Tripods?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by nutsngum, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. nutsngum

    nutsngum TPF Noob!

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    What should I look for in a tripod? Is there a big difference in quality between the different price ranges? Certain features that you would recommend?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    As usual...there probably is a big difference. Of course, there are some that have more value for the dollar than others.

    With tripods...there are three main things to consider at first. First is stability...you want it to be stable. Next is weight, heavier is usually more stable but if you travel with it...do you want to lug a heavy tripod all day? Next is price. You can get stable but heavy for a decent price. You can get light but not very stable for a great price. Or you can get stable but not really heavy (carbon fibre) for a lot of money.

    Cheap tripods usually come with built-in plastic heads. Usually a three way head. That's OK on a low budget...but the best tripods are separate from the head. So you have the legs and the head. Choose legs that will suit your needs and your budget. Some are taller, some have a long centre column (the less you extend the column, the better). Some will spread wide to allow you to get low. Some will allow you to swing or reverse the centre column, to get really low.

    Now the head. You need to get one that will hold your camera. So consider your camera and biggest lens or lens that you plan to get. A pan & tilt head is more suited to video than still photos. A three way head is pretty good and allows for precise adjustments. A ball head is quick and easy but maybe not as precise as a 3 way. It's up to you. Try some out in a shop, if you can.

    What ever you decide upon...make sure you get one with a Quick Release Plate. This is a plate that attaches to the camera and then all you do is snap the plate to the head. This makes it easy to mount or dismount the camera from the tripod.
     
  3. nutsngum

    nutsngum TPF Noob!

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    wow that's for that post it was very informative!

    I have a Rebel XTi and i'm planning somewhere down the road on getting a larger lens, but for the time being the largest lens i have is the lens that came with the body.

    I was going to stop by futureshop to take a look after work but is there any other place I can check out? I'm in the Markham area.

    If anyone has any model suggestions that would be great too. I'm looking to HOPEFULLY spend under $100 but as i'm totally unaware of the price ranges currently, maybe someone else can tell me if that price range is reasonable.

    My main uses will be for portraits, and landscapes/night pictures. I'm not planning on taking it anywhere too bizarre or use it for anything too unique really.
     
  4. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    Something weighty, but easy to carry...something that you think you could whack against a wall and wouldn't break would probably be good...cause it happens...
    And, a quick release camera plate thingy...there's a name for it, but that escapes me at the time...but anyways...it's amazing to just be able to pop the camera on and clip it in with a lever...


    Futureshop is usually junk for that kind of stuff....is there a Black's Photo near you? I just picked up the tripod in my sig for 39.99 on sale from 79.99 and it's rock solid...
     
  5. nutsngum

    nutsngum TPF Noob!

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    are you located in the GTA? Which blacks location did you visit?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    A good/great brand is Manfrotto(Bogen). But they are not cheap...and you probably won't find them at Futureshop. SLIK is a good name as well...but again, not cheap. Velbon is a decent brand, they have some inexpensive models but they are cheaply made like other inexpensive models.

    You can get a cheap tripod for $20-$30. A better one for less than $100. I'm not sure what it costs for a good set of legs and a good head...probably more than $100 but look around. Maybe look for a used camera shop and see what they have.

    As for where to find them...I'm sure there must be some camera stores in your area...http://www.photographypros.com/equipment/ontario.php
     
  7. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I bought my tripod without really knowing anything or researching much only that I wanted to get a somewhat decent tripod. Manfrotto I believe makes a pretty good one for around $100 or slightly more.

    I have an 190xProB which is heavy but very sturdy. Along with a 486RC2 ballhead with the quick-release plates. The quick release is amazing. I have 3 plates one for each of my cameras and then one that lives on my 170-500. Just something to think about.
     
  8. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for not making me start this thread...I was on my way to. My tripod is not really supporting my new stuff (it was cheap many, many years ago). I recently saw a video with a photographer using a tripod the had this thing on the top that would really swivel around in just about any position. Then I searched for a thread here and found a discussion about "a ball head or a three-way". That answered one question.

    I found this on B&H and was hoping for some feedback. It's more than I wanted to spend, so if there is any other suggestion, I will be grateful. Apparently, the 488RC ball head is pretty good.

    FYI, I plan on doing portraits and landscapes (maybe some artsy fartsy) mostly with a tripod. The reason the $$$ for a tripod is at issue is because I am moving to the mountains and I have my eye on Nikkor's 12-24mm (landscapes), 85mm (portraits) and maybe the 300mm (wildlife) lenses over the next year or so.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    That looks like a pretty good set up. It allows the column to swing around, so you can get into low or tight spaces. That's great if you need it...but some people might go years without ever using that feature.
     
  10. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Read this article before you go looking. http://www.bythom.com/support.htm It is very informative. You don't have to spend $1000.00, but if you will spend around $300 the first time you can end up with a tripod that will last you for years if not a lifetime of shooting. I would second the Manfrotto suggestion. The 3021 legs are very popular. As for a head, pick what you like the best, but try them out. I use a ball head for some applications and a pistol grip head for others.
     
  11. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    WOW! Two old adages come to mind. 1)You get what you pay for. 2)Pay me now, or pay me later.

    More searching around to do for me. Will likey follow up with a question or two more.

    Thanks gryphonslair99 and Big Mike.
     
  12. nutsngum

    nutsngum TPF Noob!

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