Tripod advise

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by h_._jm, May 31, 2016.

  1. Dear pros and hobbyists;
    I am a Canon shooter; I am a hobbyist.
    I don't have a proper tripod. I am planning a trip to Europe soon that is short: only 2 weeks.
    I will be taking my Canon 6D camera; 24-105L lens and very likely my wide angle 17-40L. I want minimum weight. I know a tripod will be very handy esp for night photos and photos of me and wife together.
    I have a budget that is small $100; +/- 50
    I want a recommendation for a good tripod. I can borrow my brother in laws tripod its very average like a $10 tripod from ebay; but I love how it's light and only 400 grams.
    If I can get a recommendation for a light tripod similar to that would be awesome.
    Best Regards
    Peter
     
  2. Carbon fiber are lighter but more expensive. Not sure you really will need a tripod. I use a Feisol table top tripod or Leica table top tripod with a Leica or small Really Right Stuff ballhead. You can usually find a spot to put these which will frame a good shot. Tripods tend to be a pain to carry and are not allowed in many European buildings unless you want to pay. In some places (Italian churches, Westminster Abbey) I don't think they are generally allowed. On the street in urban areas they are liable to be a nuisance by impeding foot traffic. If you are car based and looking at them from a landscape perspective then this is a better use for them in my opinion. I would check out Gitzo (Traveller series), Mefoto, Feisol, Induro, Benro, Sirui (there are others...). Check out the height you want and the price and how small you want them to fold up to, and take it from there. There are almost more tripods than there are people. The trouble with most travel tripods from my perspective is that they are too short for a tall person (I'm over 6 ft).
     
  3. Good and cheap don't usually go together. Nothing worse than a cheap, wobbly tripod. You are probably better off handholding or buying a lens with IS/VR.
     
  4. Expect to spend as much on a tripod as on a good (i.e., "L") lens. Something both light and sturdy will cost extra. A cheap tripod will have a cheap head which won't hold the camera at any angle other than dead level. Even then it may slip with the weight of the lens. Cheap legs may collapse at worst, or wobble in the lightest wind at best.
    There is a saying, "Buy cheap, buy often." Never was this more true than for a tripod.
     
  5. Peter, I have an Induro AT014 8M 4 section alloy tripod. It folds to 18 inches and weighs 2.5 pounds. $64 at my favorite online camera store. Its seems well made and is OK for shooting static images in no wind on good surfaces but is not a substantial tripod. I also have 3 carbon fiber Gitzo pods and 2 aluminum Gitzo pods, and a 23 year old SLIK but my Induro that I bought for traveling with a small kit works OK for a single purpose when photography is not my primary goal. I am using a Kirk BH 3 ball head. You should probably look at less expensive ball head brands such as Barska, Benro, Oben and Induro to fit your price point at around $35 to $70. Find one that is "Arca-Type Compatible" and keep the plate mounted on the camera so you are good to go when you need the tripod. I strongly recommend Arca-type compatible ball heads even for less expensive options. You have a nice kit that will challenge the stability of your tripod support but will probably work out fine with everything tightened down, good shutter speed, mirror lock up and a remote or timer. I seldom extend the 4th leg of the Induro. Hope you have a great trip. Good hunting.
     
  6. Peter, I agree with Edward Ingold's comments. If your shooting style requires it you may want to consider something nicer. You can find a good used series 1 or 2 Gitzo carbon fiber pod for at or below $300 on line at the big online stores or at auction. If you get into using a tripod and purchase longer glass you will be spending more money anyway. The Induro for me was a risk after having used consistently good Gitzo tripods for for a number of years. The Induro is Ok and that is all it is. Good hunting
     
  7. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Tripods are easily purchased used, depending on where you live, there should be plenty on craigslist. It's easy to check them out too, there's unlikely to be any hidden problems as there can be with cameras and lenses. I bought a compact Linhof tripod for travel for about 25% of its new price. I bought a ridiculously expensive Gitzo for $25 at a flea market, it didn't look great until some cleanup, sold it to another photographer, and it works fine. Just make sure everything operates smoothly.
     
  8. I agree with Robin. Many tourist attractions may disallow tripods due to safety issues in crowded places. Additionally, I've traveled extensively and never needed a bulky tripod. Of course, certain shots are always easier with the stability afforded by a tripod. But as has been mentioned here already, you can usually get by with tabletops, short walls, traffic barriers, etc ... I once shot a night view of Mont Saint-Michel in France balancing my trusty Canon AE-1 on nothing but a fence post. The photo was later published in newspapers. One option you might consider that will help out with stability and will help keep you under your budget is a monopod. You can get them in carbon fiber for less than $90 (Manfrotto 290, for example). Monopods will be very light and easier to carry. You might also be able to use it like a selfie stick ... a trick that would let you take photos of you and your wife. You might also be able to use it to take shots up in the air to get above heads of other tourists and to just get different viewpoints. Just set your camera's self timer, raise your camera up into the air on the end of the monopod and take shots nobody else is getting.
     
  9. It is a good old rule, "Pick the tripod, the heaviest you are able to carry". You can't save on a tripod, but you can save on lens or camera if you are a learned and a good photographer.
    "If I can get a recommendation for a light tripod similar to that would be awesome."
    A light tripod never, "awesome".
     
  10. The Induro AT014 8M mentioned above looks decent. I generally use a travel tripod for framing an image properly, exposure bracketing (in case I want to exposure blend), panoramas, and focus stacking. Only when shooting in darkness and doing long exposures do you need a really heavy duty tripod. I used a Benro A1190T Travel Flat Tripod on my last photo trip because it lays flat in my checked suitcase.
     
  11. The cheapest stabilization system is a small cloth sack you can fill with sand, gravel, or dried beans from the market. Set it on any surface and nestle your camera into it. I have a tripod that I'm finally wearing out -- it is 48 years old. It is not light or good looking, but it sure is durable. I lust for a really right stuff tripod -- that will be the next one! I will leave it in my will.
     
  12. As EJ mentioned, the best way is to get a beanbag (or similar) and look long and hard for a really good tripod...giving yourself time. You may want to get a cheapo tripod for travel only....and a real good one for everything else. Very often a good tripod head may cost as much as tripod itself.
    Last Fall I went to Asia for 7 weeks and either shot handheld or using a beanbag, tho others have different requirements.
    Bit of a local story....I see this guy trying to sell 8 tripods for $10 on CL. This has been going on for 2 yrs now....he started with $20. Anyway, no one is buying his (as I'd call em) mistakes.
    My advise is to get something good once....so you don't have to look over your shoulder.
    Les
     
  13. I'd second Craig's list. If you try to buy a new one, than good + cheap don't go together.
     
  14. Thanks for everyones input
    I am following Robin's advise; I never knew that table top tripods ever existed and I think that's what I wanted.
    I am looking at these two and not sure if they fit together; any advise?
    Manfrotto 494 mini ball head + Feisol carbon fiber tabletop tripod
    as it seemed that this combination can take 8 Pounds plus no problem hence likely very sturdy.
     
  15. Yes should fit, no problem.
     
  16. it

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    Make sure you have something that goes high enough. Frustrating not being able to get a shot because your tripod is too short. I used to buy cheap tripods but they are a complete waste of money most of the time. Either too heavy, unsteady or start to fall apart right away. I have a mix of Gitzo and Benro, all excellent.
     

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