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11-23-2010, 02:16 PM   #1
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Tripod for the K-X

What's a nice tripod for the K-X that's <$100?

I bought the cheap targus one and it's not that stable.

11-23-2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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Tripods are kind of one of those things that you pay for what you get. I wouldn't buy anything new for that price. In the used market, you might look around for a Leitz Tiltall. They're really basic things, but they'll take a beating, are pretty sturdy (I've used one for a 4x5 camera before) and are fairly plentiful and cheap. Get one of the older ones...not one of the newer knock-offs.
11-23-2010, 03:08 PM   #3
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For just a bit over your budget, you can get a nice solid aluminum Manfrotto that will last you a lifetime of photography. I've been using my 3021pro for more than 10 years now and I have never regretted splurging for it.

EDIT: Seems like they have replaced the 3021pro with the 055xpro, and of course, the prices have gone up
11-23-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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thanks guys! ghosstrider I did a little search on the tiltall and they are very interesting
billx2 yeah I've looked at manfrotto but I can't afford em right now. I guess I should start saving up more to get a really good one. Like what you guys said, you get what you pay for.

11-23-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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I was in the same boat. I ended up with a Vanguard Alta Pro off Amazon for roughly $100 shipped via Cameta. I'm very pleased with it so far.
11-23-2010, 03:42 PM   #6
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Another option might be Slik sprint pro II if you don't use heavy / long lenses. This is a well built light and compact one (but as such not as sturdy as a Manfrotto 055 would be).
11-23-2010, 04:43 PM   #7
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The OP is already experiencing this but this link is well worth re-posting. It may save someone from making the same mistake that a lot of us have made (myself included ).

Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan
11-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by raf02 Quote
What's a nice tripod for the K-X that's <$100?

I bought the cheap targus one and it's not that stable.
I feel your pain. Been though all that over recent months. Tripods are one of those annoying items that you have to either select hands-on in a B&M store, to evaluate build and ease of use, etc., and or do some serious research gathering on the important dimensional and other specs for comparative models from the manufacturers or good resellers website.

Not an easy task because neither brand nor price is a safe guide. All the big names make some cute looking economy priced models, plus some fairly pricey ones too, that are so flimsy in real-life use that they couldn't hold a small P&S with excellent anti-shake, stable in a mild breeze.

They like to emphasize that theirs is light-weight to carry, and that can be true, but people also need to hold their camera rock-solid as well dammit!
My advice is; if you want stable (in aluminium, cheapest), then look for one with max 3 (not 4) section legs, with the smallest (lower) leg extension tube 18mm min., and pref 20mm diameter.

Because 16mm or less just does not cut it. I gave up on my Manfrotto 190XproB for that very reason, just tap a leg lightly and the whole thing resonates with vibration up through the head and camera like a tuning fork ringing out a middle C.
Now happy with a Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT, much more rigid, taller, far more configurable~versatile and it was heaps cheaper too! And only approx 190g heavier. Go figure.

Otoh; there are some quite solid units cheaper still out there if prepared to do a bit of patient [re]searching and seek out the discounts and short lived specials.

A good head is another issue that's just as important too. Good fishing, you're going to need all the luck you can muster with only 100 bucks to flash.

.R.

11-23-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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I actually found a fairly cheap carbon fiber one that defies the usually applicable advice of "you get what you pay for". The ToCad/Sunpak 624p tripod is actually a very nice tripod and I found it a few months back for $120 with free shipping. Comes with a short and long center piece, bag, very stable, easily adjustable, just about the right size/weight. About the only caveat is the typical pan/tilt head on it, which some people like but I don't particular care for. It wasn't too much of a problem for me as I already had a grip ball head from a previous tripod, but I would prefer that this Sunpak tripod come with this Sunpak 620 pistol grip ball head:


Amazon.com: Sunpak 620-PISTOLGRPQR Pistol Grip Ballsocket Head with Quick-Release Plate: Camera & Photo

At only US$40 though, it wouldn't be too bad to pick up, but it would put the combination way over your budget.

I suspect this will be a <$100 tripod very soon, so you may want to keep an eye out for it, as I think that would probably be the best and most stable tripod for your budget.
11-24-2010, 10:55 AM   #10
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Wow! Thanks for all the responses guys! I really appreciate it.
Looking at the Vanguard alta pro and the sunpak and slik sprint pro looks to be good choices too.
11-24-2010, 11:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by raf02 Quote
Wow! Thanks for all the responses guys! I really appreciate it.
Looking at the Vanguard alta pro and the sunpak and slik sprint pro looks to be good choices too.
Those were the two that I'd compared. I don't know why, but I chose the Vanguard. Can't speak for the Slik, but I'm quite happy. I don't have very heavy gear, but the panhead I have with a Kx and Voigtlander Nokton, I've picked up and moved the tripod by the handles in a rush and haven't had to readjust at all. Not the best practice, but it seems to tighten quite securely.

FYI, the Vanguard listing didn't mention it, so I bought a bag; however, it comes with one. Now I have an extra I use for other gear, but it's something to consider as you wouldn't need to buy one.
11-25-2010, 01:16 PM   #12
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The tripod is one of those few things you will keep and use for a long time...you really should save up money and buy a good one, you won't regret saving 90 $ dollars more (at least) and buying a good one... you should consider its wheight and the weight its capable to stand considering the camera /lenses you use most..maybe buy a tripod that stands a bit more than the weight you usually use..
Then you should look for a reliable manufacturer, benro, manfrotto and some velbon models are great choices...if you buy one of those you'll buy the legs and the head separately..buy good legs and decent head...
Tripod is one of those things that last a lifetime and its better to invest in a good one than to have to replace a bad one in some years thus paying the same price for two mediocre tripods than for an everlasting good one..
(my tripod is a , in its time, expensive velbon model, its older than me (i'm 24 years old) and its still in good shape..i had the chance to receive it as a gift).
Don't go for the extremely light ones..some weight is nice, it gives stability and it's better a 2 sections one...

So my advice is to buy a good one (probably over 100 $ more like over 200$) since its an item you'll use very much and since it'll have to carry very expensive equipment.

Last edited by Coeurdechene; 11-25-2010 at 02:00 PM.
11-25-2010, 09:37 PM   #13
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For less than $100?

I recently got the Sprint Pro 330 DX for $99.99. I bought it for use with my 35mm film cameras, but it will probably work great with your compact dSLR. The Vanguard mentioned above might also be a good option. Velbon is another option if they are available to you.

In regard to the comments above on the value of higher priced tripods...Yes, there is no disputing that more money will buy you greater stability at a lower weight and yes, there is a minimum level of quality needed for some applications. On the other hand, my opinion is that you reach a point of diminishing returns somewhere around $350 for tripod plus head unless you really need the extra capacity and/or the few ounces of weight savings.

Many of us need a high value solution that will give adequate support under most conditions at a price point that will not require going in debt. There are several options at about $150 that offer incredible performance for the price. The quality is somewhat less at $100 and below, but there are still reasonable solutions that will serve you well until the hardware fails (typically the leg clamps) and you have to buy another one. You can literally buy 4 or 5 Slik or Vanguard for the price of just the Gitzo legs.


Steve


BTW...The Slik Pro 330 DX is only about $10 more than the Slik Sprint Pro II, but is a much sturdier unit. In addition, my 330 DX legs with a lightweight ball head weighs in at only about 2.5 lbs (yes, they do sell the legs separate for about $85).

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-25-2010 at 09:57 PM.
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