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Author Topic: Tripod Suggestions  (Read 5451 times)

lady

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Tripod Suggestions
« on: May 10, 2012, 01:13:44 PM »
So I'm now finally in the market for a tripod. Awhile back on here I was told to skip any cheap tripods and go straight for the good brands like Manfrotto. Now, I'm a hobby photographer that might hope to make some money on the side (I have done so already for small stuff, no major things) but this isn't my main job. I've read through this and while the suggestions for the cheaper head and body are nice, it's out of budget. I need something for less than $600.

Here's what I need in a tripod:
  • Strong enough to handle a Canon 7D with a 70-200mm lens on it.
  • Adjustable/flexible legs so I can use it on hiking trails and uneven ground.
  • Relatively easy to pack and take with me if I travel.
  • Tall enough, without being super tall (I'd say enough to equal a person of 5'4-5'6 holding a camera and taking a shot)
  • Easy to set up.

I don't need some professional tripod that can handle a 300+mm telephoto lens. I just need something versatile that can be used to take a family photo on the couch, can be used on hikes, and can be used around dog trials and horse barns without taking forever to set up. I looked myself but there are so many options even with just one brand and I'm not sure where to start. What I'd be more interested in is getting a high quality head that I can use later if I decide I need better legs. This is the best I can do for right now, and "just saving up a little more to get something better" isn't an option right now.

So any recommendations would be really great.

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Tripod Suggestions
« on: May 10, 2012, 01:13:44 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 02:25:41 PM »
I have and really like the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 legs.  Light, compact, holds gripped body and 100-400 size zoom just fine.  If you're going to hike/travel, a carbon fiber tripod is best.

As for heads, I started with the 488RC2 (predecessor to the 498RC2) - head was good (not great), RC2 plate/clamp is decent but my least favorite part of the system (there's a little bit of play when it's 'locked' down).  I currently have and really like the Manrfotto 468MG head, to which I mounted a Wimberley C-12 clamp.  That clamp is Arca-Swiss compatible, so it works with plates/L-brackets from Wimberley, Kirk, RRS, etc.

At B&H, you can get the 190CXPRO4, 468MG, Wimberley C-12, and a Wimberley P-5 camera plate for $637, which drops to $587 if you count the $50 in Manfrotto rebates currently available.
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iaind

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 05:05:54 PM »
Take your pick of the Manfrotto 190 range (055 for those over 6ft)
CX carbon fibre variants save weight but come at premium.

Visit the Manfrotto website to find which head is best for you 
5DIII + BGE11 / 5DII + BGE6 / 40D + BGE2N /8-15 4L / 17-35 2.8L / 24 3.5L TS-E / 24-105 4L IS /Zuiko 50 1.4/ 100 2.8L Macro IS / 70-200 2.8L / 300 4L / 100-400L

wickidwombat

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:11:41 PM »
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/A2387-Benro-A1681TB0-Travel-Angel-Tripod-Kit-A1681T-B0-/290603382410?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item43a94fb68a

I recomend this

I have the carbon fibre version which is a bit lighter but to be honest if you are more interested in saving some money the weight difference is not huge and the ally one is probably a bit stiffer anyway.

these are extremely well made tripods and outstanding value for money it will be perfect for you needs
they come with a decent padded tripod bag too
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Wass

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 04:00:59 PM »
Gitzo 1542 is a perfect hiking tripod. Unbeatable for its size.

expatinasia

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 10:42:24 PM »
Lady, I would come at this from the other way if you can. I would first let your legs do the walking, take a look in some different camera shops that have different tripods etc and select 3-5 you like, fit into budget etc and then ask for recommendations here between them.

There is just so much too choose from, and I find that with tripods you are much better playing around with them before you buy.

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RC

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 11:56:39 PM »
...take a look in some different camera shops that have different tripods etc and select 3-5 you like, fit into budget etc and then ask for recommendations here between them....

+1 on the advice

Another thing to consider is multiple tripods.  Get a smaller, lighter one for travel and backpacking which many not be the perfect height for general use but is optimized for travel.  Obviously it needs to be sturdy and support your maximum load plus some.  Then purchase a full size tripod which is optimized more for size and load.

IMO, tripods are a little bit like bags.  Instead of getting a one-size-fits all, get one that's more suited for a specific purpose (backpacking/travel, macro, landscape, etc.)

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 11:56:39 PM »

dturano

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2012, 11:59:40 PM »
Im new to tripods, looking to purchase one soon as well, Im not looking to create a war but looking for an education.  Im no pro, photography is a hobby which sometimes pay the bills .

I only use a tripod on certain gigs, I have never looked at the tripod, i always use my own gear but when it comes to tripods, external lighting, backdrops I use my brother in laws equipment (he owns an entertainment company) I do certain gigs during the year for him and just grab all his companies gear, I could be grabbing an expensive tripod, honestly i dont even know the company.

I see tripods can range from $15 to over $500, please forgive me like i said I could have been using a high end tripod and it just works, thats why I never really looked into it. 

I can see the heads, quick release, etc if you need it meaning something.  Im looking into Bird shots and want to setup a tripod neat a nest so i have been looking into gear for myself and am shocked over the range.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a cheap Tripod?  My local dealer carries,
Vanguard (45), Joby (36) Velbon (26) Davis & Sanford (15) Nikon (11) Alm Corporate (10) Tamrac (9)
Canon (8) Cullmann (8) Vidpro (8) Slik (6) Sony (6) Sunpak (6) Zeikos (6) Giottos (5) Vivitar (3)
Bell & Howell (2)Bower (2) Osn (2) Polaroid (2) Precision Design (2) Tiffen (2) Benro (1) Dot Line (1)
Gary Fong (1)

For example for minor use would this fit the bill?

http://www.cameta.com/Precision-Design-PD-57TR-Photo-Video-57-Tripod-with-Case-35405.cfm

Or would this make a difference in quality?

http://www.cameta.com/Vanguard-Auctus-Plus-283AT-Aluminum-Alloy-Tripod-58738.cfm

Thanks, again not looking to hate on expensive tripods, i just dont have any experience, I believe you get what you pay for ad dont want to get some cheap tripod that will jam up on me.  I understand materials and weight make a difference but is worth getting a cheap brick house if you dont carry it around?

rocketdesigner

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 12:19:04 AM »
...take a look in some different camera shops that have different tripods etc and select 3-5 you like, fit into budget etc and then ask for recommendations here between them....

+1 on the advice

Another thing to consider is multiple tripods.  Get a smaller, lighter one for travel and backpacking which many not be the perfect height for general use but is optimized for travel.  Obviously it needs to be sturdy and support your maximum load plus some.  Then purchase a full size tripod which is optimized more for size and load.

IMO, tripods are a little bit like bags.  Instead of getting a one-size-fits all, get one that's more suited for a specific purpose (backpacking/travel, macro, landscape, etc.)

I agree, multiple tripods make sense. I have also found the value in retractable spiked feat for my lightweight/travel tripod.

Michael_pfh

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 01:14:51 AM »
055CXPRO3 or 055CXPRO4 with a Manfrotto ballhead.
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L | 500 4.0L IS

ksuweh

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 01:27:46 AM »
Take a look at the brand Sirui. I have their model N-2204 legs. This brand is very high quality & especially for the price! I have mine coupled to a Arca-Swiss Z1 sp ballhead. That setup is about $800, which I realize is above your budget. That doesn't mean that you have to buy the same ballhead as me though. The largest lens I currently have is the 70-200 II. My tripod setup handles that lens & gripped 7D with ease! Great setup!! My buddy was so impressed with the legs that he bought a set for himself. Highly recommended!
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Cali_PH

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2012, 01:45:12 AM »
I did this, although if I could do it over again, I would have just gotten my travel tripod and used the money I would have spent on a lens.

Me too, bought a Manfrotto to save some money...but it was just a little too heavy, and a little too big for my suitcase...so I bought a Gitzo Traveler and have been happy ever since.  I've seen a lot of other people make similar comments.  Wish I'd listened to the many photogs saying do the research, save up, and buy the one you want for your particular needs from the beginning.  Otherwise you may be just buying it later anyway. 

kalmiya

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 05:07:18 AM »
I'm in the same boat, and also looking around for tripods - so unfortunately not speaking from experience.

However my research let me to look at tripods made from "Basalt" (by Gitzo) - they are lightweight (a tiny bit heavier then carbon) but cheaper. This one could be interesting: gt1940c

Combine it with markins-q3 (or q10 for heavier lenses) and you might have a nice setup which should be close to your budget (250 euro for the tripod, 260 for the head, which I guess should fit around 600 usd).

Regards

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 05:07:18 AM »

friedmud

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2012, 09:46:39 AM »
Being tall (6'4") I had some stron opinions about the dimensions of my tripod!  I had first bought a cheap little travel one that I hated because I couldn't stand fully upright when using it.  The second time around I went with Manfrotto 055XProB and a Manfrotto trigger ball head (488RC2 I believe).

It's a bit larger than most want to carry around, but I LOVE it.  It's travelled the world with me, I hike with it all summer and ski with it in the winter.  I love how solid it is, living in the mountains we get plenty of wind!

I bring this up because everyone wants something different out of a tripod.  I wanted a huge, sturdy beast while others want a tiny carbon fiber twig.  All of the advice here is good, but remember to find yourself in your tripod.  If you get the wrong one it will frustrate you until the end of time...

RC

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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2012, 10:59:02 AM »
... Wish I'd listened to the many photogs saying do the research, save up, and buy the one you want for your particular needs from the beginning.  Otherwise you may be just buying it later anyway.
Excellent advice!    I don't like forking out bucks for something that takes me only 75% of the way there because I will likely end buying the better/preferred item later resulting in waste of money from my original purchase.


...
Does anyone have a good recommendation for a cheap Tripod? 

Not sure what your definition of cheap is and where the line is drawn from what is cheap and what is not so be careful of "cheap."   You don't want to put your expensive gear on an unstable device--the old phrase "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link" perfectly applies here!

For lower end tripods that are high quality products that won't drain your bank account,  I would look at the Manfrotto 190 & 290 series and Vanguard.  Visit a good camera shop and put your hands on them.  I purchased Vanguard supports because of the dealer's large selection and I was able to evaluate them hands-on. 

I have:
- Alta Pro 264AB, ball head SBH-100
- Alta Plus 235AP, pan head PH-22 (smaller travel unit)
- Tracker AP-284 (monopod), ball head SBH-30

Now I did not exactly follow my own advice (from above) since my photog funds are limited but for me this was an acceptable compromise.  When it comes to glass, nope, not cutting back.





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Re: Tripod Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2012, 10:59:02 AM »