I do own a tripod. it was $20 with one of those online bargains. I would like to upgrade it because its klunky, and still large even when its minimized.

from my limited research, this one looks perfect http://www.indurogear.com/products_details_C013.html#specs

i am definitely looking for carbon weight, and small size when minimized that can be quickly assembled.

Is this one the right choice?

The camera i am using is D7000 with a kit lens, and the budget i am trying to fit close to is $200


after some more research, i am adding Silk Pro to my list



i am zeroing in on this one http://www.amazon.com/Induro-AKB1-Tripod-Kit-Black/dp/B002SXMROY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1338054055&sr=8-2

it's very light 3.5lbs, collapses to 26" and extends to 62" (a tad short for me but pretty close), and i would probably get the one w/out ballhead, and get a separate ballhead that also does panoramic rotation.

i suppose this is the competing model from Manfrotto. It goes up to 70" which is nice because im tall, but it looks bulkier.

  • possible duplicate of What should I pay attention to when choosing a tripod? – mattdm May 26 '12 at 20:55
  • There's a trade-off. If you want something light, you're looking at something that may not always work for timelapse. If you're looking for sturdy and don't have to "walk" (ie, photojournalism) your tripod, find a sturdy, probably "heavy" tripod, one you wouldn't "carry" but can lug out for setup shots. If you're in exotic locations that require both, try sandbags that you fill onsite. – Jared Farrish May 26 '12 at 22:22
  • mattdm actually i think i know what im looking for in a tripod.. just looking to validate my ideas as to which one to get :) – Sonic Soul May 26 '12 at 22:39
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    So... the question is less "tripod advice for a beginner" and more "would these particular models fit my specific needs"? – mattdm May 27 '12 at 2:54
  • @SonicSoul: Your question seems to have evolved into a discussion, which is really not a fit for our forums. Could you edit it to get rid of all the independent updates, and formulate a single question that fits what you are ultimately looking for (as I think mattdm adequately descrived as "Which model fits my needs?"). Cleaning up capitalization, punctuation, and grammar would help too. ;) – jrista May 28 '12 at 3:13

Here are a number of practical considerations for someone looking to get a tripod that will last:

  1. Clamp vs. Twist. Fundamentally, people generally REALLY prefer one style of locking a leg in place and then loosening it. Before you get anything, you need to find out which you prefer - visit a camera store and try locking/unlocking really good clamp vs. twist locks on legs. I prefer clamp myself, because you can (I think) far more quickly unclamp all of the legs for quick deployment.

  2. Number of leg segments. Three or four? Fewer would obviously seem better BUT the tradeoff is that fewer segments mean the tripod fully extended might not be quite as high, or collapse as much as a tripod with more segments. More segments means more time to set up though.

  3. Where will you use it? This is sort of related to the last question, you need to decide if you will be traveling a lot with it and if so how? If you're hiking a ton weight is paramount (though since you are already looking at CF that is probably not an issue between models). If you are going by plane make sure you can fit the tripod in whatever carryon you prefer - I find a Manfrotto 190CX can just fit lengthwise in an Eagle Creek medium duffel bag and almost exactly meet carryon length requirements (I had one stickler at airport security in Europe measure the bag with a tape measure).

  4. How easy can you get into it? Sand will get into tripod legs and clamps, sometimes leg segments may even come out. Can you disassemble the thing to get inside for cleaning?

Also although you didn't talk about it much, I would put a lot of concern into the head over the legs and make sure you spend the bulk of your money getting a good head.

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The D7000 and kit-lens will definitely be head in place by a good but lightweight tripod. If light is your priority and do not see you getting heavy lenses anytime soon, you should really consider the Manfrotto M-Y. It weighs under 1kg and can hold 3.5kg. It is also an excellent bargain for its price.

You may consider buying a heavier tripod with higher load capacity if you think of buying or renting long lenses. It will improve your photos. I found that Velbon Carbon-Fiber series to be a better buy and equally reliable. My 645 folds down to 42cm which is one of the shortest-folding Carbon-Fiber tripod.

Regardless of the tripod you choose, I strongly recommend you buy a separate ball-head. This will let you choose the right one for your needs, including the type of quick-release plate, pan-lock, friction-control, etc. See my answer to this question for details.

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  • thanks! how do you think this one would stock against the basic Manfrotto model amazon.com/Induro-AKB1-Tripod-Kit-Black/dp/B002SXMROY/… – Sonic Soul May 26 '12 at 20:49
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    Personally, I wouldn't skimp. It will end up costing you more because later you'll buy the better one too :) The Manfrotto is light and fold smaller which are highly desirable for photography in the field. – Itai May 26 '12 at 21:03
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    thanks. it will be a hard choice but i'll try not to cheap out :) – Sonic Soul May 27 '12 at 15:13

What is your budget? There are hundreds of tripod/head combinations on the market.

Your D7000 and kit lens is not much of a challenge, any decent tripod should support it well. But tripods can last a long time. I have one that I used for 30+ years. I replaced it with one that is taller and more convenient, but the old one works. This means that you will most definitely replace the body a few times in the life of the tripod.

Have you considered a monopod? They are very handy if you need some stability but value the ability to take it with you, say on a hike.

One thing to consider: I'm tall, and one of the drivers to buy a new tripod was that the old one didn't let me stand comfortably and look through the viewfinder, I had to stoop.

Another key thing is the head, ballhead, etc. I strongly believe that a quick release plate is critical, but others may disagree.

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  • initially i thought of monopods.. but from what i've read on here, it seems that with the advent of carbon fiber tripods monopods are not that beneficial.. my budget is probably around $200.. so.. i'd rather get a good tripod, than a monopod, because i'd still need to get the tripod (for really long exposures, and panorama shots) – Sonic Soul May 26 '12 at 18:42
  • Monopods can be useful if you travel a lot as some places will not let you use tripods, but will let you use monopods... I personally do not find them very helpful though. – Kendall Helmstetter Gelner May 27 '12 at 4:43

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