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05-11-2015, 05:30 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
There are certain areas of photography where the tripods START at $750.
Yeah that's just scary...
Don't tell my Fiancee that!

She thinks it's ridiculous I just spent $750 on a lens.

05-11-2015, 05:48 PM   #17
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it is ridiculous but you will have great pics! after that she may change her mind.................
05-11-2015, 06:02 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
She thinks it's ridiculous I just spent $750 on a lens.
Personally I find it ridiculous that you spent $1,000 on a camera and $750 on a lens and then have a budget of $100 for the tripod that is going to support them.
I realize not everyone agrees with me on this but I think a cheap tripod is a complete waste of money. A good tripod is a good friend you will have for a lifetime, a cheap one is a pain in the rear that you waste money on. I can tell you from experience that there is a world of difference between things that look like tripods and a real one that works properly. I went through three 'cheap' ones before I decided to quit fooling around and got a good one. I've had it for 3 year now and see no reason I won't pass it on to my son.
05-11-2015, 06:08 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Personally I find it ridiculous that you spent $1,000 on a camera and $750 on a lens and then have a budget of $100 for the tripod that is going to support them.
I realize not everyone agrees with me on this but I think a cheap tripod is a complete waste of money. A good tripod is a good friend you will have for a lifetime, a cheap one is a pain in the rear that you waste money on. I can tell you from experience that there is a world of difference between things that look like tripods and a real one that works properly. I went through three 'cheap' ones before I decided to quit fooling around and got a good one. I've had it for 3 year now and see no reason I won't pass it on to my son.
I totally understand.

The cheapo $25 tripod I initially bought was probably a waste of $25... You're right.
But the replacement they sent me is actually very nice for the price point (not available any longer).

Just to clarify. I have more than $100 in budget for a tripod.
I probably worded that wrong from the beginning. My point with the $100 figure was simply because the $40 tripod I have, including ball head, is more sturdy and more smooth than some of my friends' $300 legs alone.

I guess I wanted to know at what point does it matter if it's not a name brand and it's the same materials and feels sturdy... Is the load capacity mainly to do with the ball head? Because that is definitely something I agree should be upgraded...


Last edited by UserAccessDenied; 05-11-2015 at 06:17 PM.
05-11-2015, 06:08 PM   #20
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hahahaha! sorry but that's hilarious!
05-11-2015, 06:15 PM   #21
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Like this:
Vanguard TBH 300 Ball Head New Arca Swiss Compatible Ballhead 66 lb Capacity | eBay

Or am I better off just biting the bullet on a gimbal and invest in a bigger bag to travel with it detached and inside...

Opteka GH1 Pro Heavy Duty Gimbal Head with Quick Release Supports Up to 30lbs | eBay

And these look nice too:
Induro AT214 Alloy 8M at Series Tripod 65 8" Extended Black 6931747350131 | eBay

So basically I can piece meal this thing in stages (but buy the head first since the legs I currently have are pretty solid)
And keep it all under $300 still

---------- Post added 05-11-15 at 09:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
hahahaha! sorry but that's hilarious!
I'm not saying in terms of longevity...
I'm simply saying the replacement tripod I was sent on day 1 was much more functional in the field.

I was able to actually get some shots off while he was fiddling with stiff legs and a wobbly center column.

Yes, it is actually pretty funny.
05-11-2015, 06:36 PM   #22
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in the context I got it for sure.....but it seems you have a good grip on what ya want and close to figuring it out
good luck and happy shooting!

05-11-2015, 06:38 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
in the context I got it for sure.....but it seems you have a good grip on what ya want and close to figuring it out
good luck and happy shooting!

Thanks for the help.
Cheers!
05-11-2015, 07:13 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
So basically I can piece meal this thing in stages (but buy the head first since the legs I currently have are pretty solid)
And keep it all under $300 still
Yes, you can do it. Takes some reading of reviews with skepticism, and probably some judicious returns (thanks, Amazon), but you can start where you are and work up to a solid platform for your Bigma.

Here's another recent thread where a bunch of us pitched in to talk about various tripods and then ball heads, and why to buy one or the other. The gear we talk about gets expensive, but it's just talk!

BTW, your old model Ravelli can still be purchased as an Amazon Basics tripod. They are both made by the same company in China, and each "brand" (Amazon, Ravelli, Dolica, etc.) pays a few $'s per tripod to stick their label on them, or change one thing or another. About 80% of tripods you can buy online are made this way, since it is much cheaper and faster to buy pre-built and stick a label on something, than trying to build a big company like Manfrotto all by yourself.

I freely admit that as a longtime panorama shooter (which requires a tripod most of the time, and a big one for my gear), I was a tripod and head snob when it came to anything made in a giant factory in China... patting my $800 Gitzo (made in a giant factory in Italy, ahem) and smiling to myself. Today there are people patting their $1500 Really Right Stuff tripods and smiling condescendingly at me! Of course, before the Gitzo, I started with a $200 tripod from an unknown bike-frame maker in Taiwan (Feisol), which lasted 10 years and took thousands of panos!

When I was gathering 10 giant ball heads for a massive review, I thought "what the hell, include one of those cheapie Chinese-brand ball heads for fun" fully expecting it to suck. It was a Sirui K-40x, before Sirui was even distributed in North America. Guess what? I had to swallow any remaining brand or nationality bias really hard when comparing that low-price Sirui to other brands like Arca-Swiss, Really Right Stuff, and Novoflex. It not only got the job done, it was better at it!

What I've learned is that if a highly demanding tripod-a-holic like myself can be satisfied with a tripod or head made in a giant Chinese factory, there's no reason that a $40 tripod won't fit your needs for the foreseeable future. Upgrade when, and if, you need to. You'll know it, because you'll hesitate before grabbing that tripod, even when you know using it will make your photos better (sunset landscapes, anyone?). That's the point, right?

Last edited by panoguy; 05-11-2015 at 07:20 PM.
05-11-2015, 07:26 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
I totally understand. The cheapo $25 tripod I initially bought was probably a waste of $25... You're right. But the replacement they sent me is actually very nice for the price point (not available any longer). Just to clarify. I have more than $100 in budget for a tripod. I probably worded that wrong from the beginning. My point with the $100 figure was simply because the $40 tripod I have, including ball head, is more sturdy and more smooth than some of my friends' $300 legs alone. I guess I wanted to know at what point does it matter if it's not a name brand and it's the same materials and feels sturdy... Is the load capacity mainly to do with the ball head? Because that is definitely something I agree should be upgraded...
Glad you understand, I bought a $50 tripod, a $100 tripod and a $225 tripod. Total cost $375, The $50 one went in the trash years ago, the $100 one broke after six months and I gifted the $225 one to my DIL because I could not stand it anymore. I bought a set of Manfrotto 055 carbon legs and the Acratech GP, cost together about $700. I wasted $375 that would have gone a long way toward a real tripod. Now I have an excellent tool that I use almost every day but it cost me $1,075 instead of the $700 it should have because I was stupid.

Load capacity is separate for the legs and the head. So it is possible to get a nice set of sticks and put a cheap head on it and get a fail. Both have to be at least rated enough for your heaviest gear * 2. So weigh up your heaviest lens + camera, double that and that is the capacity you need AT MINIMUM. But all that means is that the tripod will not bend or break with that load. If you want vibration free and peace of mind think even heavier. Aluminum legs are most cost effective, carbon fiber lighter and supposedly damp vibrations better.

Even a few years ago unless you went with name brands like Manfrotto you basically were buying junk. But today there are many "knock off" brands that are producing quite good quality and surprising prices. But pay careful attention to reviews on those, some are great some not so much

Also consider buying used. KEH often has very good deals on used equipment that is much heavier duty than what you could afford new. They currently have a set of Bogen 3021 sticks for $49 and a set of 190's for $79. of course you still need a head to go with that.

For travel tripods things are a little different. Light weight and small size are more important and so you give up some capacity or height. My MeFoto works great as long as I do not extend all the way and for me that is a fair compromise for a tripod I can throw in my carry on and take with me. I would not do that with the Manfrotto.
05-11-2015, 07:30 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Yes, you can do it. Takes some reading of reviews with skepticism, and probably some judicious returns (thanks, Amazon), but you can start where you are and work up to a solid platform for your Bigma.

Here's another recent thread where a bunch of us pitched in to talk about various tripods and then ball heads, and why to buy one or the other. The gear we talk about gets expensive, but it's just talk!

BTW, your old model Ravelli can still be purchased as an Amazon Basics tripod. They are both made by the same company in China, and each "brand" (Amazon, Ravelli, Dolica, etc.) pays a few $'s per tripod to stick their label on them, or change one thing or another. About 80% of tripods you can buy online are made this way, since it is much cheaper and faster to buy pre-built and stick a label on something, than trying to build a big company like Manfrotto all by yourself.

I freely admit that as a longtime panorama shooter (which requires a tripod most of the time, and a big one for my gear), I was a tripod and head snob when it came to anything made in a giant factory in China... patting my $800 Gitzo (made in a giant factory in Italy, ahem) and smiling to myself. Today there are people patting their $1500 Really Right Stuff tripods and smiling condescendingly at me! Of course, before the Gitzo, I started with a $200 tripod from an unknown bike-frame maker in Taiwan (Feisol), which lasted 10 years and took thousands of panos!

When I was gathering 10 giant ball heads for a massive review, I thought "what the hell, include one of those cheapie Chinese-brand ball heads for fun" fully expecting it to suck. It was a Sirui K-40x, before Sirui was even distributed in North America. Guess what? I had to swallow any remaining brand or nationality bias really hard when comparing that low-price Sirui to other brands like Arca-Swiss, Really Right Stuff, and Novoflex. It not only got the job done, it was better at it!

What I've learned is that if a highly demanding tripod-a-holic like myself can be satisfied with a tripod or head made in a giant Chinese factory, there's no reason that a $40 tripod won't fit your needs for the foreseeable future. Upgrade when, and if, you need to. You'll know it, because you'll hesitate before grabbing that tripod, even when you know using it will make your photos better (sunset landscapes, anyone?). That's the point, right?

Thanks so much!
I completely agree it all comes down to the individual photographer's needs.

I wonder if the Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod would support my K-30 with Bigma?
Just as that thread states... I'd prefer to have one tripod that I can travel with and not have something so cumbersome that I have to check it anytime I fly.

---------- Post added 05-11-15 at 10:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Glad you understand, I bought a $50 tripod, a $100 tripod and a $225 tripod. Total cost $375, The $50 one went in the trash years ago, the $100 one broke after six months and I gifted the $225 one to my DIL because I could not stand it anymore. I bought a set of Manfrotto 055 carbon legs and the Acratech GP, cost together about $700. I wasted $375 that would have gone a long way toward a real tripod. Now I have an excellent tool that I use almost every day but it cost me $1,075 instead of the $700 it should have because I was stupid.

Load capacity is separate for the legs and the head. So it is possible to get a nice set of sticks and put a cheap head on it and get a fail. Both have to be at least rated enough for your heaviest gear * 2. So weigh up your heaviest lens + camera, double that and that is the capacity you need AT MINIMUM. But all that means is that the tripod will not bend or break with that load. If you want vibration free and peace of mind think even heavier. Aluminum legs are most cost effective, carbon fiber lighter and supposedly damp vibrations better.

Even a few years ago unless you went with name brands like Manfrotto you basically were buying junk. But today there are many "knock off" brands that are producing quite good quality and surprising prices. But pay careful attention to reviews on those, some are great some not so much

Also consider buying used. KEH often has very good deals on used equipment that is much heavier duty than what you could afford new. They currently have a set of Bogen 3021 sticks for $49 and a set of 190's for $79. of course you still need a head to go with that.

For travel tripods things are a little different. Light weight and small size are more important and so you give up some capacity or height. My MeFoto works great as long as I do not extend all the way and for me that is a fair compromise for a tripod I can throw in my carry on and take with me. I would not do that with the Manfrotto.
What's the most you've felt comfortable with mounting on the MeFoto? That's very similar to the Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod correct?
05-11-2015, 08:32 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
What's the most you've felt comfortable with mounting on the MeFoto? That's very similar to the Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod correct?
I've used it with the DA*60-250 and felt that was marginal. That was with two sections of legs extended. With the DA*16-50 or any reasonable prime it was fine. I used it for a couple of portrait shoots with the Da 70 Limited and it worked a treat. That's all with the k-3 plus a wireless flash controller.

Just don't over tax it. No big glass. Don't extend any further than you need to. Be extra careful if it's windy. If it feels iffy, it is iffy
05-11-2015, 10:17 PM   #28
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I am very happy with my Manfrotto 190XPRO B and Manfrotto head 808RC4, especially for the price I paid for... While the local retailer (Henry's) had all tripods on sale few years ago (I think 50% off or more) I got myself 190XPROB tripod and was searching for the tripod head. At Henry's a very nice staff member showed me all heads they had but brought to my attention that they have two boxes with something missing there. When I looked into first box the attachment plate was missing and in the second one just one of the screws (I think smaller one on the attachment or quick release plate) was missing and I thought anyway I don't need that one and with negotiations paid whopping 40$ for it. I was very happy camper when latter I stopped at the Vistek (other local retailer when I lived in Toronto) to pick up lens I left to be serviced and asked them if they have the missing screw. Guess what... They had it and I paid 10$ for it... In total setting me with 50$ for the head.

Since than I never needed a better tripod but still I liked very much the carbon fibre version of the Manfrotto's 055CXPRO3. It was superior in any way to the one I got but for $220 incl. tax I cannot complain.

I checked Gitzos as well but they were out of my price range... They had also Amvona brand which I did not knew but my impression was very positive about that brand.

Still up to now my favourite is Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 which I used for some time from a friend that got it on my recommendation and let me use it for some time, just to to compare with one I got.

Just my 2c.

Last edited by RAART; 05-11-2015 at 10:23 PM.
05-12-2015, 09:11 AM   #29
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I just found this:
Buy 3 Legged Thing EVO3 Punks Rick Carbon Fiber Tripod with Mohawk Ball Head - Outdoor Photo Gear

For $250, carbon fiber tripod and head with 350lbs direct force load and 80+lb directional load capacity...
Can someone explain why this would not be a good option?
I guess it only extends to 59'' or so...
05-12-2015, 10:59 AM   #30
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in order to stay within a budget, I would look at something like this
Used Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod MT055XPRO3 B&H Photo

It really depends on how you will use the Bigma too. I found that I liked the simplicity and mobility of a monopod while shooting with the Bigma. I slung it over my shoulder with the lens attached and kept hold of the shoulder strap with the same hand that was carrying the tripod just in case.... Never had a problem and the added stability that the monopod offered was welcomed.
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