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Old Jan 17, 2007, 2:56 PM   #1
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Please be patient with me since i'm i don't know much if anything about tripods but i've been starting to shoot portraits, sunsets, but the majority of what i'm interested in is automotive photography. Shooting during sunsets, or locations with low light while having vehicles either projector headlights/fogs/city lights on where i shoot from angles where i'm just out of the field of light of the cars road lighting cutoffs.

My main setup is a Canon Digital Rebel XT with a Tokina f/2.8 28-70mm AT-X 287AF PRO SV lens (ya... it's no Sigma or Canon f/2.8..... but you'd be surprised at the photos it can take). The whole setup is not very heavy, the lens only adds around 1.6lbs or about 25 ounces.

I've gone through two sub $50 tripods in the past year and usually the threads on the pan or tilt will strip causing the lens to not hold position or just flat out fall forward.

My current cheap-o tripod is a Velbon CX 470 seen here: -LINK HERE-

The center post with the spring inside broke within three weeks and i never abused it or dropped it. It was just a POS.


So what would you guys suggest for me to purchase in the sub $100 range. I need good build quality and something preferably not too big and bulky that can collapse to a pretty portable package.


Thanks in advance!

-Andrew


Here is a hand held shot of my car using a few photoshop tweaks...



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Old Jan 17, 2007, 4:05 PM   #2
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Well since I rarely ever shoot photographs with the tripod extended to any great height and i like how low i could get this tripod to go since i enjoy taking some very low prospective shots of vehicles.

Slik Sprint Mini Tripod With ballhead

Or come to think of it, this Slik Sprint Pro Tripod with Ballhead looks pretty tempting as well since it gets just as low as the mini yet isn't as portable but has the versitility of being able to shoot at higher vantage points.



Are these pretty solid products in terms of construction and materials? I don't really want to blow a full $100 but after my two mistakes in the past, it just may be worth the extra cash. Especially since the higher end tripods can carry the extra weight of larger L-Series lenses that I occasionally borrow from my Uncle. (f/2.8L 70-200mm IS)

Thanks again in advance,
-Andrew

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Old Jan 18, 2007, 9:29 AM   #3
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I really don't think you are going to find anything that will suit you for under $100 unless you luck into a good second-hand deal.

Take a look at the shutter speeds you have used for your better shots - if they are faster than about 1/4 sec
a monopod might serve your purpose. A good monopod is nice to have in any case - something
sturdy enough to knock down a charging rhino is about right.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 8:14 PM   #4
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Hmm..... what would you recommend for me then in terms of a tripod? I know they range into the many hundreds of dollars range. I'm looking for something reliable, sturdy, and relatively compact. I don't want to have to lug around much gear when getting a few shots here and there. Perhaps i can spend as much as $200 if indeed the sub $100 tripods are not worth spending the money on.


So please give me some of the less expensive "quality" suggestions that arent going to cost a fortune.

Remember... i'm not a pro. Just need some tripod stability that isn't going to break every few months.

Thanks!

-Andrew

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Old Jan 19, 2007, 9:38 AM   #5
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If you want to keep the price down, give up on the idea of the tripod being compact and light. Weight in a tripod
adds to the stability, and not being compact means fewer bits to go wrong. That also means not much fun hauling about,
but that is the price of going cheap.
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 1:27 PM   #6
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Ok. Let's cancel the "lightweight" aspect. I really like the feature on the Slik Sprint Pro with quick release and 3 way pan head since it can be adjusted all the way down to just under 7".

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 8:53 PM   #7
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Andrew LB wrote:
Quote:
... it can be adjusted all the way down to just under 7". ...
Think about what 7" (~20cm) means when taking a picture: you wil be flat on your belly in the sand. Something
like a clean pillow to set your wrists on while you press the shutter would do almost as well as a tripod. And a lot less hassle.

IMHO a tripod that gets close to the ground is only really usefull for macros - not for cars or sunsets.

I know nothing about that Slik tripod, but it looks like a slight upgrade from your previous failures. It might work
for someone who was very carefull and used it only for eBay photos, but not likely to hold up to being packed into the
hinterlands in search of a purple woodpecker.

You seem to be on the serious amateur's version of this pro path:
http://www.bythom.com/support.htm
(a serious ameteur will pay something like half or a third of what a pro will/must pay). You have already put up the first $100
- just put up the next $400 at one wack instead of running it up to twice that.
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