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General photography questions and answers: Discuss New Tripod--need help...I just received my tripod in the mail. I purchased it from BHphotovideo. Its a Slik Pro 700DX-AMT. I tried ...
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Old 28-08-2007, 22:09   #1 (permalink)
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New Tripod--need help

I just received my tripod in the mail. I purchased it from BHphotovideo. Its a Slik Pro 700DX-AMT. I tried it out and something is really bothering me. I get it set and sometimes it drops alittle. Then I have to start all over again. Is this common. I think I read someplace it is, but seems like a bother. Maybe I'm just having a bad day today .

I did think about getting a ball head instead of the 3 way pan. Also it seems alittle loose where the pan head connects to the center column. Is this common. I have a few days to try it out and if I don't like it I can return it.

~~~~Mary
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Old 28-08-2007, 22:57   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

Hi Mary - more info please. Is it the tripod dropping, the column or the head? Maybe it's the QR plate?

The head should screw onto the column. Lock it off and see if you can tighten it.

The column shoud have a locking ring and maybe also a friction adjuster. When the column is set you should lock it with the locking ring.
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Old 28-08-2007, 23:19   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

Ok---you asked a woman for more info--that is a dangerous thing. We could talk forever . It is a two part problem.

1. When I use the shorter pan handle...focus in on something and then tighten it...that is when it drops alittle. That is an irritant for me.

2. The other loose part I think is where the pan head attaches to the center column. I did try to tighten it, but I must not be strong enough or it is tight as it goes. I will let the hubby play with it tonight and see if he is stronger

What is a QR plate?

I know nothing about tripods, but this one seemed to get good reviews and I thought it would support my camera and lenses. Am I wrong? Should I have gotten something better?
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Old 28-08-2007, 23:33   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

Sorry - using abbreviations.

QR plate = quick release plate.

You say it is one part of the head, and I guess that as you are saying it drops, it is the vertical plane where this is happening.

It might be that it is new and will need a little bedding in. Check that there is nothing caught in the joint that will prevent the locking mechanism working, and also try just tightening it and releasing it several times.

Before you throw it out, check that it is not the QR plate moving in it's mount. With the camera mounted and the head tightened, see if there is any movement in the plate. If there is you have two choices - reject it, or ensure the movement is taken up when you fix the camera on the tripod - in the direction that the movement is happening. In other words, take up the slack.

If it is the plate, you might find that other brands will do this too.
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Old 29-08-2007, 03:04   #5 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

Thanks for the info---I did check and it was loose where the pan head attached to the column. I figured out how to tighten that up . It wasn't, then it was. Hummm....has me wondering if that will always happen. Also the QR plate came loose from the camera. Scared the heck outa me. I figured that was my fault for not screwing it in tight enough.

I just figure I will have to check everything before I put my camera on it. Is that something you always have to do? In your opinion is this an ok tripod for my camera and lenses?

I did take it out for some picture taking this afternoon and tonight. Wow, you can really notice a difference.
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Old 29-08-2007, 11:24   #6 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

When I use a tripod (or monopod) I always check everything is tight.

Because I don't use a tripod nearly enough, I don't leve the QR plate on the camera, but even if I did, I'd still check it is tight before use.

I would have thought that the tripod you have would be OK. I use a Slik 88 I bought so long ago I can't remember when - maybe 30 years.

I have to say that I am considering going back to a ball head because I find pan/tilt heads take so long to adjust.

If you check out other makes when you are out and about, I'm sure that most other tripods/pan heads will not be any better. You can always get a ball head to see if you like it better - but make sure the QR plate can be well secured! Most well-known brands will be OK, but don't go for a cheapie. Good ones will have a friction adjuster too.
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Old 29-08-2007, 12:01   #7 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

The head screws onto the plate at the top of the column, but sometimes there are two or three small grub-screws which you get to from the underside of this plate, and these tighten to lock the head in place so it won't unscrew. You just have to remember to slacken these off before unscrewing the head again.

If possible, try to use the tripod without extending the centre column. The column is not as rigid as the tripod itself, so you can get the giraffe syndrome. The column should be locked in position - there's often a friction collar plus a knob which holds the column in place. Panning should be done by the head itself rather than rotating the column.

Sorry if you know all of that but I though it was worth mentioning just in case.
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Old 29-08-2007, 17:48   #8 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

I love the information. I think I finally got it all figured out. I under stand why you say don't go cheap. You put some pricey things on top of that tripod. I hope I didn't go to cheap. The bugger weighs 8lbs and cost around $130.00. I know that sounds real cheap compared to some I looked at. I just couldn't justify the higher priced ones just starting out. All I wanted was a simple/sturdy tripod that would hold up for awhile. I had also read that you should buy your tripod and head separate. Which I didn't.

I took it out again this morning and it worked well. I'm getting use to it. I needed a sturdy one for the prairie winds we can get here, but not so heavy for the hiking we do. Being short--4'10" I don't need to set it up very high--

Thanks again to all of you for all the information
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Old 29-08-2007, 17:56   #9 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

How heavy is the camera and lens that you're putting on top? I had a cheap tripod I bought in a camera shop before I knew to consider weight. It dropped as yours does because I was attaching about 2kg of camera to the top and it was probably only good for about 1kg.

Slik should have the information on that model you bought so you can work out

A: how much weight the legs can take
B: how much the head weighs
C: how much weight the head can take
D: how much the camera and lens together weigh

If A-B or A+C are less than B+D then you've got a problem.
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Old 29-08-2007, 19:34   #10 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

I checked out a couple of sites - one said max load is 5kg, the other said 6.8kg. (This tripod comes complete with a pan/tilt head, so this ought to be the camera weight). Either way you should be OK, but as MB says, it is as well to know what your kit weighs.

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Old 30-08-2007, 02:41   #11 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

I'm going to need some type of medication after trying to figure all this out . Actually your right--it holds 15lbs. I didn't figure out the head weight and I've been trying to find that out, but I can't find anyplace that tells me.

My lenses weigh 1.5 lbs and 1.4 lbs. I haven't checked on the camera, but I'm sure its not over 2 lbs. I could be wrong tho. So I figure I would have at the most 4 lbs on the tripod not counting the head. Sound about right? Hummmm....maybe I should get a different tripod. The only thing I'm planning on adding to my gear is a 400L lens, macro and 50mm.

I was alittle smart--before I purchased the tripod I looked at the weight limit, but I wasn't smart in thinking about the head weight needing to be included.

Got any idea how much a head weighs?
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Old 30-08-2007, 10:43   #12 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

As this tripod comes complete with the head, I think the weight it will carry should be for the camera + lens. If the head is anything like the one I've got on my old Slik. it won't weigh much anyway.

You could always call Slik to check if you are concerned.
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Old 31-08-2007, 02:17   #13 (permalink)
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Re: New Tripod--need help

Not concerned anymore . You helped me get over that. Thanks for all your help and input.
~~~~Mary
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