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Honest request from my peers regarding a tripod?

Mozzytheboy 7 710 4 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 11:26AM
I know, I ask too many questions Sad Been looking and looking and am totally confused by choice. I just have one I bought from Argos which was only 30 or similar. Now I have some good lenses and stuff I realise I need something a bit more stable, plus with the Sigma 150-500 I am exceeding the weight limit. I also find it wobbles with this big lens on and is very difficult to take a still image.

I don't have a crazy budget and would be able to raise around 150-170 absolute maximum. I need the camera to go to my own eye height with maybe a tad more. I'm only 5'9".

I do not understand why some tripods come without a head. To me this seems like buying a car without wheels. I'm confused by that. I take all sorts of pictures so have no odd requests other than it closes down in sections.

Am I asking too much? Maybe too difficult to advise me?

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JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
20 Dec 2012 11:32AM

Quote:I do not understand why some tripods come without a head.

Same reason as you buy a camera body without an attached lens.

Different people want different options / brands.

I have Gitzo tripods but prefer Arc Swiss or Manfrotto heads.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
20 Dec 2012 11:41AM
Jellyfire 6 41 4 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 12:01PM
I use a Velbon Tripod and Manfrotto Ball Head, works well for me, I like the foam padding on the legs for easier carrying, especially when its cold!

I also have a tiny velbon minipod in my camera bag, and lately I find I use this more and more as its so much more convenient to carry.

Sturdy is good with tripods, but its a payoff against weight as well, so like most things you get what you pay for. Id just say no point having a top notch tripod and then a cheap head that creeps, so try and split your budget comparitavely evenly
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 1:04PM
Almost any tripod in the 100 region with a 60 midi ballhead will do you.
I have the Manfrotto 190xProB tripod with Manfrotto midi ballhead.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
20 Dec 2012 1:14PM
Mozzymoyboy, some folk have very particular ideas about tripod heads. In general landscape photographers use 3 way pan tilt heads that allow precise adjustment of each axis individually. The ball and socket head is much quicker to adjust but nowhere near as precise. Take your pick.

I bought my tripods in antique and charity shops for a tenner or less and all 3 are made by Gitzo but different weights and sizes. The smallest is easy to carry all day and the largest is huge and I have to use a step-ladder for viewing when it's at its max height. They're easy to field-strip for service and spare parts are readily available.
GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
20 Dec 2012 1:14PM
Currently using an Alta Pro 263AT with SBH-100 Ball Head . Seems sturdy enough and solidly constructed for the price - no problems thus far with moderately heavy lenses attached (fast telephoto zooms).
shakeyhands 5 445 Canada
20 Dec 2012 1:28PM
I have the Vanguard Alta Pro 264AT c/w SBH100 ballhead, Very sturdy and with almost unlimited camera positioning incredibly versatile. I got the tripod and head for just over 200.00 cad on Ebay, so relatively inexpensive also.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 1:41PM
One other consideration is what doyou want to do with it:

Indoor/studio: even cheap tripods (50 and up) will do you well until you decide what functions you really want
Landscape, all weathers: you should be looking at something like the Manfrotto 055 or Gizo equivalent - big and sturdy but a bugger if you want it to go hiking (heavy and does not fold down very small)
Macro: something like the Manfrotto range with their centre column that easily goes horizontal is great for getting up close to the subjects, especially low down
Hiking: my preference is for one that collapses about 30cm (without head) because anybigger and it swings about on my backpack. But many of them that collapse that low are also wuite short when extended - the Velbon Ultra rexi-L is a good compromise because it is short when folded but extends higher than my manfrotto - and I swear it is more stable
Mozzytheboy 7 710 4 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 3:44PM
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
20 Dec 2012 3:58PM
Mikehit made the best suggestion about the Manfrotto. Cannae beat them...

Why not put an ad in the classifieds as someones bound to have one in their garage or up the loft...
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 4:20PM
Have a good look at the Manfrotto 190 range.
The 055 range is larger and sturdier, but also heavier (which may an advantage or a problem).

Giottos are also very good. Gizo have an excellent reputation, but tend to be the 'top end' of the market.
Steve_S Plus
12 181 3 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 4:28PM
Do a search for Manfrotto Kit 190 XProB & 496RC2 & 679B Monopod. There are a couple of well known dealers doing the lot for 150 Wink
Mozzytheboy 7 710 4 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2012 4:38PM
Reading through i see a pattern re makes which is a good starting point for me. The question earlier asked what I would use it for; TBH I take a lot of Bonsai images (my own collection) and when I go to exhibitions; the latter I panic like mad on as I dread it being knocked over. I do these shots with permission of course. I rarely go out far due to health issues, so 'most' of what I need it for is at home in my garden or when I take a short trip down to the canal to sit in wait for the Kingfisher, etc to turn up.

Weight is OK, as sturdiness is a key concern, and indeed I don't or won't be carrying it very far. Sometimes my Wife will drive me out a bit further afield and I will be snapping away there and then using a stable tripod. It is having had a really good think;

And equally important to be man enough to cope with the sigma 150-500. It really annoys that the adjustments on my argos one will not cope with this lens.

Thank you.
lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
20 Dec 2012 4:45PM

Quote:Here you go, Use the change for a spare quick release plate.


A 3 way head is a bit like a chocolate fire guard or an ash tray on a motorbike when used with a 500mm lensTongue

As many have said a ball head is the way to go and Manfrotto make some lovely well priced legs and superb Ball heads...I have the 055 pro legs and 322 rc2 ball head and they are perfect with a long lens and with a bit of carefull shopping Im sure the 190 legs and a decent trigger ball head could come in on target budget

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