Tripod help / suggestions

Nkray

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Hey Folks,

Looking for some suggestions on a tripod. Using a D5000 with 15-55 F2.5 lens which is fairly heavy so looking for stability. Thinking carbon fiber so it's not a truck to lug around. Any suggestions. I hear pros and cons on head type as well (ball?). I was looking at the 'Mefoto' brand that had a 26lb capability - any other suggestions on the $4-$500 range?

I was also looking at Oben, but read some bad reviews on the legs about lockup and misfunction (legs coming off).

Thanks in advance,
Nick
 

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The head type will depend on what type of photography and what you're comfortable with. I've got one of each style. The pan head is my choice for panoramas (imagine that!) And the ball head is my choice for when the legs will not be on a level surface.
 

tirediron

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Manfrotto, Giottos, Benbo and Really Right Stuff and GOOD brands, and a $500 will indeed get you a nice set of legs and head. Like Designer I have multiple heads in different styles (You should see my hat collection!), but for overall versatility, I prefer the ball head. With your budget, you can look at the higher-end versions which incorporate separate controls for the pan base and the ball, as well as a tension control. I use a Manfrotto Hydrostatic head as my main ball head and am very happy with it.
 

JoeW

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I've got a pair of Manfrottos (and another one but it was stolen on a shoot), a small triangular table tripod from REI, and a gorillapod plus a clamp and also a small bungee cord. I use one particular tripod (that has a center column that tips or can be used between the legs) for food photography. One of my tripods is designed for travel--it fits easily in carry-on luggage.

The reality is that no tripod is good at everything--you sacrifice. A great travel tripod may lack some stability (b/c the more joints you have on the legs, the more wobble you get). The more you elevate the center column, the less stability you tend to get. So the key here is to identify what it is you're likely going to be using the tripod for and then select accordingly. The kind of tripod I'd pick may be very different from the one TiredIron would (and we'd both get good ones).

What you like to shoot (and the circumstances) should dictate your tripod. If you are going to hike...and then shoot birds or other wildlife, you're ultimately going to be using something like a 400mm lens. If by lug around, you don't mean "hike" than just throw it in the back of the car and pull it out when you get someplace you need it for.
 
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Nkray

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Manfrotto, Giottos, Benbo and Really Right Stuff and GOOD brands, and a $500 will indeed get you a nice set of legs and head. Like Designer I have multiple heads in different styles (You should see my hat collection!), but for overall versatility, I prefer the ball head. With your budget, you can look at the higher-end versions which incorporate separate controls for the pan base and the ball, as well as a tension control. I use a Manfrotto Hydrostatic head as my main ball head and am very happy with it.
Thanks Tirediron... I checked out the manfrotto ball head - reviews are positive... Does it provide enough stability for a heavy lens? My 2.8 is about 5 lbs...
thx, Nick
 

tirediron

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Manfrotto, Giottos, Benbo and Really Right Stuff and GOOD brands, and a $500 will indeed get you a nice set of legs and head. Like Designer I have multiple heads in different styles (You should see my hat collection!), but for overall versatility, I prefer the ball head. With your budget, you can look at the higher-end versions which incorporate separate controls for the pan base and the ball, as well as a tension control. I use a Manfrotto Hydrostatic head as my main ball head and am very happy with it.
Thanks Tirediron... I checked out the manfrotto ball head - reviews are positive... Does it provide enough stability for a heavy lens? My 2.8 is about 5 lbs...
thx, Nick
It supports my 300 2.8 without any issues at all...
 

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I have a Mefoto tripod and find it really convenient. It is sturdy (Nikon D750 with various lenses including 70-200mm), easy to use, when folded is very small and fits easily inside my carry-on bag for travel. The head is okay but you can replace it with one of your choice.
 

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