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bousozoku
Nov 30, 2005, 06:06 PM
Any thoughts on a better than average tripod for a digital SLR and long lenses as far as brands go? I'm considering spending no more than $200, which seems a lot but considering that I expect it to last 15 years, that's not so much. I'm definitely not looking to drop into the local Ritz Camera and pick up a Quantaray tripod, so please think accordingly. :)

Bogen Manfrotto seem to have a lot in that price range. Slik was once a good brand but I don't know of their recent reputation.

Thanks for your help!



iGary
Nov 30, 2005, 06:08 PM
Bogen 055WB

Sherman Tank of tripods.

Heavy, though - get the arm strap or bag, too.

I like the 322RC2 to go with.

Works great with my 100-400L

efoto
Nov 30, 2005, 08:55 PM
I was/am looking at getting these legs (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=217263&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation). What I really liked about them is the robust feel and the fact that it can go nearly flat to the ground (buttons on top of each leg allow it to star-fish out nearly flat). The lift arm thingy :p can also be moved from a vertical slide to a horizontal slide for the times when that may be necessary.

I planned on pairing that with this head (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=303591&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) (although this head (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=5558&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) is also of interest to some, similar idea but joystick instead of handgrip), but I personally prefer and hear better things about the first "pistol" style grip.

I was also looking at this leg (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=5495&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) for a monopod for sports related stuff, using the same 322RC2 head above.

Maybe some of that helps, I hope :o

Cooknn
Nov 30, 2005, 09:58 PM
I was/am looking at getting these legs (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=217263&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation).I have them - they (are built like a) ROCK! I love my Manfrotto 3021BPro Tripod legs. Made in Italy :D

bousozoku
Nov 30, 2005, 10:11 PM
I have them - they (are built like a) ROCK! I love my Manfrotto 3021BPro Tripod legs. Made in Italy :D

Maybe, I should drive to the southwest of the state and check out your legs. :p :D

Thanks to each of you. It's not been easy to figure out which one I need/want. I have enough gear in my backpack so far with camera and computer and adding the tripod won't make my load any easier but oh well. I've seen some of the latest bits and pieces and they all seem so lightweight with all the carbon fibre but it's somewhat brittle, from what I know. I really don't feel like making choices twice, although I'm sure I could if I bought one from Ritz or even, Wal-Mart. :D

Cooknn
Nov 30, 2005, 10:24 PM
Maybe, I should drive to the southwest of the state and check out your legs :pLMAO :D
What I really liked about them is the robust feel and the fact that it can go nearly flat to the ground (buttons on top of each leg allow it to star-fish out nearly flat).Crap I never even noticed that :eek: Oh, man I can think of some cool stuff to shoot now. Get that baby way down to the ground right in front of some plant life and set the aperture as high (small) as it will go to get some sweet depth of field. I envision a shot at sunset looking over the bridge that crosses the river here in town. Set the shutter speed slow enough to get a stream of light from the cars crossing the bridge. Ahhh! I need more time!!!

OutThere
Nov 30, 2005, 10:34 PM
Bogen/Manfrotto stuff is, typically, built extremely well and is very durable...though it tends to be heavy. If you don't mind lugging it around, a tripod from them will give you years of service, and it takes a lot to beat them up too. (I've trekked them through the woods and set them up in rivers before...a little WD40 to keep the legs extending smoothly and you can't tell. :D )

efoto
Dec 1, 2005, 08:04 AM
Crap I never even noticed that :eek: Oh, man I can think of some cool stuff to shoot now. Get that baby way down to the ground right in front of some plant life and set the aperture as high (small) as it will go to get some sweet depth of field. I envision a shot at sunset looking over the bridge that crosses the river here in town. Set the shutter speed slow enough to get a stream of light from the cars crossing the bridge. Ahhh! I need more time!!!

Haha, glad to have helped out. Throwing that support arm (middle piece....wtf is this called!?) sideways and dropping the pod way WAY down allows some pretty sweet setups. I really liked that tripod because of a robust feel and the abilities it has to drop down....I can see some really cool stuff coming from that :)

If you end up taking any of those shots with this newfound knowledge, post them up, I'd love to see them.

Cooknn
Feb 24, 2006, 08:19 AM
Haha, glad to have helped out. Throwing that support arm (middle piece....wtf is this called!?) sideways and dropping the pod way WAY down allows some pretty sweet setups. I really liked that tripod because of a robust feel and the abilities it has to drop down....I can see some really cool stuff coming from that :)

If you end up taking any of those shots with this newfound knowledge, post them up, I'd love to see them.I still haven't found the perfect spot to get the shot I dreamed of above, but last night I stumbled upon a 360 Pano of Quai Bir-Hakeim & the Eiffel tower (http://fromparis.com/modules/large.php?style=qtlarge&pano=000088_01) by Eric Rougier. It's almost exactly what I was thinking of. The colors are beautiful :p Be sure to chek out the fullscreen Quicktime version if you have the bandwidth!

Zeke
Feb 24, 2006, 02:43 PM
If you don't want to spend too much and still get a relatively nice tripod, check out amvona.com auctions on ebay. I have the AT-828 and think it's quite nice. It has a pistol grip ball-head and is very very sturdy. I'm sure there's some reason other tripods cost $300 but I don't know it. I got mine for about $66 shipped.

GoCubsGo
Feb 24, 2006, 02:57 PM
I have the bogen 3021 legs and a couple different heads. I have a bogen mono as well.

Emerson
Feb 24, 2006, 04:47 PM
I bought the tripod for height and sturdiness (spelling?). I can fully say that it is one heck of a tripod and will last a lifetime. Alot of people will say that it is too heavy, but I simply couldn't justify the carbon fiber 1325. I am young and can deal with a little extra weight, and little more cash in my pocket.

I know it is more than you were thinking of spending, but I would really look into Gitzo they have a very good reputation, and are widely used by professionals. I use mine with a Kirk BH-3 (http://kirkphoto.com/ballheadbh3.html) Ballhead

Gitzo 1340 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=170791&is=REG&addedTroughType=search)

Also here is a useful link about buying tripods.

Tripods (http://bythom.com/support.htm)

ChrisA
Feb 24, 2006, 05:06 PM
Without doubt, the Giottos tripods are the best you can get i terms of "ridgidity per pound" but I wanted "best for the money" and went with Bogen. Both brands are "pro quality" and will last forever, literally.


I have a Bogen 3221 legs. It works well for an SRL and big lens. I used it with my Medium format system too before I sold it. It comes with a reverseable column and you can use it to hold the camera upside down for macro shots of small wild flowers and what not. It cam be tied to the outside of a backpack too. It should last a lifetime. Mine is 18 years old and as good as new.

My #3047 head may be overkill but the two built in levels and the QR plate are usfull. It will hold any Nikon lens. I used it for a while with a Mamiya RB67 camera.

I also have a 3025 head that I like. I looks wierd but is the best head for field macro photos. and is strong enough for a DSLR and moderate lens.

About monopods. don't get thos little legs that attach to the bottom. You will step on them an trip. The porpose of the monopod is just to take the weight off the arms (or the hold a video camera way up over a crowd, aim the LCD downward and look upward.) I have the 3216 monopod

It's best to overbuy. You will be happy that you did even after your camera system has been traded out twice.

One more thing. Buy spare QR plates.

ChrisA
Feb 24, 2006, 05:18 PM
LMAO :D
Crap I never even noticed that :eek: Oh, man I can think of some cool stuff to shoot now.....!

Even better reverse the center column so the head is upside down and between the legs, then spred the legs and the camera can actually touch the ground. Bring a hand trowel and you can get below ground level and shoot a bug at eye level.
A 90 degree angle finder attachment is usfull. My Bogen 3221 allows each leg to be at three possitions (4 if you count "closed")

With the 3028 head there is enough range of adjustment tha the camera can be rightside up even when using the reversed colum trick

Mike Teezie
Feb 24, 2006, 07:02 PM
Another vote for the Bogen 3021 Pro legs. Love mine.

bousozoku
Feb 24, 2006, 09:37 PM
Well, i'm certainly glad for the opinions and experiences. I'm planning a trip so I'm seriously considering that and a ring flash...after I sell my house.

-hh
Feb 27, 2006, 09:05 AM
It's not been easy to figure out which one I need/want. I have enough gear in my backpack so far with camera and computer and adding the tripod won't make my load any easier but oh well.

I'm going through a similar dilemma for awhile (upcoming summer trip with a fly-in camp that dictates a 33lb total baggage (clothing + camera) weight limit of 15kg (33lbs).

And what doesn't help is that for long telephotos, you find heads such as the Wemberly (click here (http://www.naturescapes.net/store/product.php?productid=2&cat=20&page=1)), which costs more than a half kilobuck even before you add a QR and legs, or make any weight considerations.


I've seen some of the latest bits and pieces and they all seem so lightweight with all the carbon fibre but it's somewhat brittle, from what I know. I really don't feel like making choices twice, although I'm sure I could if I bought one from Ritz or even, Wal-Mart. :D

I think the general problem is that if we're trying to travel really light and taking the general approach that "a bad tripod is better than no tripod", then the ~3lb aluminum cheapies available for under $30 become a consideration, since at that price point, it can be considered to be a disposable item.


-hh

Clix Pix
Feb 27, 2006, 12:29 PM
I've got a Gitzo "Reporter Performance" which I use most of the time for my DSLR and an old Bogen 3221 that is very heavy but still works just fine, too. The latter is good for using with a long, heavy lens. I've also got a Gitzo monopod.

bousozoku
Feb 27, 2006, 01:21 PM
I'm going through a similar dilemma for awhile (upcoming summer trip with a fly-in camp that dictates a 33lb total baggage (clothing + camera) weight limit of 15kg (33lbs).

And what doesn't help is that for long telephotos, you find heads such as the Wemberly (click here (http://www.naturescapes.net/store/product.php?productid=2&cat=20&page=1)), which costs more than a half kilobuck even before you add a QR and legs, or make any weight considerations.




I think the general problem is that if we're trying to travel really light and taking the general approach that "a bad tripod is better than no tripod", then the ~3lb aluminum cheapies available for under $30 become a consideration, since at that price point, it can be considered to be a disposable item.


-hh

Well, for the most part, I've never found a need for a tripod. There was always a tree or some other support for long exposures than enabled me to properly get the shot. Yes, I'm lucky.

I don't know that I will need a tripod more than a couple of times a year. I've found occasional needs but have worked around those needs vigourously. Again, I'm lucky. I just have the feeling that luck isn't everything and I'll be getting back to the computer with a card full of junk one day.

mrichmon
Feb 27, 2006, 04:28 PM
I think the general problem is that if we're trying to travel really light and taking the general approach that "a bad tripod is better than no tripod", then the ~3lb aluminum cheapies available for under $30 become a consideration, since at that price point, it can be considered to be a disposable item.


More often than not, a bad tripod is worse than no tripod. If you really need to travel light, just take a small bean bag. That is, something small that can be deformed so that it will support the camera securely on whatever handy fence or rock is around.

Alternatively, a monpod is a reasonable step down from a tripod for many types of shooting once you learn how to use it.

ser Chadrick
Oct 23, 2006, 08:57 AM
I just purchased a set under $200 and am 100% happy with it.

Legs: ProMaster SystemPro 1 Tripod Legs
Head: Bogen 3265 Grip Action Ball Head

This head will hold up to 5.51 lbs. My outfit is the Nikon D80 + Nikkor 18-200 VR. This comes to about a pound and a half. Way under my limits. The Legs are great and the head is my favorite... You don't need to spend a bunch of money for a name. Hope this helps.

jlcharles
Oct 23, 2006, 02:50 PM
I'll second the amvona.com recommendation. Just don't buy them from their website. They sell on ebay a heck of a lot cheaper. I had a set of their regular legs and they were rock solid, but just as heavy as one. I traded up for a set of the carbon fiber legs. Well under $100 if you are patient. Pair it up with a nice head (I have a Bogen 3030) and you're all set.

One thing, they have twist lock legs that take a bit of getting used to.

SpankyPenzaanz
Oct 23, 2006, 03:25 PM
I bought a hakuba graphite tripod for $150 its fantastic and lightweight

compuwar
Oct 23, 2006, 03:26 PM
Any thoughts on a better than average tripod for a digital SLR and long lenses as far as brands go? I'm considering spending no more than $200, which seems a lot but considering that I expect it to last 15 years, that's not so much. I'm definitely not looking to drop into the local Ritz Camera and pick up a Quantaray tripod, so please think accordingly. :)

Bogen Manfrotto seem to have a lot in that price range. Slik was once a good brand but I don't know of their recent reputation.

Thanks for your help!

I'm of the Thom Hogan school of thought on tripods. Sooner or later, you're going to end up with at least $500 of support, it's just a question of if you get there by spending $1500 first.

For $200, you're looking at either pretty heavy tripods if you want sturdy, or relatively flimsy ones, so I suppose first of all what you mean by "long lenses" is the most important question- a smallish 400 needs significantly less support than a larger 400.

bousozoku
Oct 23, 2006, 04:36 PM
Well, I've pretty much decided on Bogen - Manfrotto 3021BP legs and 322RC2 quick release head. They're around $250 but it looks like a good combination. I've tried the quick release head in person and like it a lot although it seems a bit heavy duty for me.

Thanks for the opinions! It does help.

beavo451
Oct 23, 2006, 05:14 PM
Well, I've pretty much decided on Bogen - Manfrotto 3021BP legs and 322RC2 quick release head. They're around $250 but it looks like a good combination. I've tried the quick release head in person and like it a lot although it seems a bit heavy duty for me.

Thanks for the opinions! It does help.

You can never get too much support.

ChrisA
Oct 23, 2006, 05:31 PM
I've tried the quick release head in person and like it a lot although it seems a bit heavy duty for me.

Thanks for the opinions! It does help.

Ball heads are nice if you are tracking a moving subject like wildlife but they are not so fun to use if you are doing landscape or architecture (things the don't move) In the latter case it is nice to be able to fine tune one axis at a time. Set the tilt using a buble level and so on.
You can't use a bubble level on a ball head. You can't track an animal using a three axis head. That's why the heads interchange.

That 3021 legs should outlast your camera system.

Silentwave
Oct 23, 2006, 09:34 PM
personally I found the manfrotto 055MF3 (which was fine as far as weight cap.) was too unstable with the long glass I use (300/2.8, now 200/2.0 with TCs) so I sold it in favor of a much more stable Gitzo G1329MK2 CF tripod.

Ideally I'd be using a Sachtler tripod. I'm not rich though. I picked up the Gitzo at <2/3 the retail price on ebay from someone up the state.

Sinsinnati
Oct 24, 2006, 08:26 PM
I currently have this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1058188139811&skuId=5656382&type=product

It is a Sunpak 6400UT. It extends up to 63 inches and weighs about 3.3 pounds. Is there anything lighter and just as sturdy? I am pretty mobile through many of the cities I visit and I would love to have something lighter that has a shoulder strap to transport.

Thanks.

compuwar
Oct 25, 2006, 07:27 AM
I currently have this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1058188139811&skuId=5656382&type=product

It is a Sunpak 6400UT. It extends up to 63 inches and weighs about 3.3 pounds. Is there anything lighter and just as sturdy? I am pretty mobile through many of the cities I visit and I would love to have something lighter that has a shoulder strap to transport.

Thanks.

I don't relate the word "sturdy" to any tripod I've seen at Best Buy. You can get carrying bags and shoulder straps for tripods at good camera stores or online. Sturdy is in the eye of the beholder, but I recently switched up from a tripod that was fine for my medium format gear, but wouldn't hold my long telephoto steady enough- it's made significant difference, even though it's about twice as big. Typically, lighter == less steady, unless you're comparing aluminum or wood to carbon fiber.

Sinsinnati
Oct 25, 2006, 08:22 AM
Not really looking to play semantics. I am just enquiring about a tripod that is less then 3 lbs, taller then 63 inches that will hold my D80 with lens for under $150. If anyone has a good recommendation I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.