Tripods

EchoingWhisper

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What do you suggest? My intended use would be travelling, family and sometimes other things.

For the head, I'm not sure if I am choosing the pan or ball. I like the pan head cause' I always do panorama and HDR, so it might help. But I also like the ball head, cause' it is faster to change position. I don't know which I would choose, but I think it'll be a matter of money, I'll choose the cheaper one. If I were to go for a pan head, I would want the 3 way pan head.

I would also like to have a hook to hook my bag, but I don't mind not having it. A bubble level would also be nice. I am 175cm, and I have a swiveling screen on my camera (Nikon D5100), so I might not need such a tall tripod, preferably more than 120cm without the column extended (I am very likely to get the D7000 or D7100, so I might need it to be taller cause' there isn't any swiveling screen in D7000 and likely not in D7100). As for macro capabilities, I rarely shoot macro, but would be happy to have it on my tripod as long as it doesn't add much to the price. I am not getting any large lens anytime soon, so the maximum weight would be 1.5kg (times 3 for it to be more stable, so it's 5kg). I'm not using my tripod as a hammer so I don't need crazily strong build quality but it should be able to withstand some drops and travelling.

I don't know about the budget, as long as the tripod is the cheapest possible but with all the specs above.
 

SCraig

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No reason to limit yourself to one head. They change out easily. I have 3.

There are dozens of tripods on the market and each has pros and cons. In general the more you spend the more rigid they will be (wide generalization but usually holds true) which is what you want from a tripod.

I like Manfrotto because I feel they are a good compromise. Not the best but they don't have a huge price tag. They are far from being the worst and that is borne out in the fact that they aren't cheap either.
 
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EchoingWhisper

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No reason to limit yourself to one head. They change out easily. I have 3.

There are dozens of tripods on the market and each has pros and cons. In general the more you spend the more rigid they will be (wide generalization but usually holds true) which is what you want from a tripod.

I like Manfrotto because I feel they are a good compromise. Not the best but they don't have a huge price tag. They are far from being the worst and that is borne out in the fact that they aren't cheap either.

I've seen some on B&H, most tripods are Manfrotto, anyone had any problem with Manfrotto tripods?
 
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EchoingWhisper

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Do heads' maximum weight also need to be spec-ed 3 times the weight of camera + lens?
 

SCraig

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The weight of your camera and lens certainly needs to be well within the limits of the head. The head probably won't break but it may have a hard time holding the camera and lens steady, long lenses may droop, etc. Overtightening a head just to force it to hold up a camera is a good way to ruin one so make sure it will hold all the weight that you need it to.
 
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EchoingWhisper

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The weight of your camera and lens certainly needs to be well within the limits of the head. The head probably won't break but it may have a hard time holding the camera and lens steady, long lenses may droop, etc. Overtightening a head just to force it to hold up a camera is a good way to ruin one so make sure it will hold all the weight that you need it to.

So it doesn't need to be spec-ed as much as the legs right?
 

SCraig

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I would try to match head and legs if it's convenient, but the main thing is to insure that both the legs and head will hold up your gear.
 

analog.universe

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I would caution you that all the published specs about how much weight a head or legs can take, come from the manufacturer only. There are no standards for these numbers, and they're obtained by the people trying to sell the thing...

Your best bet is to play with a few models in person so you can see how stable they really are. Aside from that, buy something with such an outstanding internet reputation that you have no doubts about it's performance.
 

Jeremy Z

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My main tripod is my Bogen table-top model, about $50 now. Fits in my small camera bag when I carry the SLR, and in a pocket when I bring the P&S. I always have this with me, and rarely carry the full size tripod.

My full-size tripod is the Slik U8000. I just use this one at home. Even this lightweight aluminum tripod is too much of a commitment to carry around for me.

Most folks will point you towards much heavier 'pods, but I urge you to consider what you're actually going to be willing to carry around and use once you're done with the honeymoon period. ;)
 

TheBiles

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You don't want a cheap tripod. Trust me. Spend $300 once, and never think about it again (unless you want a lighter/smaller carbon fiber tripod).
 

Jeremy Z

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You don't want a cheap tripod. Trust me. Spend $300 once, and never think about it again (unless you want a lighter/smaller carbon fiber tripod).

Why not? It sounds well and fine to say "spend $300" but it should really be qualified with a substantial reason.

I can see if you have heavy f/2.8 lenses or if you need to place the tripod on extremely uneven ground. But other than that, my relatively cheap Slik U8000 has been great for probably 10 years. Quick disconnect shoe is nice too; I have one on my camcorder permanently, and one that "floats" from camera to camera, as needed. Since it is braced at the bottom too, and not just up at the top, it does not need to be heavy an expesive to get the job done.
 

SCraig

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Why not? It sounds well and fine to say "spend $300" but it should really be qualified with a substantial reason.

I can see if you have heavy f/2.8 lenses or if you need to place the tripod on extremely uneven ground. But other than that, my relatively cheap Slik U8000 has been great for probably 10 years. Quick disconnect shoe is nice too; I have one on my camcorder permanently, and one that "floats" from camera to camera, as needed. Since it is braced at the bottom too, and not just up at the top, it does not need to be heavy an expesive to get the job done.
Go out and try a very good, very high-quality tripod. Put your camera on your tripod, put it on the other one. Then come back and tell us how great yours is.

Slik makes some good tripods. As does Velbon, Giottos, Manfrotto, and many, many others. They do not qualify as "Great" tripods and if you put your camera on a "Great" one you will know why. Until you put your camera on one you won't. Simple as that.
 

KmH

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What do you suggest? My intended use would be travelling, family and sometimes other things.
So figure on 3 tripods and at least 3 heads.

One camera won't do it all, one lens won't do it all, one light won't do it all, and 1 tripod won't do it all.
 

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