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02-26-2011, 11:32 PM   #46
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Inexpensive and decent in one sentence is an oxymororn - such a tripod does not exist. Save up and get something decent and reliable like a Manfrotto 190B, or a similar type in a good brand like Gitzo or Benbo. Cheap usually equals junk.

02-27-2011, 12:14 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Analog6 Quote
Inexpensive and decent in one sentence is an oxymororn - such a tripod does not exist. Save up and get something decent and reliable like a Manfrotto 190B, or a similar type in a good brand like Gitzo or Benbo. Cheap usually equals junk.
Not always.. cheap and light = most likely junk.Carbon fiber tripods are usually expensive for a good one, I wouldn't want a "cheap" carbon fiber tripod, I don't think I would trust it. But cheap and heavy.. well if you can deal with the weight I think you can get decent quality for the price.
03-05-2011, 10:51 PM   #48
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good thread... What I'm wondering is what makes a tripod bad? What would someone look for when they are shopping for one?
03-06-2011, 01:09 AM   #49
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Application is probably the best indicator... P&S tripods can have a cheaper weaker build (head included) because it does not require holding very much weight. SLR/DSLR tripod heads have to support more weight at each pivoting axis, especially when you start putting on bigger lenses that do not have a lens tripod mount. The Tripod Leg locks and extension locks also bear more weight and need a better build. So depending on what you require there are tripods for all uses. Many tripods have some unique features that can be useful, some are just gimmicky. If you intend to do a lot of hiking or carrying your gear all over then carbon fiber might be the eay to go depending on the weight and size of the rest of your gear. myself I'm looking into a small backpack for outings. I can't see needing more than 2-3 lenses spare batteries and SD cards, maybe an extra wireless flashgun if its an overnight trip.. cleaning kits etc. So the extent of weight would be the body and whatever my largest zoom lens will be by then. Thankfully Pentax Primes are small and light, so you could probably carry 4 or 5 and barely notice them. Only the FA 31 and 77 have any real size to them.

03-06-2011, 01:40 AM   #50
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Another vote for Benbo, I've been using one of these for over 30 years now, it offers great flexibility in terms of use.

Due to the unique way the legs and column lock, i.e. one bent bolt, which is where I believe is where the name comes from BENt BOlt. Originally based on a early machine gun tripod mounting from WW1, but that bit info may just be hype.

The larger diameter part of the leg is at the bottom and slides over the upper part. This means the leg is effectively sealed up to the first clamp, on mine that's 0.84m (33") measured from the tip to the clamp, so you can stick it in sand, mud water, whatever you want without problems.

It takes a little getting use to, but the trick is not to loosen it too much, otherwise the legs go every which way.

It extends up to 2.56m (101") and closes down to 1.14m (45") not including any head. Can be picked up over here secondhand for between 50 - 100, plus whatever you want to spend on a head of your choice.

Wots Carbon Fibre? wasn't about 30 years ago.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 03-06-2011 at 01:47 AM.
03-06-2011, 03:21 AM   #51
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I assume your Benbo is not really something you would want to lug around on a weekend excursion though. It may not be much heavier than my Vanguard Tracker 3 though... which tips the scales at 6.75 lb's
03-06-2011, 12:07 PM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by clearlybored Quote
What I'm wondering is what makes a tripod bad? What would someone look for when they are shopping for one?
When I teach my photography class, I devote some time to "camera supports" which of course includes tripods. A tripod at the least should have three camera movements- level (right to left tilting adjustment), Tilt (forward to back tilting adjustment) and Pan (to "sweep" through an image). When you lock down the tripod into a position, it should stay there! Test this with your heaviest camera and lens to make certain. Additionally:

1. A tripod should do at least one thing VERY well, support your camera, in a hurricane if necessary. Open the tripod up, to its full extension (legs and center shaft) and then push down on the tripod head. It should not flex and the center shaft should not push down.

2. A tripod should be adjustable for age- What I mean here is that over time the parts will wear in. You need to have some way of adjusting the tripod back so that when you tighten something, it is tight! Look for these adjustments. I even carry a few tools (screw driver/leatherman) to make these adjustments in the field (which is where they will show up having to be needed first).

3. A tripod should be heavy enough to be tough, but light enough for YOU to carry. Ladies, don't give it to your guy to schlepp around for you. If they're a shooter, they have their own stuff to carry! And guys, don't let your lady carry it, their not roadies!

4. Look for conveniences (quick release brackets/heads, legs that can extend at odd angles, etc.). The more versatile it is the more likely you are to use it!

5. Stick with a long established brand. They are more likely to be around years down the line when you want to get the tripod refurbished, upgraded or fixed.

If you found everything you like on the tripod, now look at the price tag. A good tripod will last longer than your camera system!
03-07-2011, 01:31 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
It may not be much heavier than my Vanguard Tracker 3 though... which tips the scales at 6.75 lb's
It's just a bit heavier (weight 3.75kg or 8.27 lbs) plus the weight of whatever head you choose.

03-07-2011, 11:27 PM   #54
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Looks like there's still a little light in this thread - so to add my two cents:

I was given a Manfrotto Modo 785B by my father-in-law a couple years ago. Definitely not up to typical Manfrotto standards, but a pretty reasonable and lightweight unit for my K-x. I just have to take care not to load it up too much (I think it's rated for ~2.2lbs).

Josh
03-09-2011, 12:21 PM   #55
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I have had a tripod for years now. It's made of stout aluminum and Iv'e continued on using it for many years. I think it is called "tilt-all". I use it for 35mm camera's and a 4x5 Calumet. An amazing tripod.
03-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #56
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QuoteQuote:
Inexpensive and decent in one sentence is an oxymororn - such a tripod does not exist. Save up and get something decent and reliable like a Manfrotto 190B, or a similar type in a good brand like Gitzo or Benbo. Cheap usually equals junk.
Inexpensive does not mean cheap.
Decent does not mean great or even good.
03-10-2011, 07:21 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Inexpensive does not mean cheap.
Decent does not mean great or even good.

I will say the 190 is a decent tripod. I've had mine for 20 years or so and it serves me pretty well. I will likely change to a higher end carbon fiber unit at some point though because when i travel this bugger puts me overweight on the bloody luggage)
03-14-2011, 05:27 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
3. A tripod should be heavy enough to be tough, but light enough for YOU to carry.
Concur with BigDave on this one...
03-14-2011, 11:44 PM   #59
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I think Slik makes excellent tripods; mine is a 300DX, which I picked over comparably priced Manfrottos, and after some 8 years of use I should say I never regretted the choice. Weighs about 6 lb complete with head, so not terribly light but seems fine for a small dSLR. The going price seems to be about $100 at places like amazon.
03-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #60
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I'd get the following:
The tripod set doesn't cost more than $200 from B&H, but should be more than sturdy and stable enough for your application. The weight of the combination is about 6 lbs.

Unfortunately, a decent tripod will often cost at least $100. Get the best and most suitable tripod legs and head for your needs.

--DragonLord

Last edited by bwDraco; 03-16-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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