Yet another Inexpensive tripod question

Started Jun 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Melcox
Regular MemberPosts: 111
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Re: Yet another Inexpensive tripod question
In reply to Baraseth, Jun 17, 2012

REALITY CHECK - Take the maximum amount of money you're willing to spend right now and double it (or triple it)!!! Your funds will force you into making serious compromises and you'll eventually end up having more than one tripod.

Since you don't have a tripod now, you'll be amazed how much it will improve your photography. Once you see that, you'll want a better tripod/head. A search of this or any other photography forum will show that the best advice is not to skimp. I know it's painful but, as they say, you can pay me now or pay me later..........and you WILL eventually buy another tripod/head.

Define the parameters (max height, min height, folded length, weight, etc) that are important to you, EXCEPT PRICE, then find the one that is closest in price to what you think you want to spend.

Here's my story:

Manfrotto aluminum 055XPROB w/Arcatech GV2 ball head - Love it and it has served me well for a few years. I love the flexibility, light weight and horizontal center tube capability. Cost for this setup $485.

The above was starting to feel a little heavy, even on short outings, so I just went to:

Manfrotto carbon fiber 055CXPRO3 w/Really Right Stuff BH-40 ball head - Love it and it is about 2lbs lighter. While the Acratech ball head is excellent, the RRS truly is a bit more precise. Cost for this setup $586. At this point, if I had spent a little more initially (assuming the 055CXPRO3 was available when I initially got my tripod) I could have saved myself $485. Now don't get me wrong, the 055XPROB/Acratech solution is an excellent one and will more than suit most peoples requirements, the 055CXPRO3/RRS solution is definitely worth the additional $100 investment to me.

In parallel I also needed a travel tripod so I bought the aluminum Benro Travel Angel 0169 w/B0 ball head. I think it's a great tripod/head system and took it on several trips.

But.......wanting to get a little smaller and lighter, I got a carbon fiber Sirui T-025 and put a RRS BH-30 on it. I like this solution much, much better and it is now my current travel tripod system. $429 for this setup.

Finally, while awaiting the D400 and having a serious case of NAS (Nikon acquisition syndrome) I've just recently evaluated getting a RRS TV23 carbon fiber tripod ($830).

Just today I talked my self out of it because there was no serious weight or usability advantage and at around $1200 including a BH-40 ball head, I can't justify the cost.

Summary:
Plan to spend more than you want to.
Make a decision based on features, functions and specs.

Mel

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