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Old Apr 27, 2006, 5:26 PM   #1
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Hello,

I'm using a FZ30 and want to buy a tripod. I've seen some different brands, and different prices.

I never used a tripod, so I don't know where to begin to look. Are there things I should know befor buying one, or does any tripod do?

Thanks!

Rudo
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 7:01 PM   #2
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What will be your primary purpose for using it. Travel orgeneral photography? In other words are you going to need a "compact" for travel or full size for general photography?

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Old Apr 27, 2006, 10:26 PM   #3
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I have the same camera and have of late researched tripods at length.

Buy junk and you will regret it. I did. Above all a tripod has to be stable. Many are not. If its too heavy it will probably never leave the house.

That said, a tripod opens up so many possibilities that we should all have one.

If I could justify the cost or had money to burn I would buy a carbon fibre composite.

I do not so I will soon be shopping for the versatile Manfrotto 190 Pro B and a Manfrotto 222 Joystick head, after which I should never have to buy another tripod again.

cheers,

Max




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Old Apr 27, 2006, 10:48 PM   #4
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I also agree with the do not buy junk....or maybe spend a little more than you are plannig.

If you tell us more about your needs maybe we can help more.....For instance if are you a hiker and the tripod needs to be compact and light.....or if your like me never far from the car...a heavy sturdy, tripod is better. One thing I think is very important is how smooth the head is......with a long zoom getting centered on an animal can be very difficult with a head that is not smooth and has a lot of creep.


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Old Apr 28, 2006, 12:58 AM   #5
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i have an old, lightweight aluminum tripod that i got many years ago, that is suitable for hiking, though for anything more than a short walk, i'll take my monopod. it's much lighter and easier to manage, and in all but the poorest light, it offers plenty of stability, especially given the FZ's OIS feature. for serious tripod use, i recently bought a heavy duty model - my 30D with 80-400 zoom mounted is far too heavy for my old aluminum unit. i got a Dynatran tripodwith a squeeze-grip ball head. cost me $84 including shipping, on eBay. it's solid as a rock, has quick-release leg locks, extends to 79" high, and holds 13 pounds. comes with a spare set of flat-bottom feet in case you want to replace the rounded ones, and the quick-release mounting plate has adapters for 3/8-16 as well as 1/4-20 camera mounting threads. there's a locking pin to keep the mounting plate release lever from movingso there's no danger ofyour camera falling off while you're carrying the thing over your shoulder. the squeeze-grip for the ball head has adjustable tension, and is very simple to operate, and if i ever get really crazy, it will accept a gimbal head as well. for the price, it's hard to beat. Gitzo and Manfrotto make top quality tripods, but this one seems just as sturdy for a fraction of the cost.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 4:53 AM   #6
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thanks for the replies so far

I do want it for travelling, so it can't be to heavy, andmaking it compact will help.

The price I want to pay for it is about € 75,--

Do you needany more information?

Rudo
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 6:24 AM   #7
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Take a look at the Velbon Ultra-Maxi series.

The Manfrotto 190 Pro B is a popular tripod, but the tripods from the Ultra-Maxi series are a bit lighter, cheaper, and have a smaller transport size. And they should be sturdy enough if it's not too windy.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 8:17 AM   #8
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Stoney79, I agree Velbon make some good tripods.
I would buy a Velbon Carmagne if I could afford it.

Manfrotto also do a Digi line of tripods but if you buy a Manfrotto pro series you can order any single part should you ever need it.
I cant believe what they sell for used, at auction on eBay - almost retail.

Also a lot of tripods with fixed heads are pan and tilt - great for video, but for stills
a good ball head is less likely to move once tightened.

I read somewhere that when it comes to tripods and the words
cheap, lightweight and sturdy you can have any two of the three. : - )

cheers,

Max
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 9:06 AM   #9
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I have a different view than has been expressed so far, so let me share my heresy: For the FZ30, or any camera short of a dSLR, most any tripod will do. I use a Samsonite aluminum tripod that I got a decade ago for about $10. It fully meets my needs. I need to use an external trigger with it, but I would need to do that with any tripod. It won't do fancy things like adjust to be able to shoot straight down, but for general useage, it is perfectly adequate.

Now, when I used a Crown Graphic, I had a very sturdy and expensive tripod. In those days, it had to weigh a ton to be stable enough to support that horse of a camera. That is no longer true. But there is little reason to spend hundreds of dollars on a tripod if you don't have a camera that weighs a ton or thataccepts a lens that sticks out far enough and is heavy enough to subject the mount to major stress.

Photographers often want the ultimate gear. If it's an emotional commitment to looking like you know what you're doing, then by all means spend whatever you can afford. But, if you are looking for a tripod that will do the job with your FZ30 and are more interested in functionality than appearance, you can achieve what you need for a few bucks.


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Old Apr 28, 2006, 1:30 PM   #10
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Its what makes the world go around but .....IMHO... to set up on a wolf at say 1000mm (3 EZ and a tcon17 or maybe a couple teleconverters),a junk tripod is just that... junk.

Now if its for a longer exposure for a night shot or flowing water ...as long as its sturdy it should be fine.

Thats why they make so many different ones.

And if your inferring that the FZ30 can not take a great photo , you would be wrong again, in my opinion.

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For the FZ30, or any camera short of a dSLR, most any tripod will do
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