Any tripod reccomendations?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by solamnus, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. I know many sigh and roll their eyes at the question "best" tripod for me;) But i am going to ask anyway but try to narrow it down to make it easier for anyone wanting to help out with a tip or two.
    I own a D700 and usually use Portrait lenses and my biggest is a prime 180. I almost never use my other tripod an old Manfrotto for amateurs i got way back and that might be a reason i seldom take it with me. I realise its time to step up and get something i can carry with me more often then not.
    I was looking at the Manfrotto 055 XPROB and it seemed to fit my needs a bit. But im a pure novice and only read a few reviews about them and still not sure.
    My budget would be around 150-300 Euros, and of course i would want the best that money could buy even if its not that much, i realise that hehe.
    My wish would be something pretty light, easy to carry around but still effective when it comes to release it and keep it steady but at the same time easy to maneuver when its attached.
    Any reccomendation for this lost swede? ;)
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I buy tripods used. For the most part, there is little to go wrong with a tripod, and if there is a problem, it can often be solved with cleaning. I bought a Linhof tripod that originally cost $800 for $250 and it was in perfect condition.
    Also, "which tripod" is a personal decision. Height, ease of setup for example. And my biggest issue, I don't like twist locks like on the Gitzos. You can't tell if they are twisted or not by looking. One of the major reason for using Linhofs (which are now discontinued) is that they have flip locks, probably like your Manfrotto. I can tell instantly if they are properly engaged. Then again, lots of people like Gitzos, so it's obviously a personal choice.
  3. Another vote for flip-locks, although I use a tripod so rarely that my opinion is less useful than others.
    Another thing, as said, be sure you get one tall enough for you without extending anything - going through photography all bent over is no way to live.
  4. With tripods you are facing the principle of physics that a certain amount of energy applied to a certain mass produces a certain movement (vibration). Furthermore, long leg sections are more rigid than short ones. The acute test of a tripod is how it behaves in wind – a heavy 2- or 3-section tripod is going to win every time, but equally this is going to be bulky and tiring to carry. A second criterion (much easier for tripod makers to meet) is static load capacity – even small tripods offer a load capacity well above the weight of most DSLRs, for example, but this does NOT means you’ll get a sharp picture with a long lens in a wind! All I can say is that Manfrotto tripods
    are well made in all sizes and each one represents a different compromise between bulk/weight and portability. Even a very light one which I have is free of whip (the legs do not bend when I press down on the top). Secondhand tripods can save money but are not automatically good – dirt can get into the leg sections and make them stiff or even impossible to pull out, snap-type locks can wear and slip – the rotating-collar type of lock is slower to use and chews your hands up if used all day but is essential for very heavy cameras. Specific recommendation – I would be surprised if you were not happy with either a 055 or 190 model.
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Secondhand tripods can save money but are not automatically good – dirt can get into the leg sections​

    Doesn't sound like you're familiar with the last generation of Linhof tripods. This doesn't happen with them. And while they were wildly expensive when sold new, the used prices are pretty good.
  6. Martin, the Manfrotto 055XPROB is a very sturdy tripod but it is heavy. If the reason you don't carry your tripod with you now is weight (you say you want something light), it will not be a good choice. Carbon fiber is lighter than aluminum but more expensive. Plus it is a lot more hand friendly if you shoot in cold weather.
    I would second Jeff's suggestion with regard to finding a used one. I've seen some pretty good deals (even on Gitzo - and I really like my Gitzo tripods). Twist lock or flip lock is a matter of personal opinion. If you're moving a lot of gear around, the twist locks don't catch on everything like the flip locks sometimes do.
    If you are set on buying new, take a look at those made by Vanguard. While I have never used one, the Vanguard tripods in carbon fiber seem to get pretty good reviews for inexpensive tripods. Maybe someone here with some actual hands on experience can advise you better on this manufacturer.
  7. Thanks a lot guys:) love this forum because i always get an answer that is helpful, i appreciate that very much!
    Will look up those suggestions you had on Vanguard and used market. I see that there are many factors that will decide if it suits my need of course. Still, it cannot be worse than what i have now hehe. I think my old has a fliplock though as Jeff pointed out. But i havent tried the other kind so really cant say whats my prefference yet. But Mark had a good point about the weight of the tripod and that i wanted something light. So will look into those carbonfiber ones and see if they are not costing a fortune!
  8. Someone is selling this on a swedish site. Would that be a good tripod? Its in carbon at least and looks so be in good shape.
  9. As others said, the Manfrotto 055 XPROB is a fine tripod, very solid, but heavy. If it is tall enough for you and you like its characteristics, consider its carbon fiber equivalent, the Manfrotto 055 CXPRO3, which is significantly lighter, but stiffer. It is very slightly shorter, not enough to make make a difference for me. You may be able to find it used. I sold my XPROB to buy the CXPRO3, and I'm very pleased with it.
    About the bargains that can be found in used tripods, a few years ago I bought a Manfrotto 3251 for US $67, about a fourth or a fifth of its price new.
  10. I'll also confirm that the 055XProB has a really good reputation, but it's big. I have the 055CXPro3 version Hector suggests, which is slightly more rigid (detectably so, side by side) and somewhat lighter, but more expensive. It took me about a week to lose the tool for tightening the leg locks, but fortunately they've never needed it. (I've had a flip leg lock fail on a smaller Manfrotto Modo - that's not much of an indication about the merits or lack thereof of flip locks, but it's a sample point.)

    If you don't need the trick horizontal column of the Manfrotto, I'll mention the Velbon REXi L. It's aluminium, but it's cheap and light (1kg lighter than the Manfrotto), folds down small (36cm vs 65cm), and has a really neat and fast leg set-up system. It's probably not quite as solid as the 055, but it's probably more rigid than a 190 series; it gives way better support than I would have expected it to, and I'm sure it'd hold a D700 with a 180mm on it just fine. I recently moved my RS-3 onto it from my Manfrotto, which is now reserved for when I need the centre column. (I have an RRS when I need even better stability.) I'd try before you buy, but it's a different design that's worth a look before you dismiss it. I've not had mine long enough to give it a thorough recommendation, but thus far I'm impressed. I have but two concerns: the legs don't rest together so they could get squashed in transit (which I solved by putting a film cannister between them, held in place by rubber bands) and there's no hook to weigh it down for extra stability, but if you're after portability then it's a contender.

    Just don't do what I did with my 055CXPro3: buy a tripod that's just enough for the biggest lens you own (150-500 at the time, in my case) and then go and buy a bigger lens (500mm f/4...) that it can't handle. :)
  11. Thanks again guys:) both of those mafrotto tripods seems very good. And also of that other brand. Laughed abit when you told me you bought a tripod for a certain lens and then got a heavier that the tripod couldnt hold hehe. Wont do that misstake! ;)
    So what do you guys think about this Velbon? It comes with bag and a plate with lock included. It will cost me 150 Euro.
  12. So what do you guys think about this Velbon?​
    I Have a Velbon El Carmagne 530 (Discontinued) and I like it very much. It is not the most expensive brand, nor maybe the lightest, but it is a very sturdy carbon fiber tripod, with flip locks. I will recommend Velbon right with the big three (Slik, Manfrotto, and Gitzo).
  13. The only thing that would worry me about the E630 in your link is, if the specs I found are correct, it's slightly on the short side (without the centre column extended) - but the same is true of the REXi L I was recommending. (It's twice the length of the REXi folded, but the REXi isn't carbon and has a lower maximum weight.) I've never actually seen one, though. The head doesn't look particularly high end; that would make me more nervous than the tripod, given the load you'd put on it, though you can always swap it out for something better if the package appeals after you've tested it. It seems to use a proprietary plate system (not the Arca-compatible that the high end of the industry seems to be settling on), which might be a pain if you expand your system in the future. But again, no direct experience of a QHD-62q. Good luck with it if you go with that.
  14. Ok yeh it seems to be a pretty good tripod and on the pics that he sent me it looks to be in very good condition.
    Thanks for the reccomendations:) As you mentioned Andrew the plat doesnt look to be a very high end one hehe. And i AM a little concerned about that. However as you said i might replace that anyways in the future, although it might be sufficient at the moment. The tripod itself new cost around 250 Euros now, so im paying 150 for both which seems an ok price. He wanted more first but i haggled a little bit :p
    Thanks again for the help, its been very helpful!
  15. I bought that Velbon in the end:) I hope i am going to be happy with it. After what you guys said and also after looking around on reviews etc i sleodm heard any really negative about it. Also it seemed the lightest of the ones i was considering. And knowing myself a light tripod is a must since i will leave it at the house instead. And thats no use. Only thing im worried about is that head. Then again i can replace it later on if it would be a nuisance.
    Thank you for the help guys.

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