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Thread: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

  1. #1

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    Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    I keep being told that I 'need' a tripod. The problem being... I NEED money. So... I can only work with what I have to work with. I was browsing at my local Ritz Camera shop and this is the one that they recommended for me... what do you think?

    http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/291400174.htm

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Hi Mary,

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of pistol grips ... they're quick and convenient, but less than ideal with both heavier lenses and whenever the camera is tilted a significant degree from the vertical.

    By the way, Amazon appear to have the same combination a lot cheaper ...

    http://www.amazon.com/Sunpak-Tripod-.../dp/B0046R0ZJE

    Hope this helps

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Good suggestion from Colin, Mary. Have you tried your luck on ebay?

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    How about something like this for the tripod ...

    http://www.amazon.com/Benro-C-058M8-...0259501&sr=8-2

    Benro is basically just a copy of Gitzo, but at a small fraction of the price -- and this one appears to be additionally discounted.

    You'd also need a tripod head though ... the best in the business are Really Right Stuff ... this would be their entry-level model ...

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductD...with-PF&key=it

    Adds up to a little more than the one you were looking at, but it would be a lot more sturdy, and should last a lifetime.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Thanks. I did see it for less on Amazon... our local store has it on sale for just about the same. I'll do some more thinking and research.

    Willie- haven't looked on e-bay.... will do.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    Willie- haven't looked on e-bay.... will do.
    Sometimes you get lucky bidding on ebay for some good deals. Though, there is really no substitute for a brand new stuff.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Sometimes you get lucky bidding on eBay for some good deals. Though, there is really no substitute for a brand new stuff.
    I don't mind if it's not new... I'm not new any longer... hmmm... maybe that's my problem?

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Hi Mary.
    Interstingly, I just got that exact same tripod as a Father's day gift. I agree with Colin that for particularly heavy lenses it might not be enough, but the pistol grip works great for me - so far I love it. It's pretty light and holds my heaviest lens just fine (70-200 f4). I really like how quick I can 'aim' it.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Thank you, Brian. It's always nice to hear from someone that has the item.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Mary...

    Tripods do not hold their value well on the used market. That means you can often find pretty good values on used tripods on eBay and other used photo equipment sites.

    Most Manfrotto Tripod products are pretty good for the price. Most are not top line but almost all of the Manfrotto products are quite usable and can often be had at very good prices. I started with a used Manfrotto 3001P with a Manfrotto ball head which cost about $75 including shipping. It was quite a decent tripod but wasn't tall enough for my general use (I am 6'1") and it did not articulate which is nice when you are using the tripod for macro photography. However, all-in-all, it was a good tripod at a good price. My son-in-law happily uses it now (he is 5'9").

    Other manufacturers that offer pretty decent quality are Benro, Benbo and Giottos. The Gitzo tripods are excellent but, you pay a premium price. SLIK offers low line tripods which can be serviceable but, which are certainly not top line.

    Rather than recommend a specific tripod, here's what I would look for:

    1. Ensure that the tripod/head is recommended by the manufacturer for at least twice the weight you intend to place on it. Manufacturers tend to be over generous in stating the weight bearing capability of their models.

    2. Ensure that the tripod legs will adjust positively and stay adjusted: either twist lock or clamps are O.K. I use both. As long as they lock positively, it doesn't matter if it is done with a twist grip or with a clamp.

    3. Ensure that the tripod doesn't have braces between the legs and the pod itself. The support braces will prevent the legs from spreading out allowing a low camera angle and being able to level the tripod on inclines.

    3. Either a ball head or pan-tilt head are O.K. I personally don't like the trigger handle heads and the fluid pan heads are best only for video uses. However, there are lots of folks out there who swear by the trigger handle type of head.

    4. Carbor fiber is a wonderful tripod material which has several advantage besides light weight but, you will pay a premium and IMO any decent carbon fiber pod within your price range will be either damaged or junk.

    5. A tripod which can articulate (such as many Giottos, Benro and Benbo) is nice because it can place your camera/lens in almost any position. However this is not a mandatory capability. What is mandatory (IMO) is a tripod which will allow you to place your camera at a very low position with either the legs spread out or with the camera placed beneath the apex of the tripod. My Monfrotto 3001P has the capability of removing the center column and placing in under the tripod. The camera is then supported upside down between the tripod legs and can shoot at floor level.

    6. A tripod which will be tall enough for you to comfortably use without having to raise the center column to any great degree. Quite often, when the center column is raised to place the camera at a high lever, the stability suffers.

    7. The head should have some type of quick release system, making removing and replacing the camera simple and quick.

    8. Finally, the tripod cannot be too heavy for you to carry. The most stable tripod in the world will not provide support for your camera if you leave it home because it is too heavy. This final parameter has to be balanced against stability and tripod height.

    Of course price has to be calculated in. However, IMO, it is better to get a better quality tripod on the used market than buying a cheaper new one - as long as the used pod is in good condition. My 3001P had a few scrapes and the label was missing but, structurally it was in good shape.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 10th July 2011 at 03:40 PM.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Thank you so much, Richard. I have been browsing on ebay this today... so far... I don't have a clue what I am looking at.

    I know I want a ball head so that weeds some out. I am not quite 5'2" so I think most are okay in that area. Weight... they all don't list the weight and being that I usually have my camera in my Tamron backpack, and the tripod will strap to the outside, and I almost always have Lucy with me... weight is an important factor.

    I hadn't thought about the quick release or the braces... thank you.

    Now, at least, I know more of what to look for, so that should make shopping easier.

    Thank you!

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Quick releases are very nice!

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Quick releases are very nice!
    Noted.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    This tripod gets quite good reviews and Adorama generally stands behind their mercandise. It is carbon fiber which is seldom available for this good a price.
    http://www.adorama.com/FPTPF2127.html#ReviewHeader

    I have a Flashpoint F-1 ball head which I use on my travel tripod.

    Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    It is a really nice little head but, for a general purpose head, I would go up one model to the Flashpoint F-2 which will support 11-pounds. I usually cut the manufacturer's maximum by half which leaves 5.5-pound capacity which will cover most any camera/lens except the giant tele lenses.

    http://www.adorama.com/FPTH2.html

    The weight of this combination is under 4.5-pounds and the price is just about what you were considering spending on the tripod from Ritz.

    The really nice point about this setup is that it has an Arca Compatible quick release system. Arca Compatible quick releases systems are the cream of the crop for still photography.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Thank you, Richard. That looks like it just might work.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    I've got to come out against the pistol grip head. I bought an expensive Manfrotto grip and it's a great disappointment, failing miserable to hold a fixed position once tilted. A cheap Kenko professional ball head has proved far more reliable.

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    I've got to come out against the pistol grip head. I bought an expensive Manfrotto grip and it's a great disappointment, failing miserable to hold a fixed position once tilted. A cheap Kenko professional ball head has proved far more reliable.
    Thank you, Mike. I will definitely keep your experience in mind.

  18. #18

    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Hi Lucy!(hee)

    Alright, here's the insight from the girl who makes do with whatever she can find - aka beginner. Just as long as it's not too heavy and isn't wobbly (definitely - it cannot be wobbly - especially the head) you'll be able to 'make do and mend'. All the other gadgets and special features sound really nice but, in the end, what really matters is that the head isn't wobbly. I got a lovely tripod from my sister for Christmas. I think that it was an ebay "find" (and, I think, a cheap one, at that) and it has a ball head and quick release, etc., etc. but I never ever use it because the joints are wobbly.

    I have, basically, just been using whatever I could find in my husband's office (some of it given to him by stepdad) and I started out with one that was made of a special material that made it really light. (For hiking, I think) The legs were wobbly a bit but, when opened, it braced itself just fine. The kids somehow got to it, though, and it's pretty smooshed - also, it was so "light" that it wasn't quite sturdy enough and, after a good six months of constant use was wearing out. The point is, for a starter - it was super and I could make do just fine and, then, you don't have little kids...

    Next, when I raided his office, I found a lovely, sturdy tripod. It doesn't have quick release or a ballhead BUT I've just gotten used to it - it doesn't bother me - I can make do. The only thing is, it's so heavy that I don't take it outside as much. Also, it doesn't collapse as far as the other one and I have a hard time getting low enough to the ground for those flower shots. I appreciate how sturdy it is and how smoothly it moves. I'd love a ballhead but, like I've said - you just get used to whatever you have and I don't think that I could afford one that was quality enough.

    I think what you really need to get with a tripod is resolve to use it until it becomes second nature (it's called practice) and discipline helps, too! Whichever one you wind up with - you just need to get to know it and figure out how to make it work for you .

  19. #19

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Hi Lucy!(hee)

    Alright, here's the insight from the girl who makes do with whatever she can find - aka beginner. Just as long as it's not too heavy and isn't wobbly (definitely - it cannot be wobbly - especially the head) you'll be able to 'make do and mend'. All the other gadgets and special features sound really nice but, in the end, what really matters is that the head isn't wobbly. I got a lovely tripod from my sister for Christmas. I think that it was an ebay "find" (and, I think, a cheap one, at that) and it has a ball head and quick release, etc., etc. but I never ever use it because the joints are wobbly.

    I have, basically, just been using whatever I could find in my husband's office (some of it given to him by stepdad) and I started out with one that was made of a special material that made it really light. (For hiking, I think) The legs were wobbly a bit but, when opened, it braced itself just fine. The kids somehow got to it, though, and it's pretty smooshed - also, it was so "light" that it wasn't quite sturdy enough and, after a good six months of constant use was wearing out. The point is, for a starter - it was super and I could make do just fine and, then, you don't have little kids...

    Next, when I raided his office, I found a lovely, sturdy tripod. It doesn't have quick release or a ballhead BUT I've just gotten used to it - it doesn't bother me - I can make do. The only thing is, it's so heavy that I don't take it outside as much. Also, it doesn't collapse as far as the other one and I have a hard time getting low enough to the ground for those flower shots. I appreciate how sturdy it is and how smoothly it moves. I'd love a ballhead but, like I've said - you just get used to whatever you have and I don't think that I could afford one that was quality enough.

    I think what you really need to get with a tripod is resolve to use it until it becomes second nature (it's called practice) and discipline helps, too! Whichever one you wind up with - you just need to get to know it and figure out how to make it work for you .
    Thanks, Katy. That's kind of what I'm thinking. While it's nice to buy something once and have it last a lifetime... unfortunately... I'm no longer in that position. But... you know the dusty details already. I'm squeezing money from the budget where there aint much room for squeezing. So, carryable and sturdy... my two priorities... well... not too costly goes without saying

  20. #20

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    Re: Will This Tripod Suit My Needs...

    B&H Photo carries Oben. They look decent... but I don't really know what I'm looking at. Here are a few...

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...um_Tripod.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...um_Tripod.html

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