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02-06-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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First Tripod Purchase - Need Input

Hi all,

I realize I need to get a tripod sooner than later, if only to learn more about my K10's ability, and more about photography in general. I have nothing too technical planned in the near future, so I am not ready to put alot of money into my first tripod. (I'd rather put the $ toward more classes right now)

What should I keep in in mind when shopping for the tripod? It seems I can get one for as low as $30, but is there any cautionary advice to be aware of? Any advice on where to purchase? I generally shop a Ritz, but are they overpriced for this type of purchase?

Thanks!

02-06-2008, 08:48 PM   #2
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I bought a used Manfrotto 3001 at a local camera shop. It isn't feather light, but I know it is solid, and that's all I am worried about for now. Don't go cheap on a tripod, you'll definitely regret it. By the way, I paid $60 for the tripod, and $40 for a Dynatran ball head, so I got a decent sturdy setup for $100. I will be buying a better head sooner or later, but at the moment, this one serves me well when I need it.

I would suggest looking into a used one at a "real" camera shop of you have any near your place. As far as I know, Ritz/Wolf camera does not deal in used equiptment.
02-06-2008, 08:58 PM   #3
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If you have never used a tripod it hard to know what you need and what iritates you. I suggest buying a very cheap secondhand tripod from a market or garage sale and try that out to help you get the feel of what you need..... a cheapy is better than none and buy a good one later.

cheers
Keith
02-06-2008, 09:43 PM   #4
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Um, yeah, Ritz... I've had two Quantaray (made by Sunpak) tripods, and can't in good conscience recomend them. The first was a cheapy with a plastic head. After a short while (a couple months? It's been a while) the plastic snapped in such a way that it was unsteady when adjusting the elevation (angling the camera up or down). My second was a more robust (or so I thought) 'QSX 8500' that had a metal three-way head. The head has been great, but the legs are the type where you twist little collars on each of the sections to lock them in place, and in only ~8 months of normal use the collars have become too loose such that the legs will slowly collapse.

Do yourself a favor, buy a good manfrotto, even if it's used. I just got the 190X PROB with a 486RC2 ballhead, and it is worlds above the Quantarays. Totall cost was around 220, so a good used tripod would be your best bet if you're wanting to spend under 100.

Regarding the 30 ritz ones, I wouldn't put an SLR on them (well, maybe a D40).

02-06-2008, 10:17 PM   #5
Igilligan
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this was my first for my K100d

I picked up one of these on ebay for about 65 dollars shipped. You have to bid on them, and I found the afternoon ones went cheaper than the morning / evening ones.

PROFESSIONAL CAMERA TRIPOD KIT BALL GRIP HEAD AT-858BL - eBay (item 180212074751 end time Feb-07-08 12:00:00 PST)

I love this tripod. It is heavy, solid.... definately not a travel tripod. But for a first tripod you can not go wrong with this one IMHO.
I ended up picking up a lighter smaller one, a carbon fiber for travel. But this solid one is the one I use most.

And I love the pistol grip. I have used it with my old monster Vivitar 400mm that weighs a ton and it works great.

At least take a look at the link. It is much better than a cheap one.

good luck
-gus-
02-06-2008, 10:39 PM   #6
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Hi ldelude

I would recommend getting a good sturdy tripod now than just a cheap one. I used to think like you when I was buying my first tripod and now after I have got myself a monpod and a 2nd tripod (plus 2 tripod heads), I would certainly recommend you getting a good one now than upgrading later.

I find good tripods are like good lenses, they just last and last and you won't feel the need to upgrade. You might want to get a different one for different purpose though (tripod buying addiction anyone?) =)

cheers
Kenny
02-07-2008, 06:42 AM   #7
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I would'nt give advice on what to buy out there in shopping land, there are so many choices, but !!!!

Just remember to look for a tripod that suits your height.

Maximum height [column down] plus the height of the head of your choice, be it a ball or panhead for example.

And then your camera sits on top of this hopefully at eye level.

All the best with your choice, Wal'


QuoteOriginally posted by ldelude Quote
Hi all,

I realize I need to get a tripod sooner than later, if only to learn more about my K10's ability, and more about photography in general. I have nothing too technical planned in the near future, so I am not ready to put alot of money into my first tripod. (I'd rather put the $ toward more classes right now)

What should I keep in in mind when shopping for the tripod? It seems I can get one for as low as $30, but is there any cautionary advice to be aware of? Any advice on where to purchase? I generally shop a Ritz, but are they overpriced for this type of purchase?

Thanks!
02-07-2008, 08:04 AM   #8
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I think, for your first tripod, something along the lines of a used Bogen 3001 would be a good choice. It's sturdy, has some leg spreading ability, goes to chest-height without center column extension, and has good resale value. The only drawback is that it's so middle-of-the-road in what it does that you may eventually end up replacing it with more specialized tripods.

02-07-2008, 08:11 AM   #9
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You've gotten mostly good advice and I'd also suggest that you will waste the $30 or so on a cheap one. It will just be frustrating and be replaced in a few short months. Plus these cheap units use a lot of plastic and the last thing you need is the head breaking and the camera hitting the rocks. get a good used manfrotto 190/3001 or similar nad spent the extra 40-60 bucks to have a good, safe, solid unit.
02-07-2008, 09:46 AM   #10
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Look for "Manfrotto 3021BPRO" on e b a y ... there's one on there now with a current bid of $19! ... this is a great set of legs. Bogen/Manfrotto has recently discontinued this classic model. I just called them and they said they will continue supporting the 3021 for 7 years. Good folks!
02-07-2008, 11:59 AM   #11
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Collectible Cameras (Collectible Cameras: Used Cameras, Vintage Cameras, Film Cameras, Digital Cameras and More) at 13th St. & Northern in Phoenix has a good selection of used & new tripods. I found their prices to be the most reasonable in the Valley. I went cheap at first and have regretted it. I finally wound up with a Manfrotto 3021 and am very happy with it, sturdy, tall and not too heavy. Most low cost tripods don't have a removeable head if you decide later that you want a ball head instead of the panning type which usually come on the cheap tripods. Also, beware of cheap heads. They just don't work well. I would have saved money in the long run if I hadn't gone cheap at first.
02-07-2008, 12:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
I picked up one of these on ebay for about 65 dollars shipped. You have to bid on them, and I found the afternoon ones went cheaper than the morning / evening ones.

PROFESSIONAL CAMERA TRIPOD KIT BALL GRIP HEAD AT-858BL - eBay (item 180212074751 end time Feb-07-08 12:00:00 PST)

I love this tripod. It is heavy, solid.... definately not a travel tripod. But for a first tripod you can not go wrong with this one IMHO.
I ended up picking up a lighter smaller one, a carbon fiber for travel. But this solid one is the one I use most.

And I love the pistol grip. I have used it with my old monster Vivitar 400mm that weighs a ton and it works great.

At least take a look at the link. It is much better than a cheap one.

good luck
-gus-
Avoid Amvona at all costs. They have really low prices for some pro-like qualities and you will probably be happy if nothing goes wrong. However, things go wrong all the time over there and they will not help you out. I had a problem with some legs I bought there and they take weeks to even give any kind of response and even then they say there is nothing they can do. While I was waiting I did some looking and found a lot of people have had problems with them, including sometimes they mark you as a non-paying customer through ebay. DO NOT use Amvona, they are just okay when things go well, but if things don't go perfectly you will regret it big time.

ETA: If you don't want to take my word for it, check out there ratings at reseller ratings.
02-07-2008, 03:07 PM   #13
Igilligan
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hey travis

QuoteOriginally posted by travis_cooper Quote
Avoid Amvona at all costs. They have really low prices for some pro-like qualities and you will probably be happy if nothing goes wrong. However, things go wrong all the time over there and they will not help you out. I had a problem with some legs I bought there and they take weeks to even give any kind of response and even then they say there is nothing they can do. While I was waiting I did some looking and found a lot of people have had problems with them, including sometimes they mark you as a non-paying customer through ebay. DO NOT use Amvona, they are just okay when things go well, but if things don't go perfectly you will regret it big time.

ETA: If you don't want to take my word for it, check out there ratings at reseller ratings.
I guess I lucked out then... I have two tripods and two heads from them with no problems. sorry to hear about your issues.
I was recommended to them by my friend who does highshool shots for yearbooks and prom shots. He has ordered tripods and backdrops from them and had no issues.

But I have not attempted any customer service from them. I was about to order a 2nd quick release for the head and a backdrop from them. Now even I am confused.

I trust resellerratings and your word... and there were some definate issues from some of those folks including yours...
-gus-

Last edited by Igilligan; 02-07-2008 at 03:18 PM.
02-07-2008, 03:13 PM   #14
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Like I said if everything goes your way then things can be good. I had bought several things from them before my legs had problems and I used to recommend them. You just have to risk that something may break, or in some cases it is already broken when they received it, and then you won't get any help from them in fixing things.
02-07-2008, 06:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rickster Quote
Look for "Manfrotto 3021BPRO" on e b a y ... there's one on there now with a current bid of $19! ... this is a great set of legs. Bogen/Manfrotto has recently discontinued this classic model. I just called them and they said they will continue supporting the 3021 for 7 years. Good folks!
When I called Bogen/Manfrotto today I asked if they had a parts listing for the 3021 BPRO ... they sent me this by email within the hour.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf 3021bpro new.pdf (81.0 KB, 317 views)
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