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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Cheap Tripods
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02/24/2004 05:33:30 PM · #1
I've seen these three cheap tripods (can't remember who made them) for $20-$80. How are the quality of these cheaper type tripods and what the difference between cheaper and the more expensive ones?
02/24/2004 06:08:48 PM · #2
Last year I broke 3 (yes three) cheap 20-30.00 tripod, before getting my maniford(sp?). Plus one time when my cheap tripod got blumped it was so light it came down taking my camera with it. (Yes you really can drop a 10D onto cement from 4 feet and have it function fine, but I wouldn't recomend it)
02/24/2004 06:42:20 PM · #3
Wait till you can afford a good tripod. It's holding your precious camera. You won't regreat spending a few more dollars.
02/24/2004 07:33:39 PM · #4
I agree with that totally. I'd been mucking along with low-end tripods for years before I got my 10D. Then I also upgraded my tripod to Manfrotto Carbon-One and could not believe the difference in sturdiness.
It's rock solid even at full height and is amazingly versatile. Plus with the magnesium head I can actually carry it with my little finger. Worth every penny. Spend as much as you can afford to.
02/24/2004 08:17:48 PM · #5
Cheap ones are bad? Any suggestions on some good quality tripods at a reasonable price?
02/24/2004 08:28:32 PM · #6
For hiking/backpacking this guy is on my list of things to buy:
//www.campmor.com/webapp/commerce/command/ProductDisplay?prmenbr=226&prrfnbr=787
Only $13 but probably not what you are looking for.
02/24/2004 08:39:13 PM · #7
There are some specific things you may want to look for in a tripod...

One of the most important aspects is how well the tripod will hold your camera in position on the head. Cheaper tripods tend to 'sag' a little after you fix the camera in place on the head. This is more noticeable when your camera is in portrait orientation. When you read the specs on tripod heads, there is a maximum weight supported figure displayed. As a rule of thumb, I like to have that weight figure to support at least twice the weight I plan to put on it.

I have a portable bogen that is light weight that I carry around with me for odd jobs. It is rated at 5.5lbs capacity. I never put that much weight on it, but it does sag a little when i put my 10d on it with the 300mm lens. My other bogen rig that is rated at 12 pounds does not have this problem.


02/24/2004 08:47:25 PM · #8
Originally posted by spoons:

Cheap ones are bad? Any suggestions on some good quality tripods at a reasonable price?


It's not that cheap=bad, per se, but you need certain features (weight and stability being quite important) for a tripod to serve you well outside of the studio. Inside the studio it is less important because there is less of a chance of, say, wind or uneven ground.

I have always used SLIK and can recommend them with no problem. They have a good range from low-end - cheaper ones to a top of the line that is equal to any on the market, imo. I invested in a very good large/heavy tripod which I more or less keep in my car and I use a series of quite cheap Optex ones in the studio. As long as you have a cable release or can use the timer option their stability and endurance is not an issue. Even the cheapest of the cheap tripod won't fall over if you sneeze.

That said, make sure you take your camera with it's most outrageous lens to the store to try the cheap tripods. On my Canon cameras it's less of an issue except if I have a telephoto or long zoom lens attached but with the Sony the camera itself is a little oddly weighted for cheap tripod use and cannot be used at all with a mini tripd (in my experience). Use some of the money you paid for a monopod! You'll be so happy you did if you do any outdoor photography at all.

Tripods are like cars - there is a certain point at which you are paying for the brand, the model, the hip factor. A Cadillac doesn't ride a whole lot better than a good Buick, if at all, and you pay a LOT of money for the fancy gold wheels. Go try some - start at the mid range ones and try others at each end.

My (more than as usual) $0.02.

Catherine
02/25/2004 02:05:18 AM · #9
Thanks for the help. I'll keep this in mind when I go out and look for a tripod if I ever get my 300D or 10D.
02/25/2004 03:48:58 AM · #10
I recently bought a Manfrotto 3001 with a quick-release ball head. Not regretting it at all. High quality, very sturdy given its weight. You'd want something taller (for maximum stability you don't want to have to use the center post) if you were using it in really adverse conditions, but for the most part it's a great value.
03/08/2004 08:32:12 PM · #11
I see most of the posts here have been related to dSLRs and tripods. Im looking for a new one. I want something heavy that can support my camera, without "sagging". What kind of advantages do certain heads have over others. I dont need some real huge, head, as I only have an f717, no dSLR with a 300mm lens attactched. I am looking to spend around 50 dollars. Does anyone have a reccommendation?
03/09/2004 07:28:57 AM · #12
velbon
03/09/2004 12:08:42 PM · #13
how about something like this? its heavy, for support, and its got a monopod that Ive always wanted... //cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3801648411&category=30094
03/09/2004 12:56:13 PM · #14
I spent like $14.00 US for a light duty tripod from Walmart. (My first) It's lightweight, sturdy, has a bulls eye bubble, tilting head for portrait orientation, and a quick release clamping mechanism for easy removal of the camera. If it lasts two or three years, it's worth it to me!

Of course I'm just a poor, non-Canon owning amateur, so take what I'm telling you for what you think it's worth.


And I made my first camera mount out of a sock and some rice! ;P
[edit]Message edited by author 2004-03-09 12:57:49.
03/09/2004 01:08:27 PM · #15
Originally posted by hsteg:

how about something like this? its heavy, for support, and its got a monopod that Ive always wanted... //cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3801648411&category=30094


anyone ever used one of these things?
03/09/2004 01:16:28 PM · #16
Originally posted by hsteg:

Originally posted by hsteg:

how about something like this? its heavy, for support, and its got a monopod that Ive always wanted... //cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3801648411&category=30094


anyone ever used one of these things?


Has a list price of $479.00
If you can get it for $50.00, then by all means buy it. It has snap leg locks which are good. Raises to 77" which is good, meaning it is probably around 60" without the center column raised. Has a grip ball head which someone here wanted to get.....and supports 13 pounds.

This tri weighs over 7 pounds. A noteworthy specification.

There are other posts regarding tri-pods, mono-pods and heads.

Message edited by author 2004-03-09 13:19:57.
03/09/2004 03:54:04 PM · #17
I've been looking at tripods for about a month now, money is still tight after the A1 purchase. In the end I picked up a brand new Manfrotto 714b for £70, only just taken it out of the box - super light but quite sturdy. Great little tensioned ball head and even though the A1 has anti shake I think it will help me no end with the tropical fish pics. 714b as an indoor/first tripod its a must.
03/09/2004 05:22:44 PM · #18
Originally posted by hsteg:

Originally posted by hsteg:

how about something like this? its heavy, for support, and its got a monopod that Ive always wanted... //cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3801648411&category=30094


anyone ever used one of these things?


It actually looks exactly like a Manfrotto with the grip action ball head. Bogen is also a Manfrotto design, either rebadged or made in the US. Anyone looking to buy a good tripod should look at the full Manfrotto catalogue as they have a wonderful range of serious equipment. There are other very good tripods (Gitzo, the pro version Slick, etc), but nobody comes close to matching the full Manfrotto system. Next to the tripod itself, the most useful add-on is the fabulous 'Magic Arm' (143RC). Combine this with a Super Clamp (035) and you can simply position the camera, and lock it in position with one lever. Brilliant! I wish they paid me a percentage so I could buy more bits!
03/09/2004 06:03:37 PM · #19
Originally posted by Paclo:

Originally posted by hsteg:

Originally posted by hsteg:

how about something like this? its heavy, for support, and its got a monopod that Ive always wanted... //cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3801648411&category=30094


anyone ever used one of these things?


It actually looks exactly like a Manfrotto with the grip action ball head. Bogen is also a Manfrotto design, either rebadged or made in the US. Anyone looking to buy a good tripod should look at the full Manfrotto catalogue as they have a wonderful range of serious equipment. There are other very good tripods (Gitzo, the pro version Slick, etc), but nobody comes close to matching the full Manfrotto system. Next to the tripod itself, the most useful add-on is the fabulous 'Magic Arm' (143RC). Combine this with a Super Clamp (035) and you can simply position the camera, and lock it in position with one lever. Brilliant! I wish they paid me a percentage so I could buy more bits!


so what your saying is that this ebay item looks exactly like, and has the same specifications as a Manfrotto which is good. So there fore, the ebay item is most likely good?
03/09/2004 06:08:42 PM · #20
Originally posted by RichT8496:

I agree with that totally. I'd been mucking along with low-end tripods for years before I got my 10D. Then I also upgraded my tripod to Manfrotto Carbon-One and could not believe the difference in sturdiness.
It's rock solid even at full height and is amazingly versatile. Plus with the magnesium head I can actually carry it with my little finger. Worth every penny. Spend as much as you can afford to.


Yup I bought a Carbon-One (3444 I think) with the magnesium head. It is awesome. Rock solid. Light. A joy to work with. I had a $50 velbon max343i for a while - total pain, shakey, horrible and never got used.

You get what you pay for, particularly in tripods. There is a point where you are paying for a name and stuff, but certainly the really cheap ones are possibly worse than not even bothering, as they will make you think a tripod is a detriment to good photography, rather than the underpinning of most good work. ( in certain fields only, your mileage may vary, strike away from your face etc etc)

I have to admit to not liking the 3 way manfrotto head. I just bought an arcatech ultimate ballhead as a replacement - should arrive this week. As this head alone is more than most seem to want to spend on a tripod, we might be talking about quite different spaces.

Message edited by author 2004-03-09 18:09:15.
03/09/2004 06:20:42 PM · #21
Originally posted by hsteg:

Originally posted by hsteg:

how about something like this? its heavy, for support, and its got a monopod that Ive always wanted... //cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3801648411&category=30094


anyone ever used one of these things?


I have the Manfrotto 190 Pro with a head similar to the one shown. The joystick grip is very versatile, quick adjustments. My setup cost less than what is being asked for on ebay.

03/09/2004 07:08:54 PM · #22
Originally posted by hsteg:

so what your saying is that this ebay item looks exactly like, and has the same specifications as a Manfrotto which is good. So there fore, the ebay item is most likely good?


True......just remember that this ebay unit is listed at 7+ pounds. Not that it should stop you from buying a 500 dollar tripod for under a 100 bucks, just understand that it is a 7 pound tripod. You have several hours before the bidding is up, so find some 7 pound item and carry it around for awhile, so that when your new gear arrives you will be fully expecting what you are getting.

Flash
03/10/2004 09:03:14 AM · #23
Originally posted by Gordon:

I just bought an arcatech ultimate ballhead as a replacement - should arrive this week. As this head alone is more than most seem to want to spend on a tripod, we might be talking about quite different spaces.


Gordon,

Please post a review of the Arcatech head once you get it. The website has glowing reviews and compares it to an Arca Swiss, which is the ultimate ball head...long regarded as the standard for the pro's pro's. Will you have at Fossil Rim? Would love to see it.

Flash
03/11/2004 09:25:37 AM · #24
Originally posted by Flash:


Gordon,

Please post a review of the Arcatech head once you get it. The website has glowing reviews and compares it to an Arca Swiss, which is the ultimate ball head...long regarded as the standard for the pro's pro's. Will you have at Fossil Rim? Would love to see it.

Flash


Should be here tomorrow, along with a 17-40 and an L bracket. I will no doubt have it at Fossil Rim if it turns out to be any good. Just found out my bonus was more than I expected - maybe I'll have to go get a 100-400 as well :)
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