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need a tripod

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jon H, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Jon H

    Jon H

    Jun 25, 2005
    Stockton, CA
    Hello all,

    I need to get a tripod for my D70 and I don't really know what too look for exactly. Any suggestions? Looking for both specific and general suggestions. Also, I'm a student so I don't have a huge budget to work with. Thanks for the help.

    - Jon
  2. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Manfrotto/Bogen supplies nice and quite inexpensive tripods, which will do well for non-professional use. The Feisol line is also worth looking into.

    Also consider the kind of tripod head you wish to use. A ball head is most versatile, but getting a good quality one might be expensive.
  3. Woah, Stockton's not all that far from Davis. Agree with Bjorn, the Bogen stuff is cheap and performs great for the price. For awhile I was looking at the 3001BN. You might even be able to find them used.


    As for tripod head, I really like ballheads but they're not cheap. I ultimately went with Acratech and I don't regret it for macro though it took me months before I even began using the tripod in the field.
  4. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
  5. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Gluskins at Lincoln Center in Stockton has a pretty good selection of tripods, they will let you try any you want in the store or out in the parking lot, so you can make a decision.
  6. Just be sure you get a sturdy tripod and a head that doesn't slip. This depends not only on your camera but the size lens you put on it. Bogen has some of the best for the money. Also, be sure it goes high enough and low enough for you. Otherwise, if you're like me, you will then buy another tripod and spend even more money. The tripod is just as important as the camera and sharp lenses. So get a good 'un. You might check http://www.photo.net in their classified section.

    Good Luck
  7. That begs the question, is it worth it to save up for Thom's fancy tripod suggestion or get a middle of the road Bogen setup for 1/3 the price?
  8. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    If you are serious about your images, get a top of the line system now. I just sold my "middle of the road Bogen setup" and got a Gitzo 1325 and Markins M20 head. The difference is staggering. Obviously, if you can't afford this option, the Bogen will get you part way there.
  9. I have a 1325 Gitzo and love it, but it ain't cheap.
  10. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    No it's not. But it makes no sense to balance a $5000 camera with a $1500 lens on top of a $100 tripod.
  11. Now that's probably the most logical thing I think I've read on this forum. Guess I'll go hang my head in shame and pick out a new tripod and head. :oops: 

    Thanks for the dose of reality, John! :wink:
  12. Gitzo-schmitzo...
    Did some of you guys actually spend $100.00 ?

    Note: little rubber suction cup on column for added stability.

    Slik mini-pro..... 4$.... in bargain bin..... Suede-ette pouch included.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  13. Seriously...my Bogen 3021 is rock solid at a good price. Ball heads, medium size, are like a vice.

    My use Gitzo has a beat-up dash of panache and will outlast this millennium.
  14. I was talking to a guy who photographs birds - uses a 600mm lens. The tripod he had was about 15 years old, extended to 9 feet tall and could support his weight - and he liked his pies, a lot ! Slik.

    At the end of the day its going to be a compromise between stability and weight - rock solid but you need a truck to move it, or light as a feather and falls over when you breathe.

    I have a Manfrotto 190BWB - its one of their wildlife range with padded legs, I've stuck a 460MG head on it as its small and light. Its a good setup - but I wouldn't buy it again. The head has a small amount of creep when you tighten the screws - bad when trying to get a macro shot centered. The tripod is good and sturdy but not very flexible for low level work - you have to hang the camera off of the centre post upside down.

    So - do your homework. The tripod needs to be flexible, strong enough to take a few kgs at least and light enough to sling over your shoulder without discomfort. The head needs to have good locking on it and be able to quickly get into the position you need it in. Don't buy on line without first going to a store and trying one out.
  15. tjgreen

    tjgreen Guest

    Vernon, I bought one of those, but mine didn't come with the BMW attached - I'm feeling pretty ripped off.

    Ok, seriously - I liked John Shaw's advice on tripods in his book on nature photography. Basically, what you've heard here already - rock solid, as tall as you, but also will lay flat (legs on the ground), and cost far more than you think it should. Also discusses different heads and constructions, and recommends his favorites.

    Read everything else in the book while you're at it, it's excellent (and the pics are incredible).
  16. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    The sub-$100 solution only works if you have a real car as support :twisted:

  17. I had a set of Bogen legs, 3021 if I remember correctly, which were great, but they are not light. Wanted a set of CF legs to reduce weight and started watching eBay auctions. Finally found a set of Gitzo 1228 for just over $200, WHOOPEE :!: Yup, there are some wear marks, but works great. As to stability, I sure don't see much differenct from the Bogen legs, they are great as well, and sure less expensive, but losing a couple of pounds is wonderful.

    Now, to heads. I also bought a Bogen Pan/Tilt head, and to be kind all I will say is that it would pan and tilt and that I would never buy one again. I bought a Kirk BH-3, not cheap at $240, but solid as a rock. In fact, look in For Sale, it IS For Sale (hint, I'll give you a great price, make me an offer :wink: ). There is so much more flexibility with a ball head, it is just difficult to describe. I have looked at the Gitzo ball heads, and all I can say is that I wouldn't buy one.

    Whatever you buy, I recommend tha Arca-Swiss style plates, just for compatibility with many others.

    Put this together right and you can still get really good quality in the under $400 range for the equipment you are using.

    By the way, when using the ball head I also had a Wimberly Sidekick attached. This held my D2H + Sigma f4.5 500mm HSM, total weight somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-11lbs.
  18. I use my tripod, Gitzo 1548 and Wimberley Head to support my Camera with the 600mm F/4 on it. Plenty of support and very sturdy. To much invested in equipment not to get a very good tripod.



    Apr 30, 2005
    currently use a bogan 3021 with a bogan 488rc2 ballhead with a arca mount. Not very expensive and good enough for my needs. The largest lens I have is the 70-200VR.


  20. Question:
    Carbon and more exotic stuff are lighter, but are they better or more rigid or vibration damping.
    I want one but don't know if I need one.
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