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"a good tripod"

John27

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Hey all,Among the things that many tutorials suggest, one common acessary is a good. So, apologies for the novice question, but what makes a good tripod a good tripod? I don't even have our DSLR yet, so the budget is limited, and for the time being ruggedness is not a concern. My only buying criteria were one that fits the camera, and has levels on it.Should I be reconsidering buying a cheap tripod? A local officemax had one on clearance for 20 bucks, should I go for it?Also, what other "must have" inexpensive acessories would you recommend for a new hobby photographer? I think we are gonna pick up a bag and extra battery, plus microcenter has some deals of 8 gig SD cards for 5 bucks, ill get a couple of those. Thoughts?John
 
this question is asked often. people want cheap, light weight and stable. pick two you can't have all three.

check out ebay or goodwill , etc. for perhaps an older tripod. Tripods usually don't wear out they break and in the end if you always pay 20 dollars for one your are going to repeat that over and over until you end spending a lot more than you can image.

You don't necessarily need carbon fiber as that will raise the cost or a high end ball head, but you want something that will support your equipment without you holding onto one of the legs. Look at something in the 125 dollar range.

just my 2cents.
 
What makes a tripod 'good' is build quality, rigidity, ease of use, versatilty, a low weight-to-size ratio, and a dozen other factors. Why should you reconsider buying that $20 tripod? Think about it this way: If you buy a DSLR and a lens, you'll probably be using that tripod to support at least $500 worth of gear, and quite possibly several thousand. $20 tripods are light, flimsy, and unstable. Do you really want to trust your camera gear to something that could blow over because you looked at it wrong?

Go back to the office store look at the build quality of that $20 tripod and then go to a real camera store and compare it to a $250 Manfrotto unit. The difference will be obvious. Do you need to spend $250? Nope. Craig's List is your friend. Great tripod deals can be had buying used, and really, there's not much to go wrong with them.

Manfrotto, Giottos, and Benbo and some really good units, Sunpak and Velbon are decent...
 
A $20 tripod is going to be junk, at least if its new. It sounds like that one your talking about may be designed for point and shoots only (very low weight).

What makes a good tripod is strength, stability, ease of use, being lightweight, and adjustability just to name a few.

How much you spend will depend on your budget, and how much weight you are going to put on it.

If money isnt really concern, you could easily spend over $500 on a really good set of carbon fiber legs.

On a budget a descent set designed for DSLRs will run you around $80-100 I believe.

Edit: I own the Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 carbon fiber legs, and they are so nice. They are kind of heavy compared to the comparable Gitzo model, but they are very solid and cheaper. The problem is they cost over $400.
 
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I will be trying out differernt tripods in person next time I buy one. I bought one from B&H midrange price had decent reviews. But you flip it vertical it creeps. Constantly. Drives me nuts, I ended up having to use a makeshift shim to keep it from creeping. I think a tripod should definitely fall into the try before you buy category.
 
Tripods and heads are weight rated. If you have a dslr and big lens, you will need something rated to hold that so it doesnt collapse on you or tip over. Also all the things already mentioned.
 
My first few tripods were cheap tripods. They slipped, they vibrated in the wind, they bent and broke easy, parts fell off of them, they just plain sucked.

Eventually, I broke down and bought a good Manfrotto with a sturdy ball head for a couple hundred bucks, and have never had another tripod problem of any kind.

It's proven itself to be durable, steady, sturdy, dependable in any circumstances and on any terrain. I use it for studio shots, location shots, have had it on cliffs, in rivers, wetted it on beaches in both the Atlantic and Pacific and untold numbers of lakes and ponds in between, out in the desert in heat that you can bake bread in, and it's as good as it was the day I got it.

Whatever I spent in total on the cheap tripods was money I may as well have thrown out the window while driving 70mph down the freeway.
 
I have an inexpensive Velbon S6000 I bought some years ago. For a lightweight camera and non critical needs I think it's fine. However, for my SLRs and DSLR, I use a Manfrotto 475B and a recently purchased Manfrotto 498RC2 ball head. Heavy but sturdy.
 
I appreciate the information!

That's one of those topics that I as an inexperienced layman had no idea there was much to.

After I thought about it, my grandpa used to be big into SLR photography, has an old Minolta 35mm SLR. He has taken some incredible shots, he's always been an incredibly talented photographer. Anyway, he has kind of stopped over the last couple of years, but he still has his gear including a brand unknown (but expensive) tripod that he's gonna give me, missing a foot. How hard are these parts to come by and where could I get them? I know it's heavy and sturdy and he's drug it through who knows what, I'll find out more about it soon, looks like that's gonna be my best bet!

I certainly agree with paying for something now rather than buying cheap, I just needed to know what justified the purchase of an expensive tripod to a novice photographer, I appreciate you all clearing that up for me!

What about my other question? What are some inexpensive accessories that would be good to get when I get this T1i? Batteries? Bags? How necessary is a UV filter?

Thanks for the info!

John
 
I believe your question about tripods has been answered, so on to your other...

I would suggest an extra battery for sure. A lot of people spend bookoo bucks on having enough memory cards to shoot 5fps during an entire cross country road trip. But what good will all the memory in the world do you if you don't have enough battery to shoot it? I keep a fully charged backup battery in my pack whenever I go. There's been more than one occasion where I'll forget to charge the one in my camera before I head out, and having the backup has been a lifesaver.

I would suggest shying away from a UV filter, and get a decent polarizer instead. Polarizers are also one of the few things you simply cannot mimick in pp. UV filters can actually reduce the clarity of an image. If you're looking at one to protect your lens, don't waste your money. Instead, just get a lens hood.
 
I appreciate the information!

That's one of those topics that I as an inexperienced layman had no idea there was much to.

After I thought about it, my grandpa used to be big into SLR photography, has an old Minolta 35mm SLR. He has taken some incredible shots, he's always been an incredibly talented photographer. Anyway, he has kind of stopped over the last couple of years, but he still has his gear including a brand unknown (but expensive) tripod that he's gonna give me, missing a foot. How hard are these parts to come by and where could I get them? I know it's heavy and sturdy and he's drug it through who knows what, I'll find out more about it soon, looks like that's gonna be my best bet!

I certainly agree with paying for something now rather than buying cheap, I just needed to know what justified the purchase of an expensive tripod to a novice photographer, I appreciate you all clearing that up for me!

What about my other question? What are some inexpensive accessories that would be good to get when I get this T1i? Batteries? Bags? How necessary is a UV filter?

Thanks for the info!

John

Your shooting digital so UV filter is rather pointless other than protecting the end of the lens. Which you can use the lens hood for. Invest in a good Circular Polarizing Filter rather first.
 
Thanks guys!

And yes, my question about the Tripod was answered. And then answered again... and then answered a few more times, then I tried to move on with a thank you and a reiteration of point number two, but alas it was answered... again... :lol: So I GOT IT!! haha. (I wonder if people ever read the replies or just the OP :lmao:). Oh well, no biggie, I appreciate the information and the people taking their time to answer me!

Okay, point taken about the UV filter. I just see them in about every accessory assortment I find, or those "free gift" bundles (that are $300 more, lol), on eBay, so I decided either they were super cheap and so they add them so their assortment can have "one more thing", or there is a legitimate need. Of course, they might just be adding it against better judgment just so a less informed shopper doesn't say "Oh this one doesn't even have a UV filter like all the other ones!". So thanks for clearing that up for me.

I'll grab a battery, and a decent bag. Actually Canon has a "Starter kit" for the T1i that's 100 bucks at Best Buy, good looking Canon bag, battery, UV filter, and I think a mini-HDMI cable. Good deal or not such a good deal?

Thanks

John
 

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