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12-01-2013, 09:55 PM   #1
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Tripod help

I just picked up a k50 with the 18-55 wr, I also have a 50mm 1.7 and plan on getting the 55-300.

I'm looking for a tripod for some long exposure shots ect. However I have no idea where to begin.

I'm on a tight budget say 100.00 us/cad. I would like it to be fairly portable.

Any recomendations would be greatly appreciated.

12-01-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
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$100 isn't much for a tripod. The biggest problem with buying a cheap tripod is biting the bullet and spending the necessary cash to replace it. Of all the things we buy, a good tripod (and unfortunately, a cheap one too) never wears out. You don't necessarily need carbon fiber ( but you'll wish you had it after a long day), but spend the money to buy a good one or you'll regret it for a long time.
12-01-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bam_19 Quote
I just picked up a k50 with the 18-55 wr, I also have a 50mm 1.7 and plan on getting the 55-300.

I'm looking for a tripod for some long exposure shots ect. However I have no idea where to begin.

I'm on a tight budget say 100.00 us/cad. I would like it to be fairly portable.

Any recomendations would be greatly appreciated.
If you're willing to go to the $200 level, then check out this tripod:

Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

Adam
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12-01-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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at this budget, any will do. go to a store and just pick one. or even better, get a cheap one used.
it isn't worth your time to pick the best cheap tripod for "some shots". get a cheap one and use that for the time being. if you find it to lack in certain respects you'll have a better idea what your needs are. i paid 200 usd for a manfrotto 055xprob which weighs 2.4kg without a head, about 3 with. paid another 50 for a used head. i fully expect it to last 20+ years and be useful for any task or gear i'll ever use, but who knows what you want to shoot in two years. if you find that a tripod is a burden to carry (and it is) maybe a monopod will do. if your cheapo-tripod sways in the wind (and it will) you'll know you want a sturdy one (like me). decent tripods are expensive, good ones unaffordable. there is no good recommendation and a disposable, cheap thing a good place to begin.

12-02-2013, 12:15 AM   #5
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Knowing what I do now, I'd exactly follow Thom Hogan's advice in his article on support. It may not be what you'd like to hear, but nevertheless quite accurate.

With just a tiny budget, I'd practice use of "environmental support" (walls, posts, trees, et cetcra) & purchase a reasonable table-top tripod.
12-02-2013, 12:54 AM   #6
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Hello bam_19, Welcome to the forum!
I agree with all the previous posters, a good tripod is invaluable, a cheap one is worthless.
Without a tripod, you're missing out on a huge part of all that photography has to offer. Night photography, timed exposures, scenic and landscapes, macro, sunrises and sunsets, use of panning, astrophotography, support for long lenses and most 'product' or table-top photos.
My advice is to save until you can afford a good tripod. Money spent now on a cheap one is money wasted.
You may be able to find a good used tripod + head on eBay, but even then, it will be over $100.
JMO,
Ron
12-02-2013, 02:54 AM   #7
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I'd look seriously at a Joby Gorillapod Focus/Ballhead X Bundle that B&H have for just over $100. I've found it to be a sturdy but versatile addition to my gear, especially when travelling. It could continue to complement a more substantial traditional tripod down the track when you have a few more $$.
12-02-2013, 03:59 AM   #8
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+1 for Adam's recommendation for the Sirui T-025X. I bought one after having read the review Adam links to, and I am delighted with it. I also have a larger and heavier Velbon CX-888 which now has been relegated to home use only because even though it is more solid, it seems no steadier, and because the Sirui is carbon fibre I am happy to carry it with me. (Or more truthfully, I am happy to get He-Ying to carry it everywhere with us!)

If you are spending 100$ you will probably get a tripod you very quickly want to replace. Spend about $200 on the Sirui and get a tripod that ranks 4.5 out of 5 at B&H and Amazon, that you will actually use.

12-02-2013, 05:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you're willing to go to the $200 level, then check out this tripod:

Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com
That tripod looks fantastic!

QuoteOriginally posted by Bagga_Txips Quote
I bought one after having read the review Adam links to, and I am delighted with it.
Excellent! Seriously this makes me very happy

Anything from the review you disagree with?

-Heie
12-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #10
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One of the things I feel one needs to consider when selecting a tripod is your height and the min.- max. height adjustment for the tripod. The longer the center column needs to extend to accommodate ones viewing, even with adding weight to the legs, the more camera movement it will have in different higher sight level situations creating adverse photo results.

For example, looking at this tripod, it's height with the legs fully extended and the center column unextended is 48" or 4', which is ok but with the center column fully extended it's only 54.5" or slightly over 4.5'. What that tells me most people are going to have to bend over considerably to view through the view finder or even the live view screen when it's fully extended, and also have a greater degree of camera movement depending on the conditions one is shooting in, even when using a remote.

So my thoughts are, sure look at the quality then consider the height of the center column unextended, then the extended height, and select a tripod that would be comfortable for you so when the column is needed to extend you can maintain somewhat less camera movement by using lower column height. All of them will need to have weight added in windier conditions.

Just for consideration IMO one super inexpensive but well made tripod is the Ravelli for a very low budget, Another I find excellent tripod for the money Is the Vanguard Alta Pro Kit models and have used them for several years. They are extremely well made, very versatile and come in at a a price range Of $149.00 to $299.00.

Being on a fixed budget I haven't as yet purchased a gimbal head for use with longer telephoto lenses and still use a ball head. What I did get a few years ago for my mid long telephoto lenses to prevent the lens sag was a Manfrotto 293 telephoto lens support which works really well stabilizing my auto and older manual lenses in the 200 - 400mm range.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 12-02-2013 at 09:19 AM.
12-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies, it appears I will have to look at uping the budget somewhat. Thanks for the advice.
12-02-2013, 10:08 AM   #12
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This is a pretty popular tripod with versatile positioning features. You will need a separate ball head but the tripod is sturdy and can last a while.
Manfrotto 190XPROB Pro Aluminum Tripod 190XPROB B&H Photo Video

For an economical all-in-one solution check out the MeFoto line made by Benro.
MeFOTO BackPacker Travel Tripod Kit (Black) A0350Q0K B&H Photo
12-02-2013, 10:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bam_19 Quote
Thanks for the replies, it appears I will have to look at uping the budget somewhat.
You don't have to. You could always compromise somewhere else. It's just that "portable", "sturdy", and "inexpensive" don't go together if you want something that will also take you up close to eye-level. Here's a set of old Tiltall legs for $25: Tiltall Tripod Legs | eBay Tiltall is an old brand that used to be very popular in the days of film. You could pair this with a head for your remaining $75 and have a very sturdy tripod that would go to eye-level and still meet your budget. It would not, however, be lightweight.
12-02-2013, 11:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
You don't have to. You could always compromise somewhere else. It's just that "portable", "sturdy", and "inexpensive" don't go together if you want something that will also take you up close to eye-level. Here's a set of old Tiltall legs for $25: Tiltall Tripod Legs | eBay Tiltall is an old brand that used to be very popular in the days of film. You could pair this with a head for your remaining $75 and have a very sturdy tripod that would go to eye-level and still meet your budget. It would not, however, be lightweight.
Lightweight is a definite must, I do a lot of hiking and such. I'm willing to bite the bullet just have to wait until the new year.
12-02-2013, 11:56 AM   #15
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IMHO, the most important part of a tripod is the head. I prefer to buy the best head I can afford and match it to a decent set of legs. A good head on moderately priced legs will still give good stability and reliability but a weak head, prone to slipping and creeping will be a bad proposition even if matched with the best legs in the world. Even if you don't want to shop for the components separately, pay attention to the head that is included in package deals.

I also agree with the above that you should consider your height and minimum packing size requirements. At 6'-5", I need a tripod that extends higher than many folks and thus have a pretty hefty set-up. I also travel very light when going international, so I have a second, smaller travel tripod that fits inside my carry-on bag and I just put up with the occasional back pain from bending to look through the viewfinder - or dispense with the tripod entirely, relying on a little tabletop model. If you don't anticipate packing your tripod that way, the last ideas may not apply to you. Your individual needs should enter into the decision.

Sorry to say, all of the above is not likely to fit into a budget of $100.00.
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