December 18, 2014, 06:34:29 AM

Author Topic: Tripod & Head - $500 or less  (Read 3971 times)

SwampYankee

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2014, 09:37:37 AM »
If you are going to buy a tripod buy the last tripod you will ever need.  Same for the head.  DP review recently did reviews of 10 full size ball heads.  most are out of your range but one budget model was found that is very, very good.  http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8192473209/battle-of-the-titans-top-ball-heads-tested/7Start with this $200 head and spend 300 on legs.  Carbon fiber has advantages but you will get much more bang for your buck with Aluminium.  I liked Benro and Manfrotto.  you should do very well at $300 dollars.  2 points to consider.  3 section or 4 section. 3 is quicker to setup and use, 4 will be smaller when carrying.  The other thing to consider is leg locks.  Some people like the twist ones, I like snap hinge ones.  your taste may differ.  I like the hinge because I can see when it's locked.  That prevents surprises if the twist is not locked.
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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2014, 09:37:37 AM »

Lightmaster

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2014, 10:07:41 AM »
i love my FLM58...

it´s the best ballhead for my needs and better then the praised RRS BH-55... if someone ask me. but then i am from germany and so i don´t have to support RRS. ;)

it´s big and heavy but it´s the most stable ballhead i ever had the pleasure to use.

10 years warranty are not bad either.

ps:

i also have 2 cheap sirui ballheads, kx-30 if im not wrong.
they have a blue numbered ring and it´s pretty useless.
after 2 weeks this ring was going lose and now rotates freely.
happend on both heads... i read about it too.
seems to be a common issue.   



also the fine positioning with the sirui is a pain in the a**.
maybe if you don´t know better ballheads you are satisfied.
i am not.

doing macro i constantly have to lock/unlock the ballhead because when locking the ballhead the camera/lens moves a bit. enough to kill the composition.

on one ballhead the plate was screwed so thight by the factory, that i destroyed the screw head when trying to unscrew it. im unable to remove it, i would have to drill the screw away. but it´s not worth it.




overall im not very impressed by siruis ballhead quality.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 11:44:29 AM by Lightmaster »

johnf3f

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2014, 07:46:03 PM »
i love my FLM58...

it´s the best ballhead for my needs and better then the praised RRS BH-55... if someone ask me. but then i am from germany and so i don´t have to support RRS. ;)

it´s big and heavy but it´s the most stable ballhead i ever had the pleasure to use.

10 years warranty are not bad either.

ps:

i also have 2 cheap sirui ballheads, kx-30 if im not wrong.
they have a blue numbered ring and it´s pretty useless.
after 2 weeks this ring was going lose and now rotates freely.
happend on both heads... i read about it too.
seems to be a common issue.   



also the fine positioning with the sirui is a pain in the a**.
maybe if you don´t know better ballheads you are satisfied.
i am not.

doing macro i constantly have to lock/unlock the ballhead because when locking the ballhead the camera/lens moves a bit. enough to kill the composition.

on one ballhead the plate was screwed so thight by the factory, that i destroyed the screw head when trying to unscrew it. im unable to remove it, i would have to drill the screw away. but it´s not worth it.




overall im not very impressed by siruis ballhead quality.

Surprised you had problems with the Sirui K30X - my K40X has given me no excuse to criticize it after 2 years. I agree the little Blue ring can move about but then I haven't found a use for it so I don't care.
I am not surprised that you had trouble trying to remove the QR clamp as the Chinese LOVE thread-lock, but I don't understand why you would want to remove it! However, with some force, it could have been removed quite easily. What you need is an Allen Key that fits! I, almost invariably, use metric Allen keys on Imperial bolts and vice versa with Metric bolts, why? Because they FIT better and don't cause this problem! I have done this on mine, just to check before I posted, and had no problem.

JPAZ

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 08:19:11 PM »
All of this depends on the budget and the intended use.  Looking at the OP's gear, there is not too much weight involved.  Yeah, I know that vibration and wind factors are better with a more substantial tripod. 

All in all, I am pretty happy with my Redged TSC-424 (Carbon fiber).  The head that came with it was just so-so.  I replaced the head with a Sirui K 40x and put Arca plates on my gear and I am "good to go." 

If I were doing a lot of Tripod work with heavy lenses, I might want something beefier.

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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2014, 11:39:15 PM »
Quote from: Mt Spokane Photography link=topic=20230.msg382371#msg382371
 
Even Chinese tripod legs cost well over $300 for good ones from Feisol or Induro. 
 

feisol is not chinese, it´s taiwanese.
and i guess from their warranty the factory is in taiwan too:


The Republic of China is located on the Island of Taiwan.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China

Lightmaster

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 10:04:39 AM »
I am not surprised that you had trouble trying to remove the QR clamp as the Chinese LOVE thread-lock, but I don't understand why you would want to remove it! However, with some force, it could have been removed quite easily. What you need is an Allen Key that fits! I, almost invariably, use metric Allen keys on Imperial bolts and vice versa with Metric bolts, why? Because they FIT better and don't cause this problem! I have done this on mine, just to check before I posted, and had no problem.

well i used the key that came with the head.

believe me im a big guy.. more strength would not have help.
why do you think the screw is broken.. because i used more and more force.  ;D

all i can say is... i have never had this issue with other heads.
and i had quiet a few.





Lightmaster

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 10:08:19 AM »
Quote from: Mt Spokane Photography link=topic=20230.msg382371#msg382371
 
Even Chinese tripod legs cost well over $300 for good ones from Feisol or Induro. 
 

feisol is not chinese, it´s taiwanese.
and i guess from their warranty the factory is in taiwan too:


The Republic of China is located on the Island of Taiwan.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China

well i know you would come up with that instead of admiting you are wrong.  ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_status_of_Taiwan

Quote
The ROC, however, with its own constitution, independently elected president and armed forces, continues to view itself as a sovereign state.

The present territory of the state has never been controlled by the PRC.

The PRC supports a version of the One-China policy, which states that Taiwan and mainland China are both part of China, and that the PRC is the only legitimate government of China. It uses this policy to prevent the international recognition of the ROC as an independent sovereign state. For its part, the People's Republic of China appears to find the retention of the name "Republic of China" more acceptable than an official declaration of an independent Taiwan. With the rise of the Taiwanese independence movement, the name "Taiwan" has been employed increasingly often on the island

so imo it´s more accurate to call it a taiwan product then a chinese product.
taiwan has a higher quality management in my experience.

it´s a bit like west germany and former east germany.
in the 80s you did not want to buy a computer made in "germany" and get robotron crap. :D

it´s not fair to speak about asian products either, as some do.
i prefer japan made over china made all day.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 10:27:37 AM by Lightmaster »

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 10:08:19 AM »

Dantana

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2014, 01:05:28 PM »
I picked up a 3 Legged Thing Adrian version 1 with ball head last year on sale at Adorama for $175. So far, so good for my 6D. I did get the Kirk plate made for my camera, which is nice and snug.

For a metal tripod (Magnesium Alloy) it's fairly light, folds up pretty nicely, has a removable center column, leg that converts to monopod, and has been quite stable. It served me well on a fall trip to Yosemite last year.
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bobby samat

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digitalride

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2014, 03:35:23 PM »
I just spent way too much time deciding on a tripod and a ball head.  I was trying to stay under $300 but ended up closer to $400.

After reading the dpreview review I looked seriously at the Sirui K-40x and the Benro B3 because it is only $140 new on ebay.  I saw comments about the Sirui not having screws to prevent the head from unscrewing from the tripod, which is a problem I have with my current tripod.  I was all set to go with the Benro B3 but after looking at used prices on Markins I decided they were worth it for their reputation.   Its tough to find anyone saying anything bad about Markins (other than a weak pano lock)   I was able to get a used Markins Q10 for just over $200 and the slightly older but almost identical M10 can be found in that price range as well.   I got some quick release plates on ebay for < $10 each.

As for the legs, I don't hike with a tripod much so I liked the weight and price of aluminum.  I wanted something tall for comfort and to avoid extending the center column in unstable conditions.  B+H had the manfrotto 055xprob for $150 up until last Friday (now $200).  If you don't need the tiltable center column the 055xb is only $135. 

johnf3f

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2014, 05:01:30 PM »
I am not surprised that you had trouble trying to remove the QR clamp as the Chinese LOVE thread-lock, but I don't understand why you would want to remove it! However, with some force, it could have been removed quite easily. What you need is an Allen Key that fits! I, almost invariably, use metric Allen keys on Imperial bolts and vice versa with Metric bolts, why? Because they FIT better and don't cause this problem! I have done this on mine, just to check before I posted, and had no problem.

well i used the key that came with the head.

believe me im a big guy.. more strength would not have help.
why do you think the screw is broken.. because i used more and more force.  ;D

all i can say is... i have never had this issue with other heads.
and i had quiet a few.

Ahh - I see your problem! The key that came with mine is a poor fit as well.
The threads on mine were about a third covered with some form of thread lock, which is far too much. If yours has even more then it probably is pretty immovable!

CarlTN

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2014, 09:55:42 PM »
If you are going to buy a tripod buy the last tripod you will ever need.  Same for the head.  DP review recently did reviews of 10 full size ball heads.  most are out of your range but one budget model was found that is very, very good.  http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8192473209/battle-of-the-titans-top-ball-heads-tested/7Start with this $200 head and spend 300 on legs.  Carbon fiber has advantages but you will get much more bang for your buck with Aluminium.  I liked Benro and Manfrotto.  you should do very well at $300 dollars.  2 points to consider.  3 section or 4 section. 3 is quicker to setup and use, 4 will be smaller when carrying.  The other thing to consider is leg locks.  Some people like the twist ones, I like snap hinge ones.  your taste may differ.  I like the hinge because I can see when it's locked.  That prevents surprises if the twist is not locked.

Interesting.  They didn't give a reason for not including the Giottos in their test.  Did they intentionally exclude Chinese brands?

johnf3f

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2014, 07:12:11 PM »
If you are going to buy a tripod buy the last tripod you will ever need.  Same for the head.  DP review recently did reviews of 10 full size ball heads.  most are out of your range but one budget model was found that is very, very good.  http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8192473209/battle-of-the-titans-top-ball-heads-tested/7Start with this $200 head and spend 300 on legs.  Carbon fiber has advantages but you will get much more bang for your buck with Aluminium.  I liked Benro and Manfrotto.  you should do very well at $300 dollars.  2 points to consider.  3 section or 4 section. 3 is quicker to setup and use, 4 will be smaller when carrying.  The other thing to consider is leg locks.  Some people like the twist ones, I like snap hinge ones.  your taste may differ.  I like the hinge because I can see when it's locked.  That prevents surprises if the twist is not locked.

Interesting.  They didn't give a reason for not including the Giottos in their test.  Did they intentionally exclude Chinese brands?

Don't know where Sirui heads come from - China?? If they had included Chinese they might have included the silly little Triopo RS3 - no they couldn't do that as it would have put too many of the others to shame (including the Sirui K40X - I have both).

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2014, 07:12:11 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2014, 10:58:11 PM »
I bought two Benro ball Heads and two sets of Carbon fiber legs about 7 years ago.  The heads were junk, and just lay on my shelf, they won't hold a 70-200mm lens firmly without using pliers to tighten them down.
 
The legs still work fine, but a couple of years back, the rubber grips on one started disintegrating.  I contacted the Benro distributor about getting some spare parts, and at first they said they had never distributed the tripods and that B&H had sold me gray market.  I showed him the photo of the box with the name of his company on it, and he changed his story, claiming he had only worked there 3 years, and that's what he was told.  Then, he went on to say that Benro was never willing or able to provide spare parts for the tripods, and that they had tried over and over to get them.
 
The missing grip issue can be fixed with some tape, but if a critical part fails, then the tripod is just scrap or spare parts.  Even several years ago, it cost $400.
 
Its my understanding that Induro comes out of the same manufacturer, they are distributed by the same US company.
 
I'd much rather buy from a company that can supply spare parts for expensive equipment.  To me, this means Gitzo, RRS, Manfrotto, etc.   I can buy spare parts for years old equipment from them.
 
Its a factor to consider, some companies just do not provide support once a product is out the door!  I contacted the Fairbanks scale company a couple of days ago about getting the service manual for a very old scale.  They support every scale that they have ever made, going back to the 1800's.
 
 

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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2014, 08:27:18 AM »
I bought two Benro ball Heads and two sets of Carbon fiber legs about 7 years ago.  The heads were junk, and just lay on my shelf, they won't hold a 70-200mm lens firmly without using pliers to tighten them down.
 
The legs still work fine, but a couple of years back, the rubber grips on one started disintegrating.  I contacted the Benro distributor about getting some spare parts, and at first they said they had never distributed the tripods and that B&H had sold me gray market.  I showed him the photo of the box with the name of his company on it, and he changed his story, claiming he had only worked there 3 years, and that's what he was told.  Then, he went on to say that Benro was never willing or able to provide spare parts for the tripods, and that they had tried over and over to get them.
 
The missing grip issue can be fixed with some tape, but if a critical part fails, then the tripod is just scrap or spare parts.  Even several years ago, it cost $400.
 
Its my understanding that Induro comes out of the same manufacturer, they are distributed by the same US company.
 
I'd much rather buy from a company that can supply spare parts for expensive equipment.  To me, this means Gitzo, RRS, Manfrotto, etc.   I can buy spare parts for years old equipment from them.
 
Its a factor to consider, some companies just do not provide support once a product is out the door!  I contacted the Fairbanks scale company a couple of days ago about getting the service manual for a very old scale.  They support every scale that they have ever made, going back to the 1800's.

Interesting about the scale...you make a good point.
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Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2014, 08:27:18 AM »