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10-20-2010, 03:44 PM   #1
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dolica or slik sprint pro II?

Buying my first real tripod. Would like to buy a kit with a reasonable ball head which I can upgrade later.

In the $50 range, Dolica seems the consensus choice.

Upping my budget to about $100, the Slik seems like a good choice: I could relegate it to "travel" tripod status if I got something beefier later?

Shooting with a K2000 currently (eyeing a K7 or K5 (drool)), my largest lens is the 50-135.

Would like to use it for night shooting, and kids events (dance performances, soccer games).

Have I overlooked any other choices that should be the top considerations ($100 or less)? Will the Dolica or Slik be obviously better given the equipment and applications I've described?


10-20-2010, 03:56 PM - 1 Like   #2
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My wife uses the slik sprint pro II (with 3 way head) with her K-x and sigma 17-70 and Sigma 105 macro. Seem sturdy enuf in most situations but on a windy day i will be careful that it will topple over. Other than that, i dont see too much negatives about this tripod. It is not a carbon fibre, not as strong, but definitely good enuf for us.
10-20-2010, 04:51 PM   #3
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Are you considering the $40 Dolica AX620B100? There some discussion of it in this thread, but I would not recommend it. It would be ok for straight on landscapes, but it suffers with portraits. There's just too much creep/droop with the ballhead that comes with it. And forget about putting the 50-135mm on it. That len's is too heavy for the Dolica. At least I wouldn't feel that it could secure the lens safely.

I have one and wrote a review in the accessories forum here: Link

Like I said in my review, I'd save up for a better tripod.
10-20-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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In the discussion einstrigger points to, my tripod option was for Giottos MTL 9371B Aluminum Professional Tripod. I bought this from ebay and it has a solid, reversible center column, the legs have a top lock on each that can be set to lower the tripod down to less than 12 inches to the ground and the center lock also allows the center column to be rotated up to 90 degrees. It also can support 22lbs, but a head for it needs to be bought separately.

I do agree though with einstrigger. If you are dead set on getting a tripod, save up and get one that is well made and can do all you need it to do.

10-20-2010, 06:33 PM   #5
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The Slik has been my tripod for a while now. While it's good, I did upgrade the head after I bought the 60-250mm lens simply due to weight issues. While it is not a heavyweight tripod, it does well in the water (been knee deep in many streams with it) and does ok in 10-15 mph wind. FOr how much it weights, I'm impressed with it. I do plan to drill out the plastic plug on the bottom, add a 'J' hook, and use it to hang 5 or 10 pounds during vibration situations (running water, heavy wind, etc). That will significantly add to the weight of the tripod and it's stability, while not increasing the weight for toting it around. I'll make a small pouch that attaches to the 'J' hook that I can throw rocks and such into so I don't have to tote around the actual weight.

I'd highly recommend the Slik series. I love mine and will certainly purchase another when it wears out (sometime in the next decade by the way things are looking)...
10-20-2010, 11:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies and recommendations-- leaning away from the Dolica at this point.

I've seen some good results with the Slik-- leaning that way as my first tripod, with the plan of relegating it to a "travel" pod should I need something beefier/more stable in the long run!
10-21-2010, 12:05 AM   #7
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I have a Slik Sprint pro with a 3 way head (as opposed to the ball head)
It nice & light and fairly cheap and very versatile in postioning you camera compared to the other cheap type with the sliding center bracing to the legs.
Suitable for most situations with normal lenses on but it's not super rigid especially if extending the centre column. I always use it with a cable release so as not to wobble it when pressing the shutter.

What is it they say about tripods?


You can only have 2 of these 3.
10-21-2010, 01:21 AM   #8
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Some cheap tripod options towards the end of this thread:

10-21-2010, 09:46 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Keep in mind, speaking of the choice Steve mentions, 100 bucks seems to be getting you in Tiltall range. It's not a ballhead, and it's by no means petite, but they're solid. And that's what tripods, come down to it, are *for.* It's what I'd have if I hadn't been lucky when Amvona was flooding Ebay with stuff that occasionally you could get really cut-rate. Since, at the time, I simply had no camera support, (All lost or given away over some hard times) when I had about fifty bucks, I got something oversized I knew I could fix if it was poorly assembled. (Which was good, as it turned out Some unintended assembly was required. but the ballhead... I got a good one. Treasure. )

A tripod I can carry comfortably is simply not something I expect to get out of cheaply.

What I have for the time being to be smaller is actually a vintage thing of, I suppose 'fancy amateur grade:' well-made old American metal from perhaps the Fifties or early Sixties that's not tremendously-good to support full sized rigs alone, but is functional enough. Rather clever, too. Sort of presages Benbo in that the legs are sealed: the wide sections at the bottom, capped with rubber, and released from the top.

(Basically don't overlook Ebay,too: if it looks simple and reliable, it likely is. There are a number of things that are much better built, I bet, than most things that come cheap, these days, but for all that, only ever made to be 'camera holders.' In this case, I have to admit I was partly-motivated by curiosity about if the flip-locks had been made to last. They clearly did. )

Here's an antique I keep in the car: I happen to have a photo cause someone wanted to see my Signet:

Sometimes old is good,too. In an age of Ebay, a lot of yard sale fare will be the plastic-headed dregs, but people really did used to expect more. IIRC correctly, this one claims to have been made in Florida, of all places.
10-22-2010, 03:29 AM   #10
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A quick chime-in: I have the Slik sprint pro II (with the 3-way head). I think the tripod and the head (with QR plate) are well-built and a pleasure to use. Being of a light and compact aluminium construction it is also practical to carry and store, but can't be an epitome of rock-solid stability.

I originally got this for a Panasonic dmc-fz28 bridge camera with which it seemed adequate. Now with a k-x, and especially experimenting with things like a pretty heavy (solid build :-) M42 Soligor 80-230mm 1:4.5 and TCs I have found that something more heavy duty is a must. With light gear and shorter focal lengths, say, the k-x and kit lens, I suppose the Slik would do fine, but it is easy to outgrow with a DSLR.

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