I went to check out tripods today and...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by a1157814a, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    Of course, when I test them out on a perfectly flat surface of the store, tripod that is like $30 seems good. like.. it seems perfect but everyone is telling me that I should invest more money to get out of it. how do i test them out at store?
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Extend the legs all the way and see how much you can move it around putting pressure on the head.

    Lock all of the locks and see if you can still move the parts that are supposed to be locked.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For a better test, hold that $30 tripod and then hold their $300-500 model and do the same test that the above poster mentioned. You can cry once, or cry everytime you use it and eventually buy what others have suggested. Then, you will have your $30 tripod collecting dust in the closet, and the nice sturdy one that you spent X on.
     
  4. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    I bought one of those $30 ones which seemed good at the time... then I tried my first long exposure at night with a light breeze.. i've been shopping for a nice Gitzo or Manfrotto ever since.
     
  5. Interesting

    Interesting TPF Noob!

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    If everyone is telling you not to waste your money on a $30 tripod it's with good reason.

    As far as what you can do at the store, there is little you can do aside from the basics people have already mentioned. Extend it all the way, hold them folded, see how close to the ground you can get the camera, how high up you can get it, how stable it is with a little jarring, if the legs flex too much or don't seem like they're sturdy, how fluid is the adjustments, how easy it is to reposition the camera and get it steady, etc, etc.

    Unfortunately, for tripods, the things that go wrong are after some use. A cheap tripod will start to fail shortly after purchase. Depending on how many times you use it, granted. It may seem solid and stable, and it may seem like it holds it's position well, but I can almost guarantee that it won't stay that way. I can for sure guarantee it won't keep up with the nicer ones.

    If you still doubt it, I would suggest buying the $30 one and using it until it does fail. Just be glad it's a cheap lesson. Those are few and far between in photography lol. You never know, you may use the tripod so little that it may hold up for a while or use it in such a way that you don't need the additional benefits of a much pricier one, although I doubt that. Just beware of the possibility of a gust of wind blowing and ruining your much more expensive than $30 equipment.

    By the way, that's another great thing about a nice tripod. Peace of mind.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. Easy_Target

    Easy_Target TPF Noob!

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    I used to have a $45 hand me down tripod from my parents. That thing was the worst. It'd shake from just a slight breeze, even when it wasn't fully extended. I dropped just under $100 for another tripod, it's pretty solid and hasn't given me any shakes yet.
     
  7. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I did just that. I was at the store and I looked at $50, $75, $125, $175 tripods. All were garbage and the legs flexed like crazy.

    I took the $30 job out of the box at Walmart and it was 100 times the tripod the $175 one at Ritz was (Ritz is my only local camera store).

    Of course, I'm only using a superzoom on that $30 tripod, but I just wanted to use this as an example that you can't judge on price alone. Those others at up to $175 were truely junk.
     
  8. LiveWave

    LiveWave TPF Noob!

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    Note you went to Ritz camera. All they want to do there is sell you something. If you walk in somewhat nicely dressed they will think you have money to spend. Ask about the expensive stuff they will ask if you want to buy it, I pretended to want to buy a D3, 14-24mm 24-70mm and u could see the guy thinking (cha-ching!/commission).

    Also you have to judge on brand, you don't mention what the $175 tripod was =)
     
  9. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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  10. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I certainly don't look like I have money to spend after work. I walked in with hydrolic oil stains saturated on my ripped t-shirt and filthy jeans and grease and oil stained over my arms. No one talked to me. The tripods are all sitting out on a shelf display. I just took them all down and extended them all to look at them.

    I don't have any camera "stores" around. It's a little stand type thing in the middle of another store (Boscovs).

    I don't know what someone wanting to just sell me something has anything to do with my thoughts on $$$ of a tripod. I am just giving my thoughts on all the "spend more money on a tripod" stuff that people bark here. As you said, you have to look at brand also, something no one ever mentions in these threads. It's always all about "spend the money".
     
  11. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think we say this because in MOST case's the lower priced tripods are not stable enough.

    Sometimes, like you have found, a lower priced tripod may be better.

    Very high end (priced) tripods are very stable ... but they usually exceed $200.00 (just for the legs alone).
     
  12. DWS

    DWS TPF Noob!

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