I need help picking a tripod

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by notoriouslightning, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. notoriouslightning

    notoriouslightning TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,
    I am shooting with a canon xti and mainly need the tripod when using my 100mm macro, any ideas? I would like to find something on the smaller side, and I would also like to spend less than $100. Thanks in advance for any ideas.
     
  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    There are lots of < $100 tripods (Promaster, Slik, etc.), but they aren't really sturdy. A good tripod and ballhead are an expensive but worthwhile investment and can be VERY expensive if you want to go lightweight (carbon fiber). If you are sure you will only be using it with that lens and not outside on a windy day, then the cheaper pods work OK.

    You might be able to find a used pod like the reliable Bogen 3021 on ebay, but the ballhead might set you back as much as the pod (I got my 3021 on ebay for about $85, but my Gitzo head cost me about $110). Here's an ebay link I just grabbed at random -- I can't vouch for this particular seller:


    http://cgi.ebay.com/TRIPOD-BOGEN-MA...ryZ30094QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    The combination is NOT light and I dream of the day I can afford a carbon fiber tripod.

    If you plan on adding long lenses, a sturdy tripod is an absolute necessity.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    like icassell said a good tripod can cost, but it is well worth the investment to get a good one. You can get cheap ones from places like Walmart which will do a very basic job, but won't have the strength to trust them to hold your camera alone on anything but the flattest of ground in the lightest of winds.
    Now I read that you are looking for using it with a macro lens so I would suggest looking at tripods like the manfrotto 055XPROB or manfrotto 190 ranges. These will take you down to 10cm and 8cm respectfully and that can be a real bonus with macro!
    Though I would point out that with the 055 and I think some of the 190 models this is done by setting the centre colom to the horizontal = which means you head and camera are also set to the horizontal - can limit options.
    As a work around you could get the manfrotto 322RC2 head which will adjust for this or get a right angle converter.

    I know this is more than you are thinking of, but I would say get a cheap tripod now and save up for longer for a much better one
     
  4. notoriouslightning

    notoriouslightning TPF Noob!

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    I have seen a few bogens that are nice and small, but they are only rated for around 2 1/2 lbs. I think these may work with my set up as I mainly would be using it for macro. Anyone have any experiance using one of these tripod and going over the recomended weight?
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    If you go over the weight, the thing probably won't break, but it will become unstable. That is an undesirable happening with several hundred dollars or more of camera and lens on top! I think the 055 is the newer version of the 3021, if I'm not mistaken.

    I was driven to trash my SLIK (actually I use it now as a lightstand for an off-camera flash) in favor of the Bogen when I bought my 100-300 f4. I wish I'd bought it long ago -- it is so much more stable even with the lighter lenses.
     
  6. notoriouslightning

    notoriouslightning TPF Noob!

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  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If money is tight, look for used. As others have said, a tripod is an investment. I use a MAN 190BPRO and ballhead, and find it ideal for macro work; being able to set the centre column horizontally does not limit your abilities in any way that I have found. After your glass, a good tripod is probably the most important photographic investment you will make.

    If you can't find a good used one, sure, buy a cheapie for now, you can always use it as a flash-stand later, just be careful!

    Just my $00.02 worth - your milage may vary.
     

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