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Bill Bailey
04-23-2008, 01:14 PM
We get this question frequently asked and thought I would post a thread on it.
What is some good choices for sturdy tripods in the low to medium end price range?
Thanks for your input.
Bill

1991Syclone
04-23-2008, 01:18 PM
I bought one similar to this one here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/AMVONA-PRO-PHOTO-CAMERA-TRIPOD-KIT-BALL-HEAD-AT-3052_W0QQitemZ200217996643QQihZ010QQcategoryZ30094 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

It's been working great for me so far. Mine had a ball head attachment and is very sturdy/stable.

bigwade
04-23-2008, 03:43 PM
The trick for a good pano tripod;
It's the guiding of the centre column what does the job, not the legs or brand.
A cheap Manfrotto 055 has a "not so good" center column.
Perfect tripod but not for pano's.
Feisol, Gitzo and others have good tripods with a fine guided, no flex, center column.
And that helps a lot..
Have Fun !

Terrywoodenpic
04-24-2008, 03:46 AM
I mostly use a manfrotto O55 pro B
I always use the column down and locked for pans.
I use no other head between the Tripod and The NN3ll

It is an Ideal general purpose tripod and as more then 50% are my shots are non-pans it saves carting about more than one tripod.
I also have a lightweight ancient MPP wooden tripod with no centre column.
wooden tripods for their weight and size tend to dampen vibration better than metal ones.

asiavr
04-24-2008, 04:11 AM
I think the tripod head is important too in obtaining a small foot print.

What do you guys vote for the tripod head? I use both tripod and head from benro but I think their ball head screw was big.
The head screw also occupied some spaces with the tripod hole in the panorama.

Macro
04-24-2008, 06:15 AM
I think the tripod head is important too in obtaining a small foot print.
What do you guys vote for the tripod head?


Non-pano > Markins M10 (Markins Q3 is also good for lighter loads)
Pano > Nodal Ninja 5L (mounted directly to tripod)

schlake
04-24-2008, 08:36 AM
I've given up on "economical" tripods. I've tried them (head+legs) at the $20, $80, $120, and $200 price points and I've been left seriously wanting by each of them. Now I have a $400 pair of legs (Gitzo basalt) and a $350 head (acratech gv2 plus another $400 in custom plates) and I'm quite a bit happier.

jldt706
04-24-2008, 11:30 AM
I don't think you can skimp on the tripod. I have tried and been miserable in the field dealing with things that don't support the weight of the camera and NN3 MkII.

I was using a Silk Sprint Pro but it just wasn't steady enough. I wanted a small light weight tripod so I bought that one...it was just money wasted. I recently bought a Benro Carbon Travel Angel C-169 M8 ($330 on ebay) with a Giotto MH 1302 head. I couldnt be happier! It folds up super small and hardly weights (2.2 lbs I believe a little more with the head). I wanted a light weight solution and this is perfect.

Don't skimp on a cheap tripod! I made that mistake...I believe you really need to invest in a good and steady one plus a decent head as well.

Andrew H
04-24-2008, 01:17 PM
I use a Feisol CT-3402. It's made from carbon fiber, and is light in weight, strong, and perfectly adequate for my needs (mostly 360/180 panos with a few high res mosaics).

My EZ-Leveler is attached directly to the top of the center column, with the NN3 immediately on top of that. Works fine for me!

Regards

Andrew

Mauro Contrafatto
04-24-2008, 04:37 PM
I've been using Manfrotto 055PROB for a while with excellent results!
I'm considering also the 190XPROB which is lighter to carry with the other equipment on the field.

wcm777
04-24-2008, 08:08 PM
I use the Manfrotto 190XProB and the Manfrotto 486RC2 Ball head under the NN3. Lightweight and sturdy. The 190XProB has versatile leg joints that allow it to get into an impressive range of positions.

My pano set on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcm777/sets/72157600093900871/

Macro
04-24-2008, 09:10 PM
I use a Manfrotto 055MF3, which is excellent. I'm tall and appreciate the extra height.
I am considering the 190XPROB as a more compact lighter alternate for hiking.
How sturdy/stable is the new 190XPROB "tip over" style clamp/column design?
Does anyone know how it compares with the 055MF3/4 style clamp/column?
David

Kirk Decker
04-25-2008, 10:44 AM
Bogen #029 head bolted to a chunk of wood. http://www.deckersphoto.com/Chicken/chickenpano.html This was my second or third pano attempt, beware - stitching errors etc.

I use a Bogen 3040 that I've had for at least 20 years. It has the 3265 grip action head that has been modified for the larger plate. The 3040 doesn't backpack well, so I'm also using a Manfrotto 725b modified for the larger plate. The 725b would not be suited for serious everyday use. It does travel well and will do ok if you don't ask too much of it.

omalais
04-29-2008, 11:29 AM
I use the Manfrotto 756B tripod.

-The 756B's unique center column construction and precision-machined red anodized aluminum allows the leveling ball to be locked by a detachable rotating grip built at the bottom of the center column. This allows the camera operator to level the camera and even adjust its height without needing to make micro adjustments to each individual tripod leg.

Anyone else using it?

Omalais

manga23
04-30-2008, 07:20 AM
i use a Slik 35B tripod it's more than 20years old, it was my dad's.
It's still in perferct shape and weights only 900g about 2 punds and it's very steady!
i guess i'll go with slik again once this gives up!

asiavr
05-01-2008, 08:25 PM
how abt monopod? anyone can share their experience for using monopod with nn?
is there any monopod or add-on accessories in that market that can stop it to move out from the same spot when you turn a monopod and shoot? i saw some monopod that comes with 3 extended legs but they are still not stable enough after mounting all pano head and camera equipments. :sad:

IgoNodaLBoiNG
05-13-2008, 12:53 AM
all i can say is if you have the dough to spend $400-$900+=[ but spend it as ive bought 3 diferent tripods thinking for $200 you should be able to get something decent that works perfect but to be honest they all suck for doing pano work 1-giottos -1-manfrotto 718 something or rather though i had no intention of using either of them for pano work so i went to my friendly local camera house store for some first rate advice and as you could imagine i went home with something thats not totally ideal but good enough manfrotto 190xpProB great tripod but a bit heavy as i leg it with tents and sleeping gear at times but not that much heavier than carbon but every bit counts when you leg it abit
though im just a begginer and dont have much coin but if i had it id grab a fancy upperclass gitzo carbon fibre job or similar v though id probably find something i dont like about them either =]
i rekon the tripod you want needs to be firm/solid and have a good footprint preferably with adjustable legs that open a bit extra as the camera is offset on a pano head and it helps with stability a good solid type shaft so theres not to much movement /wobble when doing 360 stuff and it needs to be able to be packed up nicely and light for lugging it around and wouldnt it be great if it had a spot that fitted your cold beer so you dont spill any on rough ground and a hook on the bottom to hang your bag of cold beers off to help with stability just that bit extra sounds funny coming from a non drinka ha good luck in your search

sbalsen
05-18-2008, 08:05 PM
I love my Velbon El Carmagne 640. Very, very light. Very stable. Folds very small. And it looks great.
The El Carmagne 640 is very well made and withstands all the abuse I put it through.

The price can't be beat!
Highly recommended.

Wide-Eyed
05-24-2008, 08:28 AM
Here's a good 'economics lesson' about saving a ton of money by getting the right tripod the first time . . Some of it will apply to pano work:

http://bythom.com/support.htm

I'm thinking about making up an 'apron support' that allows you to add weight (some may want to use cold beers, as mentioned) to a tripod for stability, similar to the Manfrotto model 166. I'm going to chop up an old cargo net from the minivan. :ohmy:

I like D_I_Y because it's almost F_R_E_E.

:wink:

Ped
05-27-2008, 02:44 PM
I bought a Benro versatile, the cheaper end aluminium type. It is sturdy enough and the legs can go way out if needed. The only problem I have had is the head is stuck fast :blushing: So my NN3 gets fastened to that. I am thinking of giving it a good whack with a hammer, it will either loosen or break :001_smile: I must admit though that I wish I had gone for the more expensive carbon version for the weight reduction, the one I have can be quite cumbersome at times.

Ped

Anyone know of a bag that can take tripod, camera NN3 and a couple of lenses? There doesn't seem to be a lot of choice for that.

Pepsi
05-28-2008, 01:41 AM
Hello,
I use a Giotto's MT 9170, which is excellent and solid. The legs are made from aluminum tubing. The multi-function center column allows adjustment over 180 degrees from vertical to horizontal. To shot the nadir with this tripod is a pleasure!
The NN3 is connected to the Giottos tripod with a Newtech 2.5" Quick Release Clamp.
Cheers, Pepsi

pgielen
05-28-2008, 02:06 AM
I think the tripod head is important too in obtaining a small foot print.

What do you guys vote for the tripod head? I use both tripod and head from benro but I think their ball head screw was big.
The head screw also occupied some spaces with the tripod hole in the panorama.



You don't need a tripod head! I gave up using them. I even hardly use my Fanotec easy leveler.

Pierre

Pepsi
05-28-2008, 05:23 AM
Pierre: "You don't need a tripod head! I gave up using them."

This is correct ! :001_smile:

Cheers, Pepsi

Terrywoodenpic
05-29-2008, 06:16 AM
You don't need a tripod head! I gave up using them. I even hardly use my Fanotec easy leveler.

Pierre


That is certainly true when using Manfrotto type clamp lock legs.. It is far less easy with twist lock legs.
Fortunately I use a Manfrotto 055ProB

Those with twist lock legs would be better off with a leveller Ike the NN one.

Pepsi
05-29-2008, 08:00 AM
Hello,

"It is far less easy with twist lock legs."

Giotto's MT 9170 has clamp lock legs. :001_smile: (see pictures in my posting above)

Cheers, Pepsi

pgielen
06-06-2008, 02:24 PM
how abt monopod?

Yes, I have Manfrotto 682B self standing monopod (http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/pid/2372). I like it because of the small footprint, but of course it is not stable at all. So I only use it with fast shutter speeds (I shoot almost exclusively at f11 so that means bright weather) and when I need a pod that is easy to carry around. The legs help me keep the monopod in position when rotating the NN3. For leveling, I slightly tilt the monopod by hand. Or I don't level the pano at all, because I can still do that afterwards, in Autopano Pro.

psj
06-08-2008, 04:42 AM
Just got a Benro Travel Angel C169 to go with my NN3, no head. At just over 1.5kg for the whole setup, this is almost perfect for me :biggrin:

I use a small elastic hair band to wrap the 3 legs at mid section to dampen the vibration and quite happy with the result when using a remote.

photosbykev
06-10-2008, 05:59 AM
In my experience there is no such thing as a best economical tripod. Almost all of the cheap ones on the market are too flimsy and will not hold even a lightweight camera steady and if there is a breeze blowing then they are next to useless. Centre columns on a tripod, geared or ungeared, just allow more movement and should be avoided. After you buy 3 or 4 cheap tripods you will realise that you could of just bought one good quality one which will give you years of reliable service.

I have used a Manfrotto 055ProB tripod but never with the column raised. Now I use a Gitzo CF1548 tripod that just has a top plate that the NN3 will mount too and it is rock solid, ocassionally I will use a geared tripod head under the NN3 if I have to position the tripod awkwardy on a slope etc.

Even tripod mounted we should be looking to minimise any camera movement during a shoot. I would suggest using a cable release as a minimum and if you dont have one that fits your camera you can always use the self timer to minimise camera movement. Mirror lockup is another improvement we can make when taking photographs. This minimises the internal vibration of the camera and improves the detail in the final image.

and slightly off topic but still relevant, if you don't apply any post processing and then resize and sharpening to your work then you are doing yourself, and any clients, a disservice and it is becomes irrelevant what tripod you use.

Kev

Wim.Koornneef
06-12-2008, 04:29 AM
Hello Bill,

The question in the Subject can't be answered properly if the goal is not exactly defined.

If the goal is to buy a reliable tripod that will give a lot of use for many years than it is not likely that you can buy such device cheap (unless it is a good used model of course).
And it also depends how much time and efforts you are willing to put in the post processing of the images.

It is the sum of: Camera+Panohead+Remote controller+Tripod+Workflow+Skills that makes the Sum (output) successful or not.
The tripod is just a part (although an important part) that makes the sum.

In time you forget what you paid for your gear but the feeling that you have bought the right piece of equipment will be there the every time you have made a fine panorama.

I have that feeling when I use my carbon Feisol tripods and my favorite for light travel use is the Feisol Travel CT-3441 tripod.
With heavy equipment on top of it, legs 50 cm apart from eachother and at a height of 1.85m (my default height with 1 part of the center column erected) I can make easy to stitch panos. For that I only need a individualized template for correcting the Yaw and the Shift params (I call this my EasyStitch method).

Best,
Wim.

EDIT
Added Feisol travel model

KiwiExpat
06-20-2008, 12:12 AM
To be honest, I've always believed that the cheapest tripod is the one that you will always use.

If a tripod is too slow, or fiddly to extend, use and collapse again, then it tends not to be used. And that's a waste of money. Plus, I and lazy - but I do work hard at it.

Having said all that, I found one that takes about 3 seconds to put up, and amybe 6 seconds to fold away again. Manfrotto 458B. see it here:- http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/off/pid/2280?livid=68|69&idx=72

Now I use it all the time - and THAT's the most economical tripod that I could ever buy.

I didn't do so well on the Ball head though. I went for the 488RC2 head (similar to the 482, only bigger). I should have got the 322RC2 grip release head.

Hope this helps.

David

Macro
06-20-2008, 01:21 AM
Having said all that, I found one that takes about 3 seconds to put up, and amybe 6 seconds to fold away again. Manfrotto 458B.

I've never seen a Neotec 458B.
How easy is it to make small leg adjustments?
Can this be done with one hand?

Wide-Eyed
06-20-2008, 09:09 PM
The Neotec tripod leg is such a cool concept.!

Because the legs are on 'upside down' the bottom end is waterproof and easy to clean up if they do get dirty. I don't have the tripod but my Bogen monopod (Manfrotto 334B) is exactly the same technology.

:wink:

KiwiExpat
06-20-2008, 11:13 PM
I've never seen a Neotec 458B.
How easy is it to make small leg adjustments?
Can this be done with one hand?


Hi Macro, Short answer is - Yes, and No. To extend the legs, you hold the top, somewhere around the head, and grab a leg and pull it down (no latches to flip or anything) the leg will stay where you leave it. Repeat for the other two legs. Tripod is up! Simple as that.

To fold it away, or adjust the langth of a leg, there is a button at the top of each leg that you press and that lets the leg slide up (shorter). Repeat for the other two legs. Tripod folded! Because you have to hold the top part of the tripod in your left hand and squeeze the button with your thumb, it takes a fraction longer to fold up than to extend it.

Apart from the speed and ease of use, the centre column can be removed and fitted sideways for macro or low-level use. BTW, the legs can be set individually to 3 different angles, so that is great for uneven ground.

Sounds like I should get a commission - but I don't :-(

IgoNodaLBoiNG
06-29-2008, 02:13 PM
[quote=Ped;24073]
I bought a Benro versatile, the cheaper end aluminium type. It is sturdy enough and the legs can go way out if needed. The only problem I have had is the head is stuck fast :blushing: So my NN3 gets fastened to that. I am thinking of giving it a good whack with a hammer, it will either loosen or break :001_smile: I must admit though that I wish I had gone for the more expensive carbon version for the weight reduction, the one I have can be quite cumbersome at times.

Ped

Anyone know of a bag that can take tripod, camera NN3 and a couple of lenses? There doesn't seem to be a lot of choice for that.
[/quote
manfrotto make a bag its padded with a good shoulder sling im at the moment getting my local bag maker to stitch a couple of tags on it so i can attach a couple of lowepro slip lock accesasary lens cases etc the bag fits a manfrotto 190xprob tripod with the nn3 no worries im actually going top sell this bag and will advertise it here in second goods bit when finitoed as ive come up with another setup that is easier good luck dude]

neilp
02-19-2009, 02:59 AM
I bought my first semi-serious tripod a few months back, it's the SLIK 614 CF PRO legs with Manfrotto 486 RC2 head.

Legs: http://www.slik.com/carbon/e/4906752100974-e.html

Fully ajustable in length, and call also open out almost flat (center post is 2 part so can be shortened), pretty light at 860g (about 1.9lbs), I found them at my local San Jose Camera shop for about USD$200. (I don't think you can beat actually trying out the equipment like this in the shop, and I couldn't find it cheaper on the web).

For the head I chose the Manfrotto 486RC2 which is a ball head hence quick to adjust, compact, and strong enough for the 40D and my biggest lens, the Canon 100-400L. This was about USD$70 from the same shop and weighs in at 670g (about 1.5lbs). Note RC2 means it has the quick release plate, they also do a version without this if you want to save a little weight etc.

http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/pid/2304

Overall I'm very happy with my choices, I've got something that's pretty light but still solid, extends to nearly head height without the need to raise the center tube, and it's also very flexible with the leg positioning etc. One thing that is missing is a hook at the bottom of the center pole in case you wanted to weigh down the tripod. One other bonus is that it fits inside a standard carry on case if I'm flying on a short trip.

Neil.

robinson
06-08-2009, 11:32 PM
I was using the Manfrotto 055XDB and really never had problems with it; just the weight is a little too much.

I would like to buy lightweight tripod, is anybody using Manfrotto 190XDB or a tripod in a similar price and weight range. How is this tripod compared to the 055XDB?

Civoksay
07-10-2009, 09:44 PM
My vote for a high quality yet low priced tripod goes to the Induro "A" series. I own the A413, which at 8 pounds is a bit overkill for pano work, but I'm a firm believer in "heavier, steadier, better" :001_smile: I have very heavy lenses, so this tripod is my "use-all" solution.

However, in terms of sheer panoramic work, the A213 or A214 would be perfect as a pano tripod. It has everything you need - precision machined alloys, built in bubble level, weighs about 5 pounds, and holds approximately 17 pounds. That should cover about any lens and fanotec equipment you could load on there. They're found regularly on www.adorama.com and www.keh.com for about $120 to $140 dollars. Recommended for a budget!

http://www.indurogear.com/products_details_A213.html
http://www.adorama.com/INDA213.html?searchinfo=induro+a213

DemonDuck
07-11-2009, 11:09 AM
I found an old Manfrotto 3405 like new on eBay. If you replace the center column with the non-removable head with a center column from a 3021n, you get a sturdy tripod that weighs less than 3 lbs. and fits in a day pack. Probably not good for full frame cameras with long lenses but for compacts and small dslrs it would be a good choice.

Cheap! You can find them for less than a $100 and the center column costs about $25 if you look around.

kaidot
07-26-2009, 07:56 PM
I just purchased an INDURO A414 that I really like. It was originally a decision because of my low budget. But at least I can not think of something better. It is stable, heavy the height is great, the accessories are superb and the price was for me at ebay just $129

http://cgi.ebay.com/Induro-Tripod-Legs-Model-A414-Demo-Unit_W0QQitemZ290331136467QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item43991591d3&_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

I received this from the specified vendor within 3 days.

If you like a lighter model - they have different items. But I really wanted a heavy one...

Regards
Kai

2BeCalifornian
07-30-2009, 11:55 PM
Hi Bill,

I use an Induro CX214.

It's a good compromise between cost, weight and volume (I am always looking at optimizing my luggage allowance on international flights!)

The site Rosauro Photography has dome good insight for that particular tripod:
http://www.rosaurophotography.com/html/equipment1.html

Cheers!

discocandy
09-20-2009, 12:50 AM
I have been looking at this one.
http://www.foto-walser.biz/shop/Artikel/3257/75/Pro_walimex_pro_Stativ_5603_Multiflex_2_Kugelkoepf e.htm

It looks like a good budged tripod for Ǩ200.- you can not go wrong. Only downside it is heavy.. but also a plus because it is sturdy,

Bsmooth
09-29-2009, 07:16 PM
I've been wanting to know about these myself. I looked quite awhile, before i got into Panos and purchaseda Velbon 530, which I found to be excellent.however there's one thing here that has not been addressed, and thats the tripod thread size. Mine happens to be 1/4, which isn't very useful. I know you can get adapters, but mine keep jamming on the tripod or on the NN3.
Right now my center column has 1/4 threads on each end, so I unscrew my panhead and then unscrew the opposite end and flip my center column around 180 degrees and screw the threaded part back in which already has a 1/4 to 3/8 adapter in it.
So right now I'm searching for a tripod too and have been looking at the Giottos MT-7251.Anyone have any advice on this one? It runs about $200 at B+H.

2BeCalifornian
09-29-2009, 10:00 PM
Hello Bsmooth,

The Induro CX214 solved your issue by providing a Reversible Tripod Head Mounting Screw that has both threads: one end is 1/4", the other end is 1/8". This special screw mounts in the center column, and a provided nut allows you to adjust the height of the tip of that screw. The Tripod comes with a little pouch that has the wrench for you to swap between 1/4" 1/8" threads.

http://www.indurogear.com/products/details.asp?ID=417
look at the column of icons to the right, 4th down.

I hope this addresses your concern.

Cheers!

Zeropainter
08-06-2012, 02:42 PM
I have a sirui n1004, and a sirui G10 ballhead, its nice too have ;)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822134-REG/Sirui_BSRN1004_N_1004_4_Section_Aluminum_Tripod.ht ml

BaltimoreBob
08-06-2012, 07:50 PM
I use Manfrotto 055MF4 which I find to be sturdy and solid. As important, to me, is the self-leveling center column. I seldom need to adjust leg length; I first level with the center column then fine tune with the leveler

Aphelion
11-06-2012, 09:11 AM
I'm somewhat of a camera support gear freak, I have a rather wide range of Manfrotto tripods (the brand I prefer). I have a 475B w/ a Manfotto 400 geared head on it that provides a rock solid platform for my pano setup. I also have a two 055's, one in carbon fiber and one aluminum that I will use for my pano rig when lightness is important. On the 055 I use a Manfrotto hydrostaic ball head which supports the pano rig without any problems. I also have the Neotech tripod which is fabulous for quick setup and takedown, but I feel that my pano setup with a Nikon D80 and 12-24mm lens would be a bit heavy for the Neotech to support without movement.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7247/8161297479_12957a88ec_b.jpg

Note the Studioball with Wimberly arm to the left

MikeF09
09-12-2014, 09:30 AM
I have two Manfrotto tripods, one sturdy, one lightweight.

When I take panos, there's too much of the sturdy tripod's legs and handles showing on the shot and with the lightweight tripod, I need to bring the legs in quite close together to stop showing the tripod on the picture.

I'm using a Nikon D700 with a Sigma 8mm lens and the Google Ultimate R10 Static Tilt Head & Rotator.

If anyone is using the same gear, I would be very grateful for a recommendation for a suitable tripod, preferably not too heavy and not too expensive (given that I've got a couple already).