Tripod question

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Hugo, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Hugo

    Hugo Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Sep 28, 2011
    Hi:

    Today, when I went to Target, I grabbed a Targus Black Label TG-60 tripod for $16. Though I'm not sure if I need a tripod at this point, the price is just too hard to resist.

    When I got home and put my GF2 on, immediately I noticed that the tripod is not level. I know it could be a number of reasons and I know that's why it has bubble level. But after I adjusted and made two bubble level in the center. the plate is still not level. Is it a bad unit? Should a brand new tripod standing on a perfect level surface have a (or relatively close) 90-degree or 0-degree platform?

    Amazon.com: Targus TG-P60T Black Label Professional 60" Tripod 3 Way Panhead Bubble Level Pro Series: Camera & Photo

    Thanks,
     
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Tripods are one area where you generally get what you pay for.

    Assuming the legs are all fully extended, you should certainly be able to level the camera using the various adjustments on the head
     
  3. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    "Assuming the legs are all fully extended..."

    I guess that's the key. If the legs do not extend to the same length when fully extended, you probably have a defective tripod. If the tripod legs are fully extended to the same length, it should be a matter of making the correct adjustments to the head to level your camera...
     
  4. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    If I understand you correctly, when you level using the bubble levels, the plate is actually not level; i.e. if you were to shoot a picture, the horizon would not be level.

    I would return the tripod.
     
  5. SCT

    SCT Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Mar 8, 2011
    Landover, MD, USA
    I agree. For something with a cheap price, the level indicator may not be leveled with the actual mount plate itself.

    RETURN. Or fix. You could probably adjust the bubble level yourself maybe.
     
  6. Hugo

    Hugo Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Sep 28, 2011
    I don't know if it matters but the price was $69.99 and I got it from the clearance section. So it’s not a $16 tripod…..
     
  7. DIS Ottawa

    DIS Ottawa Guest

    $69.99 is still a cheap tripod, I'm afraid.

    Return it.

    Many photographers start out with cheap tripods and over the years, keep buying them until they get a good one. Much more expensive than simply getting a good one to begin with.

    I should know, I've got quite a collection.
     
  8. Hugo

    Hugo Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Sep 28, 2011
    I did fully extend 3 legs and the plate is still note leveled. I guess I have to return it.

    DIS Ottawa, I'm nowhere near to be called a photographer. Any particular model you would recommend for a beginner?:smile:
     
  9. DIS Ottawa

    DIS Ottawa Guest

    I can suggest some brand names and materials but it really depends on how much weight you want to put on the tripod, whether or not you'll be carrying it long distances, and if you think you'll stay with M43 or might one day go to a large dSLR with much heavier lenses, etc.

    Carbon fibre is the lightest, dampens vibrations extremely well and is very strong but also the most expensive. Basalt has many of the same characteristics but is heavier and cheaper. Aluminum or aluminum alloy is quite heavy but even cheaper. Good if you will only be carrying it short distances.

    You can generally also get them with three or four leg sections. Three sections is faster to set up but four sections will generally fit in a suitcase, if you want to take one with you on a plane.

    You will also need a good ball head. That can run another few hundred dollars. An L plate for the camera is also a good idea.

    I use an Induro C214 carbon fibre. It cost about $350 four years ago, I've given it heavy use and it's never given me any trouble. It's made in China and some people think that equates with poor quality (and it can) but the Induro tripods (Benro too) seem to be well made and reasonably priced.

    Feisol is another well thought of brand, Really Right Stuff makes a couple of beauties if you've got money to burn and Gitzo has long been the quality standard. Very expensive but should last a lifetime.

    In other words, you need to figure out what your needs are and then do some research.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. SCT

    SCT Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Mar 8, 2011
    Landover, MD, USA
    It's a $16 tripod. Target marked it up to sell at $69.99 so they'll get $53 profit. $16 is probably what they paid for it. I don't know any stores that would sell stuff (even "clearance" or "blow out" or whatever) for less than how much they bought it for unless someone stole it.

    Any camera stores like Ritz or Penn would have decent tripods.
     
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    That has not been my experience. They MIGHT have the lower end Manfrotto stuff, but you need to go online or to a "real" camera store to have a good selection.

    I love my Benro TravelAngel.