What cheap tripod would yous recommend?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Aakajx, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Aakajx

    Aakajx TPF Noob!

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    I'm searching for a cheapish tripod that works well..

    What tripod would you recommend?


     
  2. pixmedic

    pixmedic I am the Lord thy Mod Staff Member Supporting Member

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    i wouldn't recommend a cheap tripod at all if you are going to put anything more than a point and shoot camera on it.
    if you are on a budget, look for a used tripod in a good name brand like manfrotto, gitzo, velbon, vanguard....im sure there are others.
     
  3. Rick58

    Rick58 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, that's a little like asking for the cheapest handgun you can afford. Personally I hate dented filter threads
     
  4. CMfromIL

    CMfromIL No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Trust me, you really don't 'want' a cheapie tripod. And this is from a guy who had one. They suck. And I sure as heck wouldn't trust it to hold any type of DSLR. I know it seems like an area to cut a cost corner, but you will pay for it.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The cheap tripods you see on the market are typically all the same design just different manufacturer labels.

    Pros:

    1) Cheap

    2) Lightweight construction makes them easy to carry around - you can even carry the camera with the tripod attached without any problems (I used to go round the zoo with my rebel and 70-300mm with a tripod attached the whole time with no problems).

    3) They can hold an entry level DSLR with a kit lens or something light like a 50mm f1.8 - 70-300mm - 18-150mm.

    Cons:
    1) They are poorly built - the lever for locking the up and down motions of the tripod head can unscrew from its holding very easily and if done the nut inside drops out into the plastic casing (sealed). As a result you can very easily end up with a tripod head that you can't lock - had this happen to 3 of the ones my family has owned over the years.

    2) They have a limited lowest height - because of the leg construction being so light they gain strength by having a plate that folds down that holds the legs at fixed distances apart - as a result it can only go down so far. This is a major pain if you want to take a lower angled shot.
    This leg lock also limits how you can position them on uneven ground.

    3) They are lightweight (wait wasn't this a bonus a moment ago!) which means that whilst they can hold and support a light camera; they are also not ideal to be left free-standing. Sure if you're within arms reach you're fine but I'd not be confident leaving one to freestand (esp in wind or on uneven ground).

    4) The head is fixed; this means its a 3 way head only. On good tripods the head is a separate part which allows you to choose the right head for your style and situation. You might want a ball head - a 3 way - or others to suit your needs.

    Overall they are ok - but if you want a tripod you'll really like and enjoy using get a good one. A Manfrotto series tripod is a good starting point and they've several budget ranges on the market. Failing that hit up ebay and find a second hand one - the second hand price of an older tripod is often quite low and the only downside is that you might end up with a heavier one (heavy isn't a bad thing though as that helps a lot with increasing stability).

    At the end of the day a tripod shouldn't be cheap ; cheap tripods work but they introduce a lot of compromises that can be dangerous to the health of your camera (falling over is bad) and their limited leg adaptability restricts where and how you can shoot.
     
  6. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I recommend a brand called Save Yo Money.
     
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  7. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    To me, a 'cheap' tripod set of tripod legs costs less than $150.00, and that doesn't count the cost for a tripod head.

    What does 'cheap' mean to you?

    If a tripod is not stable, it fails as a tripod.

    So, it boils down to you can only have 2 of the 3 following tripod attributes in any tripod:

    cheap
    lightweight
    stable

    In other words, a cheap tripod that is also lightweight will not be stable.
    A lightweight tripod that is also stable will not be cheap.
    A stable and cheap tripod will not be lightweight.
     
  8. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you search Amazon, most of them have a ton of reviews. Anything for 20 bucks is going to make your life harder, and thats coming from someone who uses a stack of books or whatever she can find nearby in place of a tripod.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Dolica seems like the current best-of-breed in the inexpensive tripod game. Products - Tripods and Monopods - Dolica

    You know, if tripods were automobiles, then almost every single TPF driver would as a matter of status, drive a Bentley on the weekends, and would have a nice Rolls-Royce as his drive-to-work car.

    My God...not everybody needs a $1,300 Gitzo tripod. Or a $1,500 Hermes purse. Or a pair of $3,000 Swarovski binoculars. Or a $34,900 Phase One digital back.
     
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  10. snowbear

    snowbear . Staff Member Supporting Member

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    By the time you buy a couple of cheap tripods (the first one and replacements for when they break) you could have waited and gotten a quality tripod in the first place.
     
  11. wyogirl

    wyogirl Oh crop!

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    I second the Dolica brand. I have the Proline and I like it. My heaviest setup is about 6lbs
     
  12. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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