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07-30-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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Looking for a quality tripod

I am looking to purchase a quality tripod for my K-5. I spent the whole night going to Amazon and eBay, and I have not found anything I like, then I realized people here can point into the right direction better as I am fairly new to photography. I have a very clumsy tripod that takes forever to setup and is very difficult to adjust its position. I'm looking for a tripod that does pretty much the opposite of what my old one does - easy to setup and easy to move the camera position, preferably one of those with a ball on top for easy turning. While I do have a very small budget, I can save up for it, so if you know anything under $150, please point me to it.

Thanks a ton!

07-30-2012, 10:56 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Costco has the Dolica Carbon Version for $79 at the moment, it includes a ball head. Costco - Dolica ZX600B103 Proline 60" Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ball Head

They are decent quality for an inexpensive tripod. Anything better will cost you more as you may need to buy the ball separate from the legs.

How large a lens are you going to be putting on the K-5 on there?
07-30-2012, 11:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for showing me that. The biggest lens I will be using is probably the FA 100-300, which isn't that big. This seems to be a good option, although do you have any recommendation for ball/legs? I am looking for something that will keep me completely satisfied so that I won't a thought about ever getting a replacement (like the K-5 I got =P).
07-31-2012, 12:30 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gzq916 Quote
I am looking for something that will keep me completely satisfied so that I won't a thought about ever getting a replacement
Sorry that is not possible unless maybe you spend thousands of dollars! You'll get an all around one then a heavy duty one when you get a bigger lens then a light one for travelling but really it is for when you are lazy then a tiny one for macro shots cause the bigger legs tend to get in the way then a table top tripod cause it was too good of a deal to pass up . . . . . . .

07-31-2012, 02:16 AM   #5
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Manfrotto MT294A3 294 comes recommended by me.
The legs come in 3 or 4 sections (A3 or A4 respectively).

I bought these legs with the Manfrotto 804RC2pan/tilt head, but there are ball head options.
Seem to be around your budget on Amazon.

There are a lot of things to consider.
I think that it's a great piece of kit, but some might say it's too heavy to carry around.
I don't mind the weight.



07-31-2012, 04:56 AM   #6
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Great deal on a good tripod: Amazon.com: Ravelli APGL4 New Professional 70" Tripod with Adjustable Pistol Grip Head and Heavy Duty Carry Bag: Camera & Photo

I also have a Manfrotto 055PROB, (The Ravelli is a knockoff of the Manfrotto) and other than the horizontal center column capability of the Manfrotto, there's not much difference between the two, though the Manfrotto has better quality control and is made of better stuff. But it should be, considering the Manfrotto legs cost double what the entire Ravelli rig costs.

Plus, the Ravelli comes with a pistol-grip head with two quick release plates, which is very quick & convenient. I also like the quick release system on this one better than most others. It's a bit on the heavy side, but that doesn't bother me.

If you're leery of spending money on an unknown tripod, go play with a Manfrotto 055PROB. If you like it, you'll probably like the Ravelli. They're very similar.

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 07-31-2012 at 05:04 AM.
07-31-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
Sorry that is not possible unless maybe you spend thousands of dollars! You'll get an all around one then a heavy duty one when you get a bigger lens then a light one for travelling but really it is for when you are lazy then a tiny one for macro shots cause the bigger legs tend to get in the way then a table top tripod cause it was too good of a deal to pass up . . . . . . .
+1

Best to go to a camera store near you and handle what they have so you can see/feel the differences in the various types.

I have three myself: an old aluminum yard sale beater that I use in the backyard for doing macros or hummingbird shots around the dirt in the garden, a lightweight Dolica (aluminum not carbon) that works well for travel, and a big Manfrotto 055PROB for the bigger lenses.

I'm thinking of selling my aluminum Dolica and getting the carbon one from Costco as it will be lighter and I tend to use that one the most.

Last edited by crewl1; 07-31-2012 at 07:47 AM.
07-31-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Best to go to a camera store near you and handle what they have so you can see/feel the differences in the various types.
YEP! The first one I bought was advertised as having multiple leg angle options with a series of stops built into where the legs meet the neck of the tripod, well the first stop leaves the legs in the normal tripod position then the second stop doesn't engage until the legs are angled out so far that the center column of the tripod is now the lowest point rendering it unstable, yes I can raise the center column but then the camera goes up and there is no point in having the lower position. I didn't find that out until a while later after I bought a proper macro lens and I was trying to get up close and personal with a mantis or something.
Spend as much time as you can at the store if that is an option for you or try other peoples and see what they say, secretly everyone wants to tell you about their gear.
Check the tripod review section too!

07-31-2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I really appreciate it. I think I will go to B&H next week and check out some tripods. My biggest thing against buying in stores is that they don't always have the best deal. But then I guess it's better than that ordering something and then having to return it.
08-02-2012, 01:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gzq916 Quote
I am looking to purchase a quality tripod for my K-5. I spent the whole night going to Amazon and eBay, and I have not found anything I like, then I realized people here can point into the right direction better as I am fairly new to photography. I have a very clumsy tripod that takes forever to setup and is very difficult to adjust its position. I'm looking for a tripod that does pretty much the opposite of what my old one does - easy to setup and easy to move the camera position, preferably one of those with a ball on top for easy turning. While I do have a very small budget, I can save up for it, so if you know anything under $150, please point me to it.

Thanks a ton!
I have many, many tripods, not just for cameras but also audio stuff.
The one I like best so far is my newest acquisition, the Sunpak Pro 423PX . It is carbon fiber, 66", and very importantly lightweight which means I expect to be able to carry it and not leave it in the hotel room on my next trip. It comes with a case also. Picked it up at Fry's during a sale for only $90. Normally runs about $140.
08-02-2012, 05:34 PM   #11
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Also check out www.KEH.com for used tripod legs and heads. I bought my used Bogen (Manfrotto) 3021BPRO legs there and a new 498RC2 ballhead from B&H. It's a great combo and I'm pretty happy with it. However, it is heavy and not really suitable if you need a tripod you can take hiking.
08-18-2012, 08:22 AM   #12
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A little late but if you're in B&H be sure to look at the Oben line up

Oben Tripod Systems | B&H Photo Video

and the Sirui lineup

sirui | B&H Photo Video

you should also take your camera and the biggest lens and try it out on the ones that match your budget.

Check for ballhead and leg creep/stability.
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