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I am learning photography. I am really interested in night landscapes, moon, star trails. I need a cheap tripod, but not a useless one. Is the Amazon Basics tripod worth getting? It's 60 inches. I'm 73.5 inches tall.

marked as duplicate by Blrfl, Hueco, xiota, scottbb, Rafael Oct 27 '18 at 17:42

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Nearly any tripod is better than nothing for the photography you mention. In fact, simply sitting your camera down on a steady surface (pole, fence or on a 'bean bag') is better than hand holding. Whether it is 'worth it' comes down to whether you will need to buy two tripods: the one you settled for and the one you should have bought.

What makes a tripod good includes it being sturdy enough for your gear, precise in maintaining the angle and shot you want, and relatively steady in reducing vibrations.

Sturdy means the legs, the head and the mount (where it attaches to the camera) having enough strength to hold your camera of course, but also other items like your camera bag. Many tripods include a hook to hang extra weight, like your camera bag from, to keep it from moving in wind and reduce vibrations.

Also, you want the head to hold your camera and lens without it moving, slipping or rotating around the screw. And you want the head to maintain the shot when you lock it down. Cheaper tripods will often 'drift' or sag when you lock down the head, the result being the framing is no longer preserved (what was in the frame of the viewfinder is no longer in the frame, as the camera moved).

The tripod you show will certainly demonstrate all these faults. It likely will suffer from vibrations, and the head will sag and drift easily. It is plastic and uses a poor quality twisty bit to tighten it down.

For an example of one that is a bit more 'worth it' I provide this link for reference:
Benro Carbon Fibre Slim, Lightweight Travel Tripod Kit(TSL08CN00)

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    @Caleb It's listed at 8500 rupees, which is about $116 USD. – scottbb Oct 26 '18 at 19:27
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    @scottbb I just saw that -- it offers to deliver to Mumbai. Sorry! ;-) That's more helpful then! I should've looked more carefully, but Amazon often has items offered at vastly inflated prices and I assumed this was one of those. – Caleb Oct 26 '18 at 19:38
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I've owned one of these for about 4 years now. It's cheap, but get's the job done. For taking photos it works as advertised.

Don't try to do videos with it, since trying to rotate the camera smoothly isn't terribly easy with this tripod.

  • I need it with 1500d. Not really a good camera for videos. So, need it just for photos. – Vijendra Parashar Oct 26 '18 at 18:43
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    Yeah for photos it will work out just fine. Note: A part of mine broke off one of the legs after 4 years of use, but for those 4 years it got the job done. – BOMEz Oct 26 '18 at 18:44
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I would suggest buying a used tripod from a reputable company like Manfrotto. Instead of spending $27 on the Amazon tripod, which is a real POS, spend 2-3x more and get a tripod that you'll be happy with for years and years.

The things I don't like about the Amazon tripod: 1) legs are connected via a strut to the center section. This really limits where and how you can set up the tripod. As designed, this tripod is really intended for minor use on flat ground.

2) Plastic head is designed more for video than photography. The head on the Amazon tripod has one handle for panning up/down and left/right. The part where you mount the camera opens like a clam shell so that you can shoot vertically. This is not exactly a stable design.

Because you'll be outside on all sorts of surfaces, I would advise that you skip the Amazon tripod and get a used $40-$60 tripod from a major tripod manufacturer. Doing so will be a much better buy since you'll end up with a tripod that will outlast the Amazon tripod many times over.

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Tripods like that are best used with a cable release (or self timer in a pinch), they are usually NOT steady enough that you can get truly shake-free pictures if you touch the camera while releasing it. BTW, don't rely on OSS helping you while on a tripod.

The bad news is, this is somewhat true of most tripods unless you go for options that are far heavier and more expensive by an order of magnitude or more. You might be able to hack an inexpensive, super steady but also super heavy solution from a secondhand heavy lighting, telescope, or surveying tripod.

What tripods in that cheap price range WON'T DO well: hold heavy, long telephoto lenses, even worse if we are talking heavy adapted glass, even worse if the lens does not bring an extra tripod mount (if you plan to use such lenses, read into what a 15/60mm rail system can do for you) and relies on the camera as its anchor point - most cheap tripod heads won't clamp reliably with a heavy, unbalanced load on top; and cheaply made quick release systems could also fail catastrophically here.

Note that a tripod isn't sufficient for all astro tasks - stars and planets actually move pretty fast (as you can see with star trails). Rather get the cheap tripod now and save the good money for a motor mount.

  • Bought my first dslr camera a month ago. What I've been doing is placing the camera onto the floor, fence of my roof and even used the lens lids and caps to tilt the camera. That's when I realized how important is a tripod. About the cable release: I've been using the remote live view shooting feature through the canon camera connect app. – Vijendra Parashar Oct 26 '18 at 19:58
  • Release cables, cabled intervalometers, phone apps, doesn't matter what - as long as it allows you to fire the camera without being rigidly connected to it. – rackandboneman Oct 26 '18 at 20:07

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