See this threadhttp://forums.dpreview.com/...ums/readflat.asp?forum=1018&thread=25573814Joel Orlinsky.
Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..
I am looking to purchase a solid yet not overly expensive tripod(around 100 dollar range). I looked at a few over in B&H, but wantedto see if this forum can make any suggestions. I shoot with a NikonD40x..
I recently abandoned my $ 80 tripod/tilt-pan head...it's now a nice stand for my 580EX Speedlite. .
Actually it's taken me three tripods/tilt-pan heads to realize they were junk...the ones in the $100 range... yep, do the math on what that adds up to!!.
In my humble opinion, save your $'s just a little looooooonger, and forget about the cheap Walmart/BestBuy Solution..
If you have a nice camera and nice lens, you want them on a sturdy tripod with a decent head. You are typically going to find that the tripods and the tripod heads are sold separately, which is good for you the consumer. Lots and lots of choices!!.
I have the Bogen 3021 tripod...paid $165.
And the 322 Quick Action Grip Ballhead...paid $120.
Here'a a link to B&H's website where you can look at all the combinations...it's mind numbing...Nevertheless...try not to skimp; get a good tripod. You will not regret it!!.
B.R.A.S.S. (Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze)..
I bought the following tripod 35 years ago, and it work as well now as when new..
It locks and unlocks with little effort and is very solid given the weight of the tripod(that's the tradeoff with all tripods). It has typically handled 35 mm SLRs, but is now doing service with a Canon G9..
B&H offers them in three colors, and all things being equal I think the silver(natural aluminum) color is the best functional choice (no coating to show wear, no coating thickness issues to affect slip fit smoothness)..
Tiltall STO1 Tripod.
Another vote or a tiltall. I have one in service for twenty five years that still performs well. In your price range, nothing come close to matching it. Tiltall is a proven winner. Watch ebay for great deals on the original 'Leitz' tiltall...
Hey Ebay, has a handfull of Tiltall Leitz tripods in the 30-50 dollar range plus shipping...