"a good tripod"

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by John27, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. John27

    John27 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey all,Among the things that many tutorials suggest, one common acessary is a good. So, apologies for the novice question, but what makes a good tripod a good tripod? I don't even have our DSLR yet, so the budget is limited, and for the time being ruggedness is not a concern. My only buying criteria were one that fits the camera, and has levels on it.Should I be reconsidering buying a cheap tripod? A local officemax had one on clearance for 20 bucks, should I go for it?Also, what other "must have" inexpensive acessories would you recommend for a new hobby photographer? I think we are gonna pick up a bag and extra battery, plus microcenter has some deals of 8 gig SD cards for 5 bucks, ill get a couple of those. Thoughts?John
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    this question is asked often. people want cheap, light weight and stable. pick two you can't have all three.

    check out ebay or goodwill , etc. for perhaps an older tripod. Tripods usually don't wear out they break and in the end if you always pay 20 dollars for one your are going to repeat that over and over until you end spending a lot more than you can image.

    You don't necessarily need carbon fiber as that will raise the cost or a high end ball head, but you want something that will support your equipment without you holding onto one of the legs. Look at something in the 125 dollar range.

    just my 2cents.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What makes a tripod 'good' is build quality, rigidity, ease of use, versatilty, a low weight-to-size ratio, and a dozen other factors. Why should you reconsider buying that $20 tripod? Think about it this way: If you buy a DSLR and a lens, you'll probably be using that tripod to support at least $500 worth of gear, and quite possibly several thousand. $20 tripods are light, flimsy, and unstable. Do you really want to trust your camera gear to something that could blow over because you looked at it wrong?

    Go back to the office store look at the build quality of that $20 tripod and then go to a real camera store and compare it to a $250 Manfrotto unit. The difference will be obvious. Do you need to spend $250? Nope. Craig's List is your friend. Great tripod deals can be had buying used, and really, there's not much to go wrong with them.

    Manfrotto, Giottos, and Benbo and some really good units, Sunpak and Velbon are decent...
     
  5. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    A $20 tripod is going to be junk, at least if its new. It sounds like that one your talking about may be designed for point and shoots only (very low weight).

    What makes a good tripod is strength, stability, ease of use, being lightweight, and adjustability just to name a few.

    How much you spend will depend on your budget, and how much weight you are going to put on it.

    If money isnt really concern, you could easily spend over $500 on a really good set of carbon fiber legs.

    On a budget a descent set designed for DSLRs will run you around $80-100 I believe.

    Edit: I own the Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 carbon fiber legs, and they are so nice. They are kind of heavy compared to the comparable Gitzo model, but they are very solid and cheaper. The problem is they cost over $400.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  6. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I will be trying out differernt tripods in person next time I buy one. I bought one from B&H midrange price had decent reviews. But you flip it vertical it creeps. Constantly. Drives me nuts, I ended up having to use a makeshift shim to keep it from creeping. I think a tripod should definitely fall into the try before you buy category.
     
  7. Taylor510ce

    Taylor510ce TPF Noob!

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    Tripods and heads are weight rated. If you have a dslr and big lens, you will need something rated to hold that so it doesnt collapse on you or tip over. Also all the things already mentioned.
     
  8. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My first few tripods were cheap tripods. They slipped, they vibrated in the wind, they bent and broke easy, parts fell off of them, they just plain sucked.

    Eventually, I broke down and bought a good Manfrotto with a sturdy ball head for a couple hundred bucks, and have never had another tripod problem of any kind.

    It's proven itself to be durable, steady, sturdy, dependable in any circumstances and on any terrain. I use it for studio shots, location shots, have had it on cliffs, in rivers, wetted it on beaches in both the Atlantic and Pacific and untold numbers of lakes and ponds in between, out in the desert in heat that you can bake bread in, and it's as good as it was the day I got it.

    Whatever I spent in total on the cheap tripods was money I may as well have thrown out the window while driving 70mph down the freeway.
     
  9. CSG

    CSG TPF Noob!

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    I have an inexpensive Velbon S6000 I bought some years ago. For a lightweight camera and non critical needs I think it's fine. However, for my SLRs and DSLR, I use a Manfrotto 475B and a recently purchased Manfrotto 498RC2 ball head. Heavy but sturdy.
     
  10. John27

    John27 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I appreciate the information!

    That's one of those topics that I as an inexperienced layman had no idea there was much to.

    After I thought about it, my grandpa used to be big into SLR photography, has an old Minolta 35mm SLR. He has taken some incredible shots, he's always been an incredibly talented photographer. Anyway, he has kind of stopped over the last couple of years, but he still has his gear including a brand unknown (but expensive) tripod that he's gonna give me, missing a foot. How hard are these parts to come by and where could I get them? I know it's heavy and sturdy and he's drug it through who knows what, I'll find out more about it soon, looks like that's gonna be my best bet!

    I certainly agree with paying for something now rather than buying cheap, I just needed to know what justified the purchase of an expensive tripod to a novice photographer, I appreciate you all clearing that up for me!

    What about my other question? What are some inexpensive accessories that would be good to get when I get this T1i? Batteries? Bags? How necessary is a UV filter?

    Thanks for the info!

    John
     
  11. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    I considered buying a lightweight crappy $20 one, but im glad I didnt. I got given a brand new one of these to use :D Velbon Tripods
     
  12. Taylor510ce

    Taylor510ce TPF Noob!

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