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Old     (merrion13)      Join Date: Aug 2007       07-09-2008, 10:43 AM Reply   
Want to spend under $100 for a tripod . Primary criteria is light weight, and strong hardware (years ago I bought a cheapo tripod with plastic mounts that broke early in its life). Anyone have any suggestions?
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       07-09-2008, 5:56 PM Reply   
You can not get a tripod for that much that is good for anything. Plan on $250+ to get something decent, and that would be considered cheap. Aluminum is cheaper than carbon fiber, but does not absorb the vibrations as much. These days you can get nice tripods without Gitzo's cost. The problem is when you go to a bigger lens the cheapo tripods will cause issues. It takes a decent ball head (Sold separately typically) to hold everything in place, yet still allow fine adjustments to the camera angle etc. Your best deals will probably be from a website like or's for sale sections. Of course ebay can sometimes offer good deals. An older aluminum tripod is probably your best bet in order to save money.

Here are some to look at.
Adorama's tripods

Feisol's lightweight tripod, but search around there are others.
Old     (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-09-2008, 6:09 PM Reply   
Scott Kelby's recommendation ( closest to your price range) :

Bogen/Manfrotto 3001BD (@ $120)
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-09-2008, 6:15 PM Reply   
i'd put my money on a bogen/manfrotto everyday of the week...and twice on sunday.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-09-2008, 6:39 PM Reply   
Cheap tripods suck and should be banned. I would spend at least $200 on the tripod and then another $100-$150 on a good ball head. At that point you will probably also need the MC-30 or MC-36 release since it is kind of silly to go to the trouble of a tripod and then not use a release.

Go with Bogen/Manfrotto. Shop at B&H or Adorama
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       07-09-2008, 7:26 PM Reply   
I guess it'd be nice to know what kind of camera and lenses you're using so nobody steers you in the direction of a tripod that might be too chincy.

Thumbs up to Bogen. My 3021 w/ 488rc2 has treated me real well over the past few years.

FYI- It looks like Bogen's discontinued the 3001 model tripods and replaced them with the 190 series.
Old     (merrion13)      Join Date: Aug 2007       07-10-2008, 6:31 AM Reply   
Wow, thanks for the input guys! Camera is a lot smaller than some of the setups you guys have; Nikon D40x, largest lens is a 300. Although, my older bro is looking to get rid of his D200 so he can upgrade, so I may be taking that off his hands by the end of summer.
Old     (gundogg)      Join Date: Feb 2004       07-10-2008, 8:18 AM Reply   
I have kind of a follow up question here...
what would you guys who shoot a lot of tripod shots reccomend for a nice high quality tripod...
I have been pricing Gitzo tripods and OTD with the ball head I want I am pushing $1,200. I am sure I can get away with less, but I don't want to have to buy another one in a year or two. Currently shooting with a Canon 40D largest lenses: 70-200 L series and 100-400L (currently... more to come).
Old     (dcervenka)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-10-2008, 9:17 AM Reply   
A tripod is like a good lens that will stay in your photograhpy/video arsenal for years to come (IMHO), so spending a little more now is a good investment.

The following carbon fiber tripod will set you back $250 (looks like there is a $50 rebate on all combos) and it's only 4lbs... -- (it's NOT the best head, but this will give you a starting point)

With a decent head you will be able to support a 8 to 9 lbs setup..

To see more package option do a search on "190Cx3" or "190CXPRO3" at
Old     (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       07-10-2008, 8:18 PM Reply   
bogen manfrotto makes a great solid tripod. wouldn't get anything else.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       07-10-2008, 9:56 PM Reply   
Check out the Benro CF tripods on ebay, I have one, I actually like it better then the Gitzos. The legs are smoother.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-11-2008, 7:06 AM Reply   
This is a great little grip ballhead I have been using for the past little while. I like it a lot
Old     (isler)      Join Date: Apr 2003       07-11-2008, 8:23 AM Reply   
I'm with you guys... only tripods I use are Bogen Manfrotto, or Gitzo. Been very happy with (and own) both. My current setup is a Gitzo 1348 mkII, with 488RC2 ball on it. Gitzo changed all their model numbers so I don't know what the current one is...but I'm happy with it. I use that tripod for everything from a little MKII with 16-35 (long exposure), to a Horseman 4x5 camera.

I agree, a tripod is not the place to get cheap.


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