Tripod and Ball Head for Nikon D3 and 70-200 f/2.8

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John Smith, May 28, 2008.

  1. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    Hi all,

    I'd like to get some advice for a Gitzo Carbon Fiber tripod and center ball
    head for my Nikon D3 and lenses, the heaviest being my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8.

    I'd like it sturdy, but as light as reasonably possible (that's why I've
    decided on Carbon Fiber). I'm not interested in Basalt.

    I've long used a Gitzo 320 (now a 1320) and Bogen 3039 head for both my
    Large Format system and my 35mm/DSLR needs. They both work wonderfully, but
    I'd like something significantly lighter. I believe my current 320/3039
    combo weighs in about 11.2 lbs.

    Thanks for any advice you may be able to provide.
     
    John Smith, May 28, 2008
    #1
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  2. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    Thank you Floyd for your thoughtful and thorough reply!

    For the foreseeable future, the 70-200 is my upper limit. I'm disabled and
    the monster 500mm and 600mm lenses, while seductive, just aren't practical
    for me. Besides even if I did get one of those, it would probably be for
    shooting birds at a local wildlife sanctuary or on the sidelines of my
    nephew's football game, and for those settings, I already have a nice
    monopod.

    So I think my D3 and 70-200 is about my upper end weight limit. They come to
    just under 6 lbs, so my weight demands aren't that great. What I do want is
    quality and sturdiness. Backpacking is not really an option for me, so I
    don't need super-light weight nor extremely small size when collapsed. I'm a
    car camera kind of guy. <s>

    I'm 6'3" so sufficient height of the tripod and head setup is important - so
    that I don't have to crane my neck down to see the viewfinder. And ease of
    switching from horizontal to vertical perspectives is important (I don't
    know how that works in ball heads because I've always used the 3039
    3-handle, 3-way system). I've heard that ball heads can be sloppy, and move
    all over the place when you want to make minor adjustments, so the ball head
    must be solid, smooth, and capable of making fine adjustments in any of the
    three directions.

    Thanks again Floyd for your kind reply.
    John
     
    John Smith, May 29, 2008
    #2
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