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Old Mar 14, 2013, 5:17 PM   #1
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So does anyone have any suggestions for a affordable/budget and light tripod for an E-PL3 that has worked well?

I won't use it very often, but feel I should have one just in case

Thanks!
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 6:38 PM   #2
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Really depends on what shooting situations you might want to use the tripod for.

On a trip to England we bought a budget pocket tripod that was fine putting the camera on the Embankments wall, but useless for taking a series of shots for stitching together as it had no pan function. I have a Velbon toggle lock leg tripod with pan and tilt head, did not cost much at the time. It is light, keeps the camera steady, is quick to set up, about twenty inches when collapsed, 5 feet extended. I have had it for about 30 years, showing a bit of wear, but it still suits my needs.

Look around at your camera dealers, sometimes their name brand units come on sale and are a good deal for an occasional use tripod. But again it comes to how you see yourself requiring a tripod. A bean bag may be all you need, or a ball cap with the camera nestled into the crown...
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 7:42 AM   #3
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I don't use it that often, but this is what I have:

http://tripod-review.com/slik-sprint...-right-choice/

I got it several years ago for my point-and-shoot, and I've held it over from that. I've never had a problem with it being top-heavy or anything like that. There might be issue in some winds, but the fact it doesn't weigh a million pounds makes me more likely to have it with me at all. If you're willing to go heavier, there are probably a lot more options. If I dd more "studio" type shots or used the tripod more often I might look for something bigger.

Frankly I wasn't about to spend the hundreds of dollars that the experts suggest for a tripod. I also don't think we need quite the support and heftiness that an SLR user with huge lenses might need.

You might want to look into one of the many "Gorillapods" too.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 9:38 AM   #4
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I picked this one up used on Ebay and I'm real happy with it. Best of all I got it for 35.00.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...12_Tripod.html
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 3:42 PM   #5
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don't go cheap, you can get good mid grade tripods in the 70-90 dollar range. Silk are very good tripods. I use a cullmann with my Pen and my canon dslr. I would get a ball head over and pan head.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 5:20 PM   #6
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I bought this one and it works and was cheap but.... I wish I hadn't because I now realize a ball head and a plate system would be nice to have. I also realized it wasn't compact enough to fit into my suitcase and I ended up leaving it home when I traveled.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...01_i00_details

On the other hand I bought a used bogen monopod which came with a ball head and it is great and I have used it a lot because it is light and compact.

So in summary, learn from my mistake, don't go too cheap. Invest in something that will work with quickplates and ball heads.

You don't much for a lightweight camera like the pen.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 8:05 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the good advice!
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 9:08 AM   #8
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Sorry for coming in late into the discussion, but I do a few suggestions that you might want to consider when looking at tripods.

1-What ever you buy, be it used (and you can get some really good deals, used) or new, consider it as a long term investment as opposed to strictly getting an inexpensive tripod to suit the E-LP3. You never know what your next camera might be.
2- A tripod should be sturdy. Now, I realize that an E-PL3 is light as a feather in comparison to the tripod. but, you want the tripod to rock solid so that there is little movement or vibration. The whole purpose of a tripod is to provide a stable platform and not blow over by the wind.
3- If possible invest in a Carbon Fibre tripod( here's where the used part comes in).
They are lighter, are usually very stable and wont be a P-I-A to carry.
4- try to get a tripod that has flip locks or the internal twist and lock systems to lock down the different segments of the legs. The Wing nut screw type locking mechanisms get sloppy over time as well as the screw down wings nut on cheaper models will actually come off. It sucks when that happens out in the field. And you don't realize until you get back to the car.
5-Think about the type of photography you like to shoot most often, if you shoot landscapes, you want one that can has the ability to go low to the ground. as well as have fairly short leg segments to accomplish that.
If you like to photograph macro stuff, having a center post that can adjust 90 degrees allowing you to shoot straight down would be important.

Finally, Besides, Bogen(Manfrotto) Benro also makes price sensitive tripods that are generally pretty good. The Sun Paks and others that you find in Big Box stores aren't worth the money.

FWIW I use a Manfrotto 190xPro Carbon Fibre tripod with a gimbal head option.
The tripod itself was around $160 + another $175 for the head.

I would suggest that you could look at KEH.com, Adorama.com, as well as B&H Photo.com for used pods.

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Old Mar 16, 2013, 9:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
I bought this one and it works and was cheap but.... I wish I hadn't because I now realize a ball head and a plate system would be nice to have. I also realized it wasn't compact enough to fit into my suitcase and I ended up leaving it home when I traveled.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...01_i00_details

On the other hand I bought a used bogen monopod which came with a ball head and it is great and I have used it a lot because it is light and compact.

So in summary, learn from my mistake, don't go too cheap. Invest in something that will work with quickplates and ball heads.
to finish my thought from above as I had to run out the door.

Because I bought a cheaper tripod I am now going to have to buy a better tripod that will fit in my suitcase and will have the ability for compatible quick release plates so I can have a quick release and go back and forth between the monopod and the tripod.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 3:11 PM   #10
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The first thing to do is look at a tripod, then look up or call to see if you can get replacement parts if you break it or lose something.

If you can't fix it, don't get it. If you can't abuse it, you won't use it.
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