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Thread: Tripod Recommendations?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Tripod Recommendations?

    I'm looking for a nice tripod to use for night and HDR photography. I currently use a cheap Vivitar tripod, but it's way too tight and the bottom piece has already scratched up the bottom of my 5D2!

    I heard Manfrotto tripods are nice, but I don't know where to start in picking out a good model. I also don't want to spend a ton of money on it as it's not something I'd use on a regular basis.

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    I LOVE mine, carbon fiber......Sturdy after much use and has no wiggle what so ever.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dolica-ZX600B3...d+carbon+fiber
    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

  3. #3
    Program Coordinator
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    I've got a Manfrotto carbon fiber legs and a Manfrotto ball head...both ran me around $300. It's quite solid, even with the older version heavy lenses like the 400 f/2.8.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I'll check out both!

    Jeremy, is this the one you have?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...er_Tripod.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    After spending tons of money on cheaper alternatives, I finally followed the right path and [invested] in a Gitzo Tripod and also a small Monopod. There is a reason why they are considered the best.. now I know why.

    This is a well written document by a long time expert on the subject... and one document everyone should read and understand.

    http://bythom.com/support.htm

    I went as far as taping a laser pointer to the camera and taking long exposures and measuring the resulting beamwidth. Very enlightening!
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  6. #6
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Also take a look at the line of accessories made by Really Right Stuff ... Kirk also makes decent gear but they do not have a deep a selection of accessories as RRS. I have had (and abused) an RRS BH-55LR for YEARS and it still feels and holds like new... Expensive, yes, but worth it... remember, invest and never spend again on the same part trying to figure out which one is as good as the best...
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  7. #7
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    You didn't say how much you are willing to spend or how much weight you need to support...there is a wide range of prices, even for high-quality ones. Do you need something with a ball head or will a 3-way head suffice? Are you willing to spend extra money for separate legs and a head or do you want to stick to a model with both? I needed to replace my Dad's old Telesar from the 1970's and ended up with a nice Manfrotto 7301YB for about $140. It's entry level but very stable. I mount a D700 with a grip+lens on it and once its locked down I get perfectly sharp shots.

    If you do a lot of stabilized work and/or use professional glass you may want to look into a high-end set of legs and a head. Thom Hogan has a point, but unless you have money to burn it doesn't make sense to spend more than a few hundred if you're only using it once in a while

  8. #8
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    Manfrotto was having a trade in deal at B&H the last two days. I traded in a crap tripod I had laying around and picked up a $200 Manfrotto for $86. That included B&H instant rebate and Manfrotto $75 trade in gift cards.
    It's hard to take chances but sometimes it's better if you do

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Chris102's Avatar
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    Thanks for some more replies, guys. I'm looking for one that'll get the job done but isn't over $200. Right now I'm using a cheap Vivitar one that someone gave me, and while it does usually work fine for me, the problem is that the camera is too heavy for the head to hold it in portrait orientation or pointing at a downward angle. When I try these positions, the camera turns and points downward. The other major problem with the one that I'm using is that the head is really tight (cheap plastic) and it's difficult to make small framing adjustments. 99.9% of the time when I'm using a tripod it's with my 5DM2 and 16-35.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    My suggestion is under $200 and carbon fiber and is solid as a rock
    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

  11. #11
    Senior Member Vinny Ohare's Avatar
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    Thanks Derf

    I just bought the tripod you recommended. Last piece of equipment to be replaced from hurricane that was lost.

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