Choosing a tripod

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    A&E Mullet

    I am looking to purchase a tripod, and would like a decent one for a good price. I would prefer a ball head, but am open to a pan and tilt. I don’t mind buying used if it is in good working condition. Does anyone have experience or advice on the Manfrotto compact action tripod? Also, what are Zomei tripods like? Feel free to recommend other decent tripod brands if you know of any.

    A&E Mullet

    Let me try that link again…
    Sample Manfrotto compact action tripod

    Ernest Lloyd

    Hey @elmullet, this is an interesting topic for me since I just bought a new tripod.
    I ended up going for a Manfrotto MT190CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod, but that was only after I bumped my budget up from $100 or so, to $300.
    The reason that I was looking for a new tripod was because my cheap ZOMEi Q111 Aluminum Tripod literally broke into a few pieces the other day.
    One of the biggest things that I wanted in a new tripod was adjustable angle legs so that I could be more creative with my compositions.
    Anyhow, if you are a pro Lenspiration member, you can check out this great article from the Foundations of Photography course. Scenario: Buying Accessories and Other Equipment, or this one that anyone can access about how James found the right tripod for himself. Tracking Down the Right Tripod.

    Ernest Lloyd

    Hi again! I just came upon this tripod this morning. It seems like it could be a good option for you potentially.
    It is the Neewer Carbon Fiber 66 inch tripod.
    Pros: Carbon fiber!
    Fairly portable.
    At $90 it is possibly within your budget range.
    I believe it has select-able leg angles.
    Comes with built-in monopod.

    Cons: I’m sure it’s not quite as sturdy as a more name-brand tripod.
    I’ve heard that the rubber feet are pretty low-quality.
    The ball head is slightly hard to make small adjustments on.
    The overall materials are most likely cheaper quality

    I have never used this tripod personally, so everything that I have said is from other reviews and perspectives.
    Definitely take a look at this tripod yourself so you can determine if this is the right tripod for you.

    Lydia Bennett

    It is the Neewer Carbon Fiber 66 inch tripod.

    This is the same (or almost identical) tripod that I use. It has held up very well, although I’m not extremely rough on it for the most part anyways.

    When raised to its full extended height, it doesn’t feel altogether sturdy, but I almost never need it to be that high (it’s much taller than I am at that height 🙂 ).

    Personally, the only thing that I really count as “cons” are the twist locks for the legs; in the moment, I often get confused as to which way I need to turn them to loosen or tighten. I haven’t had a tripod with lever leg locks, but it’s something I’d certainly look into if I ever need to purchase a new one.

    And I have sometimes felt that the ball head is difficult to make small adjustments on only when I’m using my heavier lens (55-200mm).

    But overall, it has certainly met my needs! Hope that quick review is helpful! 🙂

    John Machen

    I’m going to say what most people don’t like to hear, but is usually right. Unless you don’t have a tripod at all and need one right now (and can’t afford to invest in a premium quality, long-lasting tripod with your current photography budget), don’t spend money on a tripod that’s half as good and still pretty expensive. If you can wait and save up until your budget allows you to buy something that will last you indefinitely, you won’t regret it.

    That leaves a few questions. What is the price range you’re considering right now? Do you already have a tripod that you use? Also ask yourself how often you’ll be using it and will your photography pay for it one day?

    Personally I bought a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod and a 496RC2 ball head. Unless it breaks (which should be under warranty anyway) I won’t have to buy another tripod in a long time, if ever. As far as buying used, use caution as always. That might be a good option if you can find one in nice condition though.

    A&E Mullet

    In answer to your question, @hayhand02,…
    Thanks for clarifying. Actually, I don’t have a tripod right now and don’t need an expensive carbon fiber professional model. All I need is a decently sturdy, entry level tripod (used is ok) for somewhere between $20-$40. If I ever go big into photography and need a better tripod (which I don’t have plans of doing at the moment), I will upgrade then. Basically what I need now is something to take family pictures with and that is sturdier, hardier, etc. than a $5 Amazon piece.
    Thanks for all your advice! My apologies for not clarifying everything to begin with.

    Ernest Lloyd

    I’m not sure what the Manfrotto compact action tripod that you mentioned before is like, but I do know that a Manfrotto tripod is most likely going to be a better option than some other cheaper brand.
    If I were you, and had your same tripod budget, I would probably buy the best used-condition tripod that was in my budget.
    So I would check out the used options at B&H or Adorama, and look into the Manfrotto tripod that you mentioned in the beginning.
    Here is a used option that is $40. Used Manfrotto 5-Section Compact Action Aluminum Tripod
    Hope that helps!

    A&E Mullet

    Hello again! I have now purchased a Manfrotto compact action tripod. Thank you all for your helpful advice!

    James Staddon

    Yay! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

    Kina Lamb

    I know I’m late on the scene, but for future stabilization buyers, I have to put a plug in for monopods for those who photograph long events. I just got this one recently, and I love it so so much. My brother and I film events, and it is so much more mobile than a tripod (I’ve had to film weddings with a tripod, and “excuse me!” and “sorry!” and “pardon me!” are probably my most used words of the day. XD :D) It is super high quality, and I love that instead of twisting the bar to lower the camera like I would have to on a tripod, I can just give it a little shove with my knuckles, and the whole stand leans forward because of the perfectly-balanced-between-stiff-and-loose ball at the bottom. 😀 It saves me time and mental energy. 😀 Also, it is SUPER good quality. I think monopods are underrated. Especially if you get a fluid head with it, it can be just as good as a tripod and also more mobile.

    So, just another option! 😀

    James Staddon

    Interesting ball lock/unlock design there.

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