Need a good tripod & monopod

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by BLD_007, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. BLD_007

    BLD_007 TPF Noob!

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    I need a good tripod and monopod. What would be a good tripod that would support my gear "gear in sig"? Also, what would be a good monopod for sports like baseball and football?

    Things I want to do with them:
    Sports
    Portraits, self and other
    Time exposer
    landscape
    ext

    also, I want a tripod and mono pod with the snaps, not the turn locks.

    Good brands? What kind of weight will by gear be?

    my current tripod and monopods are cheap and falling apart.

    Also, what are unipods? Are unipods the same as monopods?
     
  2. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I have a manfrotto tripod and ball head.
    I shoot mostly landscape, wildlife and cityscape/architectural shots.

    I have the graphic type model, that is very light and solid. I love both the tripod and ease of use of the ball head.


    Some people will complain about the weight of both as seen in reviews. I am not a muscle man, but I carry my tripod everywhere...did I tell you I carry it everywhere? and it has not slowed me down for a second. I will go out for many hours and never even think of the tripod as a hindrance.

    What I read and now have experienced is, the more solid the tripod and head, the happier you will be with the performance. So, the tripod will be heavier. I do not see the weight as a real disadvantage in regards to the gain in performance.

    I cannot remember exactly what I spent, it was in the neighborhood of $550
     
  3. BLD_007

    BLD_007 TPF Noob!

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    Holy cow, I thought tripods were 100>. 500 would buy me alot more gear lol.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Like anything, you get what you pay for. You may not need a $500 tripod, but a $50 one probably won't be very good and probably won't last you a lifetime.

    I'll second the recommendation for Manfrotto...they make quality gear. But like most companies, they make a whole line of gear, from cheap to over the top expensive.

    Choosing a tripod, especially the head, is largely a personal decision. There are many different ones that would meet your needs, but you might prefer one over another. I'd suggest getting into a well stocked camera store so you can get your hands on some different styles.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  6. wiredhernandez

    wiredhernandez TPF Noob!

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  7. Browncoat

    Browncoat No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm a newbie, so take this with a grain of salt...

    My old tripod was from Wal-Mart, I think it cost around $20. Yes, it was a serious piece of junk and I didn't like unscrewing 4 different knobs to adjust my camera where I wanted it. After doing a lot of research, two things kept coming up: Ball head and Manfrotto. I wasn't exactly wanting to make a large investment, but I don't regret it. I purchased the Manfrotto 322RC and it's awesome!

    My tripod is the Induro AT114, which was a good buy that didn't break the bank, yet still has nice features.
     
  8. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    From what I can tell, you probably want a heavier tripod. Unless you are hiking you don't need a CF/Carbon Fiber tripod. I have the Manfrotto 055XPROB and while heavy at 5.3 pounds/2.4kg, it feels very solid. As for the head I'd say get a ball head since you're doing portraits, sports, and landscapes. While a 3-way is good for landscapes, it is a pain for certain types of shooting, at least for me. I have the Manfrotto 468MGRC2 and haven't looked back. It's strong and will hold up to 22lbs, so there's no flimsy movement during long exposures.

    Manfrotto | 468MGRC2 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead - | 468MGRC2

    Manfrotto | 055XPROB Tripod Legs (Black) | 055XPROB | B&H Photo
     
  9. nsanghani

    nsanghani TPF Noob!

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    Can someone recommend a decent cheaper Manfrotto ballhead than Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  10. smyth

    smyth TPF Noob!

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  11. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Be prepared to spend for a tripod.

    It always depends what you want to use them for.

    You mention landscapes - planning on hiking with one? 2-2.5kg is the max for that.

    Optimally, you want a carbon fibre/fiber tripod, with sturdiness and lightness - though the price is high.

    A sturdy, heavy tripod is probably best for stability, but comes at the weight expense - made of aluminium or similar composite.

    Personally, I use a relatively cheap Manfrotto 055proxb with 808CR4 three way head. I rarely use a tripod, though, and although it's heavy it's also sturdy.
     
  12. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Read this article. Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

    You don't need to spend the kind of money that Thom does unless you are using the kind of gear he does, dragging it to the kind of places Thom does.

    You can however for $300-$400 get a tripod setup that will last a lifetime. Manfrotto makes some good legs. My choice would be the 055XProB.

    As for heads, I personally would suggest that you get something other than a manfrotto ball head, unless you are willing to buy their very best. Giottos makes some good ball heads in the same price range as the Manfrottos that have some distinct advantages. The standard for most from Manfrotto is the 488 head. The 488 and most Manfrotto ball heads do not have a separate friction control knob. Only a ball friction release knob. This allows the ball to move freely, and allows it to flop if you are not holding onto the camera.

    The Giottos have a separate friction control knob that allow for minor adjustments without head flop. You can buy one without the attachment plate so you can choose your own quick release system.

    For a monopod Manfrotto makes some good models in aluminum. My choice is Gitzo. More expensive, but it is carbon fiber, lighter, sturdier and supports more weight. The twist locks are also very usable and on a monopod I prefer the twist lock legs over lever lock as I can slightly loosen a lock and adjust the height of the monopod without worrying about my 400 f2.8 dropping quickly.
     

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