You'll need to let us know your budget, the weight or type of camera lens combo you have, and the most weight you're willing to carry..
I think that the minumum for a tripod / ballhead will be around $200 or just a little more and be a little over 6lbs. I better rig will cost you around $1000 and weigh in a pound or so less..
This is all assuming a good DSLR and a somewhat medium-long zoom or telephoto telephoto. Something like a Nikon D80 and a 70-300vr zoom..
Here's the inexpensive way to go: Manfrotto 055 and Manfrotto ballhead.
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I have a Nikon D60 and am planning on bringing a 12mm wide angle lens, 18-55mm, and 55-200mm/70-300mm telephoto. So Im not packing that heavy of a setup.
Thanks for the help!..
Guidenet speaks the truth regarding a good quality, low cost tripod..
Here's the URL for the Bogen/Manfrotto configurator..
So I am taking a trip to Yosemite Nat. Park in about 2 weeks and amin need of a new tripod (the old one has since been trashed). Seeingas I am making the 17 mile Half Dome hike, as well as several others,I am looking for something pretty lightweight. Also price is apretty big issue, I'm still a student and am seriously lacking funds.So if anyone has any suggestions on a good, lightweight tripod itwould be greatly appreciated..
In addiition to ther other suggestions, look into the Slik Sprint Pro 3 Way. Legs and pan head will weigh in at about 38 ounces, and it's reasonably well-built and versatile, and inexpensive. It doesn't have the stability of a 6 lb. setup, but it is surprisingly good and it doesn't weigh 6 lbs.! This is what I use for hiking, including multi-day backpacking trips..
I wonder about people who recommend 3kg tripods for wilderness hiking. They are either a lot stronger or a lot more masochistic than me..
Have a look at.
Http://www.trek-tech.com/products/trekpods.html These are good if you normally use a hiking pole. An alternative I have used is Giottos QU305: includes a ballhead, 40cm extended, 28cm folded, weight 270g, supports 2.5kg or 5kg if you don't use the ballhead, costs about US$40..
'Some of the money I spent on booze, women and fast cars, but the rest I squandered' - George Best..
There are plenty of poor choices, just very few that make sense. A monopod is an option with limited capability. It is not going to work for long exposures or for precise macro photos. It is going to be difficult to use for a pano. Many of the modest priced tripods also seem unsuitable. A 3 section tripod (like almost all of the Manfrottos) is going to be cumbersome for hiking and packing in luggage.
Also if you do any macro work, consider the specs for minimum height. Many tripods cannot be easily setup for under 18-24"...
You've got to decide if you want to spend the money or not. There are some options in the $100-$120 range like the Slik mentioned, Bogen 725B, etc., but these aren't necessarily going to be all things for all people. The Bogen doesn't lay out flat for low shooting..
The Gitzo's and RRS/Markins head super light/super expensive tripods probably have some padding in the pricing, the alternatives are saving money, carrying more...
Whatever tripod you decide on, you should consider getting a Tri-Pak to carry it. It straps onto the tripod legs, and is worn like a backpack. I use one while hiking, and often keep the legs fully extended and ready to go. See it at http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp?pid=1379.