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Suggestions for a compact economic tripod

by victor-bailey / August 22, 2009 5:12 AM PDT

I am looking for a small economic tripod to take backpacking with me. There are a lot of cheap tripods out there that are just simple horrid. I have bought about five different models from $15 to $25 and they all stunk. I know there are some really good ones for outrageous prices, but surely there are some middle of the road units in the $30 or $40 dollar range. I am not looking for a miracle but I do want something that does not feel like a kindergarten toy.

The main problem I have found with the ones I have bought is the head motion. Most of them were so rough to pan with that I felt like I was trying to unscrew a rusted bolt. I would really like to find one that moves smoothly because I plan to use this for pictures as well as video. Another problem is that the have all had round slip extension legs that become weaker each time you use them. They have no way to lock them in place so when the wear out they won't hold the weight of the camera anymore.

Here are the basic specs I would like my new tripod to have.

1. Smooth motion head.
2. Leveling bubble
2. 48" High fully extended.
3. Locking legs
5. Less then 14" when compacted.
5. Lightweight (2 pound or under).

If have used an economic tripod that fits these specs that you would recommend, please let me know. Thanks

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Tripod
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / August 22, 2009 9:57 AM PDT
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Also
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / August 22, 2009 11:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Tripod

The $30-40 range is actually considered dirt cheap for a tripod. A decent tripod and head run between $150 and $200. If you want a sturdy and light tripod then you have to go with a carbon fiber tripod and that kicks the price, with a decent head, well over $200. There are heads for the tripods that cost $600 out there, but they're mostly used for long and heavy telephoto lens.

Are you using this for a DSLR? That makes a big difference on the quality of tripod you need, because of the weight.

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I did some searching and
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / August 22, 2009 11:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Also

I found a couple that met all your requirements except for the length when folded. They were at 18 and 19 inches long when folded(none were shorter, except ones that didn't extend), but the bad news is that were all over $350 without a head on it. A decent head would run you another $70-150 depending on how nice of a one you wanted.

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There are three kind of mentalities
by victor-bailey / August 22, 2009 4:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Also

There are three kind of mentalities in the world, people who are rich and know it, people who are rich and think they are poor and people who are truly poor. Have you ever known a person that was complaining about having no money while they were driving you to Red Lobster in the late model Mercedes? Well that's not me. I have never owned a car that cost more then $10,000 and probably never will. That's because when I look at a car it nothing more then an engine and four wheels to me. As long as it reliably can do what I want it to, it works for me. I am not looking to make a statement with my car or my camera equipment. I have found that in just about every category there are is crap, quality, high quality and ultra high quality. I can only afford quality, not high quality or ultra high quality and probably would not buy it even if I could because there is usually very little difference between the three except the brand name.

Here is an example of some crap I have tried: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000093UDQ/ref=cm_rdp_product

Honestly I did not expect very much for $15. I know I can buy an ultra high quality tripod for hundreds, but I think there is a tripod out there of reasonable quality for under $50. And when I am standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon with my $50 tripod next to a guy with a $600 tripod that is taking the same picture I am, I think I will have to chuckle to myself.

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Looks nice
by victor-bailey / August 22, 2009 3:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Tripod

Thanks. This looks like a nice tripod. I would like to see some reviews on it first though.

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You can read user reviews
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / August 22, 2009 3:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Looks nice
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