Velbon Neo Carmagne 830 Tripod Review Round-Up

velbon-neo-carmagne-830-tripodIf you’re a pro basketball player looking for an eye-level tripod, this carbon-fiber model is a slam-dunk. Its three-segment, twist-lock legs extend to a 70-inch height on their own, and the tripod reaches a towering 79.7 inches with the sturdy geared center column all the way up. Yet the lowest of its three lockable leg angles allows it to get down to a 13.8-inch minimum height (head not included). The center column on this model isn’t reversible, but it has a built-in mounting screw on the bottom for attaching a head or the supplied weight hook. Also included in the package are a nylon bag for weight stabilization and tools for tightening up the head platform or adjusting the shoulder tension. Designed to support up to 30 pounds, this tripod weighs 6.7 pounds and measures 32 inches when folded up. Its legs have foam padding around their top segments for comfortable carrying over a shoulder, as well as retractable spikes in its rubber feet. The hand crank for the center column is nicely designed, folding in easily when not in use so that it doesn’t protrude when the tripod is closed. About $600. READ FULL REVIEW AT PopPhoto

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Gitzo GT2530 Mountaineer 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod Review Round-Up

gitzo-gt2530-mountaineer-6x-carbon-fiber-tripodSince Gitzo increased the weight ratings of their carbon fiber tripods with the new 6X Series, I wanted to find out if a 2-Series 6X model could do the same job my old Gitzo G1327 did for me. Of the available models, I selected the Gitzo GT2530 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod (though gave serious thought to the leveling column model). The Gitzo GT2530 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod benefits from the new features discussed in the Gitzo GT3530LSV Tripod review including Anti-Rotation Leg (ALR) System, G-Lock design, 1.2mm Gitzo 6X carbon fiber tube, removable leg tips … I won’t bore you with the repeated description of these benefits – the GT2530’s functionality is very similar. Like all Gitzo carbon fiber tripods, construction and feature qualities are top of the line. Weighing only 3.1 lb (1.4 kg), the GT2530 measures 25.6″ (65 cm) folded, a nice 54.3″ (138 cm) extended w/o the rapid column and a high 63.4″ (161 cm) with the rapid column fully extended. The GT2530 is rated to hold 26.4 lbs (12 kg). Actually, I can hang from the fully extended GT2530 – I weigh 170 lbs (77 kg). This is a very solid tripod – I’m impressed. My personal conclusion is this: If the largest lens you need to tripod mount is the size of a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, the Gitzo GT2530 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod is a great choice. For anything at or beyond the size of Canon 300mm f/2.8 lens, I strongly suggest moving up to at least the Gitzo GT3530LSV or the Gitzo GT3530S – or possibly the GT3530 rapid column version. I used lenses as heavy as the Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens on the GT2530, but vibrations are quite noticeable unless good long lens technique and IS are used. The GT2530 will work in this situation, but the 3-Series is a better option. READ FULL REVIEW AT DigitalPicture.com

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this tripod from Amazon: Gitzo GT2530 6X Carbon Fiber 2 Series 3 Section G-Lock Mountaineer Tripod
(more…)

Continue Reading

Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod Review Round-Up

bogen-680b-manfrotto-3249b-monopodThe Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod is a great value monopod. ? ?For a very low cost, you get a well-constructed four-section monopod with a heavy weight rating. The “B” is for black. The Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod reminds me of a leg from the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021B Pro Tripod. Fully round aluminum construction with flip-locks. ? ?Fully extended (60″), the Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod is tall enough for me (6′), but there is not a lot of room to spare. When resting the monopod on the ground at the same height I am standing on, the height was adequate. If I were standing on a step above the monopod, I would need to crouch down a bit to use the Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod. The Bogen 349 (Manfrotto 3449) Carbon-One Monopod and the Gitzo G1588 Mountaineer Mk2 Carbon Fiber Monopod both extended longer. Although I prefer flip-locks on my tripod, I prefer twist locks on my monopod. Flip-locks are (basically) either locked or unlocked. I like to extend all but one section and snug the last one to a length a bit longer than I expect to need. I then push the last section down to the height I want and finish the tightening. The flip-locks on the Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod require a very firm squeeze to close – and the resulting noise is noticeable. But they hold tight. Although probably not a big deal for most, the foot on the Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod is less grippy than the foot on the Bogen 349 (Manfrotto 3449) Carbon-One Monopod and the Gitzo G1588 Mountaineer Mk2 Carbon Fiber Monopod. If you have a slippery/smooth surface to work on, this might be important to you. A rotating and adjustable handstrap is provided on the Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod. Mount a Wimberley Quick Release Plate and possibly a Bogen 3232 Swivel Tilt Monopod Head the Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod for an excellent setup. Again, the Bogen 680B (Manfrotto 3249B) Monopod is a great value monopod with a heavy weight rating. READ FULL REVIEW AT DigitalPicture

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this tripod from Amazon:
Manfrotto 680B Monopod (4-SCTN) – Replaces 680 (Black)

(more…)

Continue Reading

Gitzo GT3530LSV Moutaineer 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod Review Round-Up

gitzo-gt3530lsv-moutaineer-6x-carbon-fiber-tripodThe Gitzo GT3530LSV 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod delivers the quality, features and performance that professionals and serious amateurs require from their camera support. I’ve been using a Gitzo G1327 Carbon Fiber Tripod for many years and have grown to appreciate it a great deal – It has been one of the most important pieces of equipment I own. Gitzo has refreshed their carbon fiber tripod line with the 6X Series. The best photographers in the world have relied on Gitzo carbon fiber tripods for their careers – for many years. The new 6X line improves on an already great product. Those using the prior Gitzo Carbon Fiber models will have to look carefully for a feature they really need/want to decide if an upgrade makes financial sense as the differences are not huge. I think the Gitzo GT3530LSV 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod is a great tripod. It functions exceptionally well and is built to hold up for the long haul. And Gitzo is betting on this point – by giving us a limited lifetime warranty. READ FULL REVIEW At DigitalPicture.com

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Gitzo GM3550 Mountaineer 6x Carbon Fiber Monopod Review Round-Up

gitzo-gm3550-mountaineer-6x-carbon-fiber-monopodThe Gitzo GM3550 6x Carbon Fiber Monopod shares most of the GM5540’s great features including G-Locks, 6X Carbon Fiber Legs and great construction quality. Still, the differences are many. While they are similarly-sized retracted (the GM3550 is 21.3″, 54 cm), the GM3550 has one additional leg section (5 total) that allows it to extend much higher than the GM5540 – to a very-high 75.6″ (192 cm). Unless you are really tall, this height would require steps, a ladder or another photographer height assistance tool to reach (remember – the camera and lens have a height of their own above the monopod height). However, extending the narrowest (bottom) leg section to get this height results in more wiggle at the bottom leg lock than I prefer. With this section closed and locked, this is a very solid monopod. It handles the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens and the Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS USM Lens with ease. The Gitzo GM3550 6x Carbon Fiber Monopod is rated to hold 36.9 lbs (18 kg) – significantly more than the larger-diameter Gitzo G1588 was rated. The lower weight rating compared to the GM5540 is likely the result of a smaller-diameter leg design. You won’t notice much difference in stability, but you may or may not like the thinner grip section. My personal preference is for the thicker grip – I can control the camera and lens slightly better with it. People with smaller hands (mine are medium-sized) will be better able to control the GM3550. The Gitzo GM3550 6x Carbon Fiber Monopod is about 20% less expensive. It has a smaller top plate. At 1.4 lbs (600 g), it is lighter (compared to 1.9 lbs / 0.9 kg). I could be very satisfied to use this monopod for all of my needs. READ FULL REVIEW AT DigitalPicture.com

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this tripod from Amazon: Gitzo GM3550 6X Carbon Fiber 5 Section G-Lock Monopod

(more…)

Continue Reading

Gitzo GT5540LS Mountaineer 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod Review Round-Up

gitzo-gt5540ls-mountaineer-6x-carbon-fiber-tripodYes, there are some penalties to pay for getting the ultimate tripod base for your big gear. The first penalty you will encounter is the price – This is not a cheap tripod. The next penalty you will suffer is in regard to the GT5540LS’s size and weight. Even though it is made of Gitzo’s 6x carbon fiber, it still weighs 6.5 lb (2.96 kg). A reasonably small folded length of 23.6″ (60 cm) does not tell the entire story – it is much larger in diameter than the GT3530LSV. Prior to getting the Gitzo GT5540LS 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod, the Gitzo G1548 Carbon Fiber Tripod (above right) was my large lens tripod of choice. The GT5540LS’s G-Locks are the biggest improvement over this tripod. They are much nicer to use. The GM5540LS weighs 6 lb 4.8 oz (2.85 kg) – 5.2 oz (.14 kg) less than the GT1548. This difference is not huge, but nice. ? ?Had the Gitzo GT5540LS 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod not come along, I would have been perfectly content to continue using the GT1548. But now, having used the GM5540LS, I would have a harder time being content with the old pod. READ FULL REVIEW AT DigitalPicture.com

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this tripod from Amazon: Gitzo GT5541LS Series 5 Long 6X Carbon Fiber 4-Section Systematic Tripod with G-Lcok – Replaces GT5540LS

(more…)

Continue Reading

Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead Review Round-Up

arca-swiss-monoball-z1-ballheadFor many years, the Arca-Swiss B1 Ballhead was the standard by which all other ballheads were judged. The Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead replaces this model and delivers the same performance in a smaller size and at a lower price. There is not much to dislike about this change. Although strong, the Z1 is still precise and smooth. The main friction control remains easy to turn well past the point of the ball being locked tight (for any use I have at least) and is indexed for visual confirmation and repeatability. When making adjustments, the transition from free to locked is very smooth – small, precise changes can easily be made up to the point of locking. The main friction control knob has a small amount of play in it but only if you firmly pull out on it – I don’t notice this in normal use as I have no reason to pull out on it. Unique to the Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead is the aspherical ball. As the load on the head is moved away from center, the effects of gravity increase. To offset the higher gravitational effect, more ball tension is needed. Conventional ballheads require correcting tension control adjustments to be made. The Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead, because of its elliptical ball, automatically adjusts to handle the off-center load. In other words, the tension automatically gets tighter as you move the load off-center. And it works as advertised. Very nice. Overall, Fit, finish and functionality of the Z1 are exceptional. The Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead is currently my primary ballhead. This is a smooth, refined and solid camera/lens support. READ FULL REVIEW AT DigitalPicture.com

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this tripod from Amazon: ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP Single Pan with Classic Quick Set Device , Supports 122 lbs.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Review Round-Up

nikon-18-55mm-f-35-56g-af-s-dx-vr-nikkor

If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below. Get information and user reviews for this lens at Amazon: Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

SLR Gear

The chances are, if you bought a Nikon D40x or D60 in 2008, you already have this lens. I can’t see a compelling reason to buy this lens separately unless you’re really strapped for cash.There might be some on the used market as people upgrade to the more capable 18-200mm or 16-85mm VR lenses. Optically it’s alright, maybe even better than alright if you get a good copy, but to get the best results you have to stop down to Æ’/8. Fortunately, the addition of VR does make that possible. In the final analysis it’s a good lens, not a great lens, excellent for the beginning photographer. … READ FULL REVIEW AT SLR GEAR

(more…)

Continue Reading

Induro Alloyflex 6M AX214 Tripod Review Round-Up

induro-alloyflex-6m-ax214-tripodFlexibility is this 5-pound aluminum alloy tripod’s strong suit. Its reversible center column can be removed and reinserted horizontally. Two smoothly operating keys loosen the top portion of the platform that holds the center column in place and let it flip up 90 degrees. When the column is mounted horizontally, it can swivel 360 degrees and tilt up and down, then be locked in place. With the legs at their widest angle, the horizontal column lets you bring the camera as close to the ground as you like. Switching the center column between vertical and horizontal is quick and easy. The column also has a built-in weight hook at the bottom, and on top of the legs there are both a fluid level and a little compass.??The AX214’s four-section twist-lock legs can be locked at three angles and can bring the tripod to a maximum height of 58 inches, or nearly six feet with the center column all the way up. One of the legs is padded, to make it more comfortable to handle in the cold and easy to carry over a shoulder. The tripod comes with a carrying strap that attaches to a built-in hook, as well as a nice padded bag. You can also hook the little tool case that comes with this pod onto the hook. It contains a wrench and a hex key for adjusting the leg tension and tightening up the mounting plate, as well as spiked metal feet that are interchangeable with the tripod’s rubber ones. The AX214 is built to support up to 17.6 pounds of gear, but it folds up to a compact 22 inches for carrying. About $190. READ FULL REVIEW AT PopPhoto

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this tripod from Amazon: Induro Alloyflex 6M Tripod AX-214

(more…)

Continue Reading

Acratech GV2 Ballhead Review Round-Up

acratech-gv2-ballheadThe Acratech GV2 Ballhead’s quality build, light weight and attractive skeletal design convinced me to give it a try. Since most ballheads do not allow enough rotation for shooting in portrait/vertical camera orientation (without an L-plate or collared lens), a drop notch is generally provided. The ballhead is then oriented so the neck of the ball can be positioned into this slot – leaving the camera in position for the vertically-framed shot. Acratech took this design one step farther (at first glance at least). Large, collared lenses used on top of ballheads can become hard to control – their generally-heavy weight gives them a strong tendency to fall over. Gimbal-style heads (the Wimberley Tripod Head II is one) are designed so that the gravitation effect simply holds the lens balanced – a real plus when working with these lenses. The Acratech GV2 Ballhead functions as a gimbal head when the ballhead neck is lowered into the drop notch. A large lens can be easily positioned and used without locking the friction control knobs. Physically, the Acratech GV2 Ballhead has a lot going for it. Going into the field, the first thing I noticed was that my framing moves slightly to the right when I lock down the main friction control knob. I tried a wide range of minimum friction/tension settings with no change in this behavior. With a Sigma 120-400mm DG EX HSM Lens set to 400mm, my framing moves about 1″ (254mm) at 15′ (4.6m) when the GV2 is locked down. There is no elevation drop as is common with cheap heads, but the rightward movement is definitely the biggest negative attribute of this otherwise great ballhead. The GV2 has some slip-stick behavior when near tight, but I didn’t find this to be hindering in the field. The Acratech GV2 Ballhead is a quality-construction, well designed tool. READ FULL REVIEW AT DigitalPicture.com

If you own or have used this tripod, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this tripod from Amazon: Acratech GV2 Ballhead with Gimbal Feature, with all Rubber Knobs, Quick Release & Detent Pin, Supports 25 lbs.

(more…)

Continue Reading
Close Menu
[i]
[i]