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Approaching the Scene links

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Fluid head and Tripods: camera SUPPORT

Here's everything you need to get your camera on a fluid head (Use an L-bracket to get vertical). I’ll break it down into three different types of system and show you everything you need to buy in each. The first is my favorite system but it’s a bit more expensive option that uses a set of legs with a 75mm bowl at the top and a half ball leveling adaptor. The second is a way to easily adapt an existing center column or flat topped tripod to level and use a fluid head. Finally I’m listing a complete budget option from Benro. Check out this video to learn more about fluid heads and how to assemble each of these systems.

1) THE BEST OPTION, 75MM BOWL TRIPOD LEG S WITH A 1/2 BALL LEVELER

  • 75MM bowl tripod leg options (choose one of these three):

    • Gitzo 3543XLS xtra long, rugged & ultralight 79" systematic carbon tripod without accessories or bowl (5 pounds)

      • 75mm Bowl needed only for the Gitzo 3543XLS (choose one):

        • Sunwayfoto’s affordable option: Amazon B&H

        • Gitzo’s much more expensive version: Amazon B&H

    • Robus 5570 tall, rugged & beautifully made 70” systematic carbon tripod with bowl, plate, three sets of feet and case (5.5 pounds)

    • Benro A373T smaller, affordable aluminum 58” alternative with fixed bowl (4.8 pounds): Amazon B&H

  • 1/2 Ball Leveling adaptor: needed for all tripods listed above. Amazon B&H (cheaper at B&H)

  • Manfrotto 500AH fluid head: Amazon B&H (Don't buy a larger model, this is the sweet spot for DSLR and mirrorless)

  • Arca Swiss Clamps (choose one):

    • Large fixed Arca-Swiss style clamp (attach to Manfrotto plate to clamp your body's L-Bracket): Amazon B&H

    • Kirk Universal Clamp (easy 90 degree reversible high end clamp)

  • An L-bracket for your particular camera body is essential to get vertical. Here are Kirk’s for the D850, Z7/Z6, A7iii, & A7Riii

  • Long Manfrotto plate to mount to each of your long lenses with a collar and foot. Amazon B&H

2) ADAPT YOUR OWN FLAT TOP OR CENTER COLUMN TRIPOD LEGS

To level the head using  your current non-bowl-tripod with a flat top plate or center column:

  • Manfrotto 500AH fluid head: Amazon B&H (Don't buy a larger model, this is the sweet spot for DSLR and mirrorless)

  • Arca Swiss Clamps (choose one):

    • Large fixed Arca-Swiss style clamp (attach to Manfrotto plate to clamp your body's L-Bracket): Amazon B&H

    • Kirk Universal Clamp (easy 90 degree reversible high end clamp)

  • An L-bracket for your particular camera body is essential to get vertical. Here are Kirk’s for the D850, Z7/Z6, A7iii, & A7Riii

  • Long Manfrotto plate to mount to each of your long lenses with a collar and foot. Amazon B&H

3) AFFORDABLE LIGHTWEIGHT COMPLETE ALTERNATE SYSTEM

More affordable, lightweight, lighter duty fluid head system from Benro:

  • $270 Benro system with legs, leveler and head (5.8 pounds total) Amazon B&H

  • You still also need this clamp to attach to the head’s plate to fit your body's L-Bracket:

    • Large fixed Arca-Swiss style clamp (attach to Manfrotto plate to clamp your body's L-Bracket): Amazon B&H

  • An L-bracket for your particular camera body is essential to get vertical. Here are Kirk’s for the D850, Z7/Z6, A7iii, & A7Riii

  • Long Manfrotto plate to mount to each of your long lenses with a collar and foot. Amazon B&H

TRIPOD MAINTENANCE, PROTECTION & ACCESSORIES

  • Tripod stone bag (like the folding shelf on my tripod):  Amazon  B&H 

  • RRS Rock Claw Feet (my favorite all around feet): B&H (you need 3)

  • Affordable Tripod Spikes (for sand and surf): Amazon

  • RRS Tripod Spikes (if you want and can afford the best for sand and surf): B&H

  • Road-bike cork handlebar tape for wrapping legs for protection and comfort: Amazon (you’ll need two packs for 3 rolls).

  • Super Lube Synthetic Grease: To maintain your tripod especially after desert or ocean use: Amazon

  • Small grease gun for simple use of Super Lube above: Amazon

  • Gaffer Tape: Amazon B&H

ADvanced Panorama Equipment

Dovetail base plate rail: Amazon  B&H

90 degree vertical rail: Amazon  B&H

2 panning clamps (one clamped to head one screwed to top of the 90 degree vertical rail):

  • Really Right Stuff panning clamp: not cheap, but the best: B&H

  • More affordable version from China: Amazon

Kirk Nodal Slider:  B&H  Direct (worth every penny to me)

Cheaper Nodal Slider:  Amazon  B&H

NIKON Mirrorless KIT

Nikon Z6 (I highly recommend the Kit with the FTZ adaptor and 24-70mm F4 S): Amazon   B&H

Nikon Z7 (I highly recommend the Kit with the FTZ adaptor and 24-70mm F4 S): Amazon B&H

Nikon 24-70 F4 S: Amazon   B&H

Nikon 14-30 F4 S: Amazon B&H

FTZ Adaptor:  Amazon   B&H

Nikon 50mm 1.8 S: Amazon   B&H

Atomos Ninja V 5” Screen and 10-Bit Log Recorder: Amazon B&H

Kirk Z6 / Z7 L-Bracket:  Direct   B&H

XQD Cards: Amazon   B&H

NIKON slr KIT

Nikon D500: Amazon   B&H

Nikon D850: Amazon   B&H

Kirk L-Bracket: Amazon   B&H

Sunwayfoto L-Bracket: Amazon   B&H

Nikon 300mm F4 PF: Amazon   B&H

Kirk 300mm F4 PF Collar:  B&H

Kirk 300mm F4 PF Bracket: Kirk direct

Nikon 70-200 F2.8: Amazon   B&H

Nikon 1.7 Teleconverter: Amazon   B&H

Nikon 1.4 Teleconverter: Amazon   B&H

Nikon 50mm F1.8: Amazon   B&H

Zeiss 35mm F2: Amazon B&H

Nikon 20mm F1.8: Amazon   B&H

Nikon 14-24 F2.8: Amazon B&H

Tokina 11-20 F2.8 DX: Amazon   B&H

Nikon 400 F3.5 and 2x Teleconverter for it: Look on Ebay

XQD Cards: Amazon   B&H

ULTRALIGHT SONY KIT

Sony RX100 V (tiny 1” sensor camera I love having in my pocket): Amazon B&H

Sony A6500: Amazon   B&H

Sony 70-200mm F4: Amazon   B&H

Sony 16-55mm: Amazon   B&H

Voightlander 10mm F5.6 FF aspherical (widest full frame lens ever): Amazon B&H

LowePro 200 AW Case for Sony A6500: Amazon   B&H

FILTRATION

The Hoya filters I use: Use the coupon code  HHPWORKSHOP for 20% off on the Hoya website.

Manfrotto Xume Magnetic System (get them and filters big): Amazon   B&H

Step-up Rings: Amazon  

FLASH, LIGHTING & ACCESSORIES

Nikon SB5000: Amazon  B&H

Better Beamer: Amazon   B&H

Dracast daylight panel LED light kit (I use these all the time in the field and studio, great for light-painting):  B&H

Lumecube: Amazon   B&H

Lumecube Lighthouse with diffusers: Amazon    B&H

CLEANING GEAR

Rocket Blower Brush: Amazon   B&H

Zeiss Lens Wipes: Amazon   B&H

Microfiber Cloths: Amazon 

Small Travel Sensor Light: Amazon   B&H

Larger (nicer) Sensor Light: Amazon

Sensor Gel Stick (approved for Sony): Amazon

Sensor Swabs & Fluid (Full Frame): Amazon B&H

Sensor Swabs & Fluid (APS-C): Amazon B&H

NECCESSITIES

Samsung T5 500GB SSD External Hard Drives: (FAST, small & light) Amazon B&H

F-Stop Tilopa Pack (smaller than mine): Amazon  

F-Stop Sukha Pack (mine) : Amazon 

Think Tank Street Walker carry-on capable rolling camera bag.: Amazon B&H

L.L. Bean X-tra large rolling duffle bag (to check long tripods and all your other things on flights)

Think Tank battery wallets: Amazon   B&H

Headlamp Princeton Tec Vizz: Amazon

Outdoor Research Stormsensor Gloves: Amazon

Lumalabs Loop 3 Strap

Black Rapid Breathe Hybrid Sling Strap (MINE): Amazon   B&H

Black Rapid Breathe Sport: Amazon   B&H

Tripod velcro hammock (like the folding shelf on my tripod):  Amazon  B&H (cheaper at B&H)

PLATAPOD ULTRA: Amazon, B&H

PLUTO TRIGGER: B&H 

 

For full disclosure know that I'm an ambassador for Hoya, Black Rapid and Kirk Enterprises. The reason I work with those brands is that I believe in their products and trust them myself in the field.