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03-07-2007, 12:50 AM   #1
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The difficulty of buying tripods

I am due to get a new tripod to support my K10D with grip. I dont plan on getting any seriously long glass in the future, no more than max 200mm so I dont need a high load capacity tripod.

I have been narrowing it down and I am left with the manfrotto 190PRO and the Velbon Sherpa Pro 540.

Important pros and cons:
190PRO:
pros: quite a bit cheaper than the velbon, nice lateral arm, lots of good recommendations, respected brand
cons: heavy (1.9kg), min length is 56cm which is too long to fit in my bag

Sherpa PRO:
pros: light (1.36kg), short (44cm), built in spikes, carbon fiber
cons: expensive, no lateral arm, hard to find reviews, people normally just recommend manfrotto and gitzo and seem to consider velbon as second rate

In short if the Sherpa Pro had a lateral arm then it would just outclass the manfrotto so badly that I could not make myself go for the manfrotto. As it is and with so many people recommending the manfrotto and the cheaper price I find myself leaning towards the 190pro, however I am afraid that I will hardly use it outside my house because of the heavy weight and long length I already find it heavy dragging around a big K10D with flash and 5-6 lenses, my shoulders sometimes have red stripes where the shoulder strap of my camera bag was.

I plan to put a Manfrotto 322rc head on the tripod legs I get.

I wonder why the velbon is not as popular, considering it clearly is better on paper.

03-07-2007, 03:16 AM   #2
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I own a Manfrotto myself, but the Velbon is also a very respected name in tripods.
03-07-2007, 06:20 AM   #3
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Well I guess that depends on who you ask...

I was actually planning on buying a tripod today, but its cold and rainy outside today so I decided against it. Still dont know which one I would go for, I could sway either way right now.

I wonder if anyone on this forum uses a Sherpa Pro or Neo Carmagne series Velbon... please speak up if there is anyone who has used one....

Maybe there should be a gear oppinions database just like the lens one... so hard to get reviews on some tripods.
03-07-2007, 08:07 AM   #4
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Just wanted to say welcome, and!

I have a velbon cx440 and it suits my purposes, since I don't use it too much. I did see that sherpa and it is a very nice tripod.

03-07-2007, 08:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alvin Quote
Just wanted to say welcome, and!

I have a velbon cx440 and it suits my purposes, since I don't use it too much. I did see that sherpa and it is a very nice tripod.
Thanks,

I have a cheap velbon myself, I dont know the model number, I left it behind at my parents house since it was already not able to handle my DS, if I tilted the pan and tilt head then the camera would turn to the side so the lens faces down, if mounted with a moderately heavy lens (28-70 f2.8).

I wish the velbon had some extra accessories like some other manufacturers do. like being able to get horizontal adapter for the center column.
03-07-2007, 09:34 AM   #6
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I personally would go with the Velbon. If the Manfrotto will be a pita to lug around will it stay at home? How much do you plan to use a lateral arm? Can you come up with work arounds? I own an old Manfrotto that was given to me, don't know the model number, but it has an number of features that make it superior IMO.
1 it has it's own shoulder bag so it's easy to carry
2 it's light so it's easy to carry
3 it sets up easily.
4 it can hold my DS and every lens I would be using on it.
It's not a perfect tripod by any sense of the imagination, it's not good in windy conditions, there's no lateral arm, there's no way to hang a bag or weight from the center post, it can't support my Tokina 28-70 f2.8. BUT it's lightweight, easy to carry and easy to set up. So it goes with me and it gets used, and somehow I manage w/o the lateral arm, the weight hanger etc.

NaCl(the best tripod in the world ain't much use sitting in the closet)H2O
03-07-2007, 09:42 AM   #7
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Check out the SLIK tripods - THK Photo Products, Inc. I don't think any of them have a lateral arm stock, but they are well built, fairly light and inexpensive. I bought a Pro 330DX - works great!

03-07-2007, 10:50 AM   #8
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I also have a SLIK tripod and like it. I did end up buying a ball head for it after using it for awhile and it's really nice.
03-07-2007, 12:01 PM   #9
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I use a Velbon Sherpa something, here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/everything-else/1452-tripods-bags-lightin...html#post10233
03-07-2007, 07:50 PM   #10
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I have a Slik Pro 330 DX as well. I got a Manfrotto 484RC2 ballhead for it and the combination works really well. It's light enough that I don't mind carrying it out with me and it's sturdy enough in most situations.
03-07-2007, 09:43 PM   #11
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Thanks to those who have replied with comments.
Hah..today I happened to be near some camera stores in the morning and thought I would go over and look at the two tripods in store and decide there, but alas they had not opened yet at 9am in the morning. I think some higher power is keeping me from getting a tripod

I had a new thought, i had previously looked at feisol tripods and I do like all the accessories. I believe that if I for instance want to combine a sherpa pro with a manfrotto 322rc ballhead, it should be possible to slap a feisol panning base underneath the ballhead. Since the ballheads wekaness is panning and altho some ballheads have a panning feature, the 322 does not seem to.

Have a look here:
PB

I imagine it has a standard head mount screw underneath so it should fit on any set of legs as long as the screw diameter is the same.

Now I guess if you really really wanted a lateral arm on a velbon set of legs, you could take the same approach and get the feisol center column horizontal converter, though you would have to buy the center column as well and end up with two center columns and a lot of gear, then better to go all out on a feisol in that case. although feisols are quite expensive if you want all the extras.
03-07-2007, 11:40 PM   #12
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I have a Manfrotto 486RC2 head on the top of my Velbon Sherpa/El Carmagne 630. The head os okay but tend to dip a bit which is expected but still a bit irritating. I have thought about changing it to a Manfrotto 468MGRC2 head instead. It is USD 300 but take heavy loads and use a hydraulic system for the locking function and also features an independent panning function.

I'm very happy with the legs, lightweight but sturdy.
03-08-2007, 05:14 AM   #13
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Sherpa 600R used here.
Has its own head and this has a single handle for panning and tilting that is silky smooth. Holds all the weight I have put on it and quite stable. Specs here:

Velbon The tripod inovators

But I also have a very light noname made in china tripod that can fit in a back pack that I can climb a mountain and walk a distance with that also sees some use.

Good luck with your choice - prolly like bags and lenses - no single solution for all occasions and contexts.
03-08-2007, 07:09 AM   #14
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Giottos & Benro

QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
I am due to get a new tripod to support my K10D with grip.
I feel your pain in finding a tripod. I probably spent more time deciding on a tripod than all other stuff combined.
I ended up with a Giottos 1001/652 ballhead and a Benro C-058 CF. I calculated my needs for max. a DS w/100macro so you might want to bump up one model on each.
A local store had Gitzos, Manfrottos and Velbon tripods and I couldn't see any advantage to the extra money for the Manfrottos or Gitzos. I didn't get a lateral arm as I can't see the advantage of suspending my camera away from the centre of gravity as the Giottos ballhead has a groove that lets me point it straight down if necessary.
I bought the Giottos as it was the cheapest ballhead I could find that had tension control, quick release and panning. I have seen comments complaining about the quality of construction, but I can't agree. I got the Benro because it had the best price for a CF with sufficient capacity and I think, is built extremely well built and includes spiked and rubber tips, a carrying strap and a carrying case. Sine I found it in a store, I didn't have to take the risk of buying it unseen.
Links: ball head series :: Carbon Mountaineer c-058
I ended up spending abot $400 Canadian.
03-13-2007, 12:04 AM   #15
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and,
Spend the money now or waste some and spend it later. Get the best one you can even if you can't afford it. Sooner or later youre going to want a high quality tripod. If you get that Gitzo, Benro or Feisol carbon fiber model now you wont regret it later and have to try to sell off some inferior product to try to recoup your expense.
The Gitzo is top notch and will hold its value for resale.

Just my 2sentz,
JayT
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