looking for a tripod

mclar146

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i am in need of a decent tripod/mono-pod. i shoot mainly sport and landscapes.
my budget is about $150 but i will go over a little bit if necessary.

anyone with a good suggestion please help.
 

table1349

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Suggestion #1: Read this: Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

Suggestion #2: Plan for the future, not now.

Suggestion #3: For around $300.00 you can get a setup that if taken care of will last a lifetime for the normal user. If you are looking at Long glass, 400mm, 500mm, etc then the price goes up due to weight.

Suggestion #4: Your tripod and head should support a minimum of two times the weight of the heaviest gear combination you plan to put on it. Three times the weight is better for stability.

You want a set of legs with head that will put the camera in a comfortable shooting position without raising the center column if your pod has one. A raised center column reduces stability.

You want as squat a head as possible again for stability. If you look at some of the differences between the average consumer grade ball head and a top quality head like the RRS BH 55 you will see that the BH 55 and similar heads are squat compared with the average consumer head. There are of course other differences but that is one main one.

You want the best quality leg material for your use. Aluminum legs are good but medium heavy. Composite fiber are better for stability and lighter at a higher cost. The most stable, and heavy are a good tight grain hardwood tripod such as ash. Not something you really want to carry around though, and costly.

Manfrotto, Gitzo, Giottos, all make good legs to name three main players. There are others out there as well that are knockoff companies that make good legs such as Feisol, Velbon, Benro and others. They work as well as the name brand for most people in all but the most extreme shooting conditions.

You need to decide on what your needs are in relation to material, weight etc. For most people a good set of aluminum legs will do. If you are going to carry it a long way such as backpacking then composite would be better etc.

Have fun and shop around a little. If you can get your hands on those that you are interested in and play with them. See what you like and don't like.
 

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