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  1. #1
    dog's best friend
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    Tripods -light, strong, cheap...choose two?

    Are tripods like bike parts? Light, strong and cheap is really not a good combo? I would like to perch my D5100 atop a reasonably priced, packable tripod. I use 18-105 lens for MTB and 70-300 for wildlife photos. Any suggestions in the sub $100 range?

  2. #2
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    Nothing for sub $100... But if you you can get the Joby Gorillapod Focus for about $140. It's comes with a bomb proof ballhead that's as good as my $300 ballhead. The next step up would be to get a Gitzo Traveler.

  3. #3
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    Size and weight: 2.5 lbs X 13" folded (Fault: only 53" max height and cost $299) I tried it and loved it, but the 53" height is very poor, sent it back...
    Amazon.com: Oben CT-3500 5-Section Carbon Fiber Folding Tripod with BB-0T Ball Head: Camera & Photo
    Light and compact: (Only holds 3 lbs and would definitely sway in the wind)
    Amazon.com: Tamrac TR406 ZipShot Compact Ultra-Light Instant Tripod: Camera & Photo
    Monopod with tripod legs a good alternative for biking/hiking: ( I have two of these one CF and one Alum) (will still be unstable in wind, but better than the Zipshot Tripod I think?) there are several that are around $100 USD, that are aluminum...
    Amazon.com: Sirui P-324X Carbon Fiber Photo/Video Monopod: Camera & Photo

  4. #4
    dog's best friend
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    Anybody try one of those Zipshot tent pole tripods? They don't look very stable.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by telebiker View Post
    Anybody try one of those Zipshot tent pole tripods? They don't look very stable.
    I got one. There's no way it will hold a DSLR but my Nikon V1 goes on it.

    It's not very stable, but interestingly the flimsiness doesn't come primarily from the tent pole legs. I mean, you'd expect a certain amount of flimsiness from the legs but most of the problems seem to be in the head itself. Plus the ball doesn't seem to hold up very well either, I think the paint on it is too slippery. You have to really wrench down on it.

    A bit of a missed opportunity by the manufacturer to put out a great little tripod. Hopefully they'll fix the problems in the next round. But I still use it, it's way better than nothing and I don't have room for a real tripod.

  6. #6
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    Idea! Something that is NOT flimsy!

    A non flimsy small tripod would be this:

    Keizus | smart accessories for smart phones



    The ball-head is integrated, it has a 1/4-20 mount and can clap pretty much any phone.

  7. #7
    K&K
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    My favorite - Slik Sprint Mini II

    I think this one hits all three!

    Slik Sprint Mini II GM 4-Section Tripod w/ SBH-100DQ Ballhead (Gunmetal) $76.95

    Slik Sprint Mini II GM 4-Section Tripod w/ SBH-100DQ 611-806 B&H

    Love this one. I've had it for years and have taken it around the world. Used it with a variety of cameras going back to my film days. Latest, with my Canon 60D. Packs small and light but sturdy and flexible. No handle on the head which I think is a real plus

  8. #8
    offroader
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    These are very good. Induro


    Induro Tripod Legs | B&H Photo Video

  9. #9
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    $400...

  10. #10
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    Slik tripods are pretty good for a lower price option. I like Manfrotto as far as best value. I have one of their carbon tripods, and it's very light, stable and has stood up to a great deal of abuse in the 3-4 years I've owned it. I'm afraid it was definitely over $100, and that was just for the tripod. The ball head was another $100+. So, I guess it depends on how serious you are and what kind of quality you need, but a $100, full size, light, quality tripod is probably not a realistic expectation, unless you're able to find something used that someone's trying to get rid of for a steal.
    Don't listen to me. I'm too new to have an opinion yet.

  11. #11
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    OP asked for options under $100

  12. #12
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    Expensive tripods are hilarious. I've been using this to support my D600 anywhere I need something light. It's 2.7lbs and stable enough. I paid about $50. Otherwise, when I don't care about weight, I use my massive Vanguard (rated for 70lbs) that was $120 with the head. Only reason I have it was for my old 4x5 rail camera. You don't need to spend much. Remember most photographers are just gearheads. For $400, you can buy yourself a nice prime lens instead of a tripod. A fancy tripod will not improve your photography any more than a cheap one.
    John

  13. #13
    It's about showing up.
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    You guys are killing me. I've used this cheap aluminum tripod at 22 oz, 17.5 inches folded, raises up to 44 inches, for years. Now that I think about it, the tripod is about 30 years old but the principle is the same.

    The clamps are firm and when you cinch the head it holds. If you need security/stabilization you hang your camelbak from it.

    Here is a modern version:

    Velbon EX-230 Aluminum Tripod with 2-Way Pan/Tilt Head EX 230

    Now, if you are going to make your living from this sort of venture then you spend a lot of money. Use this to learn on.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tripods -light, strong, cheap...choose two?-tripod1944.jpg  

    I don't rattle.

  14. #14
    saddlemeat
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    This one comes highly recommended by Ken Rockwell... $41.73 shipped, 2.5 lbs.

    Amazon.com: Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head: Camera & Photo
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  15. #15
    saddlemeat
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    Last edited by bsieb; 10-28-2013 at 04:13 PM.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  16. #16
    o<o NYC pebble jumper!
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    Sub $100... you can try out aluminum tripods from Sunpak to Manfrotto... Even most of their lower end items would be more than enough to keep a consumer dslr and something up to a 70/300 type kit lens... As long as the equipment does not weigh more than what your pan/ball head can hold.

  17. #17
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    Sunpak TravelLite Digital Tripod 620560BB

    Manfrotto looks heavy and expensive.
    I don't rattle.

  18. #18
    DGC
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    yes and no

    Quote Originally Posted by telebiker View Post
    Are tripods like bike parts? Light, strong and cheap is really not a good combo? I would like to perch my D5100 atop a reasonably priced, packable tripod. I use 18-105 lens for MTB and 70-300 for wildlife photos. Any suggestions in the sub $100 range?
    I have been using a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod, nice and light, not cheap. I still use it once in awhile, but what I do use much more now is a Vanguard Alta pro 263 AT tripod. Not as light as the Manfrotto, but cost me $100 with the head on Amazon. I use a Canon 5D mark III, and with a 70-300 L lens, it was not stable enough on the carbon tripod. The mount is also more solid on the Vanguard. For your looking price of $100, this is the level of tripod you will find from most of the tripod manfacturers.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

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