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Thread: Tripod /ND Filter

  1. #1
    Rebel's Avatar
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    Tripod /ND Filter

    Hi there

    I recently purchased a Nikon D3100 and have taken a few photos and really enjoying it at the moment.

    I am looking to buy a tripod and ND filter, but I am on a tight budget and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance, king regards.
    Matt

  2. #2
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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Hi Matt,

    Welcome to the forums.

    Firstly this is a common question that crops up quite alot, so if you do a quick search here for tripods you'll get no end of threads. Secondly, what size lens and whats your budget for an ND? I use Hoya pro type filters but rarely.

  3. #3
    Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Hi Mark, cheers for the reply.

    The Lens is 52mm

  4. #4
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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Matt,

    Depending on what you intend shooting, if it is landscapes, do consider a graduated ND filter. Get the best you can afford, but Hoya are usually ok.

    Tripods, said it before, but try and find one that will not blow over in the wind. Manfrottos are my favourite, but Giottos and Velbons are other well known names.

    Carbon Fibre are light but expensive.

    DONT get a cheap plastic one though, the reason d'etre of a tripod is it will give you stability. So try and rock it in the shop, see how stable it is. Does it bend? The better ones will have interchangeable heads, and you may find that you upgrade your camera in years to come, try and find something that will develop with your system. My last one went on for 25 years and only had to be superseded by upgrading to a much heavier camera!

    Second hand tripods abound and are usually in reasonable condition. My local town centre market has a camera and equipment stall and the tripods range from a couple of pounds to about 10. They usually have too many to sell!

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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Matt: two suggestions purchase a step up ring from 52mm 77mm and then buy a 77mm ND filter, that way as you change lens you buy the needed setup ring instead of buying new filters. As Mark states go up to the advance search at the top right hand of this page and type in tripods and read through some of the posts. Now once you have got you tight budget tripod, remember to keep saving for that fifth tripod, you are going to purchase after going through 4 that did not do the job. Tripods are like speakers get cheap ones that do not last and sound like crap or get good one that sound beautiful and last years. The biggest suggestion is save for a excellent tripod however wait 6 months to a year, all the time saving, and find out what kind of photography you like, it maybe that, you do not need a tripod for you photography. Think of the money you saved by not purchaseing that tripod and now can spend it on new glass instead.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  6. #6
    Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll take it all on board

  7. #7
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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Lots of advice will be given about buying very expensive tripods. They are the best but, when I mention very expensive, I mean just that!

    Instead, I will give you a couple of pointers regarding how I look for tripods:

    1. I don't like tripods which have braces from the legs to the center post of the tripod. These are usually very hard, if not impossible, to lower for some low level shots and also can be difficult to set up on rough or sloping terrain. Instead, I like a tripod that has legs that can be individually adjusted both for height and for angle.

    2. I also don't like a tripod which has a geared center column which is elevated and lowered by way of a crank. In fact, I seldom use the center column on most tripods because extending it to maximum length impacts the stability.

    3. I don't like a tripod for still photos that incorporates a pan head. This is fine for video work and not bad at all for still photography when you are following action. However the pan heads are not great for setting up still shots. I prefer a ball head.

    4. You most often cannot get a tripod that is: sturdy, tall, light and inexpensive. Usually, you have to settle for two of these parameters.

    5. Really Right Stuff and Gitzo make excellent tripods but are in the VERY EXPENSIVE class. Manfrotto, Benro and Giottos distribute good, reasonably priced tripods and heads.

    6. Regarding materials: Aluminum is usually the least expensive however it can be fairly heavy, will transmit vibrations and is quite cold to the touch if you are planning to use it in freezing temperatures. Graphite is lighter, doesn't transmit vibrations as readily but is more expensive. Several companies offer some hybrid graphite + other material tripods which can be a good compromise.

    I personally like tripod heads which have Swiss Arca Compatible quick release systems. The systems and the camera and lens plates are fairly dear but are usually top line.

    Regarding used tripods, they do not hold their value on the used market as well as do top-line lenses. So, it is often a good idea to look into geting a used tripod - If You Can Find One That You Know Will Be In Good Shape! OTOH, many used tripods are pretty trashy and are being sold because they will not do the job!

    Finally, when searching manufacturer's specs for a tripod and head, I like to get one that the manufacturer rates for about twice the maximum weight that I expect to mount. IMO, manufacturers are usually overly generous when listing the capacity of their units...

  8. #8

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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    I recently purchased a Nikon D3100 and have taken a few photos and really enjoying it at the moment.

    I am looking to buy a tripod and ND filter, but I am on a tight budget and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations?
    What do you want a tripod for? I have two cheap tripods -- one Benro with a ball head for general use and one no-name tripod with a pan head that I have focusing rails permanently mounted on for macro work. I prefer a pan head with focusing rails, but ball head for pretty much anything else that I might use a tripod for (which, frankly, isn't much.) I have a D5000, so it is roughly the same size and weight as your camera, and my biggest and heaviest lens is a 70-300 f/4.5-5.6, so the tripod doesn't have to support much weight anytime. I have always liked this practical blog on tripod selection:http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/Pont...ipods_101.html

    On the suggestion of GNDs, I used to use them all the time. Since getting my D5000, I haven't used them at all. The dynamic range of recent Nikons is more than adequate for doing this kind of thing in post in my experience -- I get about 11.5 EV at base ISO. What more do you want? I do have an ND filter, but I only use it to slow the shutter down when I want to use fill flash on a sunny day -- the only thing that I envy our Canon brethren for is the support for high-speed synch in all their cameras. The filter I got is a Marumi DHG ND8, which is an excellent filter at a very good price: http://www.2filter.com/marumi/MarumiNDfilters.html BTW, if you decide to get a CPL, Marumi CPLs are also well-reviewed, excellent in my experience, and considerably less expensive than anything comparable. FWIW

    ETA: The suggestion to buy a single large ND filter and step-up rings is a bad one. First, a 77mm filter will cost a lot more than a 52mm filter, and you may never need anything as large as 77 mm. But, more importantly, you will not be able to use your lens hood with a huge honking step-up filter ring in place. Those filter glass surfaces are prime targets for glare, even when the filter is multi-coated, so you really want to always have your hood in place.
    Last edited by tclune; 19th April 2013 at 01:32 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    I have a ND filter and have needed to use it once, and didn't really need to take THAT shot. Turning water into milk is vastely over rated and over done. On the other hand I have several tripods collected over the years, most used is my 40yo one and a mini tripod ... but I have OIS which you may not have so tripods are not frequently used. I also have a monopod which without OIS can make the difference between a taker and a dumper when I didn't have OIS/IBIS earlier.
    The GND is also quite questionable because how often will the subject be nicely organised separated into two parts , one which needs filtration and the other that doesn't.
    I'd suggest that you put your scarce money into a tripod
    A second suggestion is to get an editor and practice with it and when compentant it removes the need for fiters, even NGD if you are willing to take a pair of shots at different exposures and combine the 'good bits' from each. By editor I suggest a reasonably current Adobe Elements, ditto Paint Shop Pro, and not forgetting the freebies GIMP and Paint Net ... all will take time to get familiar with but it is worth the effort I assure you
    Last edited by jcuknz; 19th April 2013 at 08:58 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Cheers for the replies guys.

    As you can probably tell I'm completely new to all this and was advised on needing a tripod for landscapes (which I plan to do a lot of)

    I have a fair bit of experience with Photoshop but not with editing photos in this kind of way. So if I can edit photos with this without the need for a filter I will give that a go instead.

  11. #11

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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    I too am looking for a good tripod. I have an older Manfrotto 3221 WIN. Its nice its solid it is heavy. The head looks more like one for video but it works for me. I was wondering what other heads I can add to it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Tripod /ND Filter

    Tripods, said it before, but try and find one that will not blow over in the wind.
    Well, yes, but...

    This is something I want to comment on, as my camera did blow over in the wind not long ago. I was fortunate: the lens hood apparently absorbed some of the impact when it hit (concrete), and the repair shop said that the lens I had on the camera (my most expensive!) only needed a new filter ring. The camera is fine, and the tripod and head, while scratched up, are functionally fine. It could have been far worse.

    Nonetheless, I don't intend to replace mine with a heavier one. I hike with mine, and every extra pound hurts. If you are much younger than I and have an uninjured back, your calculation may be different. If I were mostly working out of my car, I would buy something heavier.

    You can get tripods with hooks for hanging weights. Mine has one, and I actually had my camera bag hanging from it. Problem was that it was not well secured, and the bag is big and hence caught the wind. I think the best is a nylon sack that you can fill with rocks or dirt when hiking.

    Re the rest: I suggest making a list of features--you can get this by looking at the details for a bunch of competing brands--and deciding which are most important for you. If you buy in the range that I did--carbon fiber, but not one of the top-shelf brands--there are lots of reasonable competitors in the $200-$300 range, and they differ quite a bit in terms of feature sets. I assembled my list of features from the B&H website, which allows you to narrow down by construction, brand, and price and includes fairly detailed specs on all of them.

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