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Old Apr 20, 2006, 10:55 AM   #1
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Here's my question. If I was only going to buy one tripod for the near future which would better suit what I want to do, considering that I am on a semi-amateur level:

portrait, nature, wedding, limited backpacking

I am trying to decide between a Cullman 50012 Super Lightweight that weighs about 1.6 lbs and a Sunpak Ultra Pro 757B weighing in at 6.2 lbs. Both are priced the same at $79.95.

Obviously these two are at opposite ends of the weigth spectrum. I would prefer better stability over light, however, the backpacking I plan on doing makes me think the Sunpak would be too heavy. So, if someone has a recommendation for a tripod that is a good balance between weight and stability that would be ideal.

I'll be shooting with a Nikon D70s with 18-70mm and 70-300mm lenses.

Any opinions or recommendations of a better product would be much appreciated.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 10:37 PM   #2
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I really wouldn't recommend either of the mentioned tripods.
You'll need to spend a little more to get something that would be bettersuited for the setup you have.
If stability is really a concern you have save a little more and then get a tripod that will support you better light, sturdy and cheap isn't going to happen so you'll most likely need to settle on sturdy and cheap, light will cost you plenty.
At the very least I'd recommend a Bogen Manfrotto 3001 series tripod and aBogen Manfrotto 484RC2 Mini Ball Head with RC2 quick release but I'd go for aBogen Manfrotto 3021 and a Bogen Manfrotto 486RC2 these are well with in your budget if you save a little more and it will last for a bit.
Not all that light but it will support your camera you will not find a light sturdy system that's cheap sorry to say.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 2:10 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice.

Just curious (another newbie question), why the cult following for Bogen? I read over and over how wonderful they are and am personally curious as to why people like their products so much.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 11:40 AM   #4
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I have 2 tripods a Bogen 3021BN & Gitzo G-1415 Tripod with Gitzo G1377M Ballhead REALLY RIGHT STUFF B2-Pro/L Quick Release along with RRS & Kirk plates.
When you compare specs the Bogen's are a little cheaper in price but over all both are great and made to last.
Their are some knock offs which look like them also but I'll stick to the original myself.
I use to have a Cullman several years ago at the time I thought it was great but now that I have used others I realize just how bad the head was with its plastic and all.
If you only want to buy a tripod once get what you'll need in the end somthing that will support the weight of your setup it will save you money old tripods just sit after you upgrade, wasted money, I gave my perfectly good Cullman away.
I'm sure some of the other tripods work well but until you have something that's strong and truly stable you'll never realize it.

I'm sure you've sen this but study as to what you'll need later, not just now http://www.bythom.com/support.htm
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 4:13 PM   #5
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Generally, there are two modern tripod makers that are good, manfrotto (marketed by bogen in usa) and gitzo. Then there is Ries and berlebach wooden tripods. Everything else is crap. (ok there are exceptions, but good luck actually finding them. Recomendations from people who have not yet upgraded to (or borrowed extensively) a gitzo, IMO, are uninformed and useless). Manfrotto is the only brand I've found aside from a particular SLIK or two, and perhaps Feisol, that is recomended by people who have used really good tripods. I'm sure there is a reason for this, and when an inexpirienced person gets the same advice from more than a dozen unrelated people with expirience, its a typical but needless kind of stuipidity that drives you to disagree.

Yup, this pretty much sums it up! Ignorance is bliss. And cheap. But you've been warned, so your not ignorant anymore...
Quote:
I use to have a Cullman several years ago at the time I thought it was great but now that I have used others I realize just how bad the head was with its plastic and all.
Light, Cheap, Stabil.... pick any two. Don't forget that an unstable tripod defeats is purpose.
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 5:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice.

I decided against those two and will save up my money for a quality tripod.
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 11:00 PM   #7
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:idea:A wise man making a good decision in the end I'd say!
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 10:23 AM   #8
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I hope that didnt come across too harsh, but you'll be better off buying something good without wasting time and money on an inferior setup. If you were to buy something cheap as a stopgap solution, Id keep it really cheap so you dont lose much. I have a slik that I bought waaaaay back when for $30 or so that isnt too bad. It only extends to 30" or so, so you have to kneel to use it, and its only a 2-way tilt pan head but you can mount the camera sideways and tilt it to get into portrait view. A cheap tripod that tries to do it all is worse than one that is simple and makes you compromise.

The only reason this one wasnt a waste to me is that I used it with a few P&S cameras, and now use it to hold my wireless flash. The other crappy tripod I bought was just stupid stupid stupid.
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 4:21 PM   #9
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Please do not think I am knocking anybody or policing anything you may write but, Bogen do not make tripods ( least I think they don't ) they only sell them but it appears that in the USA people give them credit for the Manfrotto that is wrong, the Manfrotto is made by Manfrotto, if you went out and bought an expensive watch say a cartier you would call it that not the name of the shopkeeper that sold you it:lol:

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Old Apr 27, 2006, 4:23 PM   #10
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No offence taken. I appreciate the critical opinions.
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