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my new tripod

So, I’ve decided it’s finally time to buy a real tripod. I’ve read (and advocated for) Thom Hogan’s page on how to buy a tripod, but with the new baby, my budget is rather limited right now, so $1000 was too much to spend. I also wanted a tilt column on it, to make it easier to get better versions of pictures like this:

The tilt column violates Thom’s guidelines, but I wanted it. ;)

Here’s what I ended up with, all from our good friend eBay, and include shipping:
Open-box Gitzo G2220 “Explorer” (Aluminum): $219.94
Cheap Giottos mini-ballhead: $39.99
Cheap Arca Swiss-compatible clamp: $29.97
Kirk L-Plate for the Nikon D200: $72.95
Kirk plate for the Nikon 70-200 F2.8: $40

..for a grand total of $402.85.

Here’s what the tripod ended up looking like:

..close-up of the camera with the L-Plate in the clamp:

..since the tripod isn’t exactly stable with the column fully extended, here’s what I use for counterweight:

What do you think? I think I did fairly well for the price. Only component I’ll probably replace soonish is the ball-head — it works, but I have to crank on it too tight for stability with a heavy lens. I’m watching for an inexpensive used ball-head on eBay already. ;)

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