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Decent entry-level tripod

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Renenet, Jul 31, 2013.

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  1. Renenet

    Renenet Very Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I need some advice from people with photography smarts, please. I want to buy a tripod for a photography class. A lot of people online suggest that you should bypass the cheaper tripods and go straight for the expensive ones, but at $600 - at least - for a ballhead and tripod combination, there's no way I can afford it.

    So, with a budget of around $150, what can I get? I need something that:


    1. Can support the weight of a 1300-gram camera/lens combination
    2. Is stable
    3. I can carry on hikes
    4. Can act as a travel tripod
    5. Won't rust if it's exposed to water

    Although the photography course is very broad, I suspect I will use the tripod mostly for landscape, wildlife and macro photography in future.

    Any advice would be very welcome.

    Thanks,
    Ren
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  2. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    One of those cool flexible ones :) I have a little one but you can buy more sturdy ones for $70. Brand is GorillaPod. Google away :)
     
  3. Renenet

    Renenet Very Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip, Lawra. I've already got one of those and it was certainly useful on my last trip. I need a more professional tripod for the course.
     
  4. SteveNT

    SteveNT Very Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Velbon tripod off ebay (second hand) for $45 and a second hand Manfrotto ball head for $85 (also Ebay). This combination works fine with all my lenses including a Sigma 150-500 which is a very heavy lens.

    In the field I usually take a cheap momo-pod in case I need it. Much lighter than my tripod set up.
     
  5. Snake-Supplies

    Snake-Supplies Well-Known Member

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    I bought one of ebay, cost around $40...
    Aluminum (wont rust, light)
    folds down to a smallish size, and comes with a bag.
    about 1.5m high.
    Rather sturdy, even when fully extended up.

    It's a no brander...
    I find it fine.
     
  6. Red-Ink

    Red-Ink Very Well-Known Member

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    Whatever the budget just make sure it's a sturdy one. Specially if you have a heavy DSLR and lens combo on there (cheap tripod V DSLR). I prefer the steel ones as they are heavier.
     
  7. lizardwhisperer

    lizardwhisperer Suspended Banned

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    Like most things photographic, you are going to be better off and get it A LOT CHEAPER if you buy by mailorder from a monster photographic shop o/seas.

    Sure , go to the local shops and check out the tripods they have in stock, get a quote and most importantly the model number, then go online and check out prices for the same item offered by shops in the USA and EU.

    You'll pay a bit for postage, but NO GST and you'll likely find the same items selling for 50% less o/seas.

    Alternatively check out the local pawnbroker shops , often have very good gear that's been borrowed on and the borrower never returned being sold quite cheap.
     
  8. lizardwhisperer

    lizardwhisperer Suspended Banned

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    Yep, that's the best way to go, why pay through the nose at camera shops here in Australia ?

    I bought my prized 300mm F2.8 LD lens and lots of other photo goodies through Ebay and saved many thousands of dollars this way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  9. Vixen

    Vixen Very Well-Known Member

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  10. Red-Ink

    Red-Ink Very Well-Known Member

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  11. lizardwhisperer

    lizardwhisperer Suspended Banned

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    excellent point , the lower the COG the less likely to get blown over or tip over.
     
  12. Renenet

    Renenet Very Well-Known Member

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  13. Red-Ink

    Red-Ink Very Well-Known Member

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    Can't fix the link but yeah out off HK...
     
  14. J-A-X

    J-A-X Very Well-Known Member

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    FYI eBay links are automatically disabled
     
  15. Lachie3112

    Lachie3112 Not so new Member

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    I bought a Manfrotto 190XPROB + 804RC2 Head combo for $239 recently, that's about $50-60 off what you'd normally pay for it. Can't praise it highly enough, very sturdy, strong, not too heavy and the build quality is great. It also has a feature where you pull the centre pole all the way out, and it switches to horizontal. Very useful if doing overhead shots.

    Currently Vanbar imaging is selling it on special, it's where I got mine from: Manfrotto 190XPROB+804RC2 Tripod & head SET

    I know it's outside of your budget, but if you spend a little more now, you'll save in the long term. These things last a lifetime if you treat them well.
     
  16. Renenet

    Renenet Very Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip.

    What is the weight of the gear you put on this tripod? I notice it's only rated 4 kilograms - I am wondering if that's enough.
     
  17. Lachie3112

    Lachie3112 Not so new Member

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    Well my heaviest load I've put on there so far is approx just over 1kg (Nikon D50 + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G lens). Doing some quick research and you can stick a Nikon D4 (very heavy professional camera, 1.18kg) and a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens (2.9 kg) and only just be over the weight limit.

    It should be enough for most uses, but it depends on what you do. Your OP says it must be stable enough to support 1300g camera+lens, won't rust, and you can carry it on hikes, then it'll do very well. If you start mounting professional bodies + expensive super-telephoto lenses then I'd say go for the Manfrotto 055 series (taller and can hold more weight, while still being somewhat affordable).
     
  18. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    manfrotto
     
  19. Renenet

    Renenet Very Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Lachie and Eipper.
     
  20. Lachie3112

    Lachie3112 Not so new Member

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    No problem.

    Although I only mentioned Manfrotto, there are several other well known and established brands available. Tell us how it goes.
     
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