or just called trigger grip ball head), for £50 currently. Manfrotto 222's sell for £30-40 on ebay so if you can find a good one on there that might be worth it (as the original and best) if you don't care about a warranty (Calumet has 3yrs limited parts & labour on theirs).

Tripod wise, I am not going with Velbon (low reputation and they tend to cover the cheap end, I almost never see their larger more expensive ones around so not any reason to think people love to sell/warranty them). Also heard a few disparaging things about Giottos quality control over the last year on various web reviews/comments and they only barely make it into the list with one or two models with my requirements anyway.

For the times even a light tripod is too much weight/bulk (mostly about the bulk for my work bag, getting round on a busy tube train in London with a bigger tripod at rush hour is not so much fun, trying to avoid stabbing folk or banging it on things), I have used a monopod for the last couple of years. Until recently it was the 170cm aluminium monopod with.

So I chose the Giottos MML3290B - great deal on it at Wex this last couple of weeks, and there's a 5% code currently valid if you go hunting on the typical voucher websites (or via google for the sites with it). It still needs a head to attach but if I have one for the tripod anyway (and of course most heads fit most tripods without problem as they're usually 3/8" standard screw thread, the 1/4" ones can be adapted).

UPDATE:  one day while extending it (still well inside warranty period), an inside "stop" made a cracking noise and failed, so now whenever I extend it, I can lock it in place and it'll stay; but if I'm not careful, one part will just fall out of the others as there's nothing to stop it sliding all the way out.


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