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01-06-2021, 10:34 PM   #1
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Need Tripod Suggestion

Hi everyone,

I'm in the market for a used Tripod, less than $100. I currently have a Bogen 3001 that I have had forever back when I used to shoot portraits, etc. Now, I think it's too heavy for backpacking/landscape work. I don't have a huge budget. I have looked thru this forum and have not seen any recent tripod suggestions.

I'm 6' tall.

I like the clamps, versus twist locks on the legs. I like the idea of a built-in Monopod/hiking stick (but not sure it's a necessity). I like the idea of inverting the center column to get low to the ground.

Those are my thoughts...

Not sure if I can find one in this price range?


What should I look for on ebay or my local Craigslist?

Thanks so much in advance for any ideas!

---------- Post added 01-06-21 at 11:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 87Duckfan Quote
Hi everyone,

I'm in the market for a used Tripod, less than $100. I currently have a Bogen 3001 that I have had forever back when I used to shoot portraits, etc. Now, I think it's too heavy for backpacking/landscape work. I don't have a huge budget. I have looked thru this forum and have not seen any recent tripod suggestions.

I'm 6' tall.

I like the clamps, versus twist locks on the legs. I like the idea of a built-in Monopod/hiking stick (but not sure it's a necessity). I like the idea of inverting the center column to get low to the ground.

Those are my thoughts...

Not sure if I can find one in this price range?


What should I look for on ebay or my local Craigslist?

Thanks so much in advance for any ideas!
Oh, I'm also looking at a Slik Able 300 DX for $40. Anyone ever owned one of these? Good or bad feedback?

---------- Post added 01-07-21 at 12:07 AM ----------

This looks too good to be true:

K&F Concept SA254C1 Professional Carbon Fiber Tripod KF09.091

No reviews though...???

01-07-2021, 01:30 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by 87Duckfan Quote
Hi everyone,

I'm in the market for a used Tripod, less than $100. I currently have a Bogen 3001 that I have had forever back when I used to shoot portraits, etc. Now, I think it's too heavy for backpacking/landscape work. I don't have a huge budget. I have looked thru this forum and have not seen any recent tripod suggestions.

I'm 6' tall.

I like the clamps, versus twist locks on the legs. I like the idea of a built-in Monopod/hiking stick (but not sure it's a necessity). I like the idea of inverting the center column to get low to the ground.

Those are my thoughts...

Not sure if I can find one in this price range?


What should I look for on ebay or my local Craigslist?

Thanks so much in advance for any ideas!

---------- Post added 01-06-21 at 11:36 PM ----------


Oh, I'm also looking at a Slik Able 300 DX for $40. Anyone ever owned one of these? Good or bad feedback?

---------- Post added 01-07-21 at 12:07 AM ----------

This looks too good to be true:

K&F Concept SA254C1 Professional Carbon Fiber Tripod KF09.091

No reviews though...???
Just a suggestion that you take a look at the Tripod reviews and checkout the Marketplace on the forums!

Tripods - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database



The Photographer's Marketplace - PentaxForums.com
01-07-2021, 03:34 AM   #3
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For the money, this still works for me: Zomei Z-818 Tripod reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
It satisfies almost all your requirements, if not for the twist lock legs.
01-07-2021, 04:07 AM   #4
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I had the K&F Lightweight compact aluminum tripod 67 inch TM2515M1 for Christmas. This is the aluminium version of the carbon fibre one in your original post and appears to be very similar to the Zomei Z818 also mentioned. For the price I think this is very good value. It also has twist grip legs that appear to be secure enough. Seems to be a common theme nowadays to have a removable leg which adds to the centre column to make a monopod. Nice and compact and light. The carbon fibre one should be even better.
Seems to be fairly well made (in China of course) and sturdy enough for a lightweight.

01-07-2021, 05:18 AM   #5
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Be wary of used tripods, there are a lot of bad tripods that people get and just get rid of because they are not sturdy. Iíve had three MeFoto tripods. Two very good, but one called ďAirĒ complete junk. I sold it for much less than the retail price and said it would be ok for a cell phone, it doesnít meet the specs listed for it. And Iím not saying every used tripod has problems, just be careful and have a way out if it is bad.

I have a around six foot tall Induro tripod that I have had for 10 years, I bought the size so I could stand and easily look through the viewfinder. I was just starting out then and didnít realize how often I would be shooting from low angles. Anyway the tall size is great, and I now have a KP which makes shooting from those low angles much easier, I often just extend two of the three sections.

It seems like most of the better tripods have the twist legs instead of the flip. Have you had a problems with a twist leg.
01-07-2021, 05:53 AM   #6
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For a used unit, it's hard to go wrong with one of the older Manfrotto ones. I bought an aluminum model 190, used, about 5 years ago for C$50, and it's been great. Other than tightening some of the clamps (easy 30 second job) the thing has been trouble-free. Very solid, bomb-proof build, nothing to go wrong, really. It has all the features I will need, including reversing the column for mounting the head down low, and leg release to extend to wider splay (very handy in rocky terrain). It holds my dslrs with ease, as well as larger medium format film cameras (e.g. no problems with a Mamiya C330, which is a large, heavy TLR). It's about as big as I'd want to carry for hiking -- not ideal, but doable for me (late 50s age) for a 4-5 hour hike.

If you want something even larger, the older 055 models are super-solid, but of course heavier so not something you'd want to schlep very far.

My 190 came with a standard 3-way head, which I soon replaced with a nice Sirui ballhead. So that's something for you to consider -- buy an older, less expensive tripod, and keep some money aside for a better head.

Hope this helps.

PS -- here's a simple test for buying any tripod, new or used: set it up to full height and lock everything down; tightly grab onto the head and give a good strong twist. If the unit bends or twists or distorts in any way, don't buy it. It should be rock solid and not budge.

Last edited by Viking42; 01-07-2021 at 06:00 AM.
01-07-2021, 06:46 AM   #7
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Honestly, I think 100$ is not enough for a decent tripod. This is an area where there are few deals to be had. You really get what you pay for.

I would suggest to do your homework, purchase something more expensive, and purchase a tripod once. Everyone who tried to save money upfront (including me) have ended up paying more in the long term when they decided to upgrade down the road.

Pick a tripod with an Arca-Swiss plate, whatever you do.

01-07-2021, 07:38 AM   #8
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Asking for tripod suggestions opens a whole can of worms. So I won't suggest any, But I will tell you my story.


I started with an 'Old' Velbon tripod with geared center column I found at a second hand store for about $10. Its actually is a pretty good tripod,

but heavy, cumbersome and awkward, I changed the head to a arca-swiss comparable.

When I finally grew tired of fighting with it, I found a older Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminum Tripod on sale for $80,

Changed out the head for a Benro geared head (Arca-Swiss compatible, Love it) Still use this one quit a lot !.

Then I decided to go full tilt, purchased a Feisol Ct-3472, about $600, and a RRS BH-55 head. the heads great,

the tripod, well, it does the job, its study, stable, light, all the stuff you think a tripod should be. And it gets a lot of use, but, I'm not a fan.

More often than not I'll pull out the Vanguard.

Just my experience.

I will suggest, Like bdery did, what ever you do make sure the head is Arca-Swiss compatible.

Happy Hunting.
01-07-2021, 09:02 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 87Duckfan Quote
Oh, I'm also looking at a Slik Able 300 DX for $40. Anyone ever owned one of these? Good or bad feedback?
I have the Slik 700 Pro DX legs (with Manfrotto head, so can't speak to the Slik heads) and it does the job well. My version is a rather tall and metallic alloy giving it a fair bit of weight that would make it less suited for hiking. I personally like that aspect because I do a lot of long exposure work, and the weight keeps it solid without needing to add a weight bag or anything to it.

The center post is sturdy even at full extension due to a double lock. There's a twist locking collar at the top, and a second tightening knob on the side. I will say if you don't lock both down, there may be a risk of it sliding down unexpectedly with your camera on it. On the other hand, doing that will also leave the post a little unstable. If it's wobbly, then it'll clue you in that one is them isn't fully tightened.

The leg angle limiters seem a little on the weak side from a design standpoint because they don't lock anything in place, and are themselves not able to be fully secured from accidental movement. They pull out to adjust for a wider stance, and there isn't a way to lock them in place. In practice, this hasn't been a big issue. I just have to make sure the legs themselves are up against the angle adjustment limiters during setup. They failsafe to a narrower angle, so once set up, everything does remain in place with no issues

I've had it about 6 months with light use, and no problems so far. I don't know how accurate the load capacity rating is, though. Mine is rated at 15 lbs, but I don't come anywhere near that with my gear.
01-07-2021, 09:04 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Be wary of used tripods, there are a lot of bad tripods that people get and just get rid of because they are not sturdy. Iíve had three MeFoto tripods. Two very good, but one called ďAirĒ complete junk. I sold it for much less than the retail price and said it would be ok for a cell phone, it doesnít meet the specs listed for it. And Iím not saying every used tripod has problems, just be careful and have a way out if it is bad.

I have a around six foot tall Induro tripod that I have had for 10 years, I bought the size so I could stand and easily look through the viewfinder. I was just starting out then and didnít realize how often I would be shooting from low angles. Anyway the tall size is great, and I now have a KP which makes shooting from those low angles much easier, I often just extend two of the three sections.

It seems like most of the better tripods have the twist legs instead of the flip. Have you had a problems with a twist leg.

I just like working with the clamp style, rather than twist. They seem so much faster and easier. But not a huge deal. I could go either way.

Thanks for all the suggestions!!
01-07-2021, 01:08 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
For a used unit, it's hard to go wrong with one of the older Manfrotto ones. ...If you want something even larger, the older 055 models are super-solid, but of course heavier so not something you'd want to schlep very far.
Well, I don't know: this 055 came with me for several hours and miles today (got to go, there's been snow!) Yes, they weigh a bit, but you might like to consider this way of carrying one which I rustled together with some webbing, a buckle/fastener and some stout thread. I don't need a ginormous pack to carry a DSLR and 4 lenses, so this works quite well for me, since I don't like to be without a decent tripod. The tripod weight goes on to the shoulder straps, instead of the bag.






01-07-2021, 01:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
Well, I don't know: this 055 came with me for several hours and miles today (got to go, there's been snow!) Yes, they weigh a bit, but you might like to consider this way of carrying one which I rustled together with some webbing, a buckle/fastener and some stout thread. I don't need a ginormous pack to carry a DSLR and 4 lenses, so this works quite well for me, since I don't like to be without a decent tripod. The tripod weight goes on to the shoulder straps, instead of the bag.
Very clever! I like it. I will have to try that with my 190, which isn't light. I have a Nikon backpack which holds the tripod along one side, which makes it unevenly weighted (maybe this is why I dislike using this pack -- my old Lowepro Flipside, which holds it in the center, is much more comfortable). Your method might work well for the Nikon bag. Thanks!

As for the 055, yours looks newer than the ones I have seen. I borrowed my brother's old one (>20 yrs. old) for a weekend, and it's a beast. The new models may be lighter. Great units though...super stable and solid. If I had larger cameras I would look at getting one.
01-07-2021, 05:00 PM   #13
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I will pass on some advice I read recently that makes sense. Get the cheapest tripod that will hold your gear steady (rated at least 2 times your heaviest camera plus lens) but is light enough that you will actually take it with you and use it. A cheap/bad tripod is better than no tripod. If you get something too heavy/bulky, then you will leave it behind. Then as you use the inexpensive one, figure out what you like and don't like about it and save up for one that has what you've figured out that you will use. That said, that K&F may be exactly what you need. If you get it, make sure to let us know what you think. ramseybuckeye mentioned MeFoto, and I have 2 of those as well. I have one (https://www.adorama.com/bea1350q1rd.html) that's pretty good, light weight and fits in a suitcase or strapped to my bag. The only thing I don't like is that you lock down the ball and it drops a little when you let go. I have another MeFoto "air" (https://www.adorama.com/mfbpairgycam.html? but mine is orange) that could be knocked over by a butterfly, and there are lots of other annoying little things about it. But I take it on almost every trip because as bad as it is, you could just about fit it in your back pocket and you can set it up it in 5 seconds.
01-07-2021, 08:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
Well, I don't know: this 055 came with me for several hours and miles today (got to go, there's been snow!) Yes, they weigh a bit, but you might like to consider this way of carrying one which I rustled together with some webbing, a buckle/fastener and some stout thread. I don't need a ginormous pack to carry a DSLR and 4 lenses, so this works quite well for me, since I don't like to be without a decent tripod. The tripod weight goes on to the shoulder straps, instead of the bag.
You post has inspired me to make a thread about tripods, a new thread to not hijack this one.

Last edited by ramseybuckeye; 01-07-2021 at 09:18 PM.
01-07-2021, 09:06 PM   #15
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Just noticed this deal of the day at Adorama. Vanguard VEO 2 265AB Aluminum Tripod for 50% off, but you have only 10 hours to decide!

https://www.adorama.com/vgveo2265ab.html?
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