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Tripod Recommendations?  
User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2301 times:

I'm looking for a tripod for my Nikon D80, and I figured I would ask what brands and models you guys like to use.

The general requirements are: ultra light, ultra portable, flexible on price.

Thanks for any tips!

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWhappeh From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2298 times:

Define ultra-light and ultra-portable? I've never had a problem with my tripod. Its not as light as it can be, but its no inconvenience... same with portability. How portable do you really need? Do you want something small enough to fit into a suitcase? If so, then you're going to trade off on price and quality of the tripod it self (in terms of stability).

All that said, I use a pretty hefty Manfrotto 3021Pro. Its a beast and will probably last 20 years as long as I don't drop it more then 30 feet.



-Travel now, journey infinitely.
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2297 times:

I'll steer clear of Velbon in the future - the head of my copy broke after less than 10 months.

Peter



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2295 times:

I wouldn't look any further than Manfrotto... you can get a variety of different leg + head combinations or you can buy single assembly ones (such as mine) which are excellent.

How much is you max price limit?



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2290 times:

Sounds good. There is no price limit... I intend to use this for 20 years if it lasts that long.

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 3):
I wouldn't look any further than Manfrotto... you can get a variety of different leg + head combinations or you can buy single assembly ones (such as mine) which are excellent.

How much is you max price limit?



User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2280 times:

My suggestion would be:

Manfrotto 055 PRO B tripod with a Manfrotto 329 RC 4 head on it... that ought to give you some flexibility and durability.



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2262 times:



Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 3):
I wouldn't look any further than Manfrotto...

 checkmark 

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 5):
Manfrotto 055 PRO

The 055 is a classic. I've had some version of the 055 for over 20 years and they've spent weeks out winter camping, been filled with sludge while shooting in marshes, and done tons of studio work. I recently sold my first one - over twenty years old and still had some value!

I would avoid the carbon tripods from Manfrotto (likely all the other brands too, but my personal experience is with Manfrotto). A photo colleague tripped on mine and one of the clamps and a leg segment shattered. In fairness, parts were incredibly easy to order and reasonably priced (clamp $20, carbon leg segment $50) but this thing can not take the beating the metal ones can and by the time you put a head on it, the weight difference between metal/carbon isn't much. A friend had a Gitzo (about 30% more expensive than Manfrotto) carbon tripod and a couple weeks after she bought it, one of the legs just fell out of the triple clamp at the top.

B


User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2259 times:



Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 3):
I wouldn't look any further than Manfrotto... you can get a variety of different leg + head combinations

That intimidated me... why are there different heads? Don't they all do the same job?

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 3):
or you can buy single assembly ones (such as mine) which are excellent.
My suggestion would be: Manfrotto 055 PRO B tripod with a Manfrotto 329 RC 4 head on it...

So yours is not a single assembly?

Thanks,

Peter Smile



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2254 times:



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 7):
why are there different heads? Don't they all do the same job?

They all do different jobs, depending on the situation. There are fluid heads for panning shots (mainly used in film/video), ball heads for quick-n-easy repositioning of the camera, triple axle heads for precision setup (they're usually cheaper too). How much you spend will generally determine how versatile and rigid the head is.

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 7):
That intimidated me...

If THAT intimidated you, check out the Wimberley heads - some of them cost up to $700 (but they're pretty schwanky).

B


User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 41
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2244 times:



Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
ultra light

That is not what you want from a tripod, specially if you are going to use a heavy lens with it and you want it to last +20 years. If the tripod is ultra light it is unlikely it will be rigid enough.

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2899 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2227 times:

I use the Manfrotto 785B (or HB?). Cost EUR70 and suits me fine. No idea whether it's metal or carbon, but it's relatively light and fits in any ordinary backpack. Only thing that I now have a 70-200 f4L lens and it's difficult to get in the right position, even with a tripod ring (it's actually back-heavy even with an EOS400D). But once the position is good it stays good, at least.


I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 28
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2226 times:



Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
ultra light, ultra portable, flexible on price.

Heavy means steady - the first requirement of a tripod. Go for a Manfrotto carbon fibre one.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2225 times:
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I have the manfrotto 055 and have always been very pleased with it. Sturdy, practical, durable and not too heavy while still providing enough support for medium weight lenses like the 100-400. Even my 300 2.8L fitted nicely on it.

Tim



Alderman Exit
User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2193 times:

Would a beast like the Nikkor 200-400 fit on this without it toppling over?

Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 12):
I have the manfrotto 055 and have always been very pleased with it. Sturdy, practical, durable and not too heavy while still providing enough support for medium weight lenses like the 100-400. Even my 300 2.8L fitted nicely on it.

Tim



User currently offlineCalgarybill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2177 times:



Quoting Jawed (Reply 13):
Would a beast like the Nikkor 200-400 fit on this without it toppling over?

I use the Wimberley/055 combo for that lens on a D3 and the 055 can take the weight easily.

Quoting Viv (Reply 11):
Go for a Manfrotto carbon fibre one.

Can't agree with you on that one. Mine broke just because someone tripped on it! Broke a leg segment and clamp - the clamp itself was a powdery aluminum/unknown-substance alloy that just shattered. Next time it breaks it goes in the garbage. I have two 055's and a smaller metal Manfrotto and they are the workhorses.

B


User currently offlineRuudb From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 164 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2176 times:

You just must buy the right head they have them in different weight categories, so there are heads for lesser and higher weights too, read a ballhead isn't strong enough for a high weight combination of lens and camera. By the way I use a Manfrotto 55 too, I think it really is a great and easy to use tripod. And there is an "eye" on it to hang something heavy on, sometimes I use my bag, it makes your tripod more stable.

User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2168 times:



Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
I'm looking for a tripod for my Nikon D80



Quoting Jawed (Reply 4):
There is no price limit... I intend to use this for 20 years if it lasts that long.

hmmmmm, you could easily spend 1200 USD on a nice set up, but the question is, is it really necessary at this point?
If money is no issue take a look at the Gitzo GT1540T (Traveler)........I personally own the 1504 and have had it for about 6 years, no complaint so far.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 8):
heck out the Wimberley heads - some of them cost up to $700

but worth every penny.....!

Vasco


User currently offlineMonteycarlos From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 28
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2100 times:



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 7):
So yours is not a single assembly?

I have a single assembly one, but have also used the 055 PRO B and the RC 4 combo head one which is far superior than anything else I've used. Perfect for photography with medium weight lenses and even video camera applications.  Smile



It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2083 times:



Quoting AKE0404AR (Reply 16):
but worth every penny.....!

That's why I have one...  Big grin

Something to consider with a Whimberley is you also have to buy compatible plates for it. The one for the 200-400 is over $100 here in Canada. But as Vasco said, well worth the money.

B


User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2047 times:

The Wimberley is such a joy to work with, especially with larger lenses. The only drawback, you need a dedicated tripod, unless you want to change "heads" all the time. The compatible plates are a must!

Now I only need a light tripod when traveling. The Gitzo 1504 almost killed me during my last Dubai trip.......

Vasco


User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2018 times:



Quoting AKE0404AR (Reply 19):
The only drawback, you need a dedicated tripod, unless you want to change "heads" all the time.

One of the tripods I use it on is a Manfrotto carbon model. The top four inches of the center column can be removed simply by unscrewing it from the bottom (rubber knob, no tools required). If you call the distributor (Amplis in Canada) the center piece is only $20 or $30, so I bought a couple extras to mount different heads. It isn't much more expensive than the plates.

Now if only one of their aluminum models had the same feature....

B


User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1970 times:

What do you guys think of the Gitzo GT3530 tripod combined with an Acratech 1150 ball head? I checked it out at a store today, and didn't find any obvious short comings.

[Edited 2008-01-31 20:37:16]

User currently offlineCalgaryBill From Canada, joined May 2006, 686 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1965 times:



Quoting Jawed (Reply 21):
What do you guys think of the Gitzo GT3530 tripod combined with an Acratech 1150 ball head?

The biggest drawback with Gitzo is the price. The gal at my camera store bought one and one of the legs fell right out of the top section. They're only glued in.

After the experience I had with my Manfrotto, I would not buy another carbon tripod. Aluminum isn't much heavier (and the weight helps the stability anyway), it's certainly more durable, and it's half the price of carbon.

B


User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1961 times:

For the last twenty years I have been using the Manfrotto 3221 w/ the 3030 head. I have mounted my Nikon 600mm f4 on it...was fine...I prefer it to be on a larger one I have w/ wimberly but this 3221 has travelled all over the world with me. No other tripods I have used perform like this one does. I constantly use my Hasselblad on it. Heavier than carbon fibre but baggage handlers get a hold of carbon fibre, IT WILL BREAK...don't want to carry it?...wear it...it comes with a great neck strap...My advice is stay away from ball heads if your using eqpt with some weight...I found the Gitzo I had to be very heavy and brittle...Star D was ok...not sure if they are mftrd anymore. The type head you use depends much on the way you shoot...many photogs swear by ball heads, they are actually easiest to use but I find them to be a pain where beefy lenses are considered, also if you loose you grip on the lens , the ball head acts as though the cameras going to fall off the tripod resulting in you lunging after it , ultimetely causing you to freak and possibly knocking over the whole thing....(lesson learned with 300mm 2.8 mtd on ball head)...Got rid of ball head, kept lens, got new 3030 head...happy and ready to go...Cheers...Jerry

User currently offline600mmf4 From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1940 times:

I have combined the Manfrotto 055 with the video head 501,its only up to a maximum of 6 KG,but it takes the all in all 7,5 KG Nikkor 400mm f2,8 + 2x extender + the D2Xs without any problems,easy to handle with an extra long lever and-very important-damped,so even when you forget to fix the heavy combo the whole thing wont fall down.
Achim


25 CalgaryBill : How does that perform in extreme cold? We just went through a -30 week of weather in Calgary and it got me wondering how damped heads handle. Does th
26 600mmf4 : Cant answer you that question because we dont have cold winters here in the last years....sorry.
27 JRadier : As they say with tripods: "Light, Strong, Cheap... pick 2" As for me I'm using a Manfrotto 055CLB which I used to couple with a 141RC 3-way head. Wor
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