Need a tripod

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by timfrommass, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. timfrommass

    timfrommass TPF Noob!

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    Ok never shopped for a tripod before, but I know I need one. I have a D90... how does one choose one? What are the different features I should be looking for. I'm not a "serious" photographer yet, so I DON'T want to spend a lot of money, but I don't want a piece of crap either. Just looking for advice on how to get started, thanks

    -tim
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    There's nothing 'digital' about a tripod...so I moved your post into the 'Equipment' section.

    Some say that when choosing a tripod, there are three main options...
    1) Strong & Sturdy
    2) Light Weight
    3) Low Price
    You only get to choose two of the three options. ;)

    Obviously, you want a tripod that will hold your gear. So consider the weight of your camera plus the biggest lens that you have (or plan to have).
    A cheap tripod will probably do what you want, but it probably won't be the sturdiest and it may not last a long time. A good tripod, on the other hand, may last a lifetime. So consider it an investment.

    If you ignore the cheapy tripods, most will have separate legs & head that are interchangeable. For the legs, consider the height and the weight. Also consider how the legs splay out (some go really wide so you can get low). Some have a centre column that can turn 90 degrees or that can be reversed completely, allowing you to get the camera low to the ground.
    Aluminum is a common material for tripods...but there is also carbon fiber which is a lot lighter (but much more expensive).

    Then you need to consider the head. There are many types & styles. It really comes down to personal preference, so I'd suggest going into a good camera store and getting your hands on some different ones, to see what you like.

    You really can't go wrong with Manfrotto/Bogen tripods.
     
  3. Ximensions

    Ximensions TPF Noob!

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    I've got the same question as the OP - thinking of going with the Manfrotto 190XPROB with the 804RC2 head - what do you think of that combination?
     
  4. timfrommass

    timfrommass TPF Noob!

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    I hear what you say about it being an investment, but it seems like when you buy something for the first time you'll never know EXACTLY what you want until you start using it. In other words, I'm sure I'll buy a tripod and they say "geez I wish it did this or that, or didn't do this or that". So I'm not looking at throwing a ton of money at it, and then over time if I really do get a lot of use out of it and find that there are certain things I can't live without I'll consider "investing" in a better one. If that makes any sense

    -tim
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  6. Big Mike

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

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    Look great....and if a 3-way head is what you want, then go for it.

    I forgot to mention, make sure to get a head with a Quick Release Plate system.
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  8. Ximensions

    Ximensions TPF Noob!

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    I read that the 804 RC2 does have a quick release plate system. I'm not entirely sure if I want a 3-way head yet.. still debating the merits for/against.. any advice on this will also be appreciated (as I'm sure the OP will also).
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    It's mostly personal preference. A ball head is quicker to adjust, but it's harder to make precise adjustments. A 3-way is good if you like to be very precise and make adjustments in just one plane. A pan & tilt head is more suited to video, I wouldn't really recommend it for still photography, but it might still be useful for certain situations.

    I think my personal favorite might be a pistol grip ball head...just because it looks and feels cool. :D
     
  10. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    You've been stealing my thunder lately Ian with that link. Carry on.... it's a good link.
     
  11. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Sorry :blushing:

    It IS a good link, but not financially feasible for many amateurs.
     
  12. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    One of my ballheads is the pistol grip Bogen/Manfrotto. I don't like it in studio, but I bought it to use with heavy gloves in the cold winter months here in Montana. For that reason alone, its been awesome. But in the studio with heavier lenses it sags a slight bit when locked (just initial sag, not constantly moving). Its a pain for macro and close-up work for that reason.
     

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