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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Tripod recommendations?...I have a Nikon D80 and I am looking into buying a good(ish) tripod to use with my kit 18-70mm ...
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Old 05-10-2007, 21:15   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Tripod recommendations?

I have a Nikon D80 and I am looking into buying a good(ish) tripod to use with my kit 18-70mm AF-S DX lens. I have researched this topic a bit but am non the wiser, in fact im more confused than ever

If I use buying a car as a comparison i feel i probably need a VW for my use which would suit my current needs and would allow me to develop my hobby without breaking the bank. I've read too many stories where someone will by a cheap stand/tripod. Quickly realise that a cushion would be better and buy a slightly better tripod but find quickly that something a little better would have been far better and economical from the word go.

Manfrotto seems to be the make to go for from what I can make out....
but i am more than ready for lots of responses as my nativity shines through.

Could anyone recommend a decent tripod and head without entering into Supercar territory?

I expect questions will be how important are:

Not important Important

Weight <-------------------->
Strength <--------------------------->
Portability <--------------------------->
Longevity <--------------------------->


I apologise if this has been answered before but I couldn't find anything that met my specific newbie questions.

P.S. How important is a head to a hobbiest photographer? It seems to be so important but I thought a tripod was meant to slow your shots and therefore increase your thought about a shot whilst obviously creating a stable platform. Im at a bit of a loss as to why a free flowing head movement would be so important to anyone other than a sportś photographer.

Once again I apologise for my lack of understanding.

My trade is an IT support analyst and at long last I understand how it feels to be a whimpering wreck on the other end of my disdain.

Thanks for any advice you can offer,

Dan
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Old 06-10-2007, 06:08   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Tripod recommendations?

It would help to have an idea of your price range and what you intend to do with it.

I have a Benbo, a Manfrotto, and a Manfrotto monopod.

The Benbo was cheaper, very versatile, you can get the camera into almost any position it's also rather heavy so if I'm walking more than a couple of miles it stays at home. Unlikely to be the best choice unless you're spending time in awkward spots, it's particularly useful for macro photography.

The Manfrotto is carbon fibre, much lighter, taller but does work well low down too. I take that a bit more often. This is a good all-rounder, it lives in the car and gets used regularly.

I also have a monopod, it's much lighter and easier to carry, doesn't provide as much support but gets carried a lot more than the others. A tripod is only any use if you have it with you.

As for heads, the big argument is Ballhead or Pan and Tilt. One lets you freely adjust to any position, the other gives you more control of the axis you'd like to move. I prefer a ballhead and have a manfrotto 322rc2 which has a trigger grip to release the ball, it's heavy, strong, quite popular and 90.00 on its own.

One thing to do is determine what your heaviest gear is / is likely to be and make sure the tripod and head are rated for the amount of weight, some of the cheaper tripods are more designed for compacts, SLRs with smaller lenses etc.

Manfrotto, SLIK and Velbon all have good tripods in their ranges, Gitzo are probably "supercar" territory. UNILOC and Benbo make similar, very versatile tripods.

cheers

Dan
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:14   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Tripod recommendations?

Well even though the shop messed me about, I ended up getting this for the money http://www.pixalo.com/community/came...5-a-16538.html

Everywhere else it was 150 plus, so I class it a bit of a bargain
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:59   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Tripod recommendations?

Give this one some serious thought or you could finish up wasting money like I did

I originally bought cheap ones that were easily knocked over, then a Manfrotto 055 PRO that was just a little too heavy so it never got taken out .......finally finished up with a Gitzo one that is just right for my needs.

I read that the Manfrotto 190 range appear to be a very popular choice.

As for heads I have both Ball and pan & tilt heads.......I prefer pan & tilt for landscapes.

Good luck with your choice
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Old 06-10-2007, 13:32   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Tripod recommendations?

I also have a Manfrotto 055 PRO which I leave behind because of the weight.

If you can afford the carbon-fibre or magnesium-fibre tripods, these give the strength without the weight, but you pay a premium. I've always thought that Velbon are good value for money.
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Old 06-10-2007, 13:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Tripod recommendations?

Everyone will be thinking were wimps in Yorkshire now Silky
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Old 06-10-2007, 13:48   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Tripod recommendations?

I have medals for it, but they're too heavy to wear.
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Old 06-10-2007, 20:57   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Tripod recommendations?

Lol Silky,

Thanks for the advice guys, didn't think there would be an out right jack of all trades. I'll give your Velbon a good look as it seems to fit the bill from the look of things.

Dan
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