timing is everything if you want to get the poof. I did not tonight. I was much more concerned about the boys that showed up last week and decided to stay. they said, “dude, we’ll totally do work for you. you know, so we can stay!” oddly, they have the same same name name. Calumet 7100. who migrated here with THAT last name? I immediately wanted to call them something else. no, Cal and Met are not their new names. simpler please. how about a variation on Normal and Ballhead? stop thinking, right? Norm and Ballhead it is. what? call him Ball instead? decided. these guys are my new tripods BTW. they replace MHTE and YWDIAP aka “Most Hated Tripod Ever” and “You Will Do in a Pinch”. bu-bye. or maybe “go sit in the corner forever for now.”
 
MHTE and YWDIAP had a purpose which was to prove that any tripod is better than no tripod when you are trying to photograph spacecraft and satellites flying overhead. you see, from a science fair, do this a few times before getting bored, or “MOOOOOM! I cannot make it work!” an under $20 tripod will do the jorb just as well as a $150 Slik, Manfroto, or Vanguard. why spend the money if you are not going to stick with it. and further, from the point of view of learning there are so many things going on that tripod is the least of your worries. expensive will not help you. you just need it to work. in the last year I have used Joby and clone variations, a cushie covered wire pod, a cardboard tracker that I designed, a multi-headed mount that got permanently attached to YWDIAP, a selfie mount, and attempts at hand holding for a multi-second-exposure. the latter worked out well. [sarcasm missing from text]
 
the search for a replacement was over thought from go. the first iteration ended with me about to click send-to-me on a hundredandfiftydollarpod. way too much. remember what we learned from MHTE. that hated thing cost just 3 days of coffee, donuts that I do not eat, and free shipping (how exactly do they make money). so no. next. metal from China got considered. all of them look the same. (tripod, guys, tripods.) ball head. very light weight. legs to here. breaks into a monopod. sexy right? fiftytoseventydollartripod almost had me. lots of reviews loved it. a few airquotes professional photographers called it junk. hmm. keep looking. what I had in mind was not sexy. I made a list.
 
heavy
traditional 3-way head
no crank neck
click release not twist release for the legs
cheaper
 
after looking and looking my decision was made by weight. I got the heaviest tripod and it turned out to be the least amount of quatloos.
 
the 7100 is heavy at 4.5 pounds. MHTE and YWDIAP between themselves do not weigh that much. the head has three knobs releasing X, Y, and Z independently. YWDIAP had the perceived convenience of spin the handle to unlock lock. a crank to rise the neck is rookie feature. you think it is cool. until you try to use it. I want to recommend that if you have a tripod that does, crank it up 3 inches then wrap tape around the neck so it cannot move anymore. there, you fixed it. when it is cold and you have gloves your hands will appreciate click lock to extend legs.
 
my madness on cheaper is important. I want to have good tools but I do not want to be afraid of my tools because of quatloos spent. if I decide to drill into the legs to do a mod, cost should not stop my lizard brain from making holes. it should be able to go in the trunk or case or stack without a fuss. and if it gets scratched… cool. battle scars. and a story goes there. thing is, I had a really expensive tripod disappear from a set. which got replaced because I needed a tripod. and that one got taken. I started to rethink nice things. this left me with a shitty tripod from my youth. a tripod that was a gift. that works to this day. kind of well considering. and nobody WANTS that tripod so I still have it. anyway, I will not be bent if Norm or Ball disappear. for $30 I can get another Cal or Met or whatever the replacepod gets named.
 
oh yeah, why is Ball called Ball? I wanted a ball head. so I searched eBay. there was a heavy that was old-ish. described as not perfect. which is perfect. nobody had bid on it so $20 was the opening. two days later an email told me to pay up, so I did. a few days later my ball head arrived. what was not perfect? it was missing a screw that did nothing on the left side. so what. perfectly not perfect.
 
the boys were my present to me for another successful trip around the nearest star. now, here is the outing I did with Ball and Norm. despite the clods. G15 in roboto mode. P300 in click wait click mode. hey, there is Orion. and a tree. and a truck. sweet.
 
link to the Calumet 7100 tripod. cheap at double the price.
http://amzn.to/2kvHj5o