Aluminium or Carbon Fiber?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by joshuatdlr, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Magnesium alloy is the way to go if you want something that is tough and light. But you'll pay some decent amount of money for one of those bad boys.

    Aluminum Alloy is a good way to go for your first tripod. I have the Vanguard Alta PRO 263AT which is decent enough for me and it's still not cheap, I paid $170 for mine but it is an affordable price for a good mid-range tripod.

    Just stay away from those SunPak Best Buy specials.


     
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  2. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Weight is the consideration here although on the smaller tripods the difference can be less drastic.

    Functionally the differences are,

    Corrosion - if you shoot on the beach a lot, exposed aluminum will corrode eventually but a fresh water rinse will generally solve that. In reality the carbon units have metal hardware that rusts/corrodes in similar environments.

    Aluminum bends, carbon snaps - although camera tripods don't really see a huge force load strictly speaking carbon is generally stronger but less forgiving. While on impact or in sheer load metal will bend, carbon will have a tendency to snap under its maximum loads.

    Ill agree that second hand is the way to go, there is a lot out there for cheap.

    Regards
    Dave
     
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  3. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a heavy aluminum and a lightweight carbon fiber. The aluminum tripod is 40 years old and works perfect, but heavy to travel with so use it stays set up in the studio. The carbon fiber I picked up seven years ago to replace a Vivitar tripod from the early '70's (traveled all over with that tripod).

    I would recommend a new carbon fiber that meets your needs, as you can see it is easy to have a tripod for dozens of years. There are many aluminium tripods in the used market that are perfectly good and very cheap.

    With the aluminum and big head I can lock it down and there is zero sag. My carbon fiber tends to droop very slightly as the head is lighter.

    I found it harder to decide on a head to use.
     
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  4. unpopular

    unpopular Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Those Vivitars from the 70's are actually pretty nice, and putting a better head on one would probably make for a decent, basic tripod for not much money.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Exactly!!! A good number of older, 1970's and 1980's era low-cost model tripods that were made in Japan by traditional photo supply companies would now be in the $199 range if sold new today, and were made to a standard that, in today's market, would be considered "robust". That's the biggest difference ebtween older gear and the flood of MIC stuff that is designed to be sold dirt-cheap: the earlier-generation products were never designed to be sold as cheap, throw-away stuff.
     
  6. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I just bought a Vanguard, can't remember the model. 4 section legs, the head flips upside down, and the whole thing collapses into a neat little package. So far I love it.
     
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