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Thread: What's the diff between tripods?

  1. #1
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    Default What's the diff between tripods?

    i've seen the price range in tripods from 30+ to hundreds of dollars... wat's the diff between them? aren't they all just 3 sticks? wat r the disadvantages of a cheapo tripod?

  2. #2
    Midnight
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    Stability, build quality & weight.

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    how do they affect image quality? u mean a lousy tripod still has some vibration?

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    Originally posted by shuy
    how do they affect image quality? u mean a lousy tripod still has some vibration?

    well, i'd say a better built tripod is more steady. of course, those 50 dollar tripods are fine if you're just using a small camera, but if you're using some 'big' camera and some long/heavy lens, you might be overloading the tripod. a good tripod can also last you a lifetime, if used with care and properly maintained.

    to add, some parts on the cheaper tripods are made with plastic, which might not last that long.
    Last edited by djork; 16th September 2002 at 09:21 AM.
    Canon 300D, 30D, 5D. 17-40 f4 L, 24-105 f4 L, 70-200 f2.8 L IS

  5. #5
    Midnight
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    Originally posted by Midnight
    Stability, build quality & weight.
    Ok, maybe I should elaborate a little bit more on these three points in my rather terse original post. These are IMHO the three points you should consider (in decreasing order of importance) when making a tripod purchase:

    Stability - This is the main purpose of using a tripod and therefore should be your primary consideration. Different tripods and tripod combinations (legs+heads) have different operating loads, so you need to get one that suits the weight of the equipment you'll be mounting on it. Moreover, some of the really cheapo tripods are so bad that even if you keep within their rated operating weights, they'll still vibrate visibly if you tap them. No good at all--why use a tripod in the first place if it's not stable?

    Build quality - Cheaper tripods tend to have more plastic parts, which obviously break more easily than metal parts and are therefore less suitable for photographers with more intensive requirements. The design and construction also often affects the stability of the whole setup, especially when you start talking about the various heads available.

    Weight - At the high end, you can pay more for carbon fibre tripods that are lighter in terms of weight but still as stable and well-built as their heavier counterparts. At the lower end, you may want a lighter tripod if you foresee having to travel around a lot with it slung over your shoulder.

  6. #6

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    1: When using a telephoto lens(long lens), your subject will appear bigger(ie 300 mm compare to 50 mm). But bear in mind that vibration or shaky subject will also be more visable.

    If you using a $50 tripod and a $500 above tripod, you can see vibration is greatly reduce.



    Of coz, you really can't see the subject is vibrating when you use short forcus lens.



    2: When u click the shutter, the mirror slam up, vibrate, slam down, vibrate.



    That's why most pro cameras have mirror lock up.



    3: A good tripod (carbon fiber) will damp away vibration.
    Last edited by ninelives; 16th September 2002 at 03:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by ninelives
    1: When using a telephoto lens(long lens), your subject will appear bigger(ie 300 mm compare to 50 mm). But bear in mind that vibration or shaky subject will also be more visable.

    If you using a $50 tripod and a $500 above tripod, you can see vibration is greatly reduce.

    Of coz, you really can't see the subject is vibrating when you use short forcus lens.

    2: When u click the shutter, the mirror slam up, vibrate, slam down, vibrate.

    That's why most pro cameras have mirror lock up.

    3: A good tripod (carbon fiber) will damp away vibration.

    i don't think it is fair to compare a 50$ and 500$ tripod, and i believe one doesn't have to pay 500$ for some tripod which can reduce more vibration, the manfrotto 190D (read- much cheaper) is good enough for most occassions, unless you're lugging around heavier gear.
    Canon 300D, 30D, 5D. 17-40 f4 L, 24-105 f4 L, 70-200 f2.8 L IS

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by djork



    i don't think it is fair to compare a 50$ and 500$ tripod, and i believe one doesn't have to pay 500$ for some tripod which can reduce more vibration, the manfrotto 190D (read- much cheaper) is good enough for most occassions, unless you're lugging around heavier gear.
    9lives specifically mentioned 'telephoto' and '300mm'. I think his comment is fair. Of course, if you have 2nd or 3rd generation IS, maybe 190D is good enough

    i would add that the head is even more critical at telephoto lengths. Arca-Swiss, Acratech etc

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    Originally posted by erwinx


    9lives specifically mentioned 'telephoto' and '300mm'. I think his comment is fair. Of course, if you have 2nd or 3rd generation IS, maybe 190D is good enough

    i would add that the head is even more critical at telephoto lengths. Arca-Swiss, Acratech etc
    i've shot at 400mm for some time, and personally, i think 190D still can make it, ha.

    unless ya talking about the 300 2.8, which i have no idea (if ya can afford this, heh heh, of course it's better to get a beefier /|\ and head.)
    Last edited by djork; 16th September 2002 at 08:56 PM.
    Canon 300D, 30D, 5D. 17-40 f4 L, 24-105 f4 L, 70-200 f2.8 L IS

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    so how much is the manfrotto 190D?? im a poor student... not much $$ on me

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by djork


    i've shot at 400mm for some time, and personally, i think 190D still can make it, ha.

    unless ya talking about the 300 2.8, which i have no idea (if ya can afford this, heh heh, of course it's better to get a beefier /|\ and head.)
    Some professional photographer need very sharp photo for their big print 8R for example. The photos they took will appear in the magazine. They only can sell their photos if they are sharp.

    For ameture or student, who don't need big print. $500 tripod is over kill for some of us. But some are willing to spend the money on it not because of the stability but because of the weight.

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    how's the slix 8000 or 9000 for my needs?

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by shuy
    how's the slix 8000 or 9000 for my needs?
    My hamster escaped from her cage, climbed the computer table, ran across the keyboard and
    accidently hit keys that wrote: u did not tell us wat camera/lens u are using.

  14. #14
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    oh... i'm using the epson 3100Z

  15. #15

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    Originally posted by shuy
    oh... i'm using the epson 3100Z
    i don't think u need a expensive tripod lor, at bit overkill for a DC.

  16. #16

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    how's the slix 8000 or 9000 for my needs?
    Yeah, a Slik U8000/9000 would be suitable for most (pro)consumer digicams. Think it should be reasonably stable even for more weight. The "famous nice guy" at CP's tripod store recommended the 6600 for a digicam which is 500g lighter, but I got the 9000 anyway. It's more stable and also comes with rubber/spike legs and bubble level.

    Of course, if you're thinking about the -future-, and you see yourself getting more stuffs like huge lens and expensive DSLRs etc. you can consider the higher-end ones.

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    so how much is one? - very impt question for me

  18. #18

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    the Slik U8000 costs about $52

  19. #19
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    wat's the diff between the 8000 and 9000? does the difference matter to me?

  20. #20

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    Originally posted by shuy
    wat's the diff between the 8000 and 9000? does the difference matter to me?
    The difference is in the rubber/spike legs, bubble level, weight (100g) and price ($10).

    Heard that you can get a better deal at AMK - ~$50+ for U8000 and ~$65 for U9000 -with- bag. It's $10 cheaper than in CP. Also heard that the shop has not been doing very well lately, so you might wanna get yourself a good deal and also let them do some business.
    Last edited by Acieed; 20th September 2002 at 02:04 AM.

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