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Thread: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

  1. #1

    Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a tripod. My budget is 100 max, but I'd be glad to spare some cash if at all possible. I would use it for indoor shooting as well as to bring it around town and take pictures. I'm not particularly interested in countryside / hardcore outdoor photography.

    A friend of mine, beginner like me, bought a very, very cheap tripod but that didn't really feel particularly stable. I've tried taking a few night shots with it, and the *tlack* of the body taking the shot made the stars come out as v-shaped (one \ probably due to the long exposure, but the / due to something else, I suspect the mirror closing at the end of the shot). This I absolutely want to avoid, else I'd feel like I've just wasted my money.

    Other than its sturdiness, I'd rank a tripod higher if it could tilt and allow for vertical pictures. Extra points if the central pole could be placed horizontally to allow for "still life" photography on low subjects.

    Any recommendations?

    Also, a (probably dumb) question: if I bought something like this Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod, would I also need to buy a head, separately? I know it may sound stupid, but I don't quite understand if all tripods come with an head or if they are sold alone.

    Thanks to all of you in advance!

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Mlkv View Post
    if I bought something like this Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod, would I also need to buy a head, separately?
    Mlkv
    'Yes' is the answer to that one and, of course, it pushes the price up. But, as you may have read here and elsewhere and if you can at all, even if it means holding off for a while until you build up some savings, go for one that will serve you well into the future. Buying cheap now will only cost you more in the longer term as you a) need to replace and, b) want to replace as your ambitions grow and skills develop.

    I use a Manfrotto 055XPROB with 486RC2 head. This is, from what I read before buying, is a fairly popular combination. I see that the 055 is currently 106 GBP from Warehouse Express.

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    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    If you go for a tripod with a lateral arm like the 190X you might want to look at a ballhead.It will give you more flexibilty with camera angle.

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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Giottos might be a little cheaper but I don't know if they are better or the same, just that dealers in both Manfrotto and Giottos say they are.
    A video.http://www.isitetv.com/a4c4a62d61558...f696238-p4.htm

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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    For a lightweight easy use carry around tripod I have recently purchased a Velbon Ultra Luxi L which, if you shop carefully, will come within your budget.

    I find it to be a reasonably strong and stable item which will support my 40D and a good sized zoom; I have even used a Sigma 150-500 on it. Obviously better if you don't use all the leg extensions and the centre column at the same time but all in all I am happy with the results.

    Two spirit levels and a 2 part screw together centre column allows you to get as low as 8 ins if you fully splay the legs. For maximum storage, one of the 2 tilt handles unscrews and stores inside the other; but for normal use I don't bother because I find that, most of the time, the extra storage gain doesn't out weigh the inconvenience.

    My chief reason for purchase was that with 4 leg sections it will fold up to 15 ins which will fit inside my Mini Trekker bag for easy carry occasional use. But for serious use, I take my Manfrotto; although it definitely isn't lightweight or easy to carry. With the Manfrotto I use a 322RC2 ballhead which gives single handed control which is perfect for quick wildlife shots.

    Unfortunately, while we all recommend Manfrotto it could be more than twice your budget, depending on the head.

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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    If you go for a tripod with a lateral arm like the 190X you might want to look at a ballhead.It will give you more flexibilty with camera angle.
    Jim has a great point: I have the 055XPROB, like Donald, but I have the Manfrotto 410 geared head. I love the geared head, because I can set level with the built-in bubble, then tilt and pan. Great control, wonderful for sunsets and such. But there are times when I just shoot with the camera horizontal (and crop later) when vertical would be more appropriate, because it's such a hassle to switch the setup.

    My point is that the combination of legs/head I have (flip-sideways column with a geared head) probably isn't a good one. Now, I'm also slow afoot, and not too bright, so that's a better match.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Hi

    I bought this tripod at Amazon for Christmas and its quality for the price is outstanding, Under 50 with free shipping from Netgadgets
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heavy-Profes...7299705&sr=8-3
    John

  8. #8

    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Many thanks to all of you for the responses. I guess I'll need to research the 'head' topic a bit more to understand pro's and con's of the different types. I have to admit I have no idea what a geared or ball heads are!

    If anybody has any more suggestions, keep 'em coming!

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    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Here's a geared head:http://www.adorama.com/BG3275.html
    Here's nice article on ball heads:http://blog.epicedits.com/2008/05/12...ll-head-guide/

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Mlkv View Post
    I have to admit I have no idea what a geared or ball heads are!
    And you are not the only one who's been there. Done it; Got the tee-shirt!

    Like so much more when you first start getting serious about your photography you come across all these 'new' things. In addition to things called 'heads' that had to go on tripods, I suddenly came across these things that were called RAW files and JPEGS and found out you could things with one that you couldn't do with the other. And so it went on.

    So, don't knock yourself for not knowing. Instead, congratulate yourself for wanting to find out.

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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Tripod on a 100 (max) budgetAttached (if I did it correctly) is a photo of the "tripod" I use when I travel. I like to travel light. I can place the bag between the camera and a sidewall, top of a wall or column and adjust the levelness by squeezing the bag. Typically, I will put the lentils in a sturdier bag that has a zipper. And it only weighs one pound if I take the entire bag. Lastly, the brand is not too important.

    (Attached as a link. Can someone tell me how to include a photo?)
    Last edited by benm; 28th February 2010 at 02:48 PM. Reason: photo did not attach the first time

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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Quote Originally Posted by benm View Post
    (Attached as a link. Can someone tell me how to include a photo?)
    It's the "Upload Images via TinyPic" button that appears under the reply box in quick reply, or in "Additional Options" section in the advanced reply or new thread sections. It allows you to upload, then gives you a string to copy into the post.

    As I recall, the first time I used it, it took me through a registration process (or maybe that was the old picture upload). Anyway, see if that does it.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  13. #13

    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Thanks Jim, those helped. I think a geared head might fit my specs better. Now I need to get on searching for a good head & legs combo. Getting gadgets it's hard work!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I use a Manfrotto 055XPROB with 486RC2 head. This is, from what I read before buying, is a fairly popular combination. I see that the 055 is currently 106 GBP from Warehouse Express.
    This could do and would be in my price range. I'll have a closer look at both. Thanks!

  14. #14
    New Member Jo365's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    I once owned a cheap tripod that I bout for firework events. The only time I took out a tripod. It lasted for 3 events. Most of my early long exposures were taken with a boxy Canon Powershot A80 on a Gorilla Pod, or my bike rack.

    Last year I needed to replace my tripod and I could still not see myself going out with it very often, I was also overwhelmed by the choices and I had nothing other than the above experience to relate to. Solution was a Manfrotto Modo all in one then it was just under 90. Light, compact and better build quality and perfect for supporting a Canon G11 or similar.

    My logic is this:

    It is light-weight and compact - so it is more likely to get taken out and help me get in to the habit of using a tripod.

    More use means that I have a better idea of what I want a more expensive tripod to deliver and I can make a more informed purchasing decision.

    It will not be money wasted - I can always use it for my G11 and travel. Once I get a grown up tripod, if I don't want to take it with me - I always have the option to resort to this one under the following limitations:

    It will hold a small DSLR (like an EOS 350) and a short lens like the f/1.8 50mm.
    *I use a remote and I never walk away from it - I shoot in urban areas (so that really is not an option anyway).
    *If my 50D is on it then, I don't extend it fully and I keep hold of the camera strap. (I use live view to focus and/ or get my knees dirty)
    *I don't shoot with it if it is windy.

    So far I am pleased with its performance (within its limitations) and my firework shots this were my best to date. If you don't have the money you just have to find ways to work around the limitations: I found a protected corner - fenced off by parked bikes and positioned the tripod near a lamp post to keep it from crowds. Near canals I always have a tight grip on the neck strap. http://www.jogarrett.smugmug.com/365...54228756_XT9va.

    Oh and yes, I do take it out regularly and I am planning to upgrade soon. For me light and compact has been the critical factor since I travel on foot or by bike.

    You also mention using it around town. Another inhibiting factor is how self-conscious it can feel to carry or set up a tripod in urban areas. So one that fits in a back pack is a much better option for first timers.

  15. #15

    Re: Tripod on a 100 (max) budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Jo365 View Post
    Another inhibiting factor is how self-conscious it can feel to carry or set up a tripod in urban areas.
    Actually, I quite like posing by doing that...

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