A good, reasonably priced tripod for a Nikon D50


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Jul 10, 2009
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Brighton, UK
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I'm heading over to Walt Disney World in December and am after a lightweight, sturdy, reasonably priced tripod which is small enough for me to get out when I spot good compositions around the parks.
Any ideas?
What is 'reasonably priced' to you in terms of dollars?

If you've got $250ish, I would sugest Manfrotto 055 legs and a 488 ball head. If you're looking for something a little more modest, Sunpak and Velbon make a number of decent models. Look for a unit with metal components and one which is rated to support approximately twice the weight of your heaviest lens/body combination.
When I see lightweight and sturdy in the same sentence, I think carbon fiber. At that point, reasonably priced goes out the window. My question would be how are you going to manage going on rides with a tripod? Maybe renting an IS lens, or going with a monopod would be other options?
With tripods, you have light, sturdy, and good price...now pick two of those. :p

If you want something light and sturdy, it's likely going to cost you. Having said that, here's a tripod I've recommended in the past. I still use it, and it works pretty well. I'm saving up for something better, but other things pop up.

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Dolica-AX620B100-62-Inch-Proline-Tripod/dp/B001D60LG8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1281121739&sr=8-1]Amazon.com: Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head: Electronics[/ame]

If you have some extra money to spend, they have a carbon fiber version for $60 more.

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Dolica-CX620B104-61-Inch-Proline-Carbon/dp/B001MYL1BA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1281121739&sr=8-2]Amazon.com: Dolica CX620B104 61-Inch Proline Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ball Head: Electronics[/ame]

Just keep in mind that these are very inexpensive, and you do get what you pay for. On mine, you really have to tighten the ball down to get it not to move easily, and a couple of the latches for the legs are sticking really badly. They use plastic hardware in places where metal might be better (most notable, the leg latches). However, if you need a cheap, light, and fairly sturdy tripod, this might be the ticket.

You say you're going to Disney World. I was just there last December. My recommendation is to leave the tripod at home, or maybe only use it day or 2 while you're there. Epcot and Animal Kingdom are probably the best places to use it. I would, however, recommend a monopod instead. A tripod is too bulky and there's just too many people that will bump into it, and it will be very difficult to use well. I've even seen people use Gorilla pods mounted to strollers, and, as long as the kid wasn't in it at the time, that's a great idea. Anyway, just some things to think about.
Last time I went to disney I took my tripod and full bag. Was a mistake. All day I was thinking monopod and my 75-300. I did get some goor shots with equipment I had but it worked for It. Think ot what your going to be doing for the.day. Also to my knowledge there is not a locker big enough to put It In it you wanted a break to take a ride or so. I would recommend a good universal lens with IS, Fast if possible, and sun screen!
This is what I use and it works flawlessly! Light weight and very stirdy!

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Dolica-AX680P104-68-Inch-Proline-Tripod/dp/B001DIKUYE/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1281128784&sr=1-5]Amazon.com: Dolica AX680P104 68-Inch Proline Tripod and Pan Head: Electronics[/ame]
Actually smith victor has carbon fiber legs for just over 100 at bhphoto. I have the vanguard aluminum alta pro that has the articulating center column. I got a vanguard ball head with it and paid about 200. For portability there isthetravel angel by benro its aluminum and collapses to 16" for like 190 w/ small ball head.
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To be honest it's more for the evening photography, I don't plan to take many on ride photos. I have taken a lot of inspiration from photos from Telling Tale

I'd say my budget is around $100 (I live in the UK so am looking at £60)

:EDIT: Has anyone used this? Benro Travel Angel A-068M8 Aluminium Tripod + BH-00M Head at Hilton Photographic Online Store, UK

I'd still say go for a monopod then. Trust me when I say you will regret bringing a tripod into the park. They do have lockers, but they are fairly expensive for one, and I'm not too sure they'll be big enough to fit a tripod, even collapsed. I could be wrong on that point. If you're walking around in the park from opening to closing, it's vital to minimize the equipment you're carrying with you. My family is Disney freaks, and we hit up one of the two parks that are in the US at least once a year.

When I was there in December, all I brought was two lenses (my 50mm f/1.8 for use indoors/lowlight, and a superzoom, walkaround lens for everything else) and my flash. The time before that, I brought all my gear, and didn't use hardly anything. Next time I go, I'm going to pick up a monopod for when I need stability. Keep it light, and simple.

As an anecdote, I saw a guy with his 5d mk2, 500mm f/4, mounted on a huge tripod while I was there. He also had an enormous gear bag with him. I went and talked with him, he looked at my light Rebel XTi, and walkaround lens and said, "That's what I should have brought, lugging this stuff around is killing me!" It was his first day in the park. I met up with him the next day, and he actually left the property, went to a camera shop and rented a Canon 28-300mm L lens to use. He told me he left all his other gear at the hotel, save for a monopod and his 50 f/1.4.
I will heed your advice!
Although what's the reason for a the fixed focal lens? For the dark rides?
I was planning on taking a my D50 with a f1.8 50mm, my barebones 20-50mm lens and a 50-200mm lens with a small tripod for the night shots.
I will heed your advice!
Although what's the reason for a the fixed focal lens? For the dark rides?
I was planning on taking a my D50 with a f1.8 50mm, my barebones 20-50mm lens and a 50-200mm lens with a small tripod for the night shots.

Anytime you're indoors, pretty much. Although there's a lot of rides, there's also a lot of shows and exhibits that are indoors. A fast prime is very handy in these situations. Also, if you want to take pictures of family while in the hotel, or during meals or whatever, it'll be difficult (not impossible) to do it with a slower zoom.

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