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Canon vs Nikon: Which is better?
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Main Photography Discussion
Good but inexpensive Tripod
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Jan 15, 2014 09:03:23   #
Stanley Fleming
 
As an Canon SR50 user I am taking advantage of the long telephoto a lot for bird photography. As I am sure you know, when zoomed out a long distance every little movement is amplified - soooooo I am thinking I need to upgrade my tripod - the one I have has a sloppy head mechanism. However, since I am not a pro I would like to find a tripod that is less expensive than my camera, i.e. less than $350 bucks. Am I being unreasonable? Can anyone make a recommendation based on personal experience?
 
Jan 15, 2014 09:07:56   #
Wahawk
 
Stanley Fleming wrote:
As an Canon SR50 user I am taking advantage of the long telephoto a lot for bird photography. As I am sure you know, when zoomed out a long distance every little movement is amplified - soooooo I am thinking I need to upgrade my tripod - the one I have has a sloppy head mechanism. However, since I am not a pro I would like to find a tripod that is less expensive than my camera, i.e. less than $350 bucks. Am I being unreasonable? Can anyone make a recommendation based on personal experience?


I found a Sunpak model for $50 at Walmart that seems to be very sturdy. Not real light, but the legs can spread to 3 different angles to get low to the ground. And the center column can be changed to a short one so the unit sits basically at (or very near) ground level. It has the standard pan/tilt head with a quick release plate too.

EDIT: I am assuming you meant SX50, and not SR50
Jan 15, 2014 09:25:47   #
bsprague (a regular here)
 
I found a very sturdy one at Costco made of carbon fiber for $90.
Jan 15, 2014 09:38:33   #
Mr PC
 
Just got a Dolica ZX600B103 at Costco for $89 minus a $10 rebate. List is $199 at Dolica website and Amazon charges $119 for same thing. Rated at 13.5lb capacity by manufacturer, is carbon, has a removable ball head with standard 3/8" screw and only weighs 3.5lbs. Very stable with my D5200 with 55-300 Nikkor lens. Nice carrying bag with strap. Hook for adding more ballast. I shopped hard for something like you describe when I wanted a better tripod and this is what I came up with. I know you can go much more expensive and maybe do a little better, but this one will take me a while to outgrow. I do a lot of HDR and needed something more stable than my old aluminum standby. Hope this helps...
Jan 15, 2014 09:40:55   #
sr71
 
Read the following URL and take heed:

http://www.sansmirror.com/articles/how-much-tripod-do-you-need.html


Stanley Fleming wrote:
As an Canon SR50 user I am taking advantage of the long telephoto a lot for bird photography. As I am sure you know, when zoomed out a long distance every little movement is amplified - soooooo I am thinking I need to upgrade my tripod - the one I have has a sloppy head mechanism. However, since I am not a pro I would like to find a tripod that is less expensive than my camera, i.e. less than $350 bucks. Am I being unreasonable? Can anyone make a recommendation based on personal experience?
Jan 15, 2014 09:44:00   #
Wahawk
 
sr71 wrote:
Read the following URL and take heed:

http://www.sansmirror.com/articles/how-much-tripod-do-you-need.html


Just be aware that the OP (I believe) is using the SX50 bridge camera, not very heavy.
 
Jan 15, 2014 10:02:40   #
sr71
 
Yes I UNDERSTAND if you go and read the article he does suggest and lighter weight tripod for the lighter cameras..... BUY ONCE SAVE MONEY.


Wahawk wrote:
Just be aware that the OP (I believe) is using the SX50 bridge camera, not very heavy.
Jan 15, 2014 10:04:44   #
Stanley Fleming
 
oooops - sorry - yes it is an SX50 - thanks for pointing that out
Jan 16, 2014 05:32:17   #
MikeMcK
 
Mr PC wrote:
Just got a Dolica ZX600B103 at Costco for $89 minus a $10 rebate. List is $199 at Dolica website and Amazon charges $119 for same thing. Rated at 13.5lb capacity by manufacturer, is carbon, has a removable ball head with standard 3/8" screw and only weighs 3.5lbs. Very stable with my D5200 with 55-300 Nikkor lens. Nice carrying bag with strap. Hook for adding more ballast. I shopped hard for something like you describe when I wanted a better tripod and this is what I came up with. I know you can go much more expensive and maybe do a little better, but this one will take me a while to outgrow. I do a lot of HDR and needed something more stable than my old aluminum standby. Hope this helps...
Just got a Dolica ZX600B103 at Costco for $89 minu... (show quote)


I have this tripod and love it.
Jan 16, 2014 08:09:26   #
cockney greg
 
If it's just the head mechanism that's sloppy, can't you just upgrade that or is it fixed?
Jan 16, 2014 08:12:59   #
houdel
 
sr71 wrote:
BUY ONCE SAVE MONEY

I've seen that stated many times and I just don't buy it. Not everyone can pony up $1000+ for a RSS tripod and they don't have to. Almost ANY tripod is better than NO tripod at all, and there are many inexpensive, serviceable tripods on the market.

I have a Zeikos TR101 tripod I bought several years ago on Ebay for $30 and am very happy with it. It works great, even with my 7 lb medium format camera and is tall enough that it will place the camera at eye level without extending the center column which improves rigidity. Zeikos also has a TR125 tripod (about $40 on Ebay) which is a little bit heavier and a little stronger. The biggest problem is the Zeikos heads are plastic so they are a little sticky when panning but some silicon lubricant helps quite a bit.

I also have a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod and pan head which I use maily for my MF camera. Great tripod, rock solid and strong enough to use as a jack stand for my truck, but heavy. If I am in the field and will be doing much walking, the Zeikos is my go to tripod.

Which brings up the point OP omitted - he is a birder, so is this park and shoot or will he be traipsing through the woods in pursuit of Avius Obscuris? If he is doing a lot of walking then light weight is a must. If budget is a big concern, the Zeikos TR125 or the Dolica mentioned are worth a look. If he has deeper pockets, go to the "tripods" page at B&H, select carbon fiber and enter a price range. There will be plenty to choose from.
 
Jan 16, 2014 09:13:20   #
sr71
 
"I've seen that stated many times and I just don't buy it"

A person buys a light weight tripod thinking that it will do the job, then finds out that it does, buys another heavier set of legs n head, again finds out that it's better but not by much in either sturdiness or quality wise by this time he could have $500-700 invested already. Then he bites the bullet and get the big canon, yeah it's expensive but if he would have bought it in the first place then he would have $2000 invested see how that works...

Ok this doesn't apply to the OP as he is using a lighter setup. I gave him a link to a known pro that uses not only the full size DSLR's but
mirrorless also and he does suggest a lighter set up in his article.


"quote=houdel]I've seen that stated many times and I just don't buy it. Not everyone can pony up $1000+ for a RSS tripod and they don't have to. Almost ANY tripod is better than NO tripod at all, and there are many inexpensive, serviceable tripods on the market.

I have a Zeikos TR101 tripod I bought several years ago on Ebay for $30 and am very happy with it. It works great, even with my 7 lb medium format camera and is tall enough that it will place the camera at eye level without extending the center column which improves rigidity. Zeikos also has a TR125 tripod (about $40 on Ebay) which is a little bit heavier and a little stronger. The biggest problem is the Zeikos heads are plastic so they are a little sticky when panning but some silicon lubricant helps quite a bit.

I also have a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod and pan head which I use maily for my MF camera. Great tripod, rock solid and strong enough to use as a jack stand for my truck, but heavy. If I am in the field and will be doing much walking, the Zeikos is my go to tripod.

Which brings up the point OP omitted - he is a birder, so is this park and shoot or will he be traipsing through the woods in pursuit of Avius Obscuris? If he is doing a lot of walking then light weight is a must. If budget is a big concern, the Zeikos TR125 or the Dolica mentioned are worth a look. If he has deeper pockets, go to the "tripods" page at B&H, select carbon fiber and enter a price range. There will be plenty to choose from.[/quote]
Jan 16, 2014 09:43:21   #
Dlevon
 
Stanley Fleming wrote:
As an Canon SR50 user I am taking advantage of the long telephoto a lot for bird photography. As I am sure you know, when zoomed out a long distance every little movement is amplified - soooooo I am thinking I need to upgrade my tripod - the one I have has a sloppy head mechanism. However, since I am not a pro I would like to find a tripod that is less expensive than my camera, i.e. less than $350 bucks. Am I being unreasonable? Can anyone make a recommendation based on personal experience?


I have never used a tripod with the SX50. Has a fantastic stabilizing system, even shooting with the digital tele- corrector. Check all your settings , such as continuous focus, or IS at moment of exposure, etc. try on the settings that give you the best results. The only reason you should really need a tripod is for night scenes. It's fantastic handheld even for moon shots. Maybe it's the way you hold the camera when you shoot? How steady are you at the moment of exposure? Do you jerk the shutter, exhale, or more. Many of these little details are critical at the moment of exposure. I know that I'm nitpicking but these things are critical for a decent picture. I have used a tripod with my SLR's , especially those without IS or IS lenses. Just don't like carrying it around anymore. Try all of this and maybe you won't have to buy that big heavy, and expensive tripod!
Jan 16, 2014 10:02:05   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
I got this Dolica through Costco when it was on sale for $200.00. I love it!

http://www.costco.com/Dolica-Premium-Traveler-60%22-Carbon-Fiber-TripodMonopod-with-Ball-Head-Bundle-.product.100030688.html
Jan 16, 2014 10:04:16   #
houdel
 
sr71 wrote:
A person buys a light weight tripod thinking that it will do the job, then finds out that it does, buys another heavier set of legs n head....

One size does not necessarily fit all. I have a light, cheap tripod and a heavy, expensive tripod. I use whichever is appropriate for the photographic situation. That shouldn't be a problem.

As I stated right at the beginning, almost any tripod is better than no tripod at all. What really burns my tush is the photo snobs (not including SR-71 in this category) who state "don't waste your money on a $25 or $100 tripod, you have to spend $1000 (or more) to get a good tripod". Well, some folks can't AFFORD $1000 for a tripod, many probably didn't spend $1000 on their camera in the first place.

I already have three tripods and am considering getting the Dolica tripod mentioned earlier as it would fit a niche need. So what if I then have four tripods and have spent a thousand or two in total? I'd rather have the right piece of equipment for the task at hand than make do with a single, overpriced tripod with the "right" name. As Hillary put it, "At this point in time, what difference does it make"!
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