Beginners Tripod

syn3rgysyn3rgy Posts: 22Member
edited May 2013 in General Discussions
Hi All,

I know this may have been asked before, and I know there is definitely a lot of different things on the net however, nothing is helping me come to a conclusion on what would be a more suitable tripod to get for my first time.
Just a brief:
Type of photography: All, I love shooting everything from people to landscape
Equipment: Currently, Nikon D600, Nikon 28-300mm
Looking for: Light, Compact, something that I am happy to travel with.
Budget: £350

I came across the following Giottos Tripod on Wexphotographic and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts\advice or experiences they may be able to share in helping me decide on a tripod and\or would this be considered a suitable beginners tripod

http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-giottos-vitruvian-vgrn8265-tripod-plus-mh5501-652-ball-head/p1526332

Thank you and forgive me if this upsets anyone for asking “yet another question on tripods”
«1345

Comments

  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    the best advice i have is to go see it in person before buying if at all possible

    more so than certain other camera products, we buy tripods for their tangible qualities, their size, weight, stability etc. and this can only truly be gauged in person

    if you cant see in person be careful of the lengths and weights, carbon fibre does not necessarily equal light. remember that aluminium is not exactly known for its heaviness, and there is often not a huge difference to be had even when spending huge amounts of cash

    i would say that tripods + heads will be at the lightest around 1kg and go up to 2.5kg perhaps, and the one you have chosen is in the middle at 1720g

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    My suggestion would be to purchase at a minimum a tripod with a 25 pound capacity. And a head to go with it.
    I have an Induro and am very happy with it.

    I was told the smaller the camera the larger the tripod. If you are spending 350 Euros, you may want to keep this for a long time. Induro Carbon 8X CT213 Tripod, Induro BHD1 Ball-head will cost you a bit more...but in the long run may be less expensive once you find a tripod with inadequate capacity is not what you want.

    You may search out on eBay and find something, but let's see what others have to say....
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited May 2013
    I have a Giotto's Vitruvian ( £250 at focus on imaging ) and I am very pleased with it. It is very well made, packs away small and light enough to carry on long hike. I used it for landscapes and wildlife . For people I don't like using a tripod. The last time I used a tripod, for portraiture, was in the 60s with a 5 x4 plate camera


    I do have a big Manfrotto with a selection of heads for studio work and when I am shooting not too far away from the car; but I feel it is too heavy for amateur photography away from home

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,265Member
    I don't know, syn3rgy; how tall are you? I bought my Manfrotto 055xproB sticks at least as much for the height of the tripod (legs fully extended, center column NOT extended) as for anything else. So with tripod set up and head and camera installed, the viewfinder is right about at my eye level. Did not want to have to do a lot of stooping over to look into the viewfinder.

    So what mikep said - test drive the tripod if you can. At least consider the ergonomics. Weight is important (yeah, the aluminum is a little heavier; carbon fiber is nice), but also look at the working height. My $0.02.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    I always extend the legs fully and try twisting the head to test the flex of the legs. It is a rough and ready test, but I have yet to find a tripod that is 'twisty' and that is any good. All tripods except the worst are sturdy if you push down on them, so don't try that as it is misleading.

    With a budget of £350 ($450/420 euro) you should be able to get a very nice tripod so no need to feel that your budget is small. Try to get one you can hang your camera bag under when it is windy - that has saved my skin before now.
    Always learning.
  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 517Member
    Make your choice on the basis of the weight of your camera plus the heaviest lens, just as MSMoto suggested. The tripod manufacturers publish that number. 25 lbs sounds like a big number.
    many manfrotto tripods have an extension arm that you can move to the side - first I thought it was a useless gismo, now I use it more often than not.. :)
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    I use a Vanguard Alta+ 263AP tripod, a reasonably priced unit which holds my D800 + 70-200mm VRII with support to spare. I use it with a Manfrotto 410 geared head (this requires an inexpensive 3/8 --> 1/4 tripod reducer bushing). As my very first tripod, I'm pretty happy with it. When I get around to buying the 80-400mm lens later this year, I will be looking to upgrade, probably to a different tripod and a Wimberley gimbal head, but that's way overkill for a beginner. Thom Hogan offers some general advice on the matter of buying tripods, namely, buy a decent one right from the start or you will soon find yourself looking for a replacement. I noticed there were two buyer reviews of the Vitruvian at Amazon. While that's a small sample, nonetheless I suggest (!) you read them.
  • syn3rgysyn3rgy Posts: 22Member
    Hi all,

    Thank you very much for your input and suggestions.

    I will go this weekend and see what tripods I can find in the shops and have a little play around.

    Will let you know how it goes :D
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    @syn3rgy: Please let us know what you got and why. I'm interested to find out about your results/choice as well.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    With your budget you should be able to get a very decent tripod.

    One piece of advice I forgot: If you are BIG into panoramas, look for a round QD plate as once the camera is leveled, it stays level as you rotate it. There is a load of c**p talked about the need for panoramic heads to do pano's, if you are outside shooting landscapes you will not notice the difference. If you are not into panoramas, the world is your oyster, but it seems heads with Arca-Swiss compatibility are useful as part of a system if you go that far.
    Always learning.
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    Here is the link to Thom Hogan's advice column on tripods, written in his inimitable style:

    http://bythom.com/support.htm
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited May 2013
    I have not made any comments of this topic mainly due to the OP's budget. However, here are few things to keep in mind in Choosing a Tripod:

    Part 1 of Choosing a Tripod
    Part 2 of Choosing a Tripod
    Part 3 of Choosing a Tripod

    Best of luck in finding a tripod that suits your needs....cheers.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    Golfie: Why don't you just have done with it and change your forum name to RRSD4TRINITY?
    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Double O 7 rocks better ;) spnp.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    OK, OK, the point is there is good info on RRS site, but due to the price I do not yet have any of this.

    I will stick with my original statement....spend the money now....maybe a bit more than budget, and save a lot in the future by not having to change.

    My example of this is when I went with the Manfrotto gimbal to save money, used many Manfrotto heads, etc. for my equipment, converted some to the large Manfrotto clamp, then discovered ARCA Swiss......and in particular the "L" brackets for the body. The cost for switching was probably in the $500-$700 range, just to convert to ARCA Swiss. I use the ARCA Swiss clamp to hold the flash bracket to the camera as well.

    However, the functionality of having every securing device identical and being able to use the new Induro Gimbal in multiple ways....worth all the effort to convert in spite of the bite in the budget.

    So, heavy tripod, top grade head, ARCA Swiss style are the least expensive way to go in the long run.
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited May 2013
    ISo, heavy tripod, top grade head, ARCA Swiss style are the least expensive way to go in the long run.
    The problem with a heavy tripod is, it likely to have been left at home
    I think both have their place


    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    +1

    One really has to differenciate between a good tripod for on-location stuff and a travel tripod, because that's what he's looking for:
    Looking for: Light, Compact, something that I am happy to travel with.
    In reference to a sturdy, heavy tripod with a sturdy head, the model he's looking for will always be a compromise for functionality in use, but better in terms of portability. But that's the whole point. In comparison to a studio stand any other of all those Gitzo, Manfrotto etc. tripods is the same compromise, too.

    I'd rather go for something that's the lightest thing I can get for carrying a certain weight, and then make sure you can make it heavier i.e. with your rucksack or something the like, when you're actually using it (like @spraynpray suggested).
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited May 2013
    Golfie: Why don't you just have done with it and change your forum name to RRSD4TRINITY?
    I like the way you put that my friend.

    Getting a tripod is very much an investment in your photography gear...much like a lens. The funds spent on such a tool is where "the rubber meets the road." Thus, I highly recommend a more forwad looking point-of-view. Only the buyer know what he or she is willing to spend. May the force be with you. :p
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • jjdarlingjjdarling Posts: 59Member
    I really like just using clamps and/or a (seriously strong) gorilla pod. Yes, it's not perfect for everything, but it's great for travelling. I only ever use a tripod for long exposures while travelling and self-portraits.

    The gorillapod takes up VERY little space/weight (I fit it in the water pouch in my backpack -- hydration is for the weak) and I let the civil engineers worry about keeping things anchored as I just piggy-back off bike-racks, stop signs, etc. For the selfies at home, I have a cheap $20 craigslist aluminum tripod. It's only real adversary is the cats who show very little interest in it (or anything, really).

    There, now you're over 300 quid under budget, go buy a new lens!
    www.jjdarling.com
  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    yeah it depends what you mean by travelling? i too would not be happy travelling (backpacking) with more than a gorillapod - id probably leave that at home too

    and for a hike? body + 50mm thrown in my bag and nothing else!
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,265Member
    @ sevencrossing - I think you have Msmoto's quote there . . .
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Ohh the tripod debate.... Personally I'm of the belief that almost all tripods are more than good enough with a good head - which I believe is more important that the legs under it. Personally I just believe money should first be focused on lenses & Filters, then lighting (and modifiers), followed by the body, then ball heads and tripods.

    RRS, Gitzo, & other high dollar tripods should be one of the last things you should spend your money on IMO. They have great products, built to last, but the cost that kind of quality garners just doesn't make much sense if you are still building or expanding your camera and lenses. Manfrotto, Silk, Vanguard, Benro all have fantastic sturdy tripods that will last decades of use, will not break the piggy bank and deserve a serious look.

    One thing I have learned is to ignore the "max height" and look for the height without the center column extended. On most all tripods, extending the center column more than a couple of inches starts to make any tripod more unstable and wobbly. I always look for one where the height w/o center column extended puts my camera at chest high or higher. (I'm only 5'8" so that is a bit easier for me.) That equals about 49 +/- inches w/o the center column extended on me. I always use 5 inches added to that to account for the ballhead & camera for the "eye finder" height. That is a good height for most any photography and I have found that "rule of thumb" height generally is a break point from wobbly to a base wide enough for good steady footing.

    I just picked up a Vanguard 283CT in the last year and love the thing. Got a great deal on it but that is more of a studio/large size tripod. For years I have used a Manfrotto 190 CF and that is a good balance between size and sturdiness. I have been looking very seriously at the BENRO Travel Flat AL Tripods (A1190R) and the reviews are quite good on them. They actually fold flat which I really like and would travel much easier with shoulder bags. I would probably look at a Acratech GV2 Ballhead/Gimbal Head for that set-up. 3.5lbs total!

    I have a Manfrotto 468MGRC5 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ball Head that I swear by. It holds 26lbs+ easily. As I said above, the ball head means more than the sticks it's on. Personally I wouldn't look at any ball head that holds under 20lbs. Tilt a camera with a lens like the the 28-300 at an angle, and the actual weight (force) on the head increases dramatically. Most heavy duty heads are in the $250-400 range and will outlast almost every piece of camera equipment you own. I would pick a ball head first and then whatever you have left, spend it on the legs. Just my 2-cents.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited May 2013
    Good point, TTJ. The ballhead is critical. But, the tripod needs to be able to hold at least 10-15 pounds IMO. Then, with a wimpy tripod one can hang weights from the center post to stabilize. Interestingly enough I have the Manfrotto 468MGRC2 which is converted with an ARCA Swiss clamp.
    Arca Swiss Conversion This particular head functions like the RRS heads my friends seem to have. In the dark one could not tell the difference. IMO

    This is an excellent head, which ever clamping system you choose and Adorama has it on sale for less than USD $200 http://www.adorama.com/BG468MGRC2.html
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Just a quick FYI calculation (if I recalled it correctly) and just because I wanted to remember physics class;)
    (I rounded the numbers up to make stuff simple and to assume you would want the total force on the high side.)
    I weighed my D300+ battery grip+70-200vr= almost 6lbs.
    At a 45deg angle the force pulling down is almost 6lbs or basically the same as the actual item.
    Add 6 + 6=12lbs of force on the head. Just adding a flash gets you to the 15lbs. Remember you also have your camera strap, wired remote, and your hand holding/resting on the camera as well. Some 15lb heads can handle it (are actually underrated), some do not.
    Making no argument either way - just food for thought of what one may want to look at to hold a set-up steady.

    70-200vr is listed at 30oz
    28-300vr 28.2oz
    70-300vr 26.3 oz
    16-35vr 24oz
    24-70 31.7oz

    D7100 23.8oz
    D600 26.8oz
    D800 31.7oz
    D4 41.6oz

    Sb910 14.8oz
    SB700 12.7oz
    16oz = 1lb

    Downward force at a 45deg is approx 100% of the body/lens combo. (rounded for easy math.)
    So to calculate the force:
    (Body+lens) x 2 = downward force exerted on the ballhead.
    So for example a D600 + 28-300vr:
    -(body+lens) 26.8+28.2=55oz x 2 = 110oz/16 = 6.9lbs

    I think a head that can handle double your normal use need is a good rule of thumb. (So 7lbs x 2 =14 A 15lb head would cover it.)



    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
Sign In or Register to comment.