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09-01-2013, 04:44 AM   #1
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Tripod under 100€

Hi!

I am planning on buying a tripod soon, under 100€. I want to start with long exposure pictures, landscapes, etc.

So I need a tripod, a "cheap"one, meaning that I don't need a professional tripod with best materials.

I saw the brand "slik", that has good reviews. Would you recommend any model in particular?

I would like to shoot video as well, is panning possible with one of those tripods

Thanks in advance!

09-01-2013, 07:47 AM   #2
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Most brands, including 'SLIK' have a range of models from cheap trash to professional. So in most cases asking about the brand without the model does not really gain you much. For what it is worth SLIK does have some good models. But so do many other brands.

IMHO 100eu is very low for a decent tripod, but it really depends on what you want to do with it, how much your gear weighs, what features you need, what your tolerance for shake is.

A good tripod needs to support your gear rock solid without movement in the head, be sturdy enough that there is no shake even in a light wind, have knobs and controls that work smoothly and well, be tall enough to be comfortable for you, and have the features you need for the photography you do.

For example, I do a lot of macro so having a tripod that gets really low to the ground is important to me, I don't do any video so panning is of no use to me.

There are many, many threads on this forum with tripod recommendations and I suggest you read through them before spending money. I also suggest you read this: Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan it's very dated but I think there is a certain amount of wisdom there.

You don't say what lens or camera you use and that is the first thing you need to determine, add up the weight of your camera, flash, lights, and heaviest lens you have now or will aquire. Take that and double it, then use that number as your weight requirement for a tripod. You need to calculate the weight for both the tripod and head if they are separate or just the tripod if they are integrated.

A good tripod is a joy to use and improves your photography, a poor one is a pain in the rear and just causes you grief.
09-01-2013, 08:44 AM   #3
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Buy A Good One!

Hello JohnnyXD,
Jatrax has given you good advice, check the weight-bearing numbers and consider what you need for your equipment, including what lenses you might acquire in the future.
Depending upon your location, Craiglist or local sales might turn up a good used one for less than the cost of a cheap new model. Tripods are one of the few items that are (reasonably) safe to buy used, there's little that can can be broken without easily spotting it.
I found a great Bogen (Manfrotto/Bogen) 3021 on eBay, for about 1/3rd of the price new. The money I saved went to a good ballhead and I still came out ahead.
So, if you don't mind a little wear and use on it, that's a great way to save money and get a better tripod than you might be able to afford new.
Also, when you can, go to a well-supplied camera store and try out a few different models. Handle them, check the leg retractors, ballheads, tilt/swivel heads, see what you like and don't like.
Good Luck!
Ron
09-01-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnnyXD Quote
So I need a tripod, a "cheap"one, meaning that I don't need a professional tripod with best materials.

I saw the brand "slik", that has good reviews. Would you recommend any model in particular?
Yes. I'd recommend the professional model with the best materials.
Seriously, maybe you should post links of what you are looking at (my guess is a Sprint-series). Check the height (some "full size" models are as short as 124cm!) and imagine standing next to it and trying to operate your camera. Also, is the head removable? Not all Slik models are...

QuoteOriginally posted by JohnnyXD Quote
I would like to shoot video as well, is panning possible with one of those tripods
Panning is only possible on a tripod with a "head," which is usually a ball head, but for dedicated video(?) a 3-way pan/tilt head is better. Here is a decent tripod w/ 3-way head for "under 100€..." or if you intend on doing more photography than video, look for one with a ball head.


Last edited by panoguy; 09-01-2013 at 09:05 AM.
09-01-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, you've been very helpful.

More information (I admint I didn't write enough)

I just bought my first reflex, a pentax K30

What I own right now:

Pentax K30
18 55 WR
Auto Chinon 50mm 1.7

I will buy a tamron 70 300 next month

I am buying accessories little by little, unfortunately I don't make that much money, hehe

So there won't be any heavy lenses on the tripod. 3-4kg max I would say.

I won't be doing macro for now. I will be doing basically:

Landscapes and night photography
Surfing pictures (better with tripod I guess)
Surfing videos (panning important)
Portraits

Flashes, etc, will be coming in the future.

I saw this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Slik-Pro-400DX-Complete-Tripod/dp/B000JJ9JTA/ref=sr_...&keywords=slik
09-01-2013, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I bought my first tripod on sale @ $50usd. And after trying to use it essentially put it in the closet and forgot about it because it was so awful to use. I bought a second one a few years later for $129usd and while it was much better I quickly learned that it just was not sturdy enough to really take the vibration out of things and gifted it to my daughter in law. I decided I was not going to make the same mistake a third time and the next tripod I bought would be my last. I now have a Manfrotto 055cxpro3 and Acratech ballhead. I won't ever need another and it is a pleasure to use and it noticeably improves my photographs.

I would NEVER have spent that much on a first tripod because even though I knew all the advice given here, I did not have the budget and did not believe deep down that it would really make a difference. So I wasted close to $200usd on tripods I was not happy with. As do many, many other people all the time. I suppose it is inevitable because everyone thinks after buying an expensive camera they don't want to spend almost as much on three sticks to put it on.

I totally understand budget constraints and rbefly has a good idea on used tripods. Pick a good professional model (or models) that you think will work and start watching the used market. Tripods do not depreciate much after the 'new' wears off so buying a good used one means even if you decide later you don't want/need it anymore you can likely get most of your money back by selling it on. Buy a cheap new one and there is little value when selling it so the whole investment is lost.
09-01-2013, 01:18 PM   #7
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What about a vanguard 263at? Thats what im looking at getting

09-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnnyXD Quote
As I said, be careful with the cheaper tripods, particularly the 3-way heads, since many of them are not (easily) removable or replaceable with a better head. That Slik 400DX is well known - the 3-way head is not easily removable, except by taking a screw out that doesn't allow you to screw another head in. Basically a waste of money... sorry!

In Europe, look at Benro or Cullmann (the ones I linked to) or Sirui aluminum tripod sets with ball heads. They all pan, and will all allow you to replace the (small) ball heads later on while keeping the (pretty good) legs.

Last edited by panoguy; 09-01-2013 at 01:55 PM.
09-01-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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I recommend this one. MeFoto A1350Q1 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
I bought mine in China for less than 100 Euro but I am not sure what it will cost where you live.
Just been to lazy to write a review about it but I like it and it hold my K-30 with any of my lenses in my signature.
It's not to heavy, comes with a bag and it's study enough for a beginner like me. Think it will last a few years
Cheers!
09-02-2013, 04:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
As I said, be careful with the cheaper tripods, particularly the 3-way heads, since many of them are not (easily) removable or replaceable with a better head. That Slik 400DX is well known - the 3-way head is not easily removable, except by taking a screw out that doesn't allow you to screw another head in. Basically a waste of money... sorry!

In Europe, look at Benro or Cullmann (the ones I linked to) or Sirui aluminum tripod sets with ball heads. They all pan, and will all allow you to replace the (small) ball heads later on while keeping the (pretty good) legs.
Okay, sounds reasonable, head needs to be interchangeable.

So the one you posted looks interesting, have you tried it?
09-02-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
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And how about this one??? Seems great and it has great reviews.

Mantona Pro Makro II - Tr
09-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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I got a red snapper:

Redsnapper I Hahnemuhle I Camera Tripods I Camera Heads I Camera Bags

I have this one:

Red Snapper RS-324 & RSH-528 Head

They are good quality for the price and are probably made in the same factory (in China) as some of the name brand tripods. I am happy with the quality but if I bought another I would get something lightweight as I rarely take it out and about as it is a bit too heavy/ long to lug around on a hike or similar.

Having said that a lightweight tripod suitable for hiking would have cost 3-4x what I paid so is out of my budget. if you search on google for reviews photography forums in the UK have a lot of favorable reviews for this. if you wanted I could take some pictures of mine to give you a better idea of what it's like.
09-02-2013, 07:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnnyXD Quote
Okay, sounds reasonable, head needs to be interchangeable.

So the one you posted looks interesting, have you tried it?
Which one? I'm assuming the Cullmann. I've used a Cullmann 525 (with my own Markins ball head, at easily twice the price of the tripod) and a Nanomax. The Nanomax is very solid, but won't get your camera higher than a meter off the ground. The 525 (4-section) is decent for the height because Cullmann uses a thicker bottom leg section than most other brands (thicker means more stable and resistant to flex or vibrations), and are cheaper in the EU, since they are made there.

I've also used a Benro carbon-fiber, which is marketed here as Induro CT214, and it was excellent for the price, but way more money than your budget (and had a center column I couldn't replace, but that's my issue). I'm just guessing the aluminum Benros are built as well, since people say they are as good as Manfrottos. As far as the "included" ball heads, both Benro and Cullmann make pretty good "budget" ball heads to bundle with these tripods, but you'll want to "upgrade" the head long before you upgrade the tripod legs, so get an easily removable head.

Other than that, I don't know all the brands that make cheap tripods, nor how good they are. Consider that the reviews of budget tripods on Amazon are generally from folks who have never had a tripod at all, and might not come back to update their review in 3 months of use, even if the thing fell apart. The two tripods I've held onto all these years are a Feisol (ultralight carbon-fiber, don't think they make aluminum ones) and a big Gitzo (one of the most expensive, but bombproof!). The only other tripod I've been interested in is a Cullmann Titan (the new ones), since they're weather-sealed and apparently last forever (and at 500 euros, they'd better!).

Last edited by panoguy; 09-02-2013 at 07:24 PM.
09-03-2013, 04:47 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I'd look for a used Bogen (Manfrotto) 3001 or 3021 with a 3025 or 3028 head. It's in your price range, and might be the last tripod you'll ever need.
09-09-2013, 02:28 AM   #15
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Good advice here. My opinion is that 100$ will not get you a decent tripod and head unless you get a good deal on a used set. The old Thom Hogan article is a good read, even if it is directed at the higher end of the market. Tripods and heads will last you a long long time if you don't abuse them. Far longer than you camera.

My advice would be to save money until you can put something around 300$ towards a decent set of legs and a head. Nothing beats the aggrevation of a head that will not move smoothly or stay put when you try to lock it in place. If the budget is tight I recommend skimping on the legs not the head.

Personally I use Sirui N-2004 with K-20X head and Sirui T-025X (with the supplied small ballhead, which is quite nice imo). They both have their obvious shortcomings but serve my needs quite well.

I realise this is not often possible but there is no substitute for handling the equipment yourself when buying. Even more so when it comes to camera support. Good credible tripod reviews seem to be incredibly hard to come by and even those can not really tell you how the thing feels in use.

Portability is something I didn't see the OP mention. If you are shooting from the trunk of you car it matters little. If you go on long hikes it is the thing that really matters (hence the T025-X for me, it's not very sturdy, nor does it extend high but it weighs about 1kg and folds to about 30cm).

Finally. Cheap, stable, light. Choose any two.
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