Opinions on Vanguard tripods?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by stsinner, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I was looking into purchasing a nicer tripod than my $19 eBay Chinese junk, because even my mirror going up and down causes blur in photos on it.

    I came across a Vanguard VT-550 for $50. Is this a decent tripod and a decent price?

    Here are the spcs.

    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I don't like the tripods that have that brace between the legs and centre column...it really limits the leg position compared to tripods that have individually articulating legs.

    I'd recommend something like THIS
     
  3. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Mike. I appreciate the insight on the problems I might have had with the center bracing and leg placement. I hadn't thought of it. Funny thing-they brag about it as a feature in one ad I read..
    I guess I'll stick with the widely acclaimed Bogen..
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want something of decent quality and closer to the $50 target, check out the manfrotto/Bogen digi tripod series:

    Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 718B Digi Tripod with 3-Way | 718B

    Don't be afraid to buy Manfrotto/Bogen used either. They are bomb proof and there is not much to break. i have a 3001 pro with 3 way pan found at a camera swap for $35. Just as stable as the newer versions that go for several times the cost. Its just not as cosmetically good looking (who cares?), doesn't have the quick flip leg releases, and doesn't have the beveled center column. Everything else is perfect.
     
  5. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Hey Mike, if you don't like the center brace, which the lack of is why I haven't used this tripod I'm about to discuss, then is this a good tripod? I have neglected to use it because my new cheap one has a brace, so I thought it was more stable.

    This tripod is old, and it was given to me by a friend who was into photography in the 70's and 80's.. It's a Kmart Focal brand, and everything on it is made of metal. In addition, the leg extensions screw tight, instead of the quick clips.. The only pain in the butt is mounting the camera to it, as it doesn't have a quick shoe.

    It's also got a single handle for pan and tilt, as opposed to three separate locks on my cheap tripods..

    Is this a good tripod, in your opinion?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Everything's made of metal:

    [​IMG]



    And how about this tripod that was given to me by another friend-is this a standard head mount, or is this for something different? What I like about this one is that it's well made and has spikes for traction:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    The first one looks OK...but not great. It's probably no sturdier than the one with the braces. Plus, it looks like that is as far as you can spread the legs. The Manfrotto I linked to, has a couple extra clicks where you can spread the legs out farther, thus allowing you to easily set up on uneven terrain or to get really low to the ground.

    The 'standard' tripod head attachment is a 3/8" stud...I don't know what you have there.
     
  7. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I think the last one may be for a theodolite or some other surveying tool, not photography.. I just wasn't sure how the heads mount on the tripods..
     

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