Recommend A Tripod

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by eminart, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    I have a birthday coming up and I expect to get a little bit of money or a gift card to B&H. I think the most pressing photographic need I have is a new tripod. All I have is a little $20 Wal-Mart one that my sister bought for me years ago.

    I won't be able to get one of the really nice ones. I probably will have $100-150 to spend. Looking around I saw quite a few in that price range that would be a great leap up from what I have.

    So, which is better, a ball head or a 3 way pan? I shoot mostly outdoor stuff. I don't have any huge, heavy lenses.

    Any brands to stay away from? I noticed some Tiltall models that I thought might fit my needs.

    Basically, I'm just looking for any recommendations by someone who has used a tripod they like.

    thanks.
     
  2. Holy Ghosted

    Holy Ghosted TPF Noob!

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    When some one asks for a budget tripod I always suggest a Slick 700 pro. I think it is one of the better built functional tripods you can get for below $150. You can get just the legs by them self for around $85 and then choose the head you want. I know there are some other tripods in this price range that are good as well. On a side not I have seen some 700's that have been in ruff service for 7+ years (submerged in water, dropped of cliff ledges, just abused)
     
  3. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I'll check that one out.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    You can't go wrong with Manfrotto / Bogen.

    I'd suggest going into a camera store and seeing what they have for tripods and heads, you don't have to buy from there but it really helps to get some hands on time with different tripods and heads, so that you have a good idea of what you want.
     
  5. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    I bought an Induro tripod at Vistek earlier this year and have been really happy with it. Got it for just under $200 cdn. I also bought a manfrotto ball head and have been happy with it.

    Cheers
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I recommend a Manfrotto 055XB with a 808RC4 Head. I've used on very much like this for more than 25 years. I can't imagine using anything else.

    I know it's more $ than you're talking, but I think it's worth it. It's likely to be the last tripod you'll ever buy.

    -Pete
     
  7. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    Shot with a ball head last night and loved it! So nice not to have handles in the way and everything under one control lever... about $70 US.

    For legs I went Induro CX214 (carbon - trade show price of $333, no tax), or you can get AX214 (aluminum) for less than half ($186) as much.

    While I'm suggesting you spend $256 dollars or more on a tripod, there is a world of difference to discover.

    -Shea
     
  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While I know its a cliche type of answer, but a good tripod is something that will last a looooong time. So making a bigger investment is always great. While we all have budget to follow, something like a tripod is something worth putting a bit more money into, or waiting a bit longer until you have the money.

    If anything, ask for gift certificates to the stores that sell tripods and wait a bit longer until you have the $.
     
  9. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    I understand that better is better, but what exactly is it that makes one tripod worth a few thousand dollars and another worth $150? I understand if one is made cheaply, but honestly, I looked at one of the Tiltalls at a camera store yesterday and they seemed to be pretty high quality. It was very sturdy, had all metal screws, knobs, head, etc. I'm not arguing, just wondering how much better one tripod can hold my camera than another.

    Obviously, some aren't made well, but I'm not big on paying for names alone. Don't get me wrong, I tend to always go for the more expensive stuff, but what is it in the "better" tripods that I'm looking for? Because, frankly, I looked at some of the manfrotto heads and tripods there and some of them seemed to be of lower quality than the cheaper tiltall I was looking at.

    Aren't there some less popular tripods out there that are likely just as good as the high dollar ones? I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, but it really doesn't take a lot of money to manufacture the components that make up a tripod. It's just some tubing and a few machined parts for the head.
     
  10. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    To keep within budget, try looking at the Manfrotto 718SHB and 725B. I have the former and it's light, compact, sturdy for its size, and comes with a carry case with a strap you can use to sling it over your shoulder. Given you are mostly going to want it whilst outdoors, I'd suggest it will more than cover you until you get a rather heavier set of camera gear.
     
  11. SlimPaul

    SlimPaul TPF Noob!

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    I've bought a Vanguard M3 for about $80 last week. It performs great so far. (I'll post up a pic later)
     
  12. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    Excellent suggestions all around! :cheers: I have one of those Bogens as a spare and the center column quick release is sweet, as are
    the legs. Like all high performance, you start to pay exponentially more as you trim weight! I basically spent $130 more to loose that last pound, but since I often cycle & hike with heavy lenses it is worth it for me.

    Just don't get one with screw type leg locks, they take forever to deploy and you will feel like a Barney pretty quick if hustling to the next shot is ever your style. Plastic head?.. too much plastic anything, stay away.

    BTW - I have picked up used commercial quality tripods off Craigs.. If we were neighbors I could hook you up for $50.


    -Shea
     

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