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by jnadler on Sat Jan 13, 2024 9:37 am
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I have participated on NSN since its beginnings, decades ago. Back then, carrying my Gitzo 1325, Wimberley gimbal head, and DSLRs with a 500mm F4, and flash set-up for miles along trails was frequent. Fast forward to today, I usually use my Canon RF 100-500 at a sacrifice in lower light, no extender, and handheld. 
But the photo results over decades have me hesitant to part with my EF 500mm F4 mkII.  So I have swapped the heavy Gimbal head for an Acratech long lens head, and now it’s time to reduce the 15 year old almost 6 pound Gitzo. 

I have been researching for weeks a carbon fiber tripod legset more in the 3 to 4 pound range, capable of supporting my 500mm F4 but just stationery along the car and no longer walking with it. Gitzo, Benro, Induro, etc brands are all acceptable for me. I have had leg locking issues with a Feisol, poor quality experiences with a Manfrotto, so hoping to hear your suggestion for a lighter weight no center column replacement for my old Gitzo 1325. Thank you.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sat Jan 13, 2024 2:28 pm
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I use a RRS TVC-24L at 3.8lb. Depending on your height you might be able to use the non-L version at 3.4lb.
 

by Mark L on Sat Jan 13, 2024 4:14 pm
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I have not used them myself, but have heard glowing reviews of tripods from The Colorado Tripod Company.  I have been thinking about adding a sturdy tripod without a center column and have been considering Colorado Tripod Company and Gitzo as a start.  I own the RRS travel tripod and love the engineering and quality but find the price to be obscene.  I am not convinced that RRS prices are justified versus the high end competition?
 

by jwild on Mon Jan 15, 2024 1:43 am
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I'm also in the same boat (age wise) :) have been using Benro TAD 28A for couple of years without any problem, along with RRS BH 40 ball head.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Mon Jan 15, 2024 12:54 pm
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While on the broader subject of aging and equipment. I have just completed my transition from heavy f/2.8 lenses (16-35, 24-70, 70-200) to equivalent quality f/4 lenses at the apertures i shoot at which is almost always somewhere from f/5.6 to f/11. This also comes with a drop in filter size from 82 to 72mm which saves a little bit too. In analyzing my image library for the last 8 years I have used f/2.8 exactly never! The weight savings on those lenses is right around 50%. In many cases this also means you can go to a lighter tripod/head combination.
 

by jnadler on Mon Jan 15, 2024 3:04 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote: I use a RRS TVC-24L at 3.8lb.  Depending on your height you might be able to use the non-L version at 3.4lb.
RRS has a second version TFC that has a smaller fixed apex for more compact folded legs. Looks possible. FLM has shown up in reviews as an RRS alternative but they have plastic or metal leg locks instead of rubber. Poor in cold.
 

by Ed Cordes on Wed Jan 17, 2024 10:10 pm
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I, too, have been going through the equipment evaluation due to aging process. Switching to the RF 100-500, sometimes with the 1.4 TC, has made a huge difference.  After not using my 500F4 for over a year I sold it.  I still use a tripod for precise landscapes and some macro, but for birds and critters I never carry the tripod any longer.  I feel I have much more flexibility and seem to be able to get BIF and other subjects that might show up out of the swinging range of the gimbal head. Yes F7.1 is a compromise, but with the high ISO capabilities of the new cameras and Topaz I am happy.
Remember, a little mild insanity keeps us healthy
 

by OntPhoto on Thu Jan 18, 2024 6:42 am
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My favourite combo in the field right now is R6 MK2 and Canon 100-400L IS (v.1).  The R6 MK2 has made this a "new" lens.  Light, portable for handholding but still carry it in a compact Thinktank StreetWalker until it's needed.  No more battery grips as it's just extra weight.

My Canon 500 f4 II and Gitzo 3530 LSV tripod mostly sit at home.  However, they do come in handy for low-light photography. I used both regularly last summer and fall for a pair of eastern screech owls.  The f4 meant I could shoot in very low-light such as at dusk (with faint ambient light to assist).  This was a drive up, park and short walk at a local park, so weight was not an issue.   

However, having said all that about going light, I am tempted with one of the Gitzo Mountaeering tripods, a very light one compared to the 3530 beast which sits mostly unused these days.  If I'm going to have a tripod, might as well get one I don't mind bringing into the field.  I am undecided between RF 100-500 and RF 200-800.  I handheld a R5 and RF 200-800 combo and you can feel the weight. The RF 100-500 is closer to my current setup, the 100-400L IS (v.1).  Decisions, decisions.

In the old days, I tended to carry almost everything but the kitchen sink. I didn't want to miss a photo-op. Nowadays, you learn you don't have to take a photo of everything.
 

by jnadler on Thu Jan 18, 2024 5:35 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote: I use a RRS TVC-24L at 3.8lb.  Depending on your height you might be able to use the non-L version at 3.4lb.

E.J.,

I purchased the RRS TFC-24L. WEIGHT 3.5 pounds.
 

by imagenes_vivas on Tue Jan 23, 2024 6:19 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote: I have just completed my transition from heavy f/2.8 lenses (16-35, 24-70, 70-200) to equivalent quality f/4 lenses at the apertures i shoot at which is almost always somewhere from f/5.6 to f/11. The weight savings on those lenses is right around 50%.  In many cases this also means you can go to a lighter tripod/head combination.
I'm 65 years old now. For years I have also been using the EF16-35mm and RF24-105mm f4 lenses, instead of the f2.8 ones. And also discard my olds EOS-1 for EOS 5D.IV and R5. The weight savings (and more space on my backpack) are notable. And I use more and more my EF100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II, instead of my EF500mm F4L IS II.

About the tripod, I use Benro Mach3 Carbon fiber tripod with my Canon EF 500mm F4L IS II. The newer Benro tripods, like the Tortoise, have better construction and also I use one in hides or when I do not have to walk. I also have tested the very light Benro Cyanbird carbon fiber for landscape photography: surprisingly light for traveling (but not adequate for a heavy 500mm).

I wrote an article (In Spanish, but you can translate in Google) about this new light tripod:

https://blog.alamany.com/2023/09/httpsb ... .html.html
 

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