Tripod recommendation for begginer

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by allan_martin, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Hello!
    I'm still a begginer/amateur in photography though I'm feeling I need a tripod for those still shots with low aperture.
    Probably will discover more uses for triipods but for now that's it.
    I have a D7000 and the lenses I'll be having in the near future are:
    I've been recommended the manfrottos tripods, like the 190 or the 055. It's really important for me that it's a light, compact tripod, as I'll be taking it in trips and hiking.
    Do you guys have any recommendations?

    And how about heads? Which head should I look for if I take one of those manfrottos?
    Thank you!
  2. First and foremost: what's your budget?
    Your idea and mine on "light and compact" seem to differ already - the 055 isn't either. Light implies carbon fiber - but does your budget support this? You will also have to decide which kind of QR clamp and plate system you would like to acquire - I can only recommend the Arca-Swiss dovetail type (far better than those Manfrotto ones).
    IMO, the best bang for the buck are currently Induro and Feisol tripods. And in terms of weight vs load and stability, it is hard to beat Acratech's ball heads. Note that "best bang for the buck" doesn't equal "cheap". For aluminum tripods, expect a $150 for the legs, at least double that for carbon. Arcatech's heads with Arca-Swiss-type clamp are $300-$400. There's also a new player in town: Sirui - check them out too. As well as Sunwayphoto.
    Undoubtedly, others will relate stories along these lines, so here is my advice: buy a good one even if it cost you $600-800 - buying cheap means that you will upgrade a few times, a process that will likely cost you more. Been there, done that :-(
  3. SCL


    A cheap lightweight one with a decent head has never cut it for me in hiking/camping. For those situations I improvise with bungee cords, a Leica collapsible table tripod and the smallest Manfrotto swivel head. For most of my tripod work I now use a carbon fibre Gitzo with a RRS ball head....bgt, heavy & sturdy. Having been down the road of buying lots of small tripods for hiking and seeing the foolishness of their being flimsy I finally wised up.
  4. Just to comment on the Manfrotto legs you're considering: the 190 is reasonably light in aluminium and scarily featherweight in carbon fibre; it's not that tall, which may or may not bother you. The 055 in any form is appreciably bigger and heavier. The carbon fibre 055 is detectably stiffer than the aluminium one (I went into a shop planning on the aluminium version and walked out with a 055CXPro3) - to me, this was more important than the weight. Bear in mind that a decent head may well weigh a significant fraction of the tripod's weight.

    I'm generally happy with my 055; I bought it for use with my D700 and a Sigma 150-500 (along with a Giottos head whose ergonomics I preferred to the Manfrotto) after establishing that my Modo couldn't remotely take this much weight. With a Manfrotto 393 on top it'll just about hold a 500mm f/4, but it's definitely not rock solid and I'm sure a big Gitzo would be much more stable - I wasn't planning on the 500 prime when I bought the tripod, which will teach me not to plan ahead. A friend has a tripod designed for surveying which I may borrow the next time I use the 500mm.

    I can't advise much on heads. The 393 is a bargain if you have a big lens, though I'm sure a Wimberley is nicer (and probably smaller). My Giottos holds the weight okay, but it certainly has a bit of sag in it that I suspect a high-end head would lack. My inventive mind keeps wanting to go off and come up with improved tripod and head designs (my starting point being something like the Manfrotto Neotec and the Arca-Swiss C1 cube, but with motor drive)...

    Depending on what you're shooting, I suggest either:
    1. Get something expensive that you'll never grow out of.
    2. Get something so cheap that you don't mind throwing it away when you do grow out of it.
    3. Get a bean bag, table-top tripod, gorillapod or something equally tiny.
    I hope that helps. For what it's worth, being a beginner has no effect on the tripod you need - the leverage of the lens and the use you're going to put it to does. Light, cheap, stable - choose two (if you're lucky).
  5. "What tripod should I buy" threads occur frequently on, and the rate of change of tripod technology is slow, so even comments that are a couple of years old can be useful. Google is your friend, ie, {tripod recommendation} and variants of that search strategy.
    Check out:
    - - - A current thread in the Nikon gear forum
    - - - A thread from just a few days ago.
    Tom M
  6. Thanks for the advices guys!
    I'm not planning on spending too much on this tripod, that's why others have already recommended be the manfrottos, cause it seems to be the best value for the price.

    I still don't know how tripods work and I just need one to work my way into getting still/sharp shots. Nothing professional, nor my passion as well (I just love to take hand-held shots)
    That being said, I wouldnt like to go to any of the extremes: Super cheap stuff will be a total waste of money but expensive tripods is definitely not a priority for me right now.
    As im buying the tripod in France, the budget for the tripod is $250 euros. I took a look at the site so I can have an idea and the manfrottos within the price.
  7. I would definitely buy a used tripod, to save money.
    Kent in SD
  8. I suggest you read the tripod section on before purchase. I use a small, light setup for hiking, used carbon Gitzo. I use a much sturdier tripod when birding close to home. I have a third tripod when travelling and walking some distance but not overnight. I came the same conclusion as Dieter.
  9. Honestly, I've had great luck with this one for photography on short hiking trips, the only small issue for me is that the head adjustment can be a bit cumbersome, but otherwise it is small, lightweight and has done the job for me in wind and on different terrains. I got mine at Best buy for around $60.
  10. I just came back from a 40-day+ photo trip in the Far East with the compact Benro A2190T flat-folding tripod equipped with a Markins M2 ballhead (think a Markins M1 should suffice for the weight of your lenses). I left the bulkier Gitzo carbon fiber at home.
    The tripod was handy for hiking; I just let one of the legs hang through a strap of the backpack, or use it as a supporting stick when the terrain was slippery.
    Naturally, there are other good choices as well.

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