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Old May 18, 2009, 12:25 PM   #1
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Default Tripod suggestions

Looking to buy a new tripod. Budget limited to $250. Prefer a Ball head, and a Min height of about 59 or 60 inches., higher is a plus. Will support 10 lb. or more. I have looked at several camera sites, eg. Adorama, B&H etc, and there are so many I'm confused. Any suggestions.
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Old May 18, 2009, 1:46 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on Tripods, I have 3 but none with a ball head but have moved the thread to the tripod section where you should get some good advice.
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Old May 18, 2009, 2:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfwalkr View Post
Looking to buy a new tripod. Budget limited to $250. Prefer a Ball head, and a Min height of about 59 or 60 inches., higher is a plus. Will support 10 lb. or more. I have looked at several camera sites, eg. Adorama, B&H etc, and there are so many I'm confused. Any suggestions.


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...gs_Black_.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...gs_Black_.html

Stand alone legs. The 055XPROB has the flex use center column with can be used horizontally as well as vertically. I own that exact model. Use the center column horizontally about 1 time per month (ok, sometimes twice per month, sometimes less). Both units will reverse such that the center column can be used upside down for macro shooting of flower and bugs. Get the regular unit and save a few $ if the horizonatal flex center column is not useful for your needs.

Not a fan of ball heads as I use pan and tilt heads (I only used one ball head, way back when, and hated it), but I picked out two popular ball heads for you:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ead_Quick.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...d_w_Rapid.html

There are cheaper ball heads, but the weight capacity is limited OR the head lacks the quick release. Buying a head without QR is the biggest mistake anybody can make (IMHO) as your camera is essentially limited to use with the head.


For your price point, Slik and Velbron have the fans as well. (I used a Slik many decades ago in college). Giottos seems to be well made (for a Chinese knockoff product). Switching from brand to brand might save you a buck or three but there seem to be no great performance benefits from switching to any of these brands.

Dropping down to the Manfrotto 190 leg set is an option, but the height without center column extended is not up to your minimum standards.
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Old May 19, 2009, 9:44 PM   #4
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I used to use a pan tilt head and hated it. Switched to a ball head and it suits my needs much better, so it becomes very much a personal preference.

I have an old Velbon and it's quite well made, but weighs a ton (that might not bother you). I also discovered the one time I went hiking with it how much I dislike the leg clips because they kept getting caught on my camera bag, twigs, weeds etc. Others hate the twist leg locks, so again, it depends on your personal preference.

If weight isn't an issue you could probably save on the legs in preference to buying a cheaper ball head. And definitely buy some type of quick release plate - I have a table top tripod that doesn't have one - you have to screw the camera onto the head, time consuming and fiddly. Though if it's rated enough it would be preferable to getting one with a QR plate that doesn't support the weight and droops the minute you let go of the camera. You can always add a weight to the legs to help keep it steady but you can't do much if you can't get the head adjusted in just the right place.
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 9:23 AM   #5
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I've been using the Manfrotto 055 series tripods for many years and they have worked and held up very well.
Only lately getting the itchy feet to get a carbon fiber tripod, but the price sky rockets for them when they get reasonably tall

If you can swing it, the manfrotto 322rc grip action ball head is very nice to use. It does have a weight limit of about 11 pounds so it is pretty well maxed out with a 300 f/2.8 and a body.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Ballhead.html
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