Buying a tripod

adartsesirhc

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Hi, I'm looking to buy a tripod for my DSLR. I'd like to spend around $200. I really like the Manfrotto 055XPROB legs on Amazon ($180 as this writing), but I think that might go over my budget once I factor in the tripod head. Are there any similar-quality tripod leg+head combos for under $200?

There's a really cheap alternative - the Dolica AX620B100 62-inch tripod ($40). My eye-level is about 64 inches, so this would be perfect. Is it that big of a problem to raise the center column? Or is there anything really bad about this tripod? There's also the Dolica AX680P104 ($75), which reaches 68 inches with the center column. I can't find any info on how tall it is without raising the column, though.
 

Tony S

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There's been a few tripod message threads lately. Go cheap and you may pay for it later when your camera hits the ground. Cheap tipods are cheap for a reason, low quality and they are not very stable or long lasting.

Run the word tripod in the search function at the top of the page and you will get many of the recent hits. Here's a few...

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...um-photo-gallery/265609-need-some-advice.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nikon-accessories/264291-new-tripod.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-equipment-products/264720-tripod-help.html


Take a look through the tripods at www.bhphoto.com as they have lots of combo sets all ready to go.
 

Ballistics

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The last thread Tony mentioned is mine. The tripod that I am looking to get for $220 is this set up. Digital cameras, all other cameras and everything photographic from Adorama Camera also like to do video so I prefer a 3 way head, but I will probably invest in a ball head later.
 

ConradM

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There's been a few tripod message threads lately. Go cheap and you may pay for it later when your camera hits the ground. Cheap tipods are cheap for a reason, low quality and they are not very stable or long lasting.

Run the word tripod in the search function at the top of the page and you will get many of the recent hits. Here's a few...

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...um-photo-gallery/265609-need-some-advice.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nikon-accessories/264291-new-tripod.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-equipment-products/264720-tripod-help.html


Take a look through the tripods at www.bhphoto.com as they have lots of combo sets all ready to go.

Can you prove that? My $30, 10 year old tripod says otherwise.
 

table1349

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There's been a few tripod message threads lately. Go cheap and you may pay for it later when your camera hits the ground. Cheap tipods are cheap for a reason, low quality and they are not very stable or long lasting.

Run the word tripod in the search function at the top of the page and you will get many of the recent hits. Here's a few...

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...um-photo-gallery/265609-need-some-advice.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nikon-accessories/264291-new-tripod.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-equipment-products/264720-tripod-help.html


Take a look through the tripods at www.bhphoto.com as they have lots of combo sets all ready to go.

Can you prove that? My $30, 10 year old tripod says otherwise.

Sure, if you are willing to buy me a new 1D MkIV and 400mm f2.8 lens when my combo collapses your tripod.

A good pod should at a minimum support at least 2 times the weight of your heaviest gear combination. 3X is better for support and stability. For the best stability aluminum is good, composite fiber is better and tight grain hardwood it best. There are trade offs with each. Aluminum is cheap, good and of medium weight. Composite is lighter, more stable and more expensive. Tight grain hardwood is very stable, heavy and somewhere between aluminum and composite in cost. Choosing a good pod isn't about getting the cheapest, it is about getting the one that suits you needs today as well as tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
 

Ballistics

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There's been a few tripod message threads lately. Go cheap and you may pay for it later when your camera hits the ground. Cheap tipods are cheap for a reason, low quality and they are not very stable or long lasting.

Run the word tripod in the search function at the top of the page and you will get many of the recent hits. Here's a few...

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...um-photo-gallery/265609-need-some-advice.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nikon-accessories/264291-new-tripod.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-equipment-products/264720-tripod-help.html


Take a look through the tripods at www.bhphoto.com as they have lots of combo sets all ready to go.

Can you prove that? My $30, 10 year old tripod says otherwise.

You've used your 10yr old tripod day in and day out for 10 years with no signs of visable abuse? I have a cheap aluminum tripod and after 3 months of constant use, the camera wobbles on the QR adapter. And I'm not rough with my stuff at all.
 
OP
A

adartsesirhc

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So I decided on getting one of two tripod set ups: either the Manfrotto 190XPROB legs with 496RC2 ball head, or the Manfrotto 055XPROB legs with 498RC2 ball head. The former is $215, and the latter is $290. Is the $75 difference worth it? Is there that big of a difference between the heads, or the legs? The heaviest thing I could have on them is my T3i + 55-250mm lens. I don't see myself buying anything too heavy in the future. Is the panning that much nicer on the 498?
 

henryp

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Is it that big of a problem to raise the center column? Or is there anything really bad about this tripod?

In general raising the center column compromises the stability you bought the tripod for in the first place. Raising the center column should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
 

j-digg

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Also when judging the height of the tripod you also have to take into consideration that there will also be a head on top of it and the couple of inches from the bottom of your camera to the viewfinder as well giving you a bit more leeway.
 

EIngerson

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Keep your eye on the Amazon price. It will go down. I just got the 055XPROB for $140 off of there. I am using it with the Joby ballhead X. Great, solid combo for me. I'm 6 feet tall and I do not need to extend the center column to reach eye level.

I waited it out and got this whole set-up for less than $200 shipped.



IMG_1531-1 by Ingerson"PCD", on Flickr
 

ConradM

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There's been a few tripod message threads lately. Go cheap and you may pay for it later when your camera hits the ground. Cheap tipods are cheap for a reason, low quality and they are not very stable or long lasting.

Run the word tripod in the search function at the top of the page and you will get many of the recent hits. Here's a few...

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...um-photo-gallery/265609-need-some-advice.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nikon-accessories/264291-new-tripod.html
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-equipment-products/264720-tripod-help.html


Take a look through the tripods at www.bhphoto.com as they have lots of combo sets all ready to go.

Can you prove that? My $30, 10 year old tripod says otherwise.

You've used your 10yr old tripod day in and day out for 10 years with no signs of visable abuse? I have a cheap aluminum tripod and after 3 months of constant use, the camera wobbles on the QR adapter. And I'm not rough with my stuff at all.

I haven't use it everyday obviously. But no, it basically shows no signs of wear, still holds the camera very secure. The only reason I got the Sunpak was for the pistol grip ball head.
 

TBar

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Get the 055CXPRO , its great and then go for a good head like the Manfrotto 468 , or a 054 ..(which I'm selling on buy/sell) . A cheap 'pod will cause you trouble and you'll be upgrading in no time.
 

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