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looking for a tripod

Discussion in 'Tripods, Ball Heads, and Gimbals' started by wilson44512, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. wilson44512


    Jan 24, 2008
    are there any good ones out there that are about 100 bucks?
  2. lisa_h


    Sep 6, 2008
    New England
    I went through 2 or 3 $100 ones before I broke down and bought a Manfrotto. I couldn't live w/out it now---espicaly the ball head. That said, on another board someone posted this:

    "This right here is the best "bang for the buck" in many people's opinions for about $120. I have it and cannot believe how much it resembles the Manfrotto ones, etc. It's just awesome!!!!
    I have never seen it get anything but five stars! Read the reviews on BH from that link. You can't go wrong!!"
  3. Wow, that's a pretty low threshold. I searched at B&H and looked by price and load rating and here are a couple that might work for you given your price point. I assumed that you want a complete package and don't want to buy a head... I endorse none of these as I have no person experience, but they might be a good place to start...

    1) Slik Pro 340DX

    2) Sunpak Ultra Pro 777

    3 Tiltall ST01

    4) Velbon 200RF
  4. davewolfs


    May 23, 2006
    I have a used bogen 3021 with a 488 head that I can sell you, it would fit your budget. Heavy as hell but sturdy and highly regarded in terms of the less expensive tripods.
  5. mematsu


    May 2, 2007
    los angeles

    I have the 3401. Pretty light, good craftsmanship, and a reasonable price.
  6. it's always good to subscribe to the old adage:
    "the chain is only as strong as the weakest link"
  7. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    It's a fair question, but you've given no info about what you plan to use it for. That is - the kind of shots you intend to use it for (i.e. macro, sports, etc.), nor the kind of conditions you intend to shoot in (backyard, backpacking, studio, etc.) Your height is a factor, too. Your signature, if it's current, lists what camera and lenses you currently have, but doesn't tell what you are planning on getting in the near future. Without seriously considering these kinds of questions - and giving people some help with them - there is no way to know if the time we invest answering you is on target, or not.

    For one example - let's say you are really into day hikes and back packing to shoot landscapes and wildlife. In that context, you're looking for light - most of the suggestions given so far won't serve your needs, but without that info - there is no way for people to know.

    Depending on all of the above, I'd be surprised if $100 is going to get the job done. It may seem like a lot, compared to what's sold in most of the big chain stores. I, like some others here, have owned several tripods. I did read the article pointed to (several months back). When I got a DSLR, I realized most of what I had wouldn't serve my NEW needs, but I don't have the resources to buy, then buy again, until I get it right. I did a ton of research, including reading Thom's article on support. I made the investment in support solutions that fit my needs and I've been in support heaven, ever since. My main tripod/head combo now is so far superior on so many levels compared to what I had before - it's been a whole new world of discovery.

    Depending on your needs/plans, it might be a monopod would be adequate - thought even in that department, you may still be hard pressed to get a good monopod and head for a $100. But then, it might be that just a solid monopod is all you need and if so, you can invest a little over half, depending on how tall you are, and have one that is relatively light and very sturdy.

    Good luck and good (support solution) hunting! :smile:
  8. Butchdog


    May 29, 2007
    I think the 'byThom' article has some good information but it's not for everyone. Having a $1000 to spend on a tripod and head isn't realistic for many people. When I first read the article I felt as that if that advise was for everyone I may never be able to afford a tripod. It really depends on what you plan to do with it and where you want your photographic dreams to take you.
    Wileec makes a lot of good points.
    There are tripods in the $150 range that will suit most people. But don't forget about the head. A good ball head makes all the difference in the world.
    Maybe try posting a WTB ad in the for sale section.
    You never know.
    Good luck.
  9. I went through 3 tripods that were all under $125, then manned up and purchased a Manfrotto and ball head. Best decision ever.
  10. johnmh


    Nov 21, 2007
    Greater NYC
    Go for a good one right off - you'll save money in the long run..... I believe that was the jist of Hogan's article cited in an earlier post
  11. Ian73


    Mar 30, 2008
    I went with a Feisol 3342 & CB 50D ball head,so far so good,very light & good price
  12. I have the Slik 700 that I purchased from B & H for 130 bucks and love it. I found the legs were excellent and the pan head was adequate but not great. Most of the weight is in the pan head so I replaced it with a Markins Q3 ball head (a 200 dollar upgrade) and I think I now have an excellent combination. Sure, you can spend more and get more but if you are on a budget the Slik 700 is no slouch and very good bang for the buck......


  13. heydale


    Oct 5, 2007
    Buy Used!!!

    I would run with Davewolfes offer.

    I have two sets of the Bogen/manfrotto 3221 legs and two heads, the leg sets were used and the dings and scratches don't affect performance at all. I have a couple used ball heads as well. Well mad products will last for decades. one of mine is around 20 years old and the other is around ten.
    yes, they are heavier than CF but I don't hike/climb so an extra 2 lbs has no impact on carrying but it is a huge benefit in support.

    have some fun today!
  14. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    Yes, but it doesn't hurt to start with a cheap one. That will give you an idea if you will use a tripod a lot or not, and what kind of a Big Deal the proper height is ("oh, bending a little to look through the viewfinder is no problem" ha ha ha).
    My Big Sister swears by a pan head. Had I listened to her advice (and Thom's) I would have gone out and ended up with a $200 panhead that I hate. Now I ended up with a $50 tripod that thought me a lot of things:
    • I prefer ball heads over pan heads (but YMMV)
    • I do not prefer to bend over to look through the viewfinder
    • A center column might not add stability, but it is a great asset when micro adjustments in height are needed.
    The experience that the $50 tripod gave me helped me a lot in deciding toward my current tripod (Manfrotto 055XBP - basically the Bogen 3021) and ballhead (Giottos MH-1300).
    The ballhead is a deliberate choice - I do want a really good one - but I do want a tripod now and not wait another four months before I have saved up for the ballhead I want. So I can live with the Giottos for now - and I'm sure I'll find use for it once I have a Markins or RSS ball head.
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