Trying to decide on a tripod

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by The other Derek, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. The other Derek

    The other Derek New to Mu-43

    Jan 12, 2012
    I've decided to pick up a new tripod this year. The shop near me has pretty good deals on the Manfrotto 055XPROB and 190XPROB right now.

    I really enjoy hiking and have particularly enjoyed winter hikes the last couple of years. The solitude that comes with the cold weather makes the woods a little more peaceful. I started to enjoy macro photography last year, but found it difficult to capture good images hand-held. I have an old department store tripod, but I can't use it at ground level. I find the mushrooms, mosses and lichens pretty intriguing right now.

    The two tripods mentioned above would be a great fit for my needs, but I want to make sure that I'm not overlooking other options. The shop also has a Vanguard Alta with a tilting center column, but it didn't seem as sturdy as the Manfrotto 190XPROB that I was looking at.

    I can get the 055XPROB for $20 more than the 190XPROB, but I don't know if that is going to cross into being too heavy/bulky to carry on backpacking trips. The smaller camera size is one of the things that initially attracted me to :43: and I'm afraid that the 055xprob might be a little big for my pack. 10 years ago I wouldn't have questioned it, but as I get older, I am trying to keep my pack under 35 lbs.

    The only other factor here is the Minolta 300mm f4 that I haven't managed to get a great picture with yet. Most of my shots have been hand held, but even my cheap tripod doesn't seem to help much. I'd like to try it out with the new tripod, but I'm afraid that the smaller Manfrotto may be awkward to use with the big lens unless I extend the column.

    Maybe I just go with the 0190 now and spring for a larger set of CF legs down the road if I feel like I need something larger. Any thoughts?
  2. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Real Name:
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    A jillion threads here already, full of thoughts. Search is your friend.

    That said, you are ahead of the game in knowing how you want to use your tripod. Most threads start with "What is the best tripod?" -- begging the question: "For what?"
  4. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2011
    Tripods are the quintessential example of the "beginner tax" that pros always teach. If using a tripod is important to your shooting, it's best to invest rather than go cheap. Save up and buy an excellent tripod once, rather than buy cheap now then a slightly better one next year and a slightly better one the year after that and so on ... you spend less in the long run.

    One can take that too far, certainly. If you only use a tripod for the family Christmas card photo once a year, then you don't need to spend $1500 on a tripod and head. But if long exposures in the wind is your thing, going cheap will only cause you pain.
  5. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I just got an Oben carbon fiber one. It seems pretty good. Ballhead was included as was a nice carrying case. It folds down to only about 15in. It seems to be B&h house brand.
  6. The other Derek

    The other Derek New to Mu-43

    Jan 12, 2012
    I appreciate the responses and apologize if I was a little lazy with the search button. I did spend some time reading through a couple of searches, but it can be pretty overwhelming. I've only got ~$200 to spend and I'm fairly certain that one of the Manfrottos mentioned would meet my needs.

    Savvy- thanks for the link. That's definitely something to consider. It'd be a little upsetting to cut the column to get the low height that I'm looking for, but it certainly looks like a good option for me.
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Carbon fiber has a HUGE advantage in the winter - it doesn't feel so cold!