Tripod recommendations

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Slaphead, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Slaphead

    Slaphead TPF Noob!

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    I'm now in the market for a tripod, so last night I went into the camera shop by the station and had a look. Guess what - the most striking difference between all of them were the price tags - I mean they've all got 3 legs, right? ;)

    Anyway the maximum weight the tripod will need to support is a D40x + Nikkon 70 - 300 zoom at the moment

    I remember somebody on this forum mentioning a ball head for maximum flexibility. I believe this means that the camera can be quickly twisted into any position?

    So ideas and suggestions please - Budget is irrelevant - but IMO there's no point spending 5-600 francs when something at 200 francs would do the job just as well. (for francs read dollars, it's about the same)

    Thanks
     
  2. MBasile

    MBasile TPF Noob!

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    did they all have the same mechanisms for locking and unlocking the legs? I have an older one where youhave to twist to unlock the legs and it is horrible to use. Also feel how secure they feel. If you put pressure on it do the legs collapse? Are you going to be lugging it around a lot?
     
  3. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    I always recommend Amvona tripods. They are priced right and built like a tank.
    I got a pistol grip ball head for like 50 bucks new on ebay a couple years ago and it has been great.
    anyway its what works for me.
    they have a store on ebay if your interested.
     
  4. MBasile

    MBasile TPF Noob!

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  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Think in terms of investment when pondering over tripods is my suggestion. You may have only your current gear list now, but what about in 2 years..... 5 years..... 10 years? A good tripod could easily last your photographic life.

    I have Manfrotto 055XPROB legs. I really like these. They will support 7kg, will drop down to 10cm for low angle shots, stand 142cm without extending center column and 178cm with it extended. Also, the center column can be set to a vertical position. It's folded length is only 61cm and carrying it isn't too burdensome with a weight of 2.3kg. The flip lever locks make for a quick and easy setup. Additionally, two of the legs are padded or have "warmers" which come in handy when it's freezing outside and your positioning it. I'm 5'-10" tall and I don't have to bend over to look through my viewfinder. I've had two spinal surgeries, so this is a definite bonus for me.

    I have two ball heads. My first was the 488RC4 which is excellent. The only negative I will give is that it did creep a little when I set my heaviest kit on it and positioned at an acute angle when shooting the moon. Then again, I may have been able to crank down on the lock some more but didn't. Great for panos.

    I had shoulder surgery so I was looking for a one handed ball head. Intro to 322RC2. Another great grip. Easy to use, can be positioned for left hand, right hand or vertical operation. I prefer its mounting to the legs over the 488 as it is a bit more secure IMO. When you squeeze the pistol grip, there is friction so your gear doesn't automatically flop around, very ingenious. I haven't had too much luck with tracking a bird in flight yet, but it's a matter of practice I think.

    Just my 2¢.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I second Kundalini's advice - I have the same kit (barring the 488RC4 - I am looking to get a proper ball head in time).
    The great bonus of the 322RC2 and the tripod is that when that make of tripod goes to its 10cm low height it does so by setting the centre pole to the horizontal - which of course puts your camera and tripod head into the horizontal - putting you in portrate aspect. To get out of this with a normal head you can attach a right angle adaptor = good if you are off to a low down hide for the day and can put the adaptor on in advance, but not so good if you are just walking around looking for shots - enter the 322RC2 which with a simple twist returns you camera to the vertial with minimal loss of motion control - a great combo
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Another vote for Manfrotto! My workaday legs are 190PROB and a 488 ball head. They've both had the stuffing beat out of them, but work just as well as they day I bought them.

    A tripod is NOT the place to save money; this equipment is going to be trusted to hold up the rest of your gear. Does it make sense to spend $30 to support $500, or more dollars worth of kit? Not to me...
     
  8. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used a cheapo tripod for a long time and never really understood the need to spend hundreds of dollars on a tripod. I mean like you said, they all have 3 legs, so why pay that amount? Then I progressed to the point that I was making money with the hobby and started using the proceeds to have photography pay for itself. I did a job that netted around $300 so I started looking at things I still needed in terms of gear. I was pretty well set on digital bodies and lenses so I began looking at tripods.

    For just under $300 I found the Bogen/Manfrotto 3021BPro legs and the 322RC2 pistol grip head mentioned above. It's the best $300 I've spent in gear. This is one of the few places where you can really see why a $300 tripod costs that much more than a $100 one. Money well spent.
     
  9. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Another vote for the manfrotto. I use the 055MF3 legs and the 322RC2 head. Solid as a rock. I used to use a Vanguard, and it is a world of difference.

    Derrick
     
  10. lensflare

    lensflare TPF Noob!

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    Look at Adorama's carbon fiber tripod called Flashpoint, they are hard to beat.
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have the 055XPROB legs (same as kundalini) with the 808RC4 pan and tilt head. B&H Kit: linky Cost about $300. Very sturdy. My only complaint with the head is the mounting plate is kinda silly big, but it's a minor issue. I think it's intended to be flexible for a variety of equipment (even has multiple size screws and such)

    The levels on the pan and tilt head are nice.

    I've owned THREE less expensive tripods and have broken every single one. :lol: Cheaper tripods really does tend to mean cheaper parts, less rugged, less rigid, etc. I often wonder if these things couldn't be a LITTLE cheaper than they are, but I'm very happy with what I have now.
     
  12. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    While this stands true most every time it is not the case with the amvona tripods.
    I meen these things are as well built as any other tripod I have ever handled at the store, and Im not talking about those flimsy things they sell at wal mart or best buy,im talking about the bogen/manfrotto's.
    Read some reviews and you willl see.

    As far as reliability goes I shoot a 40d with grip and a 70-200mm 2.8 lens (thats $2k+)from mine and I have never worried about it failing.:lol:

    Its your money so do with it what you want to but you really dont have to spend a ton to get a nice tripod.
    Just my two cents and I dont sell these things just really impressed with the quality/price ratio. one of the best deals/secrets in photography IMHO.:thumbup:
     

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