Tripodification on a budget.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Stephen.C, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Stephen.C

    Stephen.C TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys! I usually don't like asking questions, so I wait till I absolutely feel its necessary. I need to buy a Tripod. Sounds easy ehh? Well I have a budget of ~100 dollars.
    I know for sure I won't be getting Carbon Fiber, so aluminum is my best bet. Weight does not have to be a factor in my decision.
    Im very mixed on Ballhead and 3 way. I just need one that can take portraits along with landscapes.
    I do not use heavy telephoto lenses, and for a while I'll be using a set up thats a little under 3 pounds. Later on though I plan to buy the model that successes the D90.
    Here is what I have been looking at.
    Davis and Sanford Voyager Lite
    I saw it a few nights ago, but I saw the version with the 3 way head, so I was a bit bummed. I was looking through the May 2010 issue of "outdoor photographer" today for tripod reviews and it was mentioned, but mentioned with a ball head on. I couldn't find it AT ALL today. Then while looking on BH for the 3 way head one, I found the ball version so I am extremely happy.
    Do you think this is a good deal?
    Thanks!
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definitely possible...

    Search used for Bogen/Manfrotto on ebay. Look for the older 3021 or 3001 models that someone is selling with head of choice (usually cheaper when packaged together). These tripods are tough and have very little components that break. Don't be afraid to get one that is scratched up or engraved etc... they are still stable.

    These are not going to be the lightest but they are stable.

    Here's an example although I don't like the head:

    Bogen 3001 Camera Tripod w Bogen 3126 Head VG Used - eBay (item 350378632757 end time Aug-30-10 17:40:23 PDT)



    My 3021 (probably from the 80s) with pan head was found at a camera swap for $35.. which is a bit of an unusual luck but I've seen many in various venues for about $100-$120 with head.
     
  3. dukeboy1977

    dukeboy1977 TPF Noob!

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    looks like a good deal to me. I was, too, looking for a reasonable tripod until I found and bought my Manfrotto at Best Buy for about $120. I didn't know they sold nice tripods, but before finding it I was looking into Davis and Sanford tripods as well. Neither of us seem to have overly expensive equipment yet, so I say to go for it! If your needs change, along with your budget, I'm sure you'll change accordingly like I will...Good luck!
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The legs are less than an inch in diameter (0.90") and have 4 sections, meaning the tripod will not be very stable, nor very durable (the lower leg sections are smaller than 0.90"). Tripods with only 3 leg sections are inherently more stable.

    It does have a weight hook, but any weight you hang from the hook to add stabilty, gets subtracted from the total weight capacity of only 8 lbs. If your camera and lens weigh 3 lbs, you can only use 5 lbs of weight for added stability, before exceeding the spec capacity.

    The maximum height is 63", so without the center column extended the legs only go up 49". The higher you extend the center column the less stable the tripod becomes and the higher the weight hook gets raising the CoG, further diminishing stability if you have weight on the hook.

    If there is any wind..........

    But, it only costs $60. ;)
     
  5. Stephen.C

    Stephen.C TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your input everyone. Kmh you make a good point about how sturdy its going to be. I read the reviews on bh and alot of people like it, and like you said its only 60 bucks. Duke, thats what i am thinking too, when i do get alot more heavy gear i can always invest in a nice manfrotto.
    I understand that i wont be buying the beat tripod but i think in my situation it is perfect for me. After all ive managed to use a 15 dollar targus tripod from target for the past 6 months so really anythin is a step up at this point :)
     
  6. tkruf

    tkruf TPF Noob!

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  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Personally, since weight is not an issue, I would look at used. Massachusetts has to have some good photography shops. Start there and see what is available. It may not be as pretty as a new one, but quality over looks counts for stability.

    Also keep in mind, that a tripod is one of those things that if you buy wisely the first time, may never need to be replaced. You should look for one that comes close to your eye level with the head attached. It should support at least 2 times and preferably 3 times the weight of your heaviest gear. Not just the gear you own now, but that which you plan to by in the future. It should be comfortable for you to operate whether it has twist locks or flip locks on the legs is a personal preference, etc. If you can budget a few dollars more if necessary to purchase a quality pod you will get years of use out of it. My studio pod is going on to 25 years old and is solid as a rock. I have no need or desire to replace it. Good luck.
     
  8. Stephen.C

    Stephen.C TPF Noob!

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    I checked Hunts photo which is the biggest shop in the NE. I originally bought a tripod from them, Dont know the companies name, started with an A. But the bubble level was all dried up, I called back and they said they were all like that, and the company went out of business. They offered to give me a hot shoe level for free. I returned it for a refund.
    I don't blame hunts, I love that store.
    Ive been looking at craigslist, and continue to do that.
    Thank you for the advice = D
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I looked at that Davis & Sanford tripod's specs and photo on-line....it looks like a terrible PITA with 4-section legs...man...setting up at full height will involve a LOT of leg unlocking and locking...the 4 sections is how they get the thing down to under 21 inches collapsed...I dislike multi-section tripods,and have generally favored 2-section models. I have demo'd 3- and 4-section designs...too much of a PITA to set up and re-adjust...multi-section legs in the 3- and 4-section leg designs seems like it would make using a tripod slow and a hassle...
     
  10. Stephen.C

    Stephen.C TPF Noob!

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    I'm okay with it, as long as it is compact.
     
  11. Infidel

    Infidel TPF Noob!

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    I have this tripod, and so far the comments are spot-on. In my case, my budget was so tight that the choice was a either a cheap tripod or no tripod at all. I checked it out in the store, and it was much better than anything competitively priced or cheaper. The ball head is slightly crappy, and as Derrel mentioned the multi-section legs are a bit of a hassle, but it holds my camera, folds small(ish), gets low, and is affordable.

    I only have beginner level gear (I am a beginner, duh), and I know that more expensive gear often works better, but that's not always an option. Cheap gear is better than no gear...factor opportunity cost into your decision.

    It's serviceable, but I wouldn't view it as a long-term investment. You may someday want/need a better tripod, but for only $60 you can shoot with one now. All in all, do I regret my decision? No.

    Edit: Re-read your original post, and since your budget is $100, you can probably do better (used Manfrotto or alike).
     
  12. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm thinking that your best bet for a cheap tripod would be to go to a camera flea market, or amateur equipment exchange, and relieve someone who didn't read his tripod manual and is upset because his pro-grade tripod is not helping get sharper pictures. He'll be standing next to the fellow who's complaining about his crappy $4,000 camera because he has not figured out how to set the diopter adjustment...:irked:
     

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