Tripod recommendations?

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by mhedges, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    I noticed last night that the head on my old Quantary tripod is cracked. It doesn’t appear to be replaceable, so I guess I need something new. Any recommendations? Budget is 100 max, but I’d like to spend less.

    My old one had a video style pan/tilt head, with the little arm and everything. Are ball heads preferred for stills?
     
  2. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Still can't go wrong with Manfrotto, IMO. Not sure you can get one under 100 smackers, but cheap tripods, like most things, are just that. Cheap. Flimsy, wobbly, insubstantial or fragile.
    A used one could be an excellent investment.

    Aluminum is OK but carbon fiber is nice for two reasons -- weight and they're not cold to the touch when it's cold outside. The latter is a big "plus" in northern New England, believe you me. :)

    [​IMG]
    This is my 'daily driver' Manfrotto (aluminum, but with insulation on the legs), FWIW. Nice little tripod. We're a Manfrotto family -- Mrs. H's birding optics sit on Manfrottos.


    Ball head preferred? I dunno. Nothing wrong with 'em --- get a good one.
    A good one won't be inexpensive.

    If you feel like an investment for tripod and head -- go with Really Right Stuff. Good stuff. Not inexpensive.
     
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  3. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Manfrotto/Bogen/Gitzo. Value for money. And I mean great value. Do. Not. Cheap. Out. A series of cheap tripod's is a bad investment. I'm using a 3rd hand (at least) early Mafrotto in the studio that looks like it was used to fight the owners way out of something nasty. It still performs like a charm. Must be 30 years old if it's a day. I can do 1 minute plus exposures with it with no blur/shake.

    I always suggest you go for one a bit stronger than you think you will need.

    ebay/craigslist etc always have them.

    If you want to make a statement, Berlebach or Ries for a multiple of dollars more :)
     
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  4. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Thanks. Really right stuff or the others aren’t in the cards. RRS cost more than my camera and lenses!

    My boss also recommended Manfrotto. But he also said Ravelli was a good budget option, although they may be on the heavy side.
     
  5. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  6. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Well you need something super sturdy to handle a 4x5 camera like that!
     
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  7. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yup, but he uses it with smaller cameras, too. He likes sturdy & light.

    Btw, his day job is a university mathematics professor :)
     
  8. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    I think I’m going to go with a Zomei. Manfrotto would be great but it’s just not something I can do right now with my current day care bills.
     
  9. eiraved

    eiraved AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I like the vintage Bolex Paillard myself...it just looks good.
     
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  10. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Don't know that brand, but they do seem to make a range of ones from semi pro down. When buying it's a good idea to get one that is able to support 2-3 times the weight of your camera and heaviest lens.

    I would still try looking for a used one, most of my gear is “pre loved” and it has saved me a ton of money.

    Avoid the Neewer brand ones by all accounts. Very bad quality control. Some good, a lot not.
     
  11. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I once had a Ries tripod which was similar until someone offered me ridiculous money for it.
     
  12. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

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    I don't know if they are still around, but in my photographer days I had a solid tripod mad by a company called Star. Nice stuff.
     
  13. eiraved

    eiraved AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You're lucky to have found the right buyer, or he's lucky to have found you! I have difficulty selling my Bolex, it seems like not many want vintage tripods, they seek compactness over strength and beauty.
     
  14. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The market for them is smaller, mainly people using large format. The Ries I sold was nice, but at the price offered I didn't think twice. Have a Berlebach that was the back up tripod that I use now for my 10x8 camera.
     
  15. Lonnie1212

    Lonnie1212 Member

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    Never underestimate what a pawn shop might carry. I purchased a new tripod stand at Walmart. Then I found 3 more at a local Pawn Shop.
     
  16. MaxxVolume

    MaxxVolume AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    A good tripod is a one-time purchase, and probably suitable for a lifetime of hard use IF you get a proper one. I`ve used this Manfrotto (with a 3-way pan/tilt head) for over 20 years, it will take the Pepsi Challenge for whatever you throw at it.
    Shop around, buy a good one !

    upload_2018-2-4_3-33-33.png
     
  17. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I've had a couple nice, pro level tripods for 20 years or more but I've also bought maybe five or six really nice onbes for dirt cheap from craigslist and at pawn shops.

    I paid $10 for a really nice, sturdy Slik that was made in Japan. It's a bit clumsy, but it's as strong as any of the sub-$400 tripods I've used.

    It also depends on what you're using it for. Someone that has a 5D Mk whatever and a 70-200 flipped to portrait orientation needs a lot more tripod than someone with a T3i and a lot lens.

    Outdoor landscape folks that are working with a 2 second or longer exposure need a heavy tripod with a weight hook.

    I'e seen very nice results with a cheapie $30 Best Buy tripod... I just wouldn't trust a larger camera and a bigger lens on it.

    A few of the Vanguards I've seen have been nice, if wanting something relatively affordable if wanting something new. Just do your research on the specific model, esp the head.
     
  18. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Honestly my Quantary did fine. Indoors I got crisp shots at 30 seconds exposure without an issue. It’s too bad the head cracked.
     
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  19. danj

    danj modern primitive

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    Buy the best you can afford and you won't be sorry. Avoid the really cheap "Black Friday" specials, which are usually only adequate for a point-and-shoot and lack versatility.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  20. Danddd

    Danddd AK Subscriber Subscriber

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