View Full Version : DSLR Tripods?

Joe Mioux
10-12-2010, 9:36 AM
I am looking for a good quality (not necessarily the best) tripod for my 35mm DSLR

I have broken (actually someone else in the family) the last sub $100 tripod and my wife can't stand the other tripod she bought.

This tripod will be used mostly with my Nikon d90 with either a 60 mm macro lens or a 18-200 mm Sigma lens which is fairly heavy.

I will use this tripod for some macro work as well as portrait work, so something that is solid and steady is preferred. It won't be leaving my work very often, so it doesn't have to be super portable.

Price? would prefer to stay under $200 however, I realize that might not be possible, if I want one that won't break again. I could go $300 but if I don't have to I don't want to.....

should i look for legs and heads separately?

thanks joe

Dave Gaul
10-12-2010, 9:56 AM

I don't know how "camera savy" you are, but I am not. You and/or your wife must be serious if you're sporting a D90! LOML LOVES photography, but is not so willing to research about it, she would rather just take the D40 and shoot away! So I end up doing all the research, and buying all the equipment, after presenting my results of course!

Anyway, my go to source:


Let me know what you decide please, LOML has yet to REALLY ask for a tripod, but I KNOW it's coming, as soon as she stops drooling over the 80-400MM that will never happen, not at $1800 anyway!

Montgomery Scott
10-12-2010, 10:12 AM
Bogen tripods. Look at the selection at B&H.

Glenn Clabo
10-12-2010, 11:04 AM
It's like any other tool...you'll get lots of opinions...but in the end only you can decide what's the best for you.
If weight isn't a big issue...there are plenty of AL out there in that price range. You don't sound like you need a carbon fiber one.
Check out as many as you can for a couple of things. Height...how tall are you? Don't get one that is so short you are leaning on it while shooting.
Ease of use...some pros only use screw locks...but they use it all the time and get good at it. Leg clamps may be the way to go for you.
Check out the Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod. The horizontal center column feature is cool. By extending the column to its highest vertical position, it can be swung round to horizontal without removing the head or disassembling the column itself. I think you can get one for around 150-175.
Ball heads are another subject. ALL I can say is...they are as important as the actual tripod when it comes to getting good shots...quickly.
I'm running...but here's a quick search result that I think would work great for you. I don't really know the seller...but Amazon usually doesn't steer you wrong.

PS...the rapid release plate is something you will love...

David G Baker
10-12-2010, 11:58 AM
I am a loyal Gitzo fan. They are not cheap but they come in many sizes and have quite a few accessories. The one I now have was used to support a heavy TV news video camera for several years and is still in great condition. Check Ebay for brand name tripods, you may luck out and get a good used one. I have a Manfrotto as well and think that it is a very good tripod. It is a little cheaper than Gitzo but will last as long if not abused. On occasion I use a Gitzo mono-pod and am very happy with it as well.

Glenn Vaughn
10-12-2010, 12:21 PM
I have the Slik PRO 700DX. Solid and tall. It has worked well for me. About $140 with the Pan Head. $139 at B&H with free shipping. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html

Darryl Hazen
10-12-2010, 1:01 PM
I have a Slik U212 which has served me well. Good all round tripod.

Eric DeSilva
10-12-2010, 5:37 PM
+1 on the Manfrottos. I've got two, one CF and one metal.

And +1 on what Glenn said about the quick release. With a bunch of cameras and the interchangeable quick releases... I can grab any camera and either tripod and it works fine...

Jonathan Spool
10-12-2010, 6:54 PM
I spent lots of money on tripods, upgrading until I ended up with Gitzo.
Best thing to do IMHO is to bite the bullet and by the best right out of the gate. It will perform the best and last a lifetime.

Colin Giersberg
10-13-2010, 11:56 PM
I use a Giottos, and find it acceptable for my use. I think they are a Gitzo knockoff, but I don't know that for sure. I do use a ball head with a lever release clamp and an L-bracket from Really Right Stuff to support my Nikon D700. Yes, they are expensive, but it makes removing the camera quick and easy. PS. Most people on photography forums don't have a lot of nice things to say about Ken Rockwell, so take his opinions and anyone else's with a grain of salt. Do your research, check out B & H Photo, Really Right Stuff or Kirk for camera and tripod accessories, and buy what you feel will work for you. The cost will probably be more that what you would like to pay, but then you will not have to replace it as quickly.Regards, Colin

Bill Huber
10-14-2010, 12:13 PM
I have a Neotec by Manfroto, its not cheap in any work but it is a great tripod.

I can have it set up in 22.7 seconds and take it down in 11 seconds, I have timed this. There are NO levers to flip, just pull the legs out and set it down. To put it away, there is a button on each leg, you push it and then push the leg up. You an reach all 3 buttons with one hand so it goes down really fast.

I have 4 different heads for it for different types of shooting.


Joe Mioux
10-15-2010, 8:32 AM
thank you for all the replies....

I was at a camera store last night and looked at the Manfrotto and a couple other brands.

What is the difference between the Manfrotto 055xprob and the 190xprob?

The store had the 190 so I bought it with a 494rc2 mini ball head.

the legs were @$180 and the head was @$80. I haven't opened the box so if there is something else for me to look at which represents a better value, I will return this and buy something else.

I have been doing a lot more blogging and pictures are a big part of my two blogs.... its the nature of my real world work...

again thanks for the replies


Mike Cutler
10-15-2010, 9:19 AM

I have carbon fiber tripods and aluminum tripodes from Gitzo, Benbo and Bogan. I have different fluid heads by Manfrotto.
The type of camera shooting you do will determine the tripod(s). Outdoor photography, in wind conditions with long range prime or zooms will require a nice, stable, heavy tripod. ( I use a concrete cinder block suspended by rope on the heavy Aluminum Tripod I have ) Add low light conditions and fast moving objects at distance and it gets even more critical.
Shooting indoors doesn't require such a setup. The tripod can be much lighter. Do enough with a camera and you'll end up with more than one.

Get that D90 out in the field. Keeping it indoors is a shame. I really like mine.;)

Glenn Clabo
10-15-2010, 9:59 AM
Hey Joe check this out

Joe Mioux
10-15-2010, 8:35 PM
Today I had to go back into StLouis as my flower shipment missed last night's flight out of Miami.

I took Glen's advice. checked out the dpreview thread and realized that the Manfrotto 190 would be too short for my applications.

I have to position this camera over 32 inch tall greenhouse benches with 15-24 inch plants on them.

i picked up the 055xprob. i think i will be very happy with this tripod. I am especially looking forward to using the cantilevered middle post for shots.

thank you all for your help


p.s. one of the benefits of going out to StLouis Lambert Field Air Cargo Terminals is sometimes you get to see some really cool stuff.

today. F18's were being tested. For those of you unaware Boeing's (formerly McDonnell-Douglas) mfr'g plant F18's and F15's is on the north side of the runway.

Those F18's are LOUD!! and its' especially cool to see them take off and go almost vertical at take-off.

That alone made my day.