MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Are Expensive Tripods Worth the Money?  (Read 10833 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: August 13, 2008, 21:57 »
0
And if they are, can anyone recommend one? Currently, I'm just using some $30 tripod I bought at Walmart. Thanks in advance.


« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 23:47 »
0
Usually more expensive ones are more stable and for me is the most important feature.  Mine is very heavy so I am sometimes sorry when I go on mountain trail but I would be sorry if I do not take it :-) Modern tripod use carbon fibers so you can get something which is not as heavy but still stable.

« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2008, 00:12 »
0
Try photographing San Francisco from an island in the middle of the Bay with the ocean's winds blowing straight at you while using an inexpensive flimsy tripod.  Doesn't work, as I found out. 

« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 01:14 »
0
also more expensive ones are easier to adjust.

I have had cheap ones in the past and well, you can't get any more still than still, so they DO hold the camera.. if that is all you want / need, but they don't hold it still in a wind as karimala pointed out, and it can get VERY annoying very quick if you need to be very picky about how it is positioned (like for photography real estate for example)

Also having one with a quick release plate is a nice feature,

when buying an 'expensive' tripod, you generally buy the legs seperate from the head, so you can pick and choose what suites you best.

How much are you wanting to spend?

Here is a pile of nice tripods from Manfrotto
manfrotto tripod systems

I think most (or all) of those are allready a head and legs put together as a package.

« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2008, 02:57 »
0
I'm still waiting the arrival of the Manfrotto 728B ($210AUD) I ordered, but I did a fair bit of research on tripods before deciding.

Apart from what others mentioned, the one other thing I read which I kept in mind when choosing is a phrase "The best tripod is the one you take with you". So while the most expensive ones are most sturdy, they're usually the heaviest as well. When choosing, go for something that balances weight with sturdiness for you. Also keeping in mind the weight of equipment the tripod itself can support.

« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2008, 03:40 »
0
And if they are, can anyone recommend one? Currently, I'm just using some $30 tripod I bought at Walmart. Thanks in advance.

yes, depends on what you call expensive :) think of it like lens, buy the best you can afford.

usually less sections = more stability and the head is just as important.

IMO quick release plates are an absolute must.

also have to decide whether you like catches (like manfrotto etc, or twist and lock like giottos etc). I have twist and lock and they are slower but do the job (I've only used cheap pods and 1 manfrotto monopod with catches and they didn't hold well (I'd assume better quality stuff would). 

I have a giottos 9180? cost me about $200 2 years ago and has travelled over 20000km (much of it on my back :( and I can still get it to lock tight in most positions (Its one of those octopus ones) but it is getting harder to do.  Many people consider this a cheap tripod and it has hard life so it has done well but it will be replaced b4 the end of the year (I've been told to look at gitzo but I may possibily another the same (but in carbon!!!)   

I have a benro head about $100-$150.  supposedly hold about 10kg (yeah right personally divide tripod capacity by 2 and head capacity by 4) after 18 months (of a hard life) it is really struggling, it will be changed to markins or arka swiss maybe RRS?? have to look into these soon.

A few people I know basically you're looking at $1000 for a "good" pod and head :o

Phil



 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 03:50 by clearviewstock »

« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2008, 04:31 »
0


Apart from what others mentioned, the one other thing I read which I kept in mind when choosing is a phrase "The best tripod is the one you take with you". So while the most expensive ones are most sturdy, they're usually the heaviest as well. When choosing, go for something that balances weight with sturdiness for you. Also keeping in mind the weight of equipment the tripod itself can support.

I think more expensive actually means lighter.  If you are comparing tripods of like size, the more expensive ones are gong to get lighter.... carbon fiber tripods for example are the lightest material and also the most expensive.

but i agree with your point - if you are going to get a tripod, get one that you will actually take with you.

« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2008, 09:50 »
0
I have two tripods.  The first is a Manfotto 190ProB and weighs about 5 pounds. I really like this tripod because it's sturdy, the leg adjustments are levers which are quick and easy, the legs adjust independently, and the center post can be mounted horizontally.  I've carried this thing everywhere including on airplanes.

However, in an effort to reduce my pack weight when we go backpacking I bought a Giotto 1148.  This is a nice little tripod, but I don't like it near as much as my Manfrotto.  It's much lighter, but the legs adjust with the twist type connecters.  I find it much slower to adjust the legs.  The legs also adjust independently, but they don't have as many stop positions as the Manfrotto tripod.  It's also not very sturdy with all 4 leg sections extended.  It is not sturdy at all in windy conditions.  I found out the hard way to make sure the darned thing is balanced properly before walking away.  My camera hit the ground for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago because I didn't make sure the tripod was balanced before walking away from it.  Thank goodness for lens hoods!

In the end, the Giotto is a okay alternative to my Manfrotto when I go backpacking.  I will probably take it when I travel by air too because of it's much smaller size.  However, the Manfrotto will remain my favorite.

I have a Really Right Stuff BH-40 ballhead which I use on both sets of tripod legs.

« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2008, 10:45 »
0
also more expensive ones are easier to adjust.

I have had cheap ones in the past and well, you can't get any more still than still, so they DO hold the camera.. if that is all you want / need, but they don't hold it still in a wind as karimala pointed out, and it can get VERY annoying very quick if you need to be very picky about how it is positioned (like for photography real estate for example)

Also having one with a quick release plate is a nice feature,

when buying an 'expensive' tripod, you generally buy the legs seperate from the head, so you can pick and choose what suites you best.

How much are you wanting to spend?

Here is a pile of nice tripods from Manfrotto
manfrotto tripod systems

I think most (or all) of those are allready a head and legs put together as a package.




I'm willing to spend $100 to $300. I may buy this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Bogen-Manfrotto-728B-Compact-Integrated-Carrying/dp/B00011X0X2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_7?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1218728446&sr=8-7


But I'm still researching.

« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2008, 13:39 »
0
I got the Manfotto 190ProB and it's alright.
I thought I had done my research but I'm not happy with the little 486RC2 I got with it. It's not enough for my Nikon D200 with an old 105mm on. I would definitely go for a bigger head now.

« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2008, 15:37 »
0
I got the Manfotto 190ProB and it's alright.
I thought I had done my research but I'm not happy with the little 486RC2 I got with it. It's not enough for my Nikon D200 with an old 105mm on. I would definitely go for a bigger head now.


I just have the legs and I really like it.  I LOVE the Really Right Stuff BH-40 ball head.  I lost my first one during a backpacking trip that turned into quite a nightmare.  I didn't hesitate in ordering a new one as soon as I returned home.  They're expensive, but worth it.

« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2008, 16:30 »
0

I think more expensive actually means lighter.  If you are comparing tripods of like size, the more expensive ones are gong to get lighter.... carbon fiber tripods for example are the lightest material and also the most expensive.

but i agree with your point - if you are going to get a tripod, get one that you will actually take with you.

Not necessarily about the weight, since I've seen some $500+ Manfrotto's that are heavier than the 728B, but that's understandable since those $500+ range can carry equipment around 7kg+ while the 728B is only 3-3.5kg. Point I was trying to make is that you could get the $500+ one, but if you're only ever going to use equipment in the 2kg range, then the more expensive ones won't be as beneficial for you (carrying around extra unneeded weight/size).

The way I figure it for myself, if I have equipment that breaks the 3-3.5kg capacity, I should be able to afford one of the more expensive tripods. $210 was more than I initially wanted to pay (you can get Velbon's and so on locally for around $60) but like with most of my bigger purchases I want to have equipment that I'll use often and works well so I started looking at the best Manfrotto for my needs.

« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2008, 17:03 »
0
My current tripod is a Slik 700DX Pro.  It's a lot larger and heaver than the previous cheapie ones I bought.  I've got a Bogen 390RC2 Jr head on it that takes the quick release plates.  What I like about this combo is that it's very stable.  I use this to support my camera for stock shots, and for studio work.  I'll take it out and about, but I make sure I don't have to lug it very far.  I don't think I would go hiking with this, though, due to the weight.

The only problem I have with the entire setup is fitting a large lens (like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS) to the tripod.  With the release plate on the lens's "foot", the camera body gets in the way of the release lever.  My quick solution is to loosen the ring on the tripod and rotate everything 90 degrees, click the plate into the tripod, then re-center the camera if needed..

« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2008, 19:22 »
0
My current tripod is a Slik 700DX Pro.  It's a lot larger and heaver than the previous cheapie ones I bought.  I've got a Bogen 390RC2 Jr head on it that takes the quick release plates.  What I like about this combo is that it's very stable.  I use this to support my camera for stock shots, and for studio work.  I'll take it out and about, but I make sure I don't have to lug it very far.  I don't think I would go hiking with this, though, due to the weight.

The only problem I have with the entire setup is fitting a large lens (like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS) to the tripod.  With the release plate on the lens's "foot", the camera body gets in the way of the release lever.  My quick solution is to loosen the ring on the tripod and rotate everything 90 degrees, click the plate into the tripod, then re-center the camera if needed..


The Slik tripod receives such great reviews that I went ahead and bought it. It should do nicely. Thanks everyone for your help.

« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2008, 20:43 »
0
For anyone else that wants to buy a tripod in the future, don't forget your local camera shop that may carry used equipment.  I got a Manfrotto tripod for $100 used.

« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2008, 21:05 »
0
My old Manfrotto is 27 years old. It really needs a bit of work, but I can see no reason to upgrade. But if I did ... yes another expensive Manfrotto.

« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2008, 22:09 »
0
http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=itemlist&cat1=Flashpoint%20Carbon%20Fiber%20Tripods&cat2=Tripods%20/%20Monopods%20/%20Accs&sid=1218769560455000

Just found this on adorama.
I personally have a feisol tripod and head. with RRS clamp and L-plate. MMmmmmm L-plate.

« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2008, 09:48 »
0
http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=itemlist&cat1=Flashpoint%20Carbon%20Fiber%20Tripods&cat2=Tripods%20/%20Monopods%20/%20Accs&sid=1218769560455000

Just found this on adorama.
I personally have a feisol tripod and head. with RRS clamp and L-plate. MMmmmmm L-plate.


Yes, the L-plate is FANTASTIC!  After using one for the past 2 years, I can't imagine NOT having it.

« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2008, 11:01 »
0
I think everyone's agreed ... yes is the answer to your question.

I have a Manfrotto 055, with a 229 head, for home/studio/local use. The only annoyance is that the head won't tilt backwards more than about 30 degrees so, for high-angle shots the camera has to be mounted in reverse.

The whole thing weighs a ton, so for hiking I have a lightweight Slik, but it doesn't support the camera (especially with a telephoto) nearly as steadily. The difference is very noticeable.


IMO quick release plates are an absolute must.


Watch out with quick release plates. They're great, but I've probably broken more photographic equipment through them releasing unexpectedly (I know ... probably for not being closed properly ... my fault) than for any other reason.

 


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
18 Replies
7217 Views
Last post February 27, 2009, 09:29
by tygraphics
4 Replies
1766 Views
Last post June 04, 2008, 20:54
by epixx
116 Replies
14116 Views
Last post July 10, 2012, 09:18
by antistock
26 Replies
7738 Views
Last post September 20, 2014, 10:27
by MarcvsTvllivs
9 Replies
2250 Views
Last post July 25, 2013, 09:06
by Xanox

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results