Tripod recommendations

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dsp921, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    Can someone recommend a good general purpose tripod? I'll be using it for all types of situations, indoors, outdoors, sports, night shots, etc. A specific model isn't necessary, just a good brand and some features I should look for. I've been using an old tripod that I've had around the house longer than I care to remember and it's starting to give me problems, so I need to replace it. If it matters, I'll be using it with a D70s now and most likely a D200 soon.

    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Can't go wrong with Manfrotto/Bogen...although they can be expensive.

    I like the feel of pistol grip ball heads but a regular 3-way may be good enough. Don't get one without a quick release feature.
     
  3. SWFLA1

    SWFLA1 TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike's right.... I've got one and use it with my d70... they're a couple of dollars more, but worth every penny...
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    If you're on a budget, get an aluminium one rather than carbon fibre as they are sturdier (at the cheap end). Something like a Velbon is good.

    "Heavy is good... heavy is reliable, if it does not work you can always hit them on the head with it"

    Rob
     
  5. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick responses, some good info here.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There's not much to break on a good sturdy tripod and Manfrotto/Bogen makes a very durable product. If you are on a budget, you should have no problems finding legs and a head used. I would rather have an old ok conditioned Manfrotto/Bogen than a brand new cheapo. I've got two sets and I'm very happy with them. One of them was purchased for $35 bucks.

    I never understood why people would spend thousand(s) of dollars on equipment and skimp out on a tripod.
     
  7. wyldkard

    wyldkard TPF Noob!

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    This is a good thread. I'm looking for a new tripod as well. Right now I have a basic $15-20 cheapo tripod from Wal-Mart that was sort of a temp. fix until I could find a good quality tripod. It's fairly sturdy, BUT when I crank the height of it up, the center post is wobbly(sp?). Once it comes to rest, it will remain still, but there is a lot of movement in the camera position and just doesn't feel sturdy. I'm not looking to spend tons of money on a tripod, but I would like one that when I have it cranked up to eye level it won't sway around.
     
  8. crawdaddio

    crawdaddio TPF Noob!

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    I don't know much about the mounts on tripods and I'm in the market myself. Are the camera mounts pretty much universal? For instance, would this tripod accept a nikon D50? And is it a good deal? Thanks in advance...............

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00013WGYY/sr=1-4/qid=1134082722/ref=sr_1_4/104-8106987-3397543?%5Fencoding=UTF8"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00013WGYY/sr=1-4/qid=1134082722/ref=sr_1_4/104-8106987-3397543?%5Fencoding=UTF8[/ame]
     
  9. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    There are just way too many options available on tripods. I've been searching on and off all day and it isn't easy to pick one. It looks like the one crawdaddio mentions above is a good choice, but I think I would add the quick release adapter. B&H Photo has the same set for the same price BTW. The quick release adds $26.
    So, from what I've seen I think I want the flip lever leg locks, quick release, and maybe a ball head. I looked at the Velbon VGB-37 ~$80, or the Bogen/Manfrotto 3001BPRO legs with the 486RC2 head ~$190. Anybody use either of these? Is the B/M worth twice the price of the Velbon? I didn't like the more expensive model Velbons because they go to the twist lock legs and that seems like more of a hassle to adjust than the flip levers. The Manfrotto head says it is for a 35mm with medium lens, I assume a DSLR with something like a 70-300ED or 80-400VR would fall into that catagory?
    Sorry about all the questions but I just want to do this right the first time and be done with it.

    Thanks
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes... there are lots of combinations... which is a good thing... Higher end tripods like M/F and Gitzos offer lots of options for legs and head combos. I like the choices...

    Tripods are the steadiest when the center column is all the way down. If you shoot mostly at eye level make sure the legs can be extended to that level.

    The screw hole on the bottom of most SLRs is standard. My advice is to get a head that accepts a quick release. With out a quick release, using a tripod can be fustrating. The screw sizes to attach the head to the tripod legs comes in two sizes. Many heads will fit one or both. I have bogen legs with a Giottos ball head screwed on for example...

    Make sure whatever combination you decide on is rated for the amount of weight you will place on it. This is especially true for ball heads as they generally support less weight than a 3-way pan. I almost ended up with a pistol grip style bogen ball head until I found out it is only rated to 5.6 lbs. Don't trust the statements that state "35mm to medium format". Base it on the weight of your equipment to the rating of the tripod legs and head. My Elan IIe+50mm lens is going to be a whole lot lighter than my EOS 1v+70-200mm lens...

    Is B/M worth more than Velbon?.... only you can decide. I used to have a Velbon... and I would say the B/M is worth it. The biggest difference I've seen is the tubes used to manufacture the legs and center column. Thicker tubing is going to be stronger and provide a steadier base.

    Specs for B/M and Gitzo products is here.. www.bogenphoto.com
    I like Gitzos too but I found them to be more expensive. Carbon fibre would be nice... but VERY expensive... never could convince myself

    As I said, there is no reason to spend big bucks on a B/M tripod. If you look hard enough you should find a used one for a reasonable price. They are built well and very simple pieces of equipment... not much to break. One thing to note. Bogen/Manfrotto reuse model numbers year after year but make changes to the design. I have a full height old 3011 legs. The same specs as the current except I don't have quick leg locks.

    3001 series are very popular and built very well.
     
  11. dsp921

    dsp921 TPF Noob!

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    OK, I just placed my order at B&H Photo. I went with the B/M 3001BPRO legs with the 322RC2 Grip Action Ball Head with quick release. Thanks for all the information and opinions, it was a big help.
     

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