Tripod and head for D500 and 200-500

Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
808
I almost never use a tripod. Let me rephrase that. I almost never want to use a tripod. As a result I don’t have a decent tripod setup. Last night I wanted one for the eclipse though. So, I am looking for recommendations for a tripod and head that will be sturdy enough for that combo. I will probably also use it on the rare occasion to take family photos I want to be in. Unfortunately my budget is very tight right now, so it needs to be inexpensive. If there isn’t anything that fits that I’ll just wait until the budget allows me to spend more. At present it needs to be around $100. I know that is really low, but is there anything worth having in that price range?
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2013
Messages
1,855
Location
vancouver, canada
hi Dan,

I can't think of any decent tripod in this price range. What I did when I was in Uni was go through the old bricks and mortar camera stores that sold used and got a beat up But working manfroto aluminum tripod. I had to ask if they had one, they had an old one in a storeroom that they didn't think they could sell. it didn't look great but it was stable...


cheers,
alexis and Georgie Beagle
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
808
hi Dan,

I can't think of any decent tripod in this price range. What I did when I was in Uni was go through the old bricks and mortar camera stores that sold used and got a beat up But working manfroto aluminum tripod. I had to ask if they had one, they had an old one in a storeroom that they didn't think they could sell. it didn't look great but it was stable...


cheers,
alexis and Georgie Beagle
That’s what I figured. I’ll keep my eye out, but I’ll just wait until I can get a quality one.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
4,556
Location
Redwood City, CA
It depends on what you want - I use a tripod frequently and the attributes I want are:

1 - light weight
2 - rigid
3 - easy to set up
4 - easy to adjust
5 - versatile in adjustments
6 - adequate weight load

If you want all of that, you'll end up with carbon fiber, arca-swiss compatible and a first class tripod (Gitzo, RRS, Manfrotto) and ball head (Arca Swiss, RRS, Kirk, Markins,AcraTek) and spend $1000. My favorite is a 2 series Gitzo with an Arca Swiss Z1.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
808
It depends on what you want - I use a tripod frequently and the attributes I want are:

1 - light weight
2 - rigid
3 - easy to set up
4 - easy to adjust
5 - versatile in adjustments
6 - adequate weight load

If you want all of that, you'll end up with carbon fiber, arca-swiss compatible and a first class tripod (Gitzo, RRS, Manfrotto) and ball head (Arca Swiss, RRS, Kirk, Markins,AcraTek) and spend $1000. My favorite is a 2 series Gitzo with an Arca Swiss Z1.
That’s why I don’t have a tripod now. I don’t imagine I’ll spend $1000 on a tripod.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
223
Location
West slope of the Sierra Nevada
While you can easily spend over a grand on a tripod/head, you don't have to do that to get pro quality support. Manfroto aluminum legs can be had for $100-200 (190 or 055 series), and a ball head for about the same (Benro or Oben).

Are they as beautifully crafted as RRS or Acratech... no. Will they give good support and sharp shots... Yeppers.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
4,556
Location
Redwood City, CA
That’s why I don’t have a tripod now. I don’t imagine I’ll spend $1000 on a tripod.
and, it all depends on what you shoot. BIF, sports, documentary, street - many subjects won't work with a tripod. On the other hand, a good tripod and cable release can make the biggest difference in the quality of a photograph. If I do a still life, it's much quicker to get out a tripod with a geared head and compose, rather than try to fix things in PP.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
24,245
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
Dan - Here's the article that Rick referred to above:

Tripod 101 | DSLRBodies | Thom Hogan
This is the article that's often sited when it comes to tripod discussions. Based upon the subjects that I most often shoot (i.e., landscapes, architecture, macro, wildlife)--a tripod is absolutely essential. And, I went down the wrong path that Thom describes until I read this article (the 2007 version). I then invested in the appropriate tripod and ballhead and stopped throwing good money after bad.

Glenn
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
6,353
Location
N Idaho
This is the article that's often sited when it comes to tripod discussions. Based upon the subjects that I most often shoot (i.e., landscapes, architecture, macro, wildlife)--a tripod is absolutely essential. And, I went down the wrong path that Thom describes until I read this article (the 2007 version). I then invested in the appropriate tripod and ballhead and stopped throwing good money after bad.

Glenn
Glenn. I did exactly what Thom Describes in “Thoms Maxim #2” bought a bunch of progressively pricey tripods. First one was from Walmart, last one was from RRS. There were at least 4 in between the first and last.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
5,459
Location
Chicago "burbs"
There's a certain "comfort" in knowing you'll never have to buy another tripod and/or ball head and/or gimbal. Take a look at Steve Perry's old Gitzo in his videos. Been around the block several times to be sure but still performing. I wish cameras/lenses were a one time only expense.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
463
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
Dan,

As has been mentioned above, if you are not particular about size and weight, I would look for a used set of legs. Your choices should be good if you are not in a hurry and unless the tripod has been abused, it should work fine if it was decently constructed. I know that there are some old Bogen models (3021/3221?) out there (before they were relabeled Manfrotto) that might be available for not a lot of money and that are quite sturdy. You may have to give up on quick release legs among other things, but if you want to save, you have to give up something. You can also look for a gently used ballhead, but I would not skimp too much on that, new or used. A good ballhead is a pleasure to use and a bad one can be an absolute pain to use and leave you quite frustrated.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
9,955
Location
Western Slope of Colorado
Dan - certainly not trying to get you to spend your money :eek: but rather just offering another option for you to peruse when you might be ready. Reputable places such as B&H frequently have good deals on quality "used" gear; I've had perfect success with their stuff, mostly new and on occasion used, over many years.
GitzoGT-2531 Mountaineer 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs - Supports 26.4 lbs (12kg)
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
808
Thanks to everyone for their advice. Unfortunately, I'm one of those government workers deemed essential for health and safety, so working but not getting paid. So, all nonessential spending is suspended for the time being. I have about $100 in credit at B&H and thought I might spend it on a tripod if a decent one could he had for that price. I suspected that wasn't possible, but I figured you guys would know better than me, since I have never been a tripod user. I'm sure I'll start getting paid again one day, but until then I'll just wait.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
463
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
Thanks to everyone for their advice. Unfortunately, I'm one of those government workers deemed essential for health and safety, so working but not getting paid. So, all nonessential spending is suspended for the time being. I have about $100 in credit at B&H and thought I might spend it on a tripod if a decent one could he had for that price. I suspected that wasn't possible, but I figured you guys would know better than me, since I have never been a tripod user. I'm sure I'll start getting paid again one day, but until then I'll just wait.
Hang in there and hold on to the credit. You can put together a decent set-up with a bit of time and patience when the funds start flowing again. Hold tough in the meantime!

--Ken
 

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