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09-15-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Cheap heavy tripod?

I have general purpose tripods that work just fine. I need something to use with long lenses. The vibration is so bad I can not even focus with my current ones (I can adjust, remove my hand, adjust again and so for the but do not seem to get good focus that way). I don't have a lot of money to spend and even if I did, I can not justify spending it on this as it would not get a lot of use.

Weight is of no consequence. I could care less if it weighs at much as a truck (big and heavy sounds good). I would think a heavy tripod would absorb vibration anyway. It would be good if it can handle very heavy large lenses too.

So does anyone have any advice? I was thinking old vintage all metal tripods on ebay. They don't have to be in perfect condition. I can clean it up, rebuild/re-grease etc. The problem is its really hard to tell which ones are big heavy tripods as it seems most of the companies that make them also make light duty tripods that look heavy (hard to tell from pics). I already bought a quickset tripod that looked heavy duty that turned out being very lightweight with lots of vibration. Its a nice general purpose tripod so no big deal but of course I can not keep buying tripods to try them out. It seems very hard to find information when trying to check out ones on ebay too.

Gear head would be find, in fact it would be preferable.

I'm almost tempted to make one. Is the mount between the tripod and a head standard or do different brands vary? Perhaps I could buy a head and make a tripod (doesn't have to collapse really short and weight is no issue). I do have metal working skills though no machine equipment (though you would be surprised what I can make by hand).

Any thoughts?

09-15-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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Old wooden ones? Check on the KEH site for used ones?

If weight is not an issue I have a old aluminum one that I think was used for surveyors instruments or something. Very heavy, very sturdy but I don't use it as it is too heavy to hike with. PM me if you want to talk about it.
09-15-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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Long time ago I made a tripod myself from steel tubing, for an astronomical telescope. But it is a *lot* of work, especially if you add braces. I would buy one.
See also https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/169971-te...endations.html
09-15-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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I just bought a Fancier FT-6905 on the big auction site for a very reasonable price. I got it to support a Pentacon Six TL, and it does the job. It should be solid and steady with long telephoto lenses, too.

09-15-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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I use a giant Benbo #2, which also has the ability to be extremely tall. It is not cheap new, but I got one used for under $100.

Most most secure and stable set-up is actually just a big pot lid with a head attached that I use as a ground pod, but also works good on a picnic table to get a bit of height.
09-15-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nparsons13 Quote
I just bought a Fancier FT-6905 on the big auction site for a very reasonable price. I got it to support a Pentacon Six TL, and it does the job. It should be solid and steady with long telephoto lenses, too.
One of those recently went for $60 on ebay (well within my budget). How solid would you say it is? I'm looking for something rock solid (I'm trying to eliminate movement/vibration when turning the focus ring on the end of a long lens).
09-15-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Old wooden ones? Check on the KEH site for used ones?

If weight is not an issue I have a old aluminum one that I think was used for surveyors instruments or something. Very heavy, very sturdy but I don't use it as it is too heavy to hike with. PM me if you want to talk about it.
While I have no objection to wood, I was thinking a heavy metal one. Search majestic tripod on ebay and you will see what I'm kind of hoping for were I to buy one.

On a side note, is anyone familiar with the majestic tripods? Are they as heavy as they look? I'm still kicking myself as I had to work late, and missed one for about $70 shipped. It was a little rough but fully functional.

On the surveyors tripod, do they have similar mounting to a camera tripod (or something not too terribly hard to adapt)?
09-15-2013, 12:50 PM   #8
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The head you use is half the battle, but nothing COMPLETELY eliminates vibrations, especially when you are taking your hand on and off...

09-15-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobayashi.K Quote
Long time ago I made a tripod myself from steel tubing, for an astronomical telescope. But it is a *lot* of work, especially if you add braces. I would buy one.
See also https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/169971-te...endations.html
I was thinking shaped 2x4's if that gives you an idea how little I care about it being heavy. Steel pipe sounds like a good idea too. The basic tripod seems like it would be easy enough to build (I'm good at such things). Having an adjustable height column might be a bit harder (something that clamps might be easy enough, something geared, very hard). The head is much more of an issue. If I had access to a machine shop it would be east but by hand, not so easy (maybe doable though depending on how its designed). If I could find a good sturdy head I could always just build the tripod.
09-15-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
The head you use is half the battle, but nothing COMPLETELY eliminates vibrations, especially when you are taking your hand on and off...
I'm thinking with the tripods I have the larger part of the problem is in the head. I don't really care if the head is quick and easy to operate as long as it is solid. Taking my hands on and off are the problem too. With timer or remote, the tripods I have can hold the equipment and take the picture just fine. Touching the end of a long lens to manually focus is where I am having the most trouble. I would like a setup that is so heavy/stiff that the lens isn't going to vibrate when touched (or at least minimized to the point that I can tell when it is in focus). If I build something, I'm thinking of incorporating a lens support too to avoid vibration in the lens itself too. Even If I buy something I'll build some lens supports.

The majestic tripods I have been looking at for instance are designed for full size professional video cameras if I am not mistaken. They often have a 6-7" metal mounting plate if that gives you any idea.
09-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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It may take some searching, but Sears had some very heavy duty tripods in the late 70's and 80's. I have my father's from then, it weighs a few pounds and is solid aluminum and steel. I've seen them in thrift shops and yard sales for a few bucks.
09-22-2013, 08:42 AM   #12
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I use a Hahnel Triad 30 Lite and it's a great tripod. It's reasonably heavy'ish, is very sturdy, has a very nice ball head, a spiti level and only costs about 40. Here it is :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hahnel-Triad-30-Professional-Aluminium/dp/B00361EC1S...+Triad+30+Lite

I've had two of these now, one when I had a camera last year, then I had to sell ym camera because of needing money, so when I got a new Pentax 30 last month there was only one cheap choice for me, the Hahnel Triad 30 Lite because I remembered how amazing it was last time I had one. I've tried quite a few out, lie Manfrotto, Velbon, Hahnel, Hama and Camlink, and for the money the Hahnel is the best, in my opinion, it rapes any from Camlink, Hama and Velbon at this price because for one thing, most tripods at this price are plastic, the Hahnel Triad 30 Lite is metal.
09-22-2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by richardstringer Quote
I use a Hahnel Triad 30 Lite and it's a great tripod. It's reasonably heavy'ish, is very sturdy, has a very nice ball head, a spiti level and only costs about 40. Here it is :

Hahnel Triad 30 Lite Professional Aluminium Alloy: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

I've had two of these now, one when I had a camera last year, then I had to sell ym camera because of needing money, so when I got a new Pentax 30 last month there was only one cheap choice for me, the Hahnel Triad 30 Lite because I remembered how amazing it was last time I had one. I've tried quite a few out, lie Manfrotto, Velbon, Hahnel, Hama and Camlink, and for the money the Hahnel is the best, in my opinion, it rapes any from Camlink, Hama and Velbon at this price because for one thing, most tripods at this price are plastic, the Hahnel Triad 30 Lite is metal.
Thanks. I'll check out that brand and or model, and see if they are available in the US. I've been keeping an eye out on ebay too and see some possible candidates. I think I have decided to buy something sturdier than I have, but I am also going to start (at my leisure), building an extra heavy duty one (very heavy, very sturdy, with some sort of vibration dampening built in). I may just build the tripod and buy a head though (well see how involved I get). It will be a long term project though.
09-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #14
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If the current tripod is ok in most aspects apart from weight, then perhaps instead of making a completely new one, you could make some sort of clamps/trays/brackets to hold some ballast?

To be really simple, tie a brick to each leg?
09-23-2013, 06:21 AM   #15
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No offence, but who wants to carry three bricks around with them whenever they carry their tripod? He's better off getting a heavier tripod than carrying bricks with him.
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