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Thread: Tripod Confusion

  1. #1
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    debbie

    Tripod Confusion

    I am just a beginner, however, would like to buy a tripod for Nikon D3000. There are so many out there. Pan head, Tilt, Ball, tall, short...What to do? I could use some good advice on this topic. Too many to choose, of course budget helps a bit. Something light and under couple hundred dollars will also help. Any comment is appreciated.

  2. #2
    gaijin's Avatar
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    Allen Conway

    Re: Tripod Confusion

    I don't have an answer to offer because I'm looking for the same kind of advice, but I would like to check whether we're on the same quest...
    As I understand it heavy is good (or can be good). I'm interested in buying a tripod light enough to be able to carry around as I go up a not very high, not too steep a hill. Are you? Or are you instead looking for a tripod that will provide good stability at a reasonable price that you can take from your car when you need to?

  3. #3
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    Re: Tripod Confusion

    I think I want to be able to take it on small walks, nothing rediculous. I wrote to a person that taught a class recently and asked him for advice. He told me to get a sturdy one, about $100-$200 in cost. If you go to inexpensive, the tripod won't last throughout your needs. Stil looking around.

  4. #4

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    Re: Tripod Confusion

    Well, heavy and strong = stable and long lasting.

    But, yes, heavy and cumbersome can be problems.

    I use a Manfrotto 055X with a ball head and strap it outside of my camera back pack when walking long distances, well relatively long for me!

    But for lightweight occasional easy carry use, I have a Velbon Luxi L which has 4 section legs so it will fold up small enough to fit inside my backpack. Easier and cheaper it may be, but for serious use I still use the Manfrotto.

    Which type of head you should get will depend on what you shoot. With the Manfrotto, I went for a 'pistol grip' ball head for quick action wildlife shots and I reversed the head to handle connection so that I can use it with my left hand while my right index finger is ready on the shutter button.

    But for landscape or formal portraits you may find that one of the simple 2 twist lock handles is all that you need.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tripod Confusion

    Thanks for all of the comments. I guess the first thing to do is to really make up my mind as to what kind of photography is for me. I'm sure I will figure that out as I get more into it. Thanks again everyone.

  6. #6
    inkista's Avatar
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    Kathy Li

    Re: Tripod Confusion

    My setup is pretty identical to Geoff's. Manfrotto 055X for those times when I need stability over portability, and a small four-section Velbon for when I need a portable tripod and I'm willing to give up stability (mostly, I use mine for spherical panorama shooting, when I'm not going to be using slow shutter speeds). I use the Velbon about 90% of the time, the way I shoot.

    The way I heard it, you can choose any two of the following three things when purchasing a tripod: low price, high stability, or low weight. If it's stable and relatively inexpensive, it's going to be heavy. If it's cheap and light, it'll be tippy. If it's light and stable, it's gonna cost a bomb. You can't have all three.

    Roger Cicala of lensrentals.com usually has some pretty good advice when it comes to equipment. I'd recommend taking a look at his articles on choosing tripod legs and choosing a ballhead.
    Last edited by inkista; 25th April 2011 at 04:05 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Tripod Confusion

    The best article I've ever read on tripods is this blog. The author seems quite measured and reasonable in his assessment (i.e., he agrees with me...)

  8. #8

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    Re: Tripod Confusion

    Hi,
    I'm in the same situation of Debbie.
    Geoff F has already given me some good advices.
    Kathy Li and tclune, thank you for these articles.
    Welll, I still a little bit confused, but now I think that I'll be able to choose it better.
    This kind of Velbon seems nice, I think that I'll need something more portable than very sturdy at the moment. I'm afraid that this Manfrotto 055 isn't very easy to carry and I'm going to be lazy to carry it.

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