Need a tripod and macro lens

I had a recent email conversation with someone looking for a tripod and macro lens to add to their camera kit. I wanted to share the thread for others who may be similarly interested!

  • I wanted to stop by and ask for recommendation for tripod and macro lens. I looking to get those two by end of March. Please let me know. Thanks.
Thanks for the message. I would be pleased to chat more about this! If you want some quick recommendations, I would easily say:

* The Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens is extremely worthwhile. It was my sharpest lens, and I love all the details it is capable of capturing. One of my all-time favorite camera purchases. However, I ended up selling it in January to upgrade to the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro  lens. It doesn’t add any additional sharpness, but has some image stabilization, which I decided was worth the upgrade. But there is a sharp split between photographers who think it’s worthwhile and those who think it’s ridiculous to pay another $400 for more or less the same lens. Since I do food photography and videography, I want every advantage I can get, so I paid the premium for the image stabilization. If you are always going to use the macro lens on a tripod, it is quite possible the extra $400 will not be beneficial to you.

* The Dolica AX620B100 62-inch tripod  is quite possibly the best tripod I have ever seen for under $50. I think it even rivals tripods at the $100 price level. It’s very well constructed and has nice features, such as a ballhead, retractable foot spikes, legwarmers, and a hook for adding weights (for more stability). 

I’m a little crazy about camera gear, so I have a very expensive setup that is probably unreasonable for most people. I have the Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod. (I paid $300 for it over a year ago.) I like carbon fiber because it is strong and light, so good for traveling. But it is so light that it actually blew over when I was shooting the Golden Gate Bridge on a windy hill when I took my camera off!! Another thing with higher-end tripods like this is that they don’t even include a camera mount/head. So I also purchased the Acratech GV2 ballhead  to go with the tripod. I hope I never ever have to buy another tripod and ballhead again. These two pieces better last forever. =]

If you want an option in between, just let me know and I can try to do some research for you. But if the Dolica tripod suits your needs, I would highly recommend it!

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