Crash Of The Titans - with Cullmann
I do hope my readers have seen this recent motion picture so that they can get the full impact of the bad pun. Otherwise it just sounds like I am clumsy in the studio. Still, bad as I might be I could not have done worse than the producers of the movie. It was so awful I asked for my money back plus interest when I left the theater. AND for the money that was paid out on the popcorn and the choc bomb. And the management agreed. Bring back the silent films, I say.
I am a firm advocate of firm tripods. If I want something wobbly and light that easily folds up for storage in a handbag I can buy a packet of Kleenex. For photo support I want something that stays rigid and put, in that order. Years ago I invested in an appallingly expensive French tripod that I regretted buying right up until I started taking digital images that involved multiple images on layers. Then I blessed the day. Were I still in the market for a definitive studio tripod today I would pitch upon one of the new Cullmann Titan models and match it with a Concept One ball or two-way head.
The basic legs of these tripods are heavy extrusions with a sector profile. The extending portion of each leg is trapped at the top with a lever - when you need to let the leg down to the ground you lift the lever and gravity whips it down. The lever is a very positive lock when you press it back in. As the bottom tube is the larger of the components you can let it slide down into water, mud, or custard without clogging the action. Of course after contact with salt water or other corrosive elements, Cullmann tell you to wash and dry the legs.
You can get the legs in two forms: the 935 with manual center column and plain 3/8 inch stud on top or the 935G with a geared center column. Both columns lock positively with a collar star. The geared column is really, really nice for product shots on a studio.
Up on top I can recommend the new Concept One ball heads. They are large ball with a powerful closing force to keep the camera steady. They can be obtained with plain 1/4" screw and a circular platform or with an Arca-Swiss type plate grip. Various plate sizes are available to accommodate different cameras and lenses. The spec sheets with the tripods mention that the whole assembly can rise up to 162 cm. plus the head and suppport 21 Kg. That should do for nearly anything in modern photgraphy.
If you are a video person check out the Cullmann TW90 heads. They perfectly match the legs and have very smooth pan and tilt with a sturdy lever and large handle. As with all Cullmann products they carry a 10-year warranty. I should not advocate carrying these tripods up a mountainside unless I was in the Royal Marines or a mule, but in a studio they will be perfect.