yet another tripod thread (sorry)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wmmk, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #1
    Ok, I know a lot of people have asked about tripods lately, so I'm sorry that I am too. My second quantaray QSX6601 has just gone kaput, and I'm tired of exchanging these every weekend after the same exact part breaks. This time, I'm going to take initiative and just pay some extra cash and get a better model. I'm willing to spend no more than $50, which means I can get any tripod under the price of $80. This seems reasonable.
    Because I bought the broken tripod at Ritz, I'll have to go back, which means that this is my selection. Anything compact yet stable would be great. Also, a head that wouldn't have much tendency to break would be rather appealing.
    Thanks,
    wmmk

    EDIT: This will have to hold a Pentax K100D with a 28-200mm f/4-5.6 and occasionally a vivitar 285HV when being used on camera
    I'm 5'11" and growing, and being able to shoot at eye level would be a major plus!
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    The problem with this is that a good tripod is important and you're limiting yourself to Ritz which is a problem. I have no issues with Ritz, I buy my cameras from there often due to their stupid as **** warranty (which means I can be stupid as **** and still win). Their tripods however are less than average in my opinion. I would get whatever $80 gets you and just be done with it. Until you're ready to move to Gitzo, Bogen, etc you'll probably find yourself at Ritz a lot returning a broken tripod.
    Sorry but I can't really say how important it is to have a good tripod if you're a tripod shooter.
     
  3. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #3
    How much would it cost me for a tripod that you would consider good? I usually shoot handheld, but for night, creative long exposures, HDR, and panorama, it's always nicer than I can tell you to have one. If I had a tripod that was faster to set up and less cumbersome to carry, I might use it more...
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    Your expectations of reasonable aren't good in my experience. Strong support costs. If you're willing to shoot without a tripod head, and level the camera by moving tripod legs, I'd say you can do pretty well at about $180. I don't think you can get anything that's approaching stable and easy to use without going over $225, and that'd still take some doing. Personally, I wouldn't budget less than $425 for support for your combo.

    Thom's second maxim still applies:

    http://www.bythom.com/support.htm

    You're definitely down in what Thom says is the $600 range near the end, I think you can go almost $200 less and still have soid suppor, but more than that and you'll need to find someone tossing out a perfectly good leg set because their glass got too heavy (the guy who got my Mamiya carbon-fiber tripod spent a little time with some epoxy and ended up with good support for up to 300mm for almost nothing- but he still probably came to just over $300 on a head and QR plates.)

    Lighter but still stable costs way more than just stable.
     
  5. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #5
    I'd love to be able to spend that much on a tripod, but I'm 13, and I buy all of my own photo gear. I don't mind buying used or ugly looking stuff. I got the 28-200mm for $70 and my flash for $65, and they're both great. I don't need to have a tripod that I could do perfect studio work with, I just would like something that can fairly unobtrusive for night street photography and a bit of HDR. Being able to do panorama isn't really a huge priority at this point. If I'd end up getting a better tripod for my money by just going someplace other than Ritz, I'm willing to do that, but that'd decrease my effective budget to $50. Anyway, a ball head seems like it'd be most convenient at this point. Ball heads can lock, right? This would make my current choices the Quantaray QSX-DigiPro 100 and Quantaray Versipod (which I guess can be a monopod too?). Thanks so much!
    wmmk
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #6
    Studio work is *easy*, it's out in the wind on surfaces that people walk on, etc. that's difficult. It's tripods that resonate with the mirror slap that cause soft pictures- you can nuke some of that by putting a hook on the center column and hanging a bag of stuff from it, but your best bet is to try to find someone who's getting rid of an old sturdy one.

    A monopod will do better for street stuff, HDR wants something that's not going to shake if you're doing long exposures.

    A ball head *can* lock, especially when it's new-- but over time it'll get lose and not lock well. That's certainly true of all the cheap ball heads I've worked with and even one of the not-so-cheap Gitzos. You may want to stay away from ball heads until you can get a good one. Cheap pan-tllts have the same issue (lens slowly creeping downwards) but tend to go a little longer between new and crapped out.

    If you really want to do panoramas on the cheap, http://www.worth1000.com/tutorial.asp?sid=161123&page=1 may be interesting, though you'll really want sturdy legs for that. IMO, that Versapod thing looks like a disaster waiting to fall over, but I've never seen one in person- so it could just be the way it looks.
     
  7. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #7
    OK, I've read elsewhere that cheap ball heads break a lot. I just want something that won't break, is able to hold my gear, and is steady enough for basic HDR and night shooting. If I end up having to, I can can a separate monopod later. Any suggestions would be very welcome!
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    $80 is kind of light for a quality tripod. If you can spend double that or a bit more you can get one that will last a lifetime or longer et at least a Bogen 3011 llegs with a pad/tilt head. I prefer the quick flip type locks rather then the screw locks and I like the two possition legs but if yu are looking to save money even the 3001 legs will do for a small SLR seup. You might get this for $100.

    But why go cheap. A camera ha a short life timw so you don't want to spend to much but a tripod lasts forever
     
  9. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #9
    would the bogen 3001 legs cost $100 with or without a head? would the setup I described classify as a small SLR setup?
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    I've said it twice now, this is my best suggestion given your budget:


    The phrase "Do you have an old tripod you're not using?" should evoke a positive answer from anyone with more than two good cameras.
     
  11. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #11
    Thank, I understand. I was asking for any suggestions (including what type of old model may be sturdy enough). My current tripod seemed sturdy enough in the store, but sure isn't now! Also, how much should I prepared to pay for a sturdy used tripod? I'm very sorry, I just don't know loads about tripods.:eek:
     
  12. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #12
    UPDATE:
    To all or any who may find this of interest, I got the Quantaray DigiPro 8500. It was only $59.99, which I suppose is quite cheap in comparison to Gitzos and Manfrottos. My main concern this time around was just getting a tripod with a head that won't break. This seems very stable so far, and with its titanium legs and metal head (as opposed to aluminum and plastic in the cheaper quantarays), I hope it will continue to do so for quite a while.

    I'd certainly recommend this to anyone who doesn't have lots of cash to spend but wants to do more night, HDR, and panorama work.
     
  13. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #13
    ok, it might be too late now, but you might take a look at Berlebach. Just look at this very serious test (in dutch) where they compare Gitzo and Manfrotto with Berlebach. Berlebach comes out better than all Manfrottos, almost as good as Gitzo but for a fraction of the price.
     
  14. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #14
    Interesting! next time I'm upgrading, I'll look at those. Have you ever used one? I'm slightly suspicious of it being wood.
     
  15. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #15
    No I haven't used one, but I am going to order the 8023/P and add a Gitzo head. Again just have a look at the test. Looks like a bargain to me. I will get back and tell you how it was when I get it. Moreover, when it comes to the material, you really shouldn't don't underestimate what evolution can create in a couple of hundred million years; wood has excellent dampening characteristics. :)
     
  16. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #16
    I can't read Dutch...
     
  17. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #17
    Babel fish is your friend. It will translate the page for you to somewhat understandable english ;)
     
  18. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #18
    nice;)
    anyway, the rest is sort of understandable...
     
  19. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #19
    I wrote "somewhat understandable" ;)
    Still, it is worth while to read through the test. He is extremely thorough in his analyze. Borderline OCD if you ask me...
     
  20. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #20
    hehe, I know, it's actually a great review. just had to chuckle at the bird arse part. now I feel all juvenile for laughing at the word 'arse.' out of interest, what does it mean to say by 'bird arse'?
     
  21. Dr.Gargoyle macrumors 65816

    Dr.Gargoyle

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    #21
    I think it means ornithology or bird watching (I don't speak dutch either)
     
  22. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

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    #22
    I was intrigued about what might translate to "bird arse".
    Vogelaars... :)
    It could be translated as "someone who birds".
    Of course, if you split up the word in to
    vogel and aars, you indeed get
    bird arse.
    "to bird" would then be translated to "vogelen", which could also be understood as kissing or having sex.
    But this is getting to complicated for my tired mind.

    So Dr.Gargoyle was right, birdwatcher, someone who watches birds.
     
  23. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #23
    don't buy a cheap tripod, save and get a decent one.
    $80 for a tripod is cheap. You get what you pay for.
     

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