Tripod advice...feeling overwhelmed by the options
Iv searched the forums but I'm lost by all the options so I figure if I post what I need somone might tell me whats best!.

Im 6ft, my current trpod is fairly short, and cheap, need somthing thats tall..

I walk everywhere and dont drive so I need somthing light...Carbon fibor maybe?.

I do alot of architecture and there any one tripod thats suited for both?.

I also do full panoramics, but my current cheap tripod is fine for that...but if there somting better Im open to ideas..

Cheers for any advice..

Comments (14)

You've probably seen that you can spend upwards of 1000-1300 on an outstanding tripod that fits your needs. Have you given thought to your $$$$ budget for a new tripod?.

Good, light & cheap - pick any 2..

Comment #1

Anybody who does a lot of walking with a tripod should consider a Tri-Pak. It straps onto the tripod legs and is worn like a backpack. It is amazingly comfortable, even with the legs fully extended..

You can see one at

Joel Orlinsky.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #2

Well, Im a keen amature, so I really dont want to spend more than say.....250-300 max, but less if pos..

My current tripod cost 40, it has the twist and pull legs, which are very flimsy, and bend and flex alot .

That backpacks fab! I never knew such a thing existed, cheers for the heads up!..

Comment #3

What you really need is something like a Gitzo 2530 and a Markins ball head, but that's out of your price range. You'll end up getting it later, once you realize the advantages, but for now, here's what I suggest..

I'd get the Manfrotto 055 with a Manfrotto ball head, maybe the 486. I use this setup myself, but want the Gitzo..

Here's mine. It's not fully extended in the picture..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #4

I own and love my Manfrotto 055, but .... but.... but... I am lusting for the latest model and it is within your budget, but not carbon fiber; they make a carbon fiber version of this but out of your price range, once you include a decent head - get a ball head..

Here is a helpful youtube video to encourage on your way:.

Http:// I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #5

You really need to get somewhere to view a good range of tripods. You really have to handle them..

The Manfrotto 055 series would be fine for you apart from weight (You will need the height being 6ft). A Manfrotto 488RC2 is probaaly your best bet for a head..

You will find a good range (and good prices) here:.


Gitzo do an intermediate range in basalt between the Aluminium and carbon fibre..

This one should be the right height for you (Note you can get rid of the centre column to save more weight):.


But you will get a magfibre Manfrotto for less:.


Sorry there is no such thing as a free lunch!.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #6

Thanks guys youre all been a great help. The info here has been more usfull than I could have hoped for!..

Comment #7

I looked at the 190 last week, but it didn't look nearly as stable as the 055. I also don't think it's legs allow the height needed. What do you think?..

Comment #8

A tripod that's light enough to carry is typically a carbon fiber one. Really good carbon fiber ones can cost a lot of money..

I'm personally considering carbon fiber tripod legs from Feisol (model 3442 - /, the usual expensive Gitzo, and a Velbon (El Carmagne 640A). I'd buy the ball head separately. Velbon and Feisol are half the price of the Gitzo and if they last half as long, might be a good compromise. Might stick with my current Bogen/Monfrotto 488RC2 (RC2 quick release plate) ballhead or upgrade to a AcraTech head..

If you can't afford a nice carbon fiber tripod, consider a tall, sturdy alumninum tripod and compensate by buying a small camera backpack that has a tripod holder. My current favorite backback is a Tamrac model: the Adventure 75. Lowepro's Mini Trekker line has the tripod sticking below the bottom of the pack making it hard for the pack to sit upright..

I found that there's more and more places that don't allow tripods. In those situations, a monopod works better than just hand holding the camera...

Comment #9

Wchp wrote:.


Ah. My favorite tripod recommendation article.  .

I've gone through the entire progression to the point where I want to go carbon fiber and a better ball head. Only thing is that I find that I haven't gotten around to buying the final solution at $700+ dollars (I'd go for the more expensive light-weight travel tripod legs which go for around $600 for the Gitzo)..

My old Bogen 3021 tripod legs and 486RC2 do the job except for the weight..

I don't use tripods enough to buy nearly $1000 in a good tripod legs, ball head, and custom plates before buying another good telephoto. But, that's just my priorities..

Of course, if I get a telephoto lens, it'll probably be too heavy to really hand hold properly and then I'll find out that my trusty old Bogen isn't worth (especially the Bogen RC2's plate being worthless in preventing rotational movement). So I'll probably be upgrading the tripod right after that... That's where Thom's advice really rings true go for heavy glass and you'll be needing that $700+ tripod...

Comment #10

OR...If you don't mind the weight and your not going to be hiking about with it....

The Amvona / Dynatran 858 Tripod and a Amvona Telos ATH-A02 or A03 ball-heads are a steal for what they cost. They are 80% of the top end product for 25% of the price. The ATH-A02 ball head will support 17+ lbs and the A03 27+ (I use the A03 with my D3 with 70-200 VR mounted)..

Granted you have an additional 7+ lbs in weight between the two, so this is not something I would want to hike any distance with but considering they can both be had for under $175 you get a good sturdy Tripod and functional head that will hold up well and meet 90% of your shooting needs while you figure out what features are really important to you...

Comment #11

Wchp wrote:.

OR...If you don't mind the weight and your not going to be hiking aboutwith it...The Amvona / Dynatran 858 Tripod and a Amvona Telos ATH-A02 or A03ball-heads are a steal for what they cost..

And the UK supplier is?.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #12

I asked myself the same question and the height was the same for both models. Remember you are going to have a head on the tripod which will give you more height, and then there is the height of the camera to the view finder.Rationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #13

Http:// sells them in the UK. I dont know if they sell under the Dynatran name but they are made by Qihe Manufacturing Company of China. I think this is the same item: but I would also go to the amvona web site. Considering the current exchange rate you might be able to buy in the US and ship to UK for less...

Comment #14

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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