Any Tripod Advice?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Solthar, May 13, 2008.

  1. Solthar

    Solthar TPF Noob!

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    I've been saving up for either a Canon 100-400l or the sigma 50-500 and it suddenly hit me - to use either one of those lenses right, I'd need a tripod or a monopod - and I have just been handholding up till now! :lol:

    Now, I seem to be in love with the grip action ball heads that manfrotto puts out, was playing quite a bit with a 322RC2 in the local lens and shutter store, though sadly they didn't have a 222 in stock to compare it with. Also, they both seem to be able to handle the weight of both my Canon 30D and either lens. Any suggestions as to which one is best, or suggestions of other heads to go with?

    My biggest problem, now, is the tripod base. To put it bluntly, I have no clue whatsoever which one I should go for. For me, portability comes first - I'll be carrying it around alot. Next comes stability, after all if i spend that much on a head, I'd better have a tripod that can best compliment it. And last - and definatly not least :mrgreen: - price. After all, I'm not exactly made of money... not even in part :p.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions for a best 'bang-for-your-buck' tripod?
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My first bit of advice to this question is answered by Thom Hogan.

    I have Manfrotto 055XPRO legs and 488RC4 ball head. Works great, but I find the ball head is a bit finicky with the 300mm f/4 and TC 1.7 attached the my D300. Wants to slip a little when focusing on the moon when high in the sky. Otherwise a fantastic combo.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First and foremost make sure that both the head and tripod legs are rated for the heaviest camera and lens combination you plan on using.

    Tripods have three factors.

    Weight, Price, and Stability: you can only have 2 of the 3.

    Lightweight and cheap price == lower stability (ex cheapos tripods)
    Lightweight and high stability == high price (ex Gitzo Travelers)
    High Stability and inexpensive price == heavy weight (ex. Wooden Tripods)

    etc...

    A good mix I've found that works for most people is a standard Manfrotto/Bogen aluminum tripod of choice with a proball head that includes tensioning adjustment. Tripod choice should be based on Max height and cost... 3021 (or equivalent) is a good start.

    Also... don't be afraid to try for used. Tripods don't have electronics or fragile parts... there isn't much to break on them. My 3021 with 3 way pan was found for $35. Scratched up.. but works wonderfully.
     
  4. croomaniac

    croomaniac TPF Noob!

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    i just went to a basic photography course, been told that pros only recommend that your tripod must be at least 10kgs! that will bring the stability to yer gears, but hey, who want to carry the beast around? i also read in dcm that normal tripod will do, but hang your bag in the middle to get more stability out of it..
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I hang a bag in the middle and put rocks in it.

    But... 10kgs?? sheesh...

    Similar attitude from photogs that insist that the only way to take a good picture is through the lens of the most expensive type.

    Either will kill the enjoyment of photography pretty darn quickly.
     
  6. jg123

    jg123 TPF Noob!

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    hahaha, maybe they are trying to thin out the competition...10kg tripod, maybe 20 years ago.
     
  7. Solthar

    Solthar TPF Noob!

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    10 Kilo's?! Bleh! No way I'm going to go hiking with an extra 22+ pounds, even if it does make a more stable platform.



    While I do agree that Thom's advice is good for any professional photog's or even prospective pro's, I feel that spending that much on anything that isn't glass for someone who isn't planning on going pro (or carry any lens bigger than the 100-400l/sigma 50-500) is overkill.

    I'm looking to spend around 500-600 cdn total on the tripod and the head - and if I outgrow it, so what - I can always give it as a present to my nephew :mrgreen:.

    So, on the subject of the grip ball heads, anyone try out either? I'm looking for something that will allow easy tracking of moving subjects without fiddling around with locks and screws. How does the Manfrotto 222 (joystick action) compare to the 322RC2?

    And seeing as most photography stores around here almost exclusivley carry Manfrotto, It seems if I want a quality tripod I'm stuck with them :lol:.

    On that front, I was looking at a Manfrotto 190MF3 Tripod - Its carbon fibre (lightweight and strong!) and has a weight capacity that matches the 322RC2 almost exactly, a synergy that rather appeals to me. I could probably be convinced to go with a Manfrotto 055MF4/MF3 (what the heck is the difference between the two anyways?), but that ends up being an extra $114 (tax included), and lets face it, I don't get paid that much ;) so every dollar helps.

    Come to think of it, I think i'll go with the sigma 50-500. It seems to get good reviews, costs a heck of alot less, and with it and my Tamron 17-50 have an effective range from 17-500 - not to shabby from only two lenses.Canon L's have their own appeal, but I think i'll hold off on that addiction for a bit (after all, if you don't know what you're missing, how can you miss it? :lmao:).
     
  8. SkyHighPhotographs

    SkyHighPhotographs TPF Noob!

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    I use a tripod which is 6.5' long compacted, but extends to about 52' high, hence my username here and that only weighs 18kg!

    Carrying it over long distances can be a bit of a chore let me tell you!

    I'm thinking of buying a quad bike for this very purpose.

    10kg for a normal height tripod seems a little excessive, you'll still get great stability and portability too, with a model a lot less in weight than that, and at a great price too.

    Feel free to check out my sig below:
     
  9. deudeu

    deudeu TPF Noob!

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    I have an induro and i have taken a close look at the tripods they offer and i like them.
    You should take a look at the C113.
    It is your price range, lighter and it supports more weight than the 190 MF3 for something like $10 more.

    I had doubt about the brand before because no one really talks about them, but i am very please with mine!
     
  10. Solthar

    Solthar TPF Noob!

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    Woo! I walked by the local shop on the way back from work today, and they had one (and only one) 322RC2 in stock! They let me put it on a 190MF3 in store and play around with it for a bit.

    Lets just say I left with a lighter wallet and a grin on my face.

    My father had a really old pentax slr years back, and he had this obscene tripod, that was all fiddly knobs, and heavy as heck. Whenever He let me play with it (which was rarely, he was a bit... overprotective... of it :p ) I was out of breath by the time the tripod was set up, and then mortaly confused by all the knobbies. I guess that explains why I wanted something light and simple now that I can get one of my own :).

    On to the combo of the 190MF3 and the 322RC2... Wow, where can I start. Let's just say after my quick test session (bleh, weather sucks, so it had to be indoors) I was left with no complaints whatsoever.

    For anyone with a (relatively) light setup I'd highly reccomend it.

    Can't wait to start doing some experiments with long exposures!
     

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