Tripods


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Obzervr

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#1
Hi,

I browsed through threads discussing tripods and surprisingly almost all revolves around manfrotto and gitzo tripods. Any comments or views on other brands like slik, akarui or the cheaper tripods sold at Standard Photo (selling around $35 - $60) - tanner, viron etc.

Is it necessary to invest in pro type tripods? (well I think the most obvious answer will be ," it depends on what kind of photos you shoot and the camera gear you use" besides that? will it impede creativity, quality, performance of the camera if restricted to the lighter & cheaper tripods?

Personally, I was using the cheap tripod selling at carrefour (don't think there is a brand for it) but realise that when I tried using remote control for my F65, the tripod will visibly vibrate when the camera autofocus. Then a Tanner-tr305 tripod got me, looks 'garang' with spiked legs but haven't got a chance to use it properly.

Any suggestions on how to evaluate the effectiveness of a tripod?

regards
 

chyeo

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#2
A good tripod should be able to support your camera (with lens, etc) well without being unstable or shaky. It should not even budge when autofocusing with remote.

Other things to consider: (help to evaluate effectiveness)
1) Max. weight it can support (note that tripod heads play a part too)
2) Max. height it can reach.
3) Min. height it can go.
4) Build of tripod (durability of tripod, in case drop or knock)
5) Its own weight (unless you don't mind lugging a heavy one around)
6) Type of head (ballhead or pan head)
7) Price

My own opinions on the above:
1) Very important, I don't want my tripod to tumble and my 70-200mm f2.8L go into pieces
2) Doesn't matter much to me
3) Quite important for acute angle tripod photography
4) Quite important
5) I don't mind
6) I don't mind
7) I don't mind

Hope it helps.
 

chyeo

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#3
However, I still feel that you should go for semi-pro tripods from Slik or Manfrotto. Should only cost you no more than $150 (incl. of head).
 

Obzervr

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#4
Thanks for your input.

I think the low angle reccomendation is really useful. Although the Tanner was sturdy enough upright, I was limited when setting up low angle (trying to catch my daughter at eye level).

in the end, for about $110, I got myself a heavy, used but good condition (i think) SLIK 88M with an additional panhead for low angle shooting. (I hope that is good enough) Rather unfortunately, I don't know if my body can take the weight of the tripod yet as I am still recovering from an injury.

regards
 

chyeo

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#5
Originally posted by Obzervr
Thanks for your input.

I think the low angle reccomendation is really useful. Although the Tanner was sturdy enough upright, I was limited when setting up low angle (trying to catch my daughter at eye level).

in the end, for about $110, I got myself a heavy, used but good condition (i think) SLIK 88M with an additional panhead for low angle shooting. (I hope that is good enough) Rather unfortunately, I don't know if my body can take the weight of the tripod yet as I am still recovering from an injury.

regards
well, do take care and dun strain yourself... happy snapping! :)
 

frisky

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#7
Ah_K said:
Whats the difference between a pan head and a ball head? don't they serve the same function?
Very much a personal preference. Ball head allows you to position your camera anyway with just 1 release lock. To get the same movement you will probably need to do 2-3 on a pan head.

OTOH, you can hold 1 or 2 axis and just move the other one on a pan head. With a ball head you need to readjust everything.

Hope that helps.
 

Ah_K

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Aug 3, 2002
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#8
frisky said:
Very much a personal preference. Ball head allows you to position your camera anyway with just 1 release lock. To get the same movement you will probably need to do 2-3 on a pan head.

OTOH, you can hold 1 or 2 axis and just move the other one on a pan head. With a ball head you need to readjust everything.

Hope that helps.
Thanx alot for the info ;)
It will be of much help when i start scouting for a new tripod soon
 

chriszzz

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Jan 17, 2003
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#9
Obzervr said:
Thanks for your input.

I think the low angle reccomendation is really useful. Although the Tanner was sturdy enough upright, I was limited when setting up low angle (trying to catch my daughter at eye level).

in the end, for about $110, I got myself a heavy, used but good condition (i think) SLIK 88M with an additional panhead for low angle shooting. (I hope that is good enough) Rather unfortunately, I don't know if my body can take the weight of the tripod yet as I am still recovering from an injury.

regards
It's my firm believe that the best tripod is one that you have with you when you need it, and it should be sturdy without the raising the center column. No point buying the strongest, most branded, heaviest tripod that you leave at home because it was too heavy for you to carry everywhere.

I don't really bother about the brand .I have 3-4 tripods, all Taiwanese, for under $60 each (heads are separate), from a fairly big one strong enough for a 2kg SLR-lens combo to a small little one for my Canon G3. They are all fairly light. The heaviest one is 1.5kg, and the lightest is much under 1kg. Because they are light, I carry them with me. And because they are with me instead of sitting on my shelf, they are useful.

My advice : find the tripod that you are willing to carry, not the one with the most famous brand. Make it the lightest that you can get to support the weight of your equipment that you use most often. For most people, this equipment will be less than 1.5kg ( except for those guys using medium format or using big 2.8 lenses).

To support this small weight, you don't need a super heavy super strong tripod. A modest one will do. Bring your equipement, go to a camera shop, and try it out on a few tripods, take a few test shots to see if the tripod eliminates camera shake.
 

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