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Your ideal tripod

Hey guys,
I'm looking to buy a new tripod and thought I'd start a thread on your ideal tripod setup for different types of shooting situations...

Currently, I have an SD14, battery gripped with a cotton carrier/arca-swiss QR combo plate on the bottom, I have an EF530super and an EF530dg, my heaviest lens is my 50-150mm f/2.8, and I do primarily outdoors work.

I think the legs I'm looking at are the Berlebach 8023 (
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) they're sturdy (they hold 10kg!), they're really light and look pretty swanky!

and the head I'm looking at is either the RRS/Acratech Ultimate ball head (
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) which I found on ebay for ~$100 or the Induro PHQ3 Quint-axial Pan Head (
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) which I'm still looking for cheaper than $350

Any recommendations or criticisms would be appreciated (ideally before I shell out $400 on a tripod XD)

Oh and post your ideal camera mounting solution, I've seen some cool ones before, like suction cups and big permanent magnets (those actually seem like a terrible idea in hindsight... sucks for her I guess :lol:)

Anyway, thanks for you input!


Well-Known Member
Ian....I think your setup is nice..but a bit of an overkill for your setup...even if you got a larger lens...I still think it is overkill...

Here is my recomendation based on what you told us....the total weight of your system will be 4.2lbs or can accomplish what you want with a lighter setup and have a little more versatility...

My pick...Manfrotto 055XProB.....$150USD


Manfrotto 486RC2 Head....$95USD


If you want a little better mount...357PL @ $45USD


Again...not that your system is bad....I think for your lens now and maybe later it is a little overkill..unless you are going to pick-up a Sigma 300-800mm f5.6....then that setup would work....or if you were going to get the SigMonster I would actually tell you to get a Wimberly II and Manfrotto 475 base...

On another note...when I went to HK I brought my GorillaPod Focus...and loved it....(You asked for out of the box...:z04_nic_0075:)



Hope this helps some...(remeber my two cents..!!)

Tony C. :z04_cowboy:

*** From Tony C: All images are from the manufactures websites and are used for information purposes...& not intended to infringe on anyones copy-write laws...***
While I agree the head may be overkill, I tend to hang sand(/rock)bags from the center column for added stability... the only reason I went for that head was because I found it cheap on ebay :p
also I've been told over and over again that the RC2 plate is awful... plus I already use arca-swiss mounts and a replacement cotton carrier / QR plate is $60 I don't have to spend...

Though I will say that's a damn nice tripod :)

I had planned to use a gorilla-pod with a cold shoe adapter for my EF530super, but apparently the standard 'pod is too week to hold up a flash... at least I only paid $15 for it. I'll see if I can't track down a heavier duty one...


Well-Known Member
I did not like the RC2 plate either...that is why I went with the 357PL.....but your Arc Swiss should also fit on the 486....if you go that route..

If you need a stronger tripod...look into the Manfrotto 475B that is what I use for my big guns....800 f5.6, 600 f5.6, 300 2.8...


You might be able to find a cheaper older 475 on ebay....:z04_smileys70:

Tony C. :z04_cowboy:


Gitzo Traveler

I have tried many tripods over the years, but now, I have settled on a Gitzo Traveler GT1541T with a Gitzo GH1780QR ball head. I used to use a Velbon carbon fiber tripod (still have it) but did not care for the flip locks on the legs. I find the twist lock are much better for me, especially in the winter. Also, the Gitzo design sheds dirt better. The Velbon was fitted with a magnesium Velbon Ball head with an RRS QR plate. I used RRS L brackets and Arca plates for the longer lenses. With the Gitzo, I use their new series plates and do not miss the L bracket, as the Gitzo head is very secure and easy to adjust. The entire combo is very light and compact, and I use it for up to my 50-500.

There are less expensive tripods out there, but none have come close to the Traveler (very light yet very stable). If you want a less expensive Gitzo solution, look at the Basalt line. A little heavier and they do not fold down as far, but much better than the Bogen/Manfrottos I have used.

As for a head, the Acratech line is very light, but RRS makes a nicer head. The Gitzo GH1780 (now replaced with a new model, GH1781) is still fine for my needs and a lot less expensive. Plus, I like the Gitzo plate and security system better.

Remember, buy once or buy many - sometimes it pays to spend more once.