SunPak 6000PG tripod

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Questions
Jasonsmom
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SunPak 6000PG tripod
Jan 8, 2013

My husband bought me a SunPak 600PG tripod for my birthday.  It hasn't arrived yet.  Wondering if he picked an OK model.  Your thoughts?

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DoctorPDA
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Re: SunPak 6000PG tripod
In reply to Jasonsmom, Jan 9, 2013

Jasonsmom wrote:

My husband bought me a SunPak 600PG tripod for my birthday. It hasn't arrived yet. Wondering if he picked an OK model. Your thoughts?

It looks pretty good to me for a beginner (note: I didn't find 600 PG online, but did find the SunPak 6000PG, not sure if that was a typo).  I haven't used that kind of "pistol-grip ball head", but looks like it could work well.

I did a lot of research on tripods as a beginner, and I read a lot of advice about spending the money and buying a "good quality" tripod first, and don't waste your money on cheap products....

However............. I decided to purchase this Pearson model for ~ $70 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/727498-REG/Pearstone_VT_2100.html), which has been fantastic for my purposes.  It was very well rated on the BH Photo web site.  It also "pans" very fluidly (moves side to side) so can use for video as well.  Has held up well.

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Guidenet
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SunPak 6000PG tripod doesn't cut it
In reply to Jasonsmom, Jan 9, 2013

Jasonsmom wrote:

My husband bought me a SunPak 600PG tripod for my birthday. It hasn't arrived yet. Wondering if he picked an OK model. Your thoughts?

I really hate to have to say this, but this is not a sturdy tripod and won't do well at all. Generally, if a tripod comes with the head on it, it's usually pretty flimsy. Also, other than very expensive video tripods, if a tripod comes with leg braces, it's usually pretty much a waste of time.

A half way decent support system is just like a camera system. You need to spend a little to get something that is safe for the camera and actually dampens vibrations. A cheap tripod can come down crashing with a child tripping over a leg or even in a good outdoor breeze helping to destroy good camera gear. The leg locks are often unsafe closing with the least pressure or just failing at the wrong time. A light weight beach ball can knock them down.

One of the worst traits of a cheapy tripod is that they just aren't steady enough. They don't dampen vibration and can actually be worse than a good hand holding technique. A gentle breeze can set up a vibration or you trying to steady it. Even camera mirror slap will cause problems. That Sunpak might be on the edge of ok for a small point and shoot, but I wouldn't trust my DSLR on it on a bet. Not a chance.

Many novice photographers, including me, seem to try this kind of support system and either get damaged gear or poor photos from them. I've got one or two cheapies in my attic right now. I hate to even give them away.

Some of us spend upwards of $1000 to over $2000 on a good support system but at those prices we're paying extra for light weight carbon fiber as well as a good sturdy tripod. I think a good beginner support system can be had for around $200 but no less. Something like a Manfrotto 190 XPROB with a Manfrotto 496RC2 ballhead might make a good starter. The legs are around $120 and that head is around $85. The QL Plates are around $18 for extras you'll need later. That would make a very minimal starter kit.

Those grip type heads are usually very flimsy and sink on you after you attach the camera. Even after adjustment, you just can't seem to get them to lock down well. Just look for a good standard ball head like the one I mentioned. It's sold separately from the tripod legs.

Like I mentioned, I'd rather see you hand holding or using a beanbag or similar than using a tripod like what Sunpack makes. Good luck and have fun.

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Jasonsmom
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Re: SunPak 6000PG tripod doesn't cut it
In reply to Guidenet, Jan 9, 2013

Guidenet wrote:

Jasonsmom wrote:

My husband bought me a SunPak 600PG tripod for my birthday. It hasn't arrived yet. Wondering if he picked an OK model. Your thoughts?

I really hate to have to say this, but this is not a sturdy tripod and won't do well at all. Generally, if a tripod comes with the head on it, it's usually pretty flimsy. Also, other than very expensive video tripods, if a tripod comes with leg braces, it's usually pretty much a waste of time.

A half way decent support system is just like a camera system. You need to spend a little to get something that is safe for the camera and actually dampens vibrations. A cheap tripod can come down crashing with a child tripping over a leg or even in a good outdoor breeze helping to destroy good camera gear. The leg locks are often unsafe closing with the least pressure or just failing at the wrong time. A light weight beach ball can knock them down.

One of the worst traits of a cheapy tripod is that they just aren't steady enough. They don't dampen vibration and can actually be worse than a good hand holding technique. A gentle breeze can set up a vibration or you trying to steady it. Even camera mirror slap will cause problems. That Sunpak might be on the edge of ok for a small point and shoot, but I wouldn't trust my DSLR on it on a bet. Not a chance.

Many novice photographers, including me, seem to try this kind of support system and either get damaged gear or poor photos from them. I've got one or two cheapies in my attic right now. I hate to even give them away.

Some of us spend upwards of $1000 to over $2000 on a good support system but at those prices we're paying extra for light weight carbon fiber as well as a good sturdy tripod. I think a good beginner support system can be had for around $200 but no less. Something like a Manfrotto 190 XPROB with a Manfrotto 496RC2 ballhead might make a good starter. The legs are around $120 and that head is around $85. The QL Plates are around $18 for extras you'll need later. That would make a very minimal starter kit.

Those grip type heads are usually very flimsy and sink on you after you attach the camera. Even after adjustment, you just can't seem to get them to lock down well. Just look for a good standard ball head like the one I mentioned. It's sold separately from the tripod legs.

Like I mentioned, I'd rather see you hand holding or using a beanbag or similar than using a tripod like what Sunpack makes. Good luck and have fun.

I had planned to save and buy a Manfrotto, but my husband beat me to the punch.  I guess I'll try this one for awhile, and then let him know what I think about it.

Thanks for opinion.  I bet I might end up with a few cheaper tripods in my basement (sorry, don't have an attic).  Thanks

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Guidenet
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Re: SunPak 6000PG tripod doesn't cut it
In reply to Jasonsmom, Jan 9, 2013

Here's my Manfrotto next to one of my mistakes. LOL

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 Guidenet's gear list:Guidenet's gear list
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Guidenet
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Re: SunPak 6000PG tripod doesn't cut it
In reply to Guidenet, Jan 9, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9S9jZW3Jxc

Really, trade it in if you can for a basic good tripod.

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tclune
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Re: SunPak 6000PG tripod doesn't cut it
In reply to Guidenet, Jan 9, 2013

Guidenet is a much better photographer than I am, so consider the source in what I have to say. First, I have heard for 50 years that you need to spend more on your tripod than you did on your house or else you're wasting your money. In my experience, this is just not true. There is a wonderful overview of tripods avaialble here: http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/Pontification/a0099_Tripods_101/_Tripods_101.html Anything I have to say on the subject has been said better in that blog.

If you're still reading, let me say that the only useless tripods I've ever had were those silly toys (a GorillaPod, a few-inch-high "tabletop" tripod). But I have a Samsonite (yup, /that/ Samsonite) panhead that I bought for about $10 more than 20 years ago and still use for macro work -- my macro rail is permanently mounted on it. I use a cheap (~$30) monopod I got from Opteka more than I use tripods -- it is my go-to device for low-light event shooting because it is easy to carry around and doesn't take up so much floor space that people trip over it. It doesn't even have a head on it at all. And I have a wildly expensive (~$50) Benro that has a ball head and quick release that I use as my general-purpose tripod. It wouldn't be suitable for a long and heavy tele lens, but if you are not trying to support a ten-pound lens at a weird angle, just about anything will do. Of course, I don't tend to take my tripod out into hurricanes, either. If either of those circumstances applies to you, spend a fortune. Otherwise, you'll probably not find yourself at a huge disadvantage photographically with your SunPak. Give it an honest try. Unless you are easily intimidated by the equipment snobs who spend more time talking about the brands of their equipment than they do taking photos, you should be fine.

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SigmaEbar
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Re: SunPak 6000PG tripod
In reply to Jasonsmom, Jan 9, 2013

I have been using this same tripod now for the last 6 months and I have had no problems with using it with my Canon T3i grpped DSLR. The ball head has worked without any issue and holds firm. I also have had no problems with breezes shaking or knocking over my tripod and camera (I live in a very winding area of Southern California). I do like that way the legs lock on that Monfrotto model that was presented here on this thread and I would like to save up for one possibly, but I can't complain about the SunPak 6000 that I currently have. YMMV

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Leswick
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Re: SunPak 6000PG tripod doesn't cut it
In reply to tclune, Jan 9, 2013

I'd return it asap (while still new), since you'll never going to get the cash back (or the value).  Try getting something that's really solid, particularly if you expect to use 200mm or longer.  The ones w/o the middle column are the best....and usually they are quite costly.  Though I have to admit that I want to make sure it can handle the 4x5 camera that I occasionally use.  I stayed away from getting a tripod for many yrs....mostly doing handheld, monopod or a beanbag, but when I bought it...it was one w/o the column...and never looked back.  That does not mean that you need $1200 Gitzo.

By the way, I see tons and tons of tripods on Craigslist going for $15, 20, 40.  They were never any good from day one, but people bought them because they were inexpensive.  After sitting out in the basement or in closets for X-amount of years, they try to sell them...and no one wants them.  Good luck.

Leswick

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