Recommendation for a Tripod

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Gator24765, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Gator24765 macrumors 6502a

    Gator24765

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    I am looking for some recommendations for a tripod. Nothing extremely fancy cause i am a college student with not a lot of money.

    I currently have two but they are both the cheap ones you buy at walmart with terrible panning and tilting.. not smooth at all


    I am looking for one around $50 but is nice and sturdy..

    something that can pan real smooth.
     
  2. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #2
    Its doubtful you will get a smooth pan and/or sturdy at that price point. Unless perhaps you buy used, even then...

    You can really get a nice one for the $170-$200 price range.
     
  3. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    Jun 10, 2006
  4. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space
    #4
    I recommend Manfrotto, but the quoted tripod might be OK for the OP's sub-zero budget.
     
  5. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #5
    This looks like it might actually work, although I haven't tried it myself. I still want to recommend (if you can somehow afford it) to buy a tripod and head seperately, so you can switch out one or the other later when you have some money to spend. An okay head that I have used is this:
    Amazon Fluid Head (30$)
    And as a tripod with removable head, I could only find this here:
    Amazon tripod (40$)

    There might be better ones to find out there. But I wanted to tell you that you should think about not getting a tripod on which you can never update to a better video head.
     
  6. Gator24765 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Gator24765

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #6

    Thats a good idea and the prices seem reasonable.

    Now for the ones you posted, have you (or anyone reading this) actually used them?

    If so, how were they?
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    There is literally nothing made in tripods in that price range that even resembles sturdy or well made. I get that you're a student, but you will want to spend some time testing. If you can deal with sturdy but fairly heavy, you can get something within a couple hundred used that will work okay with longer lenses (say up to 200mm) and larger full frame camera bodies. A used manfrotto is a good option for a legset. Any used ball head meant that's indicated for at least a 15-20 pound load is a good option. That might sound like a lot, but the smaller ones slip and creep when you tighten them down.

    One other thing you should consider is quick release. If you can get a head with an arca style quick release plate, they're very quick to put up and take down, which is nice.

    If your budget is $50 you might as well stick with what you have rather than continue to buy things that will quickly feel unacceptable. These are specialty items, so unfortunately they are very expensive.
     
  8. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #8
    Ball heads and Arca Swiss plates are not meant for videography.

    ----------

    If you only have a handycam the Velbon 607 is a good choice for 80 bucks. Be aware though that the head is very plasticky. It won't hold anything beyond a Canon HV or something like that.
     
  9. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #9
    As I said, I have used the fluid head, and it works pretty well. It is a little sluggish and you need some force to get faster movements, but it works smoothly. The horizontal and vertical axes resitance can be adjusted separately. It is not meant for 10 pound studio cameras, but for camcorders and DSLRs, it has a nice size.

    The tripod I have no idea, but you can't do totally wrong here...
     
  10. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #10
    Yes, but don't use this "fluid" head for anything heavier than a handycam.
    You wanna go a step or two higher without breaking the bank? Check Amazon for WeiFeng 717 (sold under different names). A Manfrotto 503 clone with some solid legs. It goes for 150-170 bucks (the Manfrotto original is at least double the price). There are some reviews on Youtube.

    I can vouch for WeiFeng having a photo tripod I'm using when I have to into the water (Pacific). It works solidly for nearly ten years now (a rusted, but trusted).
     
  11. Gator24765 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Gator24765

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    Thanks guys this is a helpful thread.. Although I am in college I can wait and save up to get a better one.. I dont mind.

    I mainly use it to stream sports games and need a smooth pan. The current one gets choppy when I put my camera on it (too heavy i guess)



    I am using a Canon HF20 if that helps you out a bit
     
  12. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #12
    Then you should be fine with the 80 dollar Velbon.

    I screwed up my head with a Sony A1, big battery and wireless mounted on it. To hold the cam, I had to overturn the screws... no they're screwed.
     
  13. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #13
    Yes, then both of the simple Velbons will do. When you upgrade to a heavier cam, you can go for a better fluid head if you need it. I personally used the Velbon head I posted with a Canon HFS10 (about the same size) and a Canon 550D (T2i in the US), which is slightly bigger. Worked fine for both.
     
  14. Babybandit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #14
    A High School Film Student here, and I had a similar problem recently. Whilst our needs are different, Short Films versus Sports Games (Though I did do a Live Video feed for a School Musical), consider the following...

    Save up (If you can) for a good video head. That's the key. A Good Videohead will let you do all sorts of smooth pans and tracks with a lot of accurate controls. Then pair it with a decent, just above average tripod - I had a free Nikon Tripod given in a promotion. But it was still better than most cheap tripods.

    This way, not only is the weight well supported, but the pans and tracks are fluid too! On top of that, if in the future, you can afford a better Tripod, you still have an awesome video head. Obviously this might not be the best way, but it's how I try to have my equipment as future proof as possible as a student with limited budgets.
     
  15. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #15
    Doh video, how did I miss that? I should have noted "something that can pan real smooth". Same thing applies for video though. Sturdy and low budget don't go together well. Used could still be a good idea if you want to get any real longevity out of it.
     

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