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Light weight, easy to set-up tripod

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Superstriker#8, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    I just got a real camera (a Pana G5), and since this is my first real camera, i don't have a tripod. I don't have much money left in my photography budget,
    so can anyone reccomend me a tripod for under $75 thay meets the criteria in the title? Or is their such a thing?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Go used from Bogen/Manfrotto. There isnt much to these tripods... no electronics... no consumables... go older if you wish. Bogen/manfrotto are known good quality so they tend to last a really long time. Be patient and shop around.

    My main tripod is an old 3021 Bogen full tripod I found at a camera swap with a 3way pan head. It was scratched up and had someones name etched into it but fully functional.... purchased for $35. Its been with me for ten years now... still serves me well.
     
  3. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    there are a bunch of tripod threads with useful info here if you search.
    i went with the Cullmann Magnesit 519. CULLMANN Foto | Video :: MAGNESIT 519 CW25
    i got it from Adorama for $85 (Adorama throws in a free case which it wouldn't otherwise come with). so just $10 over your budget.
    i first bought a similar size/price Davis & Sanford Voyager tripod, but the latch for the QR plate broke the first time i set it up, plus the the QR plate was too large for the pany 14-140 lens (which extends below the body on smaller m43 cameras).
    the Cullmann has been great. it is light enough without the cost of carbon fiber. i have found it to be stable, sturdy enough for m43 cameras, and it has all the basic features to look for - good range (low - high), hook to add weight for more stability, bubble level, 10 year warranty, secure clamps that can be tightened with an allen wrench, 24.5" folded height, and i wanted a pan/tilt head as opposed to a ball head (also available). and the QR plate is small enough to fit on GF1/GX1 bodies with the larger 14-140 lens attached.
     
  4. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Neil
    This is what I have:
    Slik Sprint Pro II GM Tripod with Ballhead - Supports 4.5

    It seems great to me, although it's the only tripod I've ever had so I don't have anything to compare it to. I've been using it since BEFORE I had a real camera and just the superzoom. It's pretty light, but that seems OK because it's not like any of the m43 equipment is that heavy anyhow. I don't know if there are used ones available anywhere or not, but since it's at least close to your budget and meets all your other needs I thought I'd throw it out there.
     
  5. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    297
    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
  6. darcius1

    darcius1 Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Jan 6, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    I recently got the Sprint Prot II. Easy to carry and set up. Still trying to see if I like a ballhead v pan-tilt.
     
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    "Light weight" is a subjective term...if you give us a better idea of how light you want to go, we could give you more specific answers...also, if you want to go light, you're going to have to go short (again, depending on what your definition of "light" is)...HOWEVER...though I don't own one, the Slik tripods look like excellent starter tripods for the price! As do a lot of other smaller-name tripods like MeFoto...I'm also a fan of Horusbennu products...you might be able to find a decent HB aluminum tripod that would fit your budget.
     
  8. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    Anyone used a Sunpak 6600PG?
     
  9. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I've often see tripod advise along the lines of 'light/sturdy/cheap chose any two' Which still holds true.
    My £7 tripod from seven day shop, does reasonably well on the first & last, and is sturdy enough for light use (light wind, & relatively non critical subjects). Not recomended for high magnifications (macro/telephoto), heavy cameras, if you need a high view point or for long exposures/exposed locations. I don't use it with the centre column raised & have always found it easy to adjust/set-up.

    My more sturdy tripods are probably too heavy & pushing out of your budget especially as they wanted a head too.
    The Uniloc is a very flexible tripod that can require a bit of a knack to set up (kicking the legs out helps) It's a reasonably light weight but gets rather noticable after a mile or so.
    If the situation requires it, it can easily be set up with the camera below the tips of the legs, the legs can be individually spread as required and the lower section is waterproof so setting up in 1' of water is fine if you don't mind your feet getting wet. Once you get the hang of it a brilliant tripod, different sizes & carbon firbe versions are available if lighter is important. Mine was £40 (used) but needed a head added.
    The Manfroto triaut is huge, probably going up to a maximum of over 3m (I've never needed the final section of the legs) and is rock steady in normal use even with a 1000mm+ lens mounted. It's also easy to set up as a single lever releases/secures the main section of all three legs, though they can also be done seperately. But it weighs more than my overstocked DSLR bag - NOT something for hiking but it came into its own for photographing offshore power boat racing, and will be the tripod of choice for my 5"*4" monorail (not full frame it's only 1/4 plate!).

    I think if you avoid the central column nearly any tripod will be good enough for routine shots, and using one will help you to decide if YOU prefer twist legs or catches, and what features are important for your requirements. The G5 is not heavy enough to make sturdiness a major requirement unless your pushing to extremes. Go cheap & you'll have to but twice, but at least you'll know what features to but the second time!
     
  10. jello212

    jello212 Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jun 7, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    It's outside the listed price range, but I really like the Sirui T005. It's fairly sturdy and light enough that it didn't kill me when I pcked for 3 weeks in Italy - all in a carry-on.
     
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    CraigsList is your friend. A few days ago I bought a Gitzo G320 (current version is G1320) for $60. All it needed was a little paint to look like new. The paint is drying right now. I didn't even need another tripod, but the deal was too good to pass up.

    A couple of weeks ago my son bought an original and very nice Marchioni TiltAll for $30.

    Just lurk until something that suits shows up. As usayit suggested, stick with known quality brands. Or do as Petrochemist suggests, buy a piece of junk, learn from it, and buy again. That is not a bad way to go. The first thing you buy often just teaches you what you really wanted. But it can be expensive.

    More on tripods here: Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

    eBay can be good too. Stuff that suits you will show up more frequently but prices are higher and shipping adds more cost.
     
  12. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    Thanks for the advice, I found a Manfrotto Compact(I can't remember the numbers) for 60 dollars
     
  13. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    695
    Feb 2, 2012
    I don't think it is appreciated how non-sturdy a tripod is necessary for an m43 camera.
    Thus light and cheap is good unless you have a large lens. All you really need is something more stable than hand held or monopod and this includes almost anything. I use a Zip Shot ultra compact because it is so portable, compact and extends in an instant. Using the touch screen you get excellent results in a hurry. It can also be used to look over obstructions when folded ,focusing with the screen.
     
  14. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I couldn't disagree more. One rule that has served me well is the following:

    Do not buy junk tools.


    I am reminded of its importance almost every time I violate it.

    But, hey, if light and cheap is good for you that's fine. There are lots of popular ice cream flavors that don't appeal to me either.
     
  15. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    At work I find the cheap tools last MUCH better than good ones!
    Good ones tend to grow legs.

    Some cheap tools are unusable but most are adequate, it's a matter of getting the right balance :rolleyes:
     
  16. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Lot's of good advice in this thread. At the risk of diluting this, I'll weigh in with my thoughts.

    This iterative approach to buying a tripod appeals to me. When I was starting to look at tripods I read many similar threads to this one on this site and elsewhere. After doing so, I had my sights set on a something in the $100-200 range which was small and compact (I was leaning toward a Benro Travel Angel). Then I read Thom Hogan's advice. I think Hogan's approach is very well thought out and the advice he gives is no doubt very solid, but I didn't have the $700-1,000 to spend on the sort of high-end tripod he recommends (setting aside for a minute whether such a robust tripod is strictly necessary for the smaller :43: gear). I didn't want to get myself caught in the iterative trap Hogan describes in his "Maxim #2: You can spend US$1700 to buy a good tripod and head, or you can spend US$1000 and do the same thing." Because of this, I put off getting any tripod, suffering from "paralysis by analysis".

    Eventually, I came across a used tripod (on this site) that was similar to what I originally had planned on getting at a price that seemed too good to pass up. I figured even if I learned that Hogan was right (i.e. I needed something more robust) I could re-sell this tripod without taking much of a haircut. I started using this tripod (a Benro A-0691) and discovering just how useful a tool it can be. Overall, this tripod is quite usable, though I think I would recommend the next step up in this range (the A-1691) mostly because I find the ballhead on mine a little flimsy.

    My point is that until I jumped in and bought a tripod I didn't have much of a frame of reference to determine which features were important to me. Recently I've begun a search for a better ballhead. I would also love to upgrade to carbon-fiber eventually. Some day I may find the "perfect" tripod, but until then I've got one that works well enough. Yes, this iterative approach will likely end up costing me more in the long run than just buying the "perfect" tripod originally, but without going through the process I wouldn't know how to identify the "perfect" tripod for me.

    So, my advice is to grab a tripod that is in your price range and give it a shot. Heck, even pick up this $6 tripod and just start using it. Once you do you'll soon figure out what the limitations are for your type of use and you'll be better informed to make your next purchase.
     
  17. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I agree with most of what DeeJayK says except for this line. This is a decision to throw money away.

    The OP has his $30 used Manfrotto Compact now and will begin learning what he really wants. But --- when he moves to another tripod he can probably resell the Manfrotto Compact for $30 or even more. In contrast he has no chance of getting 100% of his money back if he buys new, particularly if he buys new junk.

    The strategy isn't limited to photographica. I'd have to dig in my files to estimate how many target pistols I've bought, tried, and sold. Beretta 92, Smith 41, Smith 52, Walther GSP, Skanaker, and more ... I don't think any of them cost me very much to own and I made money on some. The only one I remember losing on was a $200 Czech air pistol. Not complete junk, but not high quality either. High quality holds its value and always has buyers.
     
  18. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Neil
    I agree with what you're saying to a point, but I remember first looking for a tripod and being told things like that if I don't want to spend about $300 dollars on one or something, then I should go away and stop wasting everyone's time. Which of course isn't great advice to people that don't have massive cash to sink into a tripod. :)
     
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I think I mostly agree with you regarding buying quality over buying junk. I hadn't made the connection that it was the OP who'd mentioned picking up the Manfrotto Compact -- it's highly likely that's a better option than the ultra-cheap option I mentioned.

    However, if I was presented with the choice of going without any tripod or spending $12 (including shipping) on the bargain-bin Aiptek, then I would go with the cheapie tripod. I don't have any experience with this particular item, but I think it could easily provide at least $12 worth of value even if only to help someone decide if shooting with a tripod is something they want to pursue. In the end, even if it were replaced with something more substantial, or lighter, or with a better head, or whatever very shortly, it could continue to serve as a light stand or clothes dryer or just as a hand-me-down to another fledgling photographer. It would have to be a pretty awful piece of junk for me to consider the $12 investment a complete waste.
     
  20. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I think we're all in agreement here. With patience and luck, though, I think it is possible to have pretty good starter equipment. My recent $60 Gitzo legs purchase, for example.

    For travel, my starter was a Gitzo Reporter Compact Performance (G226) scored on eBay for not much over $100 IIRC. From lugging it, a G1276M head, and a separate monopod all over southern Africa, I learned (unfortunately) that what I really wanted was a $400 Benro Travel Flat with a monopod conversion leg! So the strategy does have its financial risks -- as one can also conclude from Thom Hogan's piece.

    Edit: The Benro is carbon. :-(