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01-29-2011, 11:29 PM   #31
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Look for a quick-release plate for the camera, spirit levels or a bubble on the head, and if you are using it outdoors for legs that don't have a brace but can splay individually. I've taken relatively long exposure photos on narrow rocky ledges and with a braced leg tripod it wouldn't have been possible. My own tripod is a Velbon but sorry, no idea what model it is.

Also check to see if you can change the battery without taking the plate off.

01-29-2011, 11:43 PM   #32
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Coming into this rather late... but I think nobody has mentioned Induro yet. The "Adventure Series" is a complete kit with case; I got the mid-price one a couple of years ago, after using a little old thing that probably qualified as an antique, & seized up in the cold, for years.
They are very light, inexpensive as tripods go... the opening in the case is just about an inch too small, turning it into a bit of a wrestling match to get the tripod in, plus the very nice matte black finish chips somewhat easily... but otherwise I like mine.
Found a couple of reviews:
Induro ABO Adventure Series Tripod Review

Induro Introduces Adventure Series Tripods - Outdoor Photographer | OutdoorPhotographer.com

Hope you find something you like, vega.
01-30-2011, 09:32 AM   #33
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I bought a Dolica when I first got my K20D, I gave it away shortly after, the ballhead was too weak, you had to aim the camera high and hope it fell to the right spot. I can't tell you if it's the same model it's been over a year. Previous to that I had a $7 Samsonite aluminum tripod with a pan head from Microcenter that performed much better than the Dolica.

A little over a year ago I purchased an Induro A213 Tripod and SA-23 Ballhead from Midwest Photo for about $140 total. I'm happy with it, it's heavy, but very sturdy, and does have a nice bag with a padded shoulder strap. The store I got it from specializes in lighting and gear and they do have a lot in stock. If you can find a place like that you can actually see the various tripods and heads and compare them.
01-30-2011, 11:52 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I bought a Dolica when I first got my K20D, I gave it away shortly after, the ballhead was too weak, you had to aim the camera high and hope it fell to the right spot. I can't tell you if it's the same model it's been over a year. Previous to that I had a $7 Samsonite aluminum tripod with a pan head from Microcenter that performed much better than the Dolica.
The Dolica I got is relatively new, about 6 months, and I haven't experienced this problem, so maybe they changed the design. It feels solid if everything is tightened properly. However, I just took a look at the increased price, and it's not as good of a deal as it used to be.

01-30-2011, 01:09 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vote4Pedro Quote
The Dolica I got is relatively new, about 6 months, and I haven't experienced this problem, so maybe they changed the design. It feels solid if everything is tightened properly. However, I just took a look at the increased price, and it's not as good of a deal as it used to be.
I'm glad to hear that it is an improvement, it's actually a much better deal if it's improved quality!
02-21-2011, 10:10 AM   #36
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone I'm still shopping around hope this thread helps others. Today on Meritline they have a deal for a Fotopro monopod w/ Ballhead for $34.99 w/ FS
Fotopro Monopod and Ball Head, Aluminum Magnesium Tubes, Universal Camera Screw with 3/8 & 1/4, 58" Max. Height
02-21-2011, 12:30 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by vega Quote
Thanks for the suggestions everyone I'm still shopping around hope this thread helps others. Today on Meritline they have a deal for a Fotopro monopod w/ Ballhead for $34.99 w/ FS
< Is this code useful to you? http:///forums/showthread.php?t=2689563 >

Tripod selection can usually be boiled down to one simple choice equation.

Pick Two:

[ ] Stable
[ ] Lightweight
[ ] Cheap

They're not an important item really because people only usually clamp a $500+ camera on them 1.5+ metres up in the air.
And you can always put the money saved on a low durability tripod towards a new camera.
Or buy a new low durability tripod every 3 months when that looked a real clever design when new funny shaped weak part of it breaks.


.R. -- I don't need to buy a safe car yet, I'm only just learning to drive.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 02-21-2011 at 01:00 PM.
02-21-2011, 11:29 PM   #38
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I bought a $40 Dynex tripod from Best Buy (on sale for $30) am pretty darn happy with it. It is very adjustable and pretty stable as long as you don't extend it to its maximum height. The main drawback is what I just mentioned - if extended to its maximum 60", the center column is not stable enough for my liking. However, I am 5'7" and can use the viewfinder without too much effort unless I am photographing the full moon at midnight (right over head) - then I use the live view! It has a pan head, which works just fine for me, especially when taking panorama shots, and it does double duty for videoing. I have used it in windy conditions with no issues with up to 30s exposures and am comfortable letting my big dogs go past it without panicking that their tails will knock it over! I mostly use mine for long, night time exposures and some macro work. I love that it is quick and easy to set up, is compact and lightweight (23" & 6.9lbs), and comes with a nice carrying bag. Portability is important for me. Until you are certain you really need a more expensive tripod, I would save some pennies, get something decent but inexpensive.

Here's the link for the one I have:

Dynex™ - 60" Universal Tripod - DX-TRP60

02-22-2011, 09:25 AM   #39
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I would suggest this one, I have it as my light cheap tripod and it works very well

Slik Sprint Pro II GM Tripod with Ballhead - Supports 611-849
02-25-2011, 12:59 PM   #40
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I bought a Dolica Proline Tripod I was browsing craigslist and found someone was selling one in my area brand new for $20 bucks i jumped on it after reading the suggestions here and amazon and for $20 I saw no wrong with this deal until i can save up and get a manfrotto like many suggested.

But to keep this thread alive and help others, just discovered this deal
Sunpak Flex Pod Pro Plus Camera Tripod with Ballhead and 3-Way Panhead $8.97 w/ FS
Daily Deals at Yugly Prices - Yugster.com
02-25-2011, 03:35 PM   #41
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Good you found something. But:

QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Look for a quick-release plate for the camera, spirit levels or a bubble on the head,
These are exactly the things to *not* look for in a cheap tripod. Cheap bubble levels may have nothing to do with level, and don't make up for legs or heads that don't work well, and cheap quick-releases are just an equation for something that doesn't even clamp down solidly.

If you're going cheap, keep it simple. (Arca-style plates are fine: they clamp down with screws and it's hard to mess that up. Fancy proprietary quick-releases are best something bought in a real form. Quality QR systems can be added to any ordinary old tripod screw if you like, a wobbly plastic or spring-dependent QR mount is worthless regardless of what's above or below it.


QuoteQuote:
and if you are using it outdoors for legs that don't have a brace but can splay individually. I've taken relatively long exposure photos on narrow rocky ledges and with a braced leg tripod it wouldn't have been possible. My own tripod is a Velbon but sorry, no idea what model it is.
This part's pretty much right, though: braces won't much help a poorly-made or under-built tripod: generally-speaking, a good bargain won't need them, and they'll only get in the way for most purposes.


QuoteQuote:
Also check to see if you can change the battery without taking the plate off.
Again, if you're trying to go cheap, this kind of thing will not help you if the tripod isn't steady. (Never mind if you intend to go through batteries while the camera's mounted. )

Don't be fooled by fancy features. If it's cheap, keep it simple. Fancy and cheap and 'doesn't work' is not going to impress you with 'features' for long.
02-25-2011, 04:03 PM   #42
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Vega:

The best advise you can get, do NOT scrimp on a tripod. As was said, get a versatile one, but also one that is sturdy, rugged and easy to fix/adjust in the field. If you are 6'2", then get a tall tripod (I am 6'5"). You can get lower to the ground than your stature allows easily enough, but you do not want to be bending down to a small tripod all the time. Literally a pain in the back. Plus, sometimes you want a high vantage point.

Also, carry the tripod you THINK you want to get around in the store for about 10 minutes. If it is too heavy after 10 minutes, what's it going to be after an hour? They cost more, but this is one of the advantages of the carbon fiber pods, light and strong/sturdy.

When you get the tripod, get a good tripod carry strap to go with it. Forget a case, you will hate it and never use it in the field (and you may loose it there).

Get a good tripod now and it will last you forever. I have three, and went cheap with the first one (the second was gotten to support a view camera, the third for field work). I do use the third one most of the time! I have had my tripods for over 30 years and they still work great. (Bogen/Manfrotto)

Last edited by BigDave; 02-25-2011 at 04:05 PM. Reason: typo
02-25-2011, 04:12 PM   #43
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+1 good advice
My manfrotto has served me very well and predates carbon fibre
The main reason id by a new one would be for weight
But for now i can stand the weight
02-25-2011, 04:47 PM   #44
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I kind of like the weight, I need the exercise.

Vega, one point that you should adhere to, which ever pod you get, make sure there is a quick release system on it. It makes life SOOO much easier in the field and breaks the habit of keeping your camera on the pod while walking with it (and then you drop the tripod WITH the camera or turn around and smack the camera on something hard), thereby ruining your day of shooting!

And as much as I believe you should support your local camera store, if trying to save some money, eBay is a good alternative, especially on used items. A 3021 leg set with a 3047 head is a killer combo, or the current equivalent. A bit heavy though. Used prices are easier on the wallet. Just buy from a 5 star seller.
02-25-2011, 08:38 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Go to a store and get the heaviest you can stand to carry a a price you can afford...
I got a Hama-Omega Premium- very 'mid-range' all metal parts... no plastic... and stable as... Just short of 80 gbp...

Don't know what name Hama go under in the US tho...
Pretty much what I did as well, I ended up getting a Vanguard Tracker 3. Its pretty beefy, and I wouldn't want to take it on long hikes, but its very stable and with little kids around I can't afford to have a light weight easy to knock over setup.
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