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Archive 2013 · Best tripod under $300
  
 
redcoat
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Best tripod under $300


Hi,

Newbie here...

Are there any good tripods under $300? Largest lens I have is the Nikkor 300mm VR. Do some travel, enjoy night time photography.

thanks!

Red



Jun 13, 2013 at 06:24 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Best tripod under $300


Hi Red,

Welcome to FM.

I think you'll probably find something nice at Feisol. I have a Feisol 3441S tripod ($400) and also a Feisol CM-1471 Rapid monopod. They're great! I bought them specifally for travel with 'larger' gear (10kg & 11kg capacities, respectively). I also have a lighter Gitzo GT-0540 CF for hiking, but its capacity is only 5kg, and it costs 50% more than the 3441S.

If you can't stretch to $400 for a 3441S or similar "Traveler" tripod, then you'll probably find something decent in the Feisol "Classic" lineup,

http://www.feisol.net/rapid-tripods-classic-tripods-c-1_12.html



Jun 13, 2013 at 07:17 PM
pmiller228
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Best tripod under $300


Check out induro if you want twist lock legs or benro if you want flip lock legs. You'll be well under $300 if you don't mind aluminum.


Jun 13, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Best tripod under $300


Both head and legs? That's tight but doable. Manfrotto 055XPROB goes for $200 if you want something beefy and stable. The 190XPROB for $170 is a little smaller and lighter and leaves enough money for an entry level ball head. Like a $170 Sunwayfoto FB-36 ball head.

http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-190XPROB-Section-Aluminum-Tripod/dp/B000N7VPRW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371154054&sr=8-1&keywords=manfrotto+190

http://www.amazon.com/SUNWAYFOTO-FB-36-Tripod-Compatible-Sunway/dp/B008KT6KZM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371154214&sr=8-2&keywords=sunwayfoto+ball+head

You might also check out SIRUI tripods and heads. You can get a decent aluminum combo for under 3 bills.



Jun 13, 2013 at 08:13 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Best tripod under $300


pmiller228 wrote:
... if you don't mind aluminum.


Good point. When I read "travel", I thought "carbon fibre". Size matters - the smaller, the better...



Jun 13, 2013 at 08:56 PM
kendalltristan
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Best tripod under $300


redcoat wrote:
Largest lens I have is the Nikkor 300mm VR.


Not trying to pry or anything, but why have a lens that costs multiple thousands of dollars only to cap the tripod price at a very modest $300? I mean no offense, I'm just trying to understand the logic.



Jun 13, 2013 at 09:37 PM
redcoat
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Best tripod under $300


Ha! I should have been clearer. I meant the 70-300mm VR Nikor, which if it's now worth multiple thousands of dollars, I'm a happy man!

I would like something light to travel with...are any of the carbon fiber tripods under $300 worth it?

cheers,

David



Jun 13, 2013 at 10:57 PM
kendalltristan
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Best tripod under $300


redcoat wrote:
Ha! I should have been clearer. I meant the 70-300mm VR Nikor, which if it's now worth multiple thousands of dollars, I'm a happy man!


Hehehehehe. It makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for the clarification. For the sake of general reference it really helps around here to be as verbose as possible regarding equipment information.

redcoat wrote:
I would like something light to travel with...are any of the carbon fiber tripods under $300 worth it?


I'm a Gitzo user so I'm probably not the best person to ask, but I'm certain that someone will have a good answer for you in the near future.



Jun 13, 2013 at 11:45 PM
 

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Gochugogi
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Best tripod under $300


Not sure what you mean by "worth it" but the Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 sports CF for three bills and is a nice compromise of stability and lightness. I thought it was worth 3 bills when I bought it. Perfect for a medium sized DSLR and small zoom like a 70-200 or 70-300. I used one for years and loved it, especially the flip locks. The twist locks on my Gitzo and Sirui are fiddly when I'm trying to work fast. If you don't need the rotating/flip center column, the 190CX3 is $60 or 70 less.


Jun 14, 2013 at 09:57 AM
xelas
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Best tripod under $300


I have bought a Sirui TX-2204 with K-20X ballhead for 70-300 VR and D90/D7100, for 300 Eur (in the States that should be 300 USD). As it is my first tripod, I can only say that it is light, its reversible (?) legs makes it small when collapsed, and twist locked legs are easy to manipulate. I will use it mainly when travelling abroad (flying).


Jun 14, 2013 at 12:54 PM
redcoat
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Best tripod under $300


@Gochugogi: I've read numerous people say that cheaper tripods are not worth it, eventually you'll just upgrade to a really good one. Hence my 'worth it' question...

Just discovered Manfrotto has rebates available til tomorrow, which will knock $65 of the 190CXPRO3.

The Sirui TX-2204 looks pretty good too, though. Can anyone know enough about both to help me pick?

cheers,

Red



Jun 14, 2013 at 03:03 PM
pmiller228
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Best tripod under $300


I had (and returned) the aluminum version of that sirui tripod. It was too wimpy. The base for the ballhead was pretty tiny, skinny legs, and everything twisted even just pressing the shutter. I kept the ballhead though.


Jun 14, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Best tripod under $300


Both Manfrotto and Sirui make great CF tripods for the bucks. It's a matter of picking the model that suits your needs. Although the Manfrotto 190 series is their smallest and lightest tripods, it's not really a travel tripod like the Gitzo series 1 Mountaineer or Traveler. It's more like a smaller "big" tripod. It won't fit in your carry-on (22" roller). Well, maybe if you take off the head and wedge it in at a diagonal. Sirui does make several travel tripods that fold up as small as 12 inches, but they don't have the stability of a larger tripod.

For travel, I use a Gitzo Traveler and it fits in my carry-on without removing the head. Not as tiny as the Sirui travel 'pods but stable enough to shoot sharp several second exposures with my 5D2/24-105 or 70-200 4L. Of course it cost a mitt full of benjamins with decent ala carte head. I'd say if you prefer flip locks and want a little bigger 'pod, get the Manfrotto. If you like twist locks and want a smaller carry-on fitting tripod, get a Sirui. I somehow seem to a fleet of tripods of all sizes and makes...



Jun 14, 2013 at 05:45 PM
nma
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Best tripod under $300


I respectfully suggest that you take your time and really study the complete system you are buying into. For example, the manfrotto 190cxpro3 is only 48 inches high without raising the center column. Raising the center column is to be avoided in many situations because it reduces stability. You will also have to buy a head. What are you going to do? All the parts are important. Will the whole thing fit in your suitcase if you travel? My opinion is that time has passed Manfrotto bye. Their ball heads do not provide Arca Swiss compatibility. Their quick release mechanism seems to be a weak point, with many reports of wobble. There is a lot to think about. Don't rush. There are always sales.

I suggest you look at the Feisol 3442 as a basic light weight travel tripod. With a ball head and mounting plate, it is significantly more costly than the Sirui or Manfotto but much more stable. It is much cheaper than the Gitzo. As I said above, there is a lot to think about.



Jun 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Best tripod under $300


nma wrote:
I respectfully suggest that you take your time and really study the complete system you are buying into. For example, the manfrotto 190cxpro3 is only 48 inches high without raising the center column. Raising the center column is to be avoided in many situations because it reduces stability.


You must be really tall! But there are plenty taller tripod models for those blessed with extra height (I accidentally bought one back in the day and what a PITA messing with the legs so could see in the VF).

With ball head and EOS camera mounted it's almost perfect for me, well slightly high if I extend the legs completely. Way too tall if I use a battery grip. I figure they made it for average Italian and Asian male heights. Might be a little short with a P&S but I haven't tried one yet. Albeit I rarely stand and shoot. I seem to spend most of my time sitting or lying down when using a tripod.

I like all my tripods, but between my two Gitzos, one Sirui and three Manfrottos, the 190cxpro3 is my fav due to the tilting center post and quick setup. It doesn't come with a head so if you hate Manfrotto heads you don't have to use one on it (I have assorted non-OEM heads on most of mine). If you do have a decent Manfrotto ball head, it takes all of 3 minutes and a 4mm hex wrench to convert to Arca by unscrewing the platform from the ball stem attaching an Arca clamp. Of course, if you want Arca, I'd start out with a head with the clamp you want from the getgo. My top picks would be a Kirk, RRS or Acratech depending on the legs.



Jun 15, 2013 at 07:44 PM
kendalltristan
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Best tripod under $300


Just wanted to throw this out there, but the Manfrotto 290 series is shipping now and there's a carbon fiber version for $250 on Amazon with a $45 rebate. It'll reach 55" with the column down and is 24" when collapsed so you could fit it in a carry-on if you stick it in diagonally and take off the head. It might warrant a look. Model MT294C3.


Jun 15, 2013 at 10:37 PM





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