Best economical tripods
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  1. Best economical tripods


    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.
  2. Re: Best economical tripods


    I bought one similar to this one here:

    It's been working great for me so far. Mine had a ball head attachment and is very sturdy/stable.
  3. Re: Best economical tripods

    bigwade's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Posts: 68

    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 !
  4. Re: Best economical tripods

    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Saddleworth UK
    Posts: 242

    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.
  5. Re: Best economical tripods


    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.
  6. Re: Best economical tripods

    Users Country Flag Macro's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: South Korea
    Posts: 80

    Quote Originally Posted by asiavr View Post
    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)
  7. Re: Best economical tripods


    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.
  8. Re: Best economical tripods


    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 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 couldn’t 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.
  9. Re: Best economical tripods


    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!


  10. Re: Best economical tripods


    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.

    Mauro Contrafatto
    Customer Service Manager
  11. Re: Best economical tripods


    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:
  12. Re: Best economical tripods

    Users Country Flag Macro's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: South Korea
    Posts: 80

    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?
  13. Re: Best economical tripods


    Bogen #029 head bolted to a chunk of wood. 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.
  14. Re: Best economical tripods


    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?

  15. Re: Best economical tripods


    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!

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