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09-15-2007, 09:15 PM   #1
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Any opinion on VANGUARD tripods?

I am looking to get a cheap tripod, VANGUARD MK-4 HEAVY DUTY maybe. Anyone used it? Any other cheap under $70.00 tripods to recommend? Thanks.

09-16-2007, 12:11 AM   #2
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The specs for this tripod don't provide the load capacity and you didn't say which camera will be used. The only purpose of a tripod is to firmly support a camera without vibration or movement. Since this tripod appears to be made of thin aluminum with plastic head, gears, and leg attachments, I serious doubt is can accomplish that with a full-size DSLR. The K10D, for example, with grip, longer lens, flash, and accessories, could easily weigh up close to ten pounds. Thin aluminum and plastic is just not going to firmly support that much weight or anything close to it.

Like you, I went shopping for a tripod a couple of months ago. After looking around at local stores and finding only flimsy tripods such as this, I ended up shopping on the internet. I started with the Davis & Sanford CarbonLite X10 tripod system (head & legs) because the cost was relatively low ($190 at Cameta Camera) and the specs suggested it was sturdy enough for the job. It has carbon fiber legs, magnesium canopy & leg hardware, and an aluminum-magnesium alloy head. While the whole thing weighs just 5.4 lbs (2.5 kg), the load rating for the legs is 14 lbs (6.5 kg) and the head 9 lbs (4 kg).

This tripod system was pretty good, but I really didn't really like the head included. After shopping some more, I eventually selected the Giottos MH 7001 ball head with quick release ($75 from B&H). Made of very thick aluminum alloy weighing just one pound (.5 kg), it's load capacity is 13 lb (6 kg).

This combination is nearly perfect, working well in the studio while still relatively lightweight enough to lug around outside. It is also truly strong enough to firmly support my K10D with everything attached. Of course, what is nearly perfect for me may not be the same for you. In other words, your milage may vary.

09-16-2007, 05:11 AM   #3
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ck out dynatran by amvona on ebay. look thru the specs for the one you like. i know a lot of people that use these tripods and heads. no problems. i've got a set of their 858 legs and am looking for a set of carbon fiber legs fron them right now,

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