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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> looking for tripod recommendations
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09/09/2009 01:45:08 AM · #1
I'm looking for recommendations on what kind of tripod to invest in, here are the qualities that I am looking for:
somewhat inexpensive
sturdy (for an e-410)
ability to go at least eye level
easy to move camera around while mounted
not purchased at walmart for twenty dollars

up until it broke I was using one given to me that was bought at walmart for twenty bucks, I only got to use it maybe six times before it broke. Now I am on the hunt for a half decent one , but have discovered that there are tons and tons of them out there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
09/09/2009 01:57:52 AM · #2
Couple quick questions before we get started:
Can you define your price range more explicitly? Somewhat inexpensive is super relative.
Do you think you'll be getting any larger telephoto lenses than the ones you have?
How tall are you?

Message edited by author 2009-09-09 01:58:17.
09/09/2009 02:03:13 AM · #3
Are you tall? If so, check out the Slik 700DX. Very sturdy and stable, $$CHEAP$$ and not all that heavy. Although really might be overkill for your size camera. With all leg sections extended you may have to stand on your tippy toes if you are under 5'7", and that's without the center column raised.
Slik 700 DX tripod

Something a bit smaller and lighter would be the Slik 300 DX tripod.
Both are very well made, have excellent review write ups and come with pan/tilt heads, although I would purchase just the legs and get a seperate ball head.
09/09/2009 02:35:30 AM · #4
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

Are you tall? If so, check out the Slik 700DX. Very sturdy and stable, $$CHEAP$$ and not all that heavy. Although really might be overkill for your size camera. With all leg sections extended you may have to stand on your tippy toes if you are under 5'7", and that's without the center column raised.
Slik 700 DX tripod

Something a bit smaller and lighter would be the Slik 300 DX tripod.
Both are very well made, have excellent review write ups and come with pan/tilt heads, although I would purchase just the legs and get a seperate ball head.


Fixed your second link. ;)

Slik 300 DX tripod

Message edited by author 2009-09-09 02:35:50.
09/09/2009 02:53:03 AM · #5
yeah, a price range would be good.

I bought a manfrotto 3 section carbon fibre tripod last time and have been very happy with it. They are expensive but it is very nice to use. If you give a price I could make a couple suggestions.
09/09/2009 03:05:17 AM · #6
I recently searched for it & shortlisted following two:
1. MANFROTTO 190XPROB
2. Bogen Manfrotto 055XPROB

You may also find them useful for your need.
09/10/2009 08:17:13 AM · #7
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Couple quick questions before we get started:
Can you define your price range more explicitly? Somewhat inexpensive is super relative.
Do you think you'll be getting any larger telephoto lenses than the ones you have?
How tall are you?


Well to answer those questions .....
less than 200
5'9
and nope no plans for any telephotos(not for a coupla years anywho)
09/10/2009 08:54:52 AM · #8
Do NOT buy a Manfrotto 785B. The built in head is not really strong enough for even a small SLR like the E410. I've modified mine and am now happy with it, but would only recommend this model for a compact or camcorder.
09/10/2009 08:55:06 AM · #9
Based on what you're asking, I'm going to second the 190XPROB from Manfrotto. It's an exceptional tripod for the money and very versatile. The center column is very quick to adjust and goes horizontal with very little effort. It will be pretty close to tall enough for you, and you can expect great durability.
For the head, the 484RC2 is a good choice for your price range. It will put you a bit over 200 total for the whole thing.
190XPROB B&H &159.95
190XPROB Adorama $159.90
484RC2 B&H $60.95
484RC2 Adorama $60.90
I know it's a bit over your budget but I think you'll be really happy with the improvement. Tripods are something you shouldn't skimp on- think about how much money is precariously attached to the top of it. Your price range makes CF mostly out of the question, so it will be a bit heavier having an aluminum model, but that's just a matter of cost. This model isn't particularly heavy anyway.

ETA: Whoops... you're from Canada... not sure on exchange rates and what not then. Either way, the links will show you what I'm talking about.

Message edited by author 2009-09-10 08:55:34.
09/10/2009 05:09:15 PM · #10
Thanks for all the suggestions , I will look into what I can buy here instead of ordering online .....

You folks have been very helpful . Theres so much out there to chose from, one sometimes needs some guidance! I will let you know what I decide!
09/11/2009 06:02:28 AM · #11
@Nevorian - thanks for asking some of the same questions I've been having.
@everyone - thank you for the advice

I have a couple questions about features that I haven't had on my Velbon tripod that I'm replacing.

Quick-release head - is this as great as I think it is? It sounds cool, but I'm not sure why it's useful.
Ball joint instead of 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head - is it really stable? I can imagine it slipping. And how would I pan in a nice steady plane with that?
Spreaders - those 3-armed doohickeys that join the three legs together at a common center point. Are they a nice feature to have?
Invertable center column - while I haven't used this feature much, I can see where it would be handy for shooting, uh grass, things on tabletops or dust bunnies. Is it a must have?

09/11/2009 06:26:40 AM · #12
Originally posted by kreshkin:

@Nevorian - thanks for asking some of the same questions I've been having.
@everyone - thank you for the advice

I have a couple questions about features that I haven't had on my Velbon tripod that I'm replacing.

Quick-release head - is this as great as I think it is? It sounds cool, but I'm not sure why it's useful.
Ball joint instead of 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head - is it really stable? I can imagine it slipping. And how would I pan in a nice steady plane with that?
Spreaders - those 3-armed doohickeys that join the three legs together at a common center point. Are they a nice feature to have?
Invertable center column - while I haven't used this feature much, I can see where it would be handy for shooting, uh grass, things on tabletops or dust bunnies. Is it a must have?


I personally really like quick release (QR). Different heads will employ different means of attaching plate-wise, and the secure-ness can vary a good deal. I use an Acratech GV2 which uses Arca Swiss plates, and it locks amazingly securely. It's very useful to be able to unscrew things a tiny bit to release the plate so I can move my whole setup around. I also like that I don't have to use the threads as much this way. The ONLY time that I hate my QR is when I forget to remove the plate and I want to use my gorillapod while hiking around. Then I can't remove the plate because I don't have an allen wrench with me.

Ballhead is good for quick mobility. Any reputable ballhead should lock out very securely. Lower grade ones will have more issues, however. For panning, many ballheads have a release for pano rotation, so you unlock that and the whole thing rotates around on top of the tripod, many have degree markings as well. Ball vs pan tilt is a bit of a personal choice, but it might depend upon what your subject matter is.

If I understand you correctly about the spreaders, they are a giant annoyance and being rid of them was the most glorious thing I did. They prevent you from really positioning the tripod how you want it on uneven terrain and just get in the way.

The invertable center column is useful for some things, but I haven't used it all that much. Macro work and that sort of stuff. I think I used it on Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_752861.jpg this. Either that or I tilted it very far to the side and down (my center column can be vertical or any angle). It's a useful feature to have and a lot of them offer it anyway with no increase in price. Is it a must have.... likely not.
09/12/2009 09:41:45 AM · #13
@spiritualspatula - Thanks for the helpful opinions. I think Acratech is beyond my price range, but nice to dream of!
09/12/2009 12:22:45 PM · #14
Originally posted by kreshkin:

@Nevorian - thanks for asking some of the same questions I've been having.


Your welcome
09/13/2009 09:25:47 PM · #15
Originally posted by kreshkin:

@spiritualspatula - Thanks for the helpful opinions. I think Acratech is beyond my price range, but nice to dream of!


I just didn't want it to seem like the firmness of hte QR is use is exactly the same for Manfrotto's version. The Arca Swiss plates are designed for each body so they lock very well. You don't have super heavy glass yet so I don't think it'd be a huge issue for you yet. And yeah, Acratech's are pricey, but honestly way cheaper than other stuff that's of similar build like Kirk or Really Right Stuff.
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