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bugs228 Jun 8, 2009 9:17 AM

Going on vacation and I'm looking for a tripod that is light,durable,& easy to use. Also it has to be compact because I'll be carrying it on the plane? My options are open but I would like to spend 100.00 or below that.


TCav Jun 8, 2009 1:09 PM

You shouldn't have any trouble finding something suitable for $100. For that, you'll probably get aluminum, as carbon fibre and other lighter materials will be much more expensive.

Most newer tripods are equaly easy to use. (When somebody finds a better way to do something, everyone else soon copies it.)

The tripods with the fewest leg sections are the most durable and the most stable. You'll have to weigh that against how tall you want the tripod to be when you use it, and how small you want it to be when you carry it.

Another consideration is the weight of the camera/lens you want to mount on it. If you're only talking about a P&S, then anything should do, but if you're talking about a full frame dSLR and a monster telephoto zoom lens, that's a different kettle of fish.

Lastly, you should device which type of head you want. There's the ball head, which is quick and simple to use, and then there's the pan/tilt head, which is better for minor adjustments and panaoramic sequences.

peripatetic Jun 9, 2009 3:11 AM

The general problem with tripods is that you want the heaviest one you can carry so that you get maximum stability.

Carbon fibre tripods are great because they are light to carry, but then you hang your pack off the bottom of them for extra stability when you are actually taking the shot. This is good advice even for cheap and light tripods. Make sure it has a hook that you can sling a few extra pounds on to stabilize things.

Apart from that take most care of the head. Cheap ball-heads are usually nasty so go for a 3-way head that allows you to lock the camera in place nicely.

Would you believe that you can spend thousands of dollars on a top-grade tripod?

On the plus side, a good tripod will last most people a lifetime.

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