Thinking about a new tripod

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dimme, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    I shoot with a DSLR and everything from 18mm to 210, mostly landscapes. I habe a gitizo reporter & gitizo ball head which I love. However after 20+ years the legs are very sticky, I have tried to clean lube and repair them but after a month they are back to needing attention. Plus it's pretty heavy to carry on long hikes. So I am looking to replace it with hopefully something lighter, but I do not think I can afford a carbon fiber tripod. I am looking to spend around $150. I like ball & socket heads preferably with out the quick release plate. Any one have a recommendation based on personal experience.
  2. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Considering that most Gitzo ballhead+tripod combos cost upwards of $1,000, and the quality that comes with the price, you really can't replace that tripod for $150.
    Actually, most ballheads cost $70-120 alone...
  3. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    If you're looking to replace your tripod, I would recomment looking at Manfrotto. You can definitely find tripods for around the price range you stated. I use a Manfrotto to support my DSLR gear in the field, and it has been a rock for me in the 6+ years since I purchased it.
  4. rusty2192, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Is there anything wrong with your ball head? If not, you could just reuse that and just get new legs. The Manfrotto 055XPROB aluminum legs are currently priced at $158 on Amazon or the 190XPROB is $135. I don't have any personal experience with Manfrotto, but that is probably what I will be going with next when my $40 Dolica eventually wears out.
  5. avro707, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2010
    The Manfrotto 055XPROB is fine. I've had one for a long while. I use an 808RC4 head on it, or a Wimberley depending on what I'm photographing.

    It is heavy, which makes it a pain if you must lug it long distances. However, taking it in a tripod bag makes that a lot easier.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    With your budget, just buy Manfrotto legs and keep the current ball head.

    That said, why a ball head for landscapes. Your subject is not moving. Wildlife photographer like those big and expensive and heavy ball heads because they can track the animal and then quickly lock the head, take the shot then un-lock. You don't need the kind of speed so you might save weight by going with a different head. I have one head I use for land scopes and studio work that has levels built-in. Trees, rocks and lakes will wait while I level the camera.
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    IMHO a ballhead is probably the best style of head for landscape photography. The "arbitrary positional freedom" of the ballhead (twist the camera to wherever you want it to look, and it stays there) means you can focus more on the composition that you want, not the one you can wrestle from an inferior head.

    Besides, I don't think ballheads are any bigger/heavier either. If anything, they are much more compact (no three-axis handles) and lighter than a pan/tilt head.

    You might be thinking of a gimbal for wildlife shooters(?), which enables rapid tracking of birds in flight- but a gimbal is pretty much worthless for landscape photography.


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