What to look for when buying a tripod?


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espn

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#2
Get a Gitzo 1228 and a AUB. Your problems are all solved :D
 

Kit

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#3
crazypaladin said:
As above. What's important to you? Light weight? etc?
Well if you're looking for a light weight tripod then of course that would be an important factor for you. Its pretty subjective actually. I would prefer a tripod that can hold the weight of my camera coupled with the heaviest lens I have (not forgetting the tripod head) with some to spare. Weight although is an important issue but is secondary to stability.

My suggestion is buy the heaviest tripod you can afford to carry with the weight of your equipment in mind of course.
 

evozero

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crazypaladin said:
As above. What's important to you? Light weight? etc?
depends on what camera / usage / functions u need

tripod should reach shooting height w/o need for centre extension [for stability]

quick release plate [enable u to remove camera w/o slow action of unscrewing from tripod]

ball or 3 way heads [ball is more flexible, 3 way easy for paranomic]

spirit level [to make ur landscape shot nice and level]

individual legs [allows tripod on sloping ground]

spikes on legs [allows stability on soft ground: these should have covers for legs]

central column: geared and non-geared [fine tune control vs speed]

weight [carbon fibre: light but expensive, most others are aluminium alloy]

locks on legs: twist knob or snap type [stability vs speed]

colour: black or silver [black doesn't reflect light]

other functions: some central columns can be removed to use as monopod, hook to hang bag for stability, mounted on tripod to shoot low objects etc

search in the various photo websites too
 

Clown

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#5
look for 3 criterias which u must balance out.

1) stability. when it holds ur gear it should not shake or be affected by wind blowing.

2) weight. all heavy tripods are super stable but not practical sometimes.

3) cost. optional criteria. if u can afford, go for it.
 

MooEy

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oh, 1.5kg too light for u?

~MooEy~
 

Mar 30, 2004
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Pasir Ris
#8
Weight the tripod can support (must be stable also).
Weight you can carry (especially long distance).
Price you willing to pay.
 

justarius

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#9
crazypaladin said:
Thanks for all the inputs!!! Currently owed a tripod but at 1.5 kg, it's killing me!
huh? what gear are you using now? If its a digicam, small light tripod is less of a problem. If you are using a 600mm lens, then good luck. Even with carbon fibre with a light quality ballhead, don't think you'll be able to find an outfit that's lighter than what you are using now.
 

smallaperture

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crazypaladin said:
Thanks for all the inputs!!! Currently owed a tripod but at 1.5 kg, it's killing me!
If you've done NS, then think of it like you're having your rifle on sling over your shoulder. So, anything around 3kg seems to be OK for me. To be specific, go for a Manfrotto 055 or 190, these 2 are the most popular models from Manfrotto, and they last a lifetime. The 055 is heavier, and good enough for most tall guys/gals and for the heaviest stuff you have. If you're somewhat shorter, the 190 is somewhat OK.

I am now using mostly a monopod - stable enough for most of what I am doing, like zoo, birdpark and Botanics. Very light, very fast to set up and minimal encumbrance and very affordable.

For the head, I have just sold off a heavy duty classic ballhead, the Manfrotto 468Pro. What I am going to get is the Manfrotto 501B VIDEO head. Video head becos what I need is just the panning and tilting only, just 2 degrees of freedom, the third is found in the lens tripod collar, to allow rotating the lens/camera to portrait format.

Also, check out Ken Rockwell's site.
 

MooEy

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hmm.. from my experience, the max weight that a normal human can carry on his shoulders is about 2.4kg. anything more than that, together with long carrying hours will result in aches and even bruises.

i'm quite against getting the manfrotto 055 tripod. too heavy for photography use. i'm currently using the 055proB + 410 geared head. the combo weights abt 4kg. carrying it around for a whole day will result in shoulder aches. thinking of downsizing to 190proB + 141rc.

do not forget that u are carrying ur camera as well as ur tripod. a camera and a few lens can weight more than 1kg easily.

if ur current tripod is sturdy enough, i don't think there is much reasons to buy another one.

~MooEy~
 

justarius

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#12
hah? I thought normal guidelines for hikers and campers that they are able to hike with a third of their body weight without problems. Somehow your 2.5kg limit seems a bit low to me. Kind of strap and how you carry your gear is important also. If you haven't already tried them, go try an Optech neoprene strap. You'll be amazed how light your equipment feels. Anyway, carrying a D2H with 70-200VR attached would have reached your 2.5kg limit..
 

MooEy

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hmm.. my 2.4kg is based on the original manfrotto bag and wearing the sling on a single shoulder. with a better strap and different ways of carrying, u may be able to take more load. but 4kg+ is still too much la.

~MooEy~
 

di0nysus

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hikers can carry heavy backpacks due to the padding of shoulder straps and most importantly, the WAIST strap, w/o which, no one can tahan. even with waist strap, it's v siong to carry 20kg of luggage on your back, so must be reasonably fit!

am contemplating getting a good tripod, as my current cheapo one only 2 deg of freedom, and its super light, hence sway in the wind.
 

smallaperture

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For weight, it looks like it's different strokes for different folks. With a solid sturdy tripod, you feel good and confident about taking your pic and see that satisfaction out of getting that fabulous shot. When you get that shot, you feel that it is all that worth it, even though it might be somewhat heavy. It's good exercise.

We do not get to walk that much though. For example, the furthest point in the zoo from the carpark is less than 1km, same thing goes for the SBG and the JBP. If you're a tourist, you don't get to walk that much. Some resort or scenic mountains have got cable cars and trains etc. How many of us actually go for long marches ( they call it route march in the army). Very few and those who go, they are the fitter and young or not that young ones.

A very comfortable sling could do wonders, like the Op/tech sling.
 

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I use a mini-tripod. I love it since it's extremely portable. It's a basic 3 section tripod with a removable center column that can be easily reversed for shooting close-up shots.

Great for mobility!
 

Diablo

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#20
The case u quoted will not apply to pple on hiking/trekking holiday.

In a typical outdoor trail, where the terrain is undulating, and mostly onflat ground, even 1 kg of weight makes the difference.


smallaperture said:
For weight, it looks like it's different strokes for different folks. With a solid sturdy tripod, you feel good and confident about taking your pic and see that satisfaction out of getting that fabulous shot. When you get that shot, you feel that it is all that worth it, even though it might be somewhat heavy. It's good exercise.

We do not get to walk that much though. For example, the furthest point in the zoo from the carpark is less than 1km, same thing goes for the SBG and the JBP. If you're a tourist, you don't get to walk that much. Some resort or scenic mountains have got cable cars and trains etc. How many of us actually go for long marches ( they call it route march in the army). Very few and those who go, they are the fitter and young or not that young ones.

A very comfortable sling could do wonders, like the Op/tech sling.
 

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