Horizontal Column Tripod

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Maray
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:23 am
Location: North Bergen

Horizontal Column Tripod

Post by Maray »

Hi all I"m just starting out in macro photography, and would value opinions on tripod selection.

For macro photography, is it mandatory to have one of them models of tripods that has the ability to have the central column adjustable in a way that can be rotated horizontal and at angles? Ie. Vanguard Alta 263B mount per se.

Or would it be sufficient enough with a normal tripod one like on the threeleggedtech and one that can have the centre column reversed so that the camera can be mounted facing down from the tripod legs instead of up.

Thanks
Last edited by Maray on Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

dickb
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Horizontal Column Tripod

Post by dickb »

Every tripod design is a compromise, there is no single best option. Almost all tripods can be used for macrophotography, some designs are better suited for certain types of macrophotography.

The design of having a centre column that can be used horizontally can be useful, but perhaps less so than tripod manufacturers want you to believe. As soon as you place your camera further from the centre of the tripod the combination becomes less stable, so if you have a heavy camera/lens setup this will be important. Also if you want to place your camera just above ground level, having a horizontal column will mean the legs of your tripod may interfere with your camera placement. Using the tripod with the legs almost horizontal is not the most stable option either.

With a reversed centre column your camera will be upside down (unless you use a camera cage with a tripod attachment on the top as I do). Upside down the camera is far less convenient to operate, but if you use a remote or an app this is no problem. The tripod legs are still in the way, but as they will be in a steeper angle than the previous setup, it will be a bit more stable and less inconvenient.

In my view, for getting your camera very close to the surface the reversed column is most practical. For heights a little higher the horizontal column may be very convenient, but having such a construction may increase weight and cost of the tripod so whether that is worth it I can't say.

I use a tripod without a centre column for minimum weight and maximum stability, but I can flip its legs to get the same upside down configuration. For lightweight use a carbon Feisol CT 3442 and if weight is not a problem a heavy old stable aluminium Gitzo.

NNL33543
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: Tampa Fl

Re: Horizontal Column Tripod

Post by NNL33543 »

I would only add the Edelkrone tilt head is really useful for macros. Great for height adjustments from 0 to about 5 inches
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... head2.html
Tony

dickb
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Horizontal Column Tripod

Post by dickb »

NNL33543 wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:23 am
I would only add the Edelkrone tilt head is really useful for macros. Great for height adjustments from 0 to about 5 inches
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... head2.html

Since you screw this under your camera it won't give you a height adjustment of 0 inches, the device is just over an inch thick, 27mm to be precise. I wonder whether the 105x85mm base is stable enough for use on surfaces other than a table top. It may work well in combination with a tripod.

NNL33543
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: Tampa Fl

Re: Horizontal Column Tripod

Post by NNL33543 »

Depends on how you measure it. I meant 5 inches from the top of the device. I use mine on a Regular tripod, on a table tripod and on a flat plate (don’t recall the name now). Especially great when lying on the ground and need a little more height
Tony

dickb
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Horizontal Column Tripod

Post by dickb »

NNL33543 wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:30 am
Depends on how you measure it. I meant 5 inches from the top of the device. I use mine on a Regular tripod, on a table tripod and on a flat plate (don’t recall the name now). Especially great when lying on the ground and need a little more height
Indeed, these are useful ways to deploy a tripod head like this. As long as you don't mind the minimum elevation of 27mm it is a versatile tool. If you do need the absolute minimum of elevation you need to go the reversed tripod column route. Perhaps the combination of the tilt head on a reversed tripod column gives you a versatile way of approaching delicate subjects like dewdrops on a mossy surface.

Ichthyophthirius
Posts: 1100
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:24 am

Re: Horizontal Column Tripod

Post by Ichthyophthirius »

Maray wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:35 am
I"m just starting out in macro photography
Just a sidenote. I had a related choice to make recently viewtopic.php?f=8&t=42059 and my takeaway since 8-[ has been that you should invest in your flash setup first, if you haven't already, before getting a tripod. A good flash setup used handheld eliminates the need for a tripod in many situations - for anything that moves in and out of focus like arthropods and plants (wind!). The tripod might be most useful for anything close to the ground and therefore unaffected by wind, and indoors.

On the other had, a tripod is useful for other things, so get one anyway :wink:

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