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Thread: Starter-ish tripod

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    Starter-ish tripod

    Hi All

    I'm in the market for a new tripod because my Dad's 30 yr old one isn't and probably was never doing the job right. Haven't taken too many long exposures because of that. I've put it off for a while but I'm getting too annoyed to not have one anymore. I want to take it on travel if I can. I took my friends gorillopod to the NZ slopes which wasn't too bad. But even then it was hard to find places to use it and limited my shots a little.

    I want to keep the budget around $200-300 but am not fussed if I have to spend more for something decent. I don't wanna buy this thing twice if I can avoid it. Will be putting a d90 and 17-55mm 2.8 on it. That's probably the heaviest thing that'd be on there so the 4kg max weight will be enough I think.

    Was thinking of something standard like a manfrotto 190xdb with 804rc2 head? I was also looking at somethign lighter and more expensive like the 190cx3 with a 484rc2 ball head.

    Any opinions/suggestions/comments welcome.

    THanks.
    - Tim

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    Member nightbringer's Avatar
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    Seriously, when it comes to tripod, look at it like a lens - you want something that will last you a LONG time.
    That said, I picked up a Manfrotto 190CXPro3, the carbon fibre one, with a 327RC2 head. It set me back about $700 (buying locally, so you can probably take off a few hundred for going grey), and it has served me faithfully through everything I've needed it for. Why buy two or three cheap tripods before getting the good one, plus the time cost of getting them (research, shopping around, etc), when you can just get one and save on the time later?
    That was my thinking anyway. The carbon fibre one was relatively light as well, so I guess it won't be too much strain on your back while you are carrying it around - I'll be putting that to the test next time I go travelling

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    If you get easily annoyed at setting up a tripod(as I do), then there is only one set of legs that will minimise this pain.

    Manfrotto 458B! simple as that. Slightly heavier than regular legs, but for ease of set up, nothing comes close.
    For all purpose heads, you can't go past a ballhead! A good design, will allow for both speed of setup and fine tuning framing.
    Three way heads are ok for fine tuning framing, and that's it. A useless design type if you ever want or need speed.

    My recommendation for your price point, tho, is always a Benro setup. in general for the same level of engineering and quality, Benro seems to be priced at about 1/3 of a similar Manfrotto.
    Just because you haven't heard of the name before, or that it sounds like a cheapo Chinese knock off, doesn't mean that it's of a lesser quality.
    Find somewhere that stock a Benro(and hopefully a Manfrotto as well!) and compare the difference in quality. You should easily see that not only is there none, you may even find(in the upper end price point) that the Benro gear actually feels superior!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Just had a look at Benro. They ARE really cheap!
    IS there a difference between the aluminium and carbon besides weight? such as Rust issues? wear? stability and strength?

    There's only a 0.2kg weight difference between the 2 models I want but a $100 difference. I can justify carrying that extra weight which doesn't seem a lot for $100 less.

    What do you guys think?

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Your first consideration is to get a tripod that suits your height.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I realise that price is an important consideration, but I reckon the most important consideration is ... drum roll ..... usage!

    First factor in the amount of usage you will get from it. Number one priority to work with.

    If you are going to use it occasionally, then price comes into the equation. If you go out taking photos every weekend and take a fair amount of gear(which includes the tripod), and also find your self walking for a while in doing so, then forget about the price, and work with the convenience factor.
    If you purchase a set of Al legs, the weight factor may eventually come into it and you could tire of either carrying it in with you on the odd occasion, which defeats the point of the purchase anyhow.

    If it's simply for studio use, then of course weight is a non issue.

    The few hundred dollars difference will eventually become a non issue once the purchase has been made.

    Although in saying all this, you still have to factor in a head of some type into the purchase price too.

    But take this advice from a value for money nutcase(that'll be me! ) .. Spend your money wisely in areas where it's wise to spend lavishly!

    if you need to delay the purchase for a while to find the extra funds to get a CF tripod(for example because you do a lot of bush walking or whatever, then I would recommend to do so)
    Also note that my experiences with Benro tripods are with the 3xxx series which are the larger tubed legs.
    I suspect that the build quality of the smaller legs will be the same as on the larger sets of legs, and also note that larger is a lot better too .... for stability! I know it's tempting to get the smaller legs because they're cheaper, but as with almost everyone else, you'll probably come to the eventual realisation that the smaller legs will one day end up being too small.

    I've never had any experiences with Aluminium Benro legs, so I'm not really in a position to offer any advice on them directly, only that their CF legs are very impressive for the money.
    I know you can get them in Sydney from a 'bricks and mortar' store, for a given amount, but you can also get them a bit cheaper from ebay from various sources too.
    Once you have a set of CF legs, you can't go back to Al legs, especially when you go walkies with it.

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