Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2012/01/23

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Subject: [Leica] Why we all should buy an Alpa :-)
From: wildlightphoto at (wildlightphoto at
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:00:19 -0500

Mark Rabiner wrote:

You're in a specialty, Doug, which I'm not in a position to argue with. My
get feeling tells me there are no lack of bird guys out there who are tripod
users but I know know that for sure.

Yes you're correct.  Most of the wildlife photographers who are using a
tripod are also using a 500mm or longer lens often with extenders because
they don't know how to not act predatory.

More the the point is the point you brought up about the collar.
It's what's up top that counts and a lot of people are not happy with tripod
use because they never got a good tripod head. Never tried a good ball head.
And there is some such sophisticated gear such as levelers and Gimble heads
that people have not even heard of perhaps.  And collars, woof!
But the deal breaker; the big new thing is the ball head.

A ball head has too many degrees of freedom all at once for me.  I use a
simple tilt head on the monopod not tight but with some drag - tilts
up/down and doesn't flop side-to-side.  The rotating tripod collar handles
levelling the horizon (or tilt to vertical).

The really big thing for me is the rotating tripod collar.  The axis of
rotation pierces the camera's center of mass so I don't have to fight
gravity, at least on one degree of freedom.  A gimbal head would be perfect
for me if it were a lot smaller and with much smaller lever arms between
joints than the ones currently on the market.

Doug Herr
Birdman of Sacramento

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