Suggestions needed for a "vertical" tripod

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    I have a couple of regular tripods, but I need to position my camera to shoot straight down. I can probably rig something up but was wondering if anyone knows of a tripod that pivots or is set up so that I can point it directly down?

    I’ll be shooting macro and probably just a few inches away from the subject. I have a Digital Rebel XT.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


    I have seen that the “Pro” versions of the Manfrotto tripods have the ability for the column to slide horizontally. However, as I’ve never had one to try it on, I really can’t say if it matches the hype.


    I have the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021Pro, which allows one to take out the center column and put it in horizontally, allowing for a straight down shooting position (it looks like newer models allow you to move to the horizontal position w/o completely removing the column).

    It works well – you basically set up the shot between the tripod legs, which can be convenient or inconvenient, depending on the subject. The tripod is a bit heavy, and it requires a camera mount, which adds to the weight.

    I also got the “shorty” center column so that when shooting “normally”, I can splay the legs way out and get real low.

    The tripod is sturdy – I use for my refractor telescope, too.


    Digipod C2230 works quite well for this sort of shot. The ballhead allows for straight down shots, and the legs splay at variable angles, so you can get quite low down. Drawbacks: pretty heavy, and you have to get the tripod right over the subject.


    Thanks for the suggestions! Before I spend any money a tripod (those are kinda pricey) I am going to fiddle with the one I currently have. It’s was pretty cheap so if I break it, I’ll get over it. Maybe I can slide the center leg out and flip it upside down. That would allow me to rotate the camera into a straight-down position.

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