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Thread: Tripod Recommendations Please

  1. #1
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    Default Tripod Recommendations Please

    .

    Hey Everyone,

    I've been gone for years, quite a different look/feel here.
    But I have paged through a few areas, and have seen a good many old names I recognize (+/-).

    I was hoping y'all could help me help a friend of mine.

    He manufactures a small custom made product which he needs to photograph for his website (on a continuing basis).
    He, at some point, realized that his camera (a "P.O.S. 500") was indeed a p.o.s., decided he wanted/needed to "step up his photography", and asked if I would help him.

    The first thing I did was get him a good quality, used, Olympus SLR camera, helped him learn how to use it (the easy part), and am working to help him learn how to see (the hard part).

    Now we need to get him a new tripod (his current flimsy one can hardly support its own weight).

    - This tripod would be used exclusively to sit in front of a table and take tabletop shots.
    - His products do, though, need to be shot at all sorts of various heights, tilts and angles.
    - Price? maybe somewhere between $100 and $200.

    Any make/model suggestions anyone might be kind enough to proffer would be greatly appreciated.

    James

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    "So long, and thanks for all the fish."
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    Default Re: Tripod Recommendations Please

    Hi James,

    If this is strictly for product photography may I suggest a camera stand..

    Delta 1 CS6 Jr Camera Stand 6' 902 B&H Photo Video

    A tripod is awkward at best for moving the camera up and down. With the camera stand you simply loosen a knob and slide the arm to where it is needed.

    If that is out of budget I would suggest at least a Slik Pro 700DX, they're ~ $100.

    Cheers, Don
    From E-510/E-30/E-3/E-5 to Nikon D7100 and now D7200/D800
    Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
    Product Photography
    My Acreage Bird Photographs


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    Default Re: Tripod Recommendations Please

    I would, like Don, suggest a camera stand rather than a tripod. Apart from the limited up/down positioning, tripods are trip hazards and just plain awkward. Unfortunately, camera stands are fairly pricey, so may be out of the budget range, the Delta 1 SC6 Jr stand sells for $318 at B&H. If most of the work is to be shot on a table top, your friend might consider a smaller tabletop tripod which can be re-positioned easily, if that doesn't fit the bill, I'd suggest looking for the heaviest older model Slik (or similar) tripod you can find second hand, they can usually be had at a good price. The Slik Pro 700DX that Don suggested is a good unit.
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    Default Re: Tripod Recommendations Please

    Vanguard has the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Tripod W/SBH 100 Ballhead on sale right now for about $175, which is a pretty good deal. The tripod's center column can tilt in any direction, and the SBH 100 ballhead is pretty nice. Sometimes Vanguard has a really good deal on the carbon fiber version of this tripod, paired with the lesser SBH-50 head, but that's not what they are offering now. Actually for what you want, the aluminum would be just as good, IMHO, and you get a better head. They have the deal both at B&H and Adorama.

    Another idea is getting the Photek TRI-X-2500 Tripod Extender (they have it at B&H; you can read my review there, although for some idiotic reason I kept referring to it as "Phototek"). I think that this is one of the best tripod accessories I have ever bought. It is great for shooting straight down. If you mount that on top of a head (as opposed to just at the top of the center column, as normally done), it can be oriented in directions other than straight down.
    Rich
    Olympus E-M10; Panasonic GM5
    m4/3 lenses: Oly 75-300; Oly 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II R; Oly 17 f1.8; Oly 40-150 f4.0-5.6 R; Oly WCON-P01 adapter; Rokinon f7.5 fisheye; Sigma 19 f2.8; Pan 20 f1.7; Pan 12-35 f2.8; Pan 12-32

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    Default Re: Tripod Recommendations Please

    I just bought a Vanguard Alta Pro 264AT for $110 and a Pro-Master ball head for $25 at Cardinal Camera last week. It has aluminum legs with clamping locks and the "flop over" center column that can hang over a table's edge. While Don is probably right about the stand for a professional studio, this is a less expensive and far more flexible answer for the amateur on a budget. I do a lot of table-top shots and this rig seems about perfect to me. It also came with a soft storage/transit case and it fits in the corner of a closet.

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    Default Re: Tripod Recommendations Please

    .

    Thanks to EVERYONE for your thoughtful recommendations.

    I will be summarizing your recommendations and forwarding to my friend.
    And he will want to talk with me about one vs. another, I am sure.

    But I am sure that, whatever he ends up with, it will be miles better than what he has been using,
    and miles better than what he would have gotten if he had just "thrown a dart at a dartboard."

    Thanks again for your help.

    James

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    .

    "So long, and thanks for all the fish."
    .
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________

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    Default Re: Tripod Recommendations Please

    Quote Originally Posted by DocFox View Post
    I just bought a Vanguard Alta Pro 264AT for $110 and a Pro-Master ball head for $25 at Cardinal Camera last week. It has aluminum legs with clamping locks and the "flop over" center column that can hang over a table's edge. While Don is probably right about the stand for a professional studio, this is a less expensive and far more flexible answer for the amateur on a budget.
    I agree. The big advantage of adding the Photek TRI-X-2500 Tripod Extender is that with a conventional tripod where the center column can go horizontal (or any direction as with the Vanguards), once you have done that, there is no mechanism for raising/lowering the setup, except of course raising or lowering the legs themselves. With the tripod extender, which sits on top of the center column, you still have the center column for use in raising or lowering. This makes it much more convenient. Of course, it also adds to the cost, so an any-direction center column tripod like the Vanguards is a good budget idea.
    Rich
    Olympus E-M10; Panasonic GM5
    m4/3 lenses: Oly 75-300; Oly 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II R; Oly 17 f1.8; Oly 40-150 f4.0-5.6 R; Oly WCON-P01 adapter; Rokinon f7.5 fisheye; Sigma 19 f2.8; Pan 20 f1.7; Pan 12-35 f2.8; Pan 12-32

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    Default Re: Tripod Recommendations Please

    This seems like a very good option; even if it's costy the saved time will be significant versus a typical tripod. One might be able to self-build something that approximates it, as well.

    Cheers,
    Rick

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Kondra View Post
    Hi James,

    If this is strictly for product photography may I suggest a camera stand..

    Delta 1 CS6 Jr Camera Stand 6' 902 B&H Photo Video

    A tripod is awkward at best for moving the camera up and down. With the camera stand you simply loosen a knob and slide the arm to where it is needed.

    If that is out of budget I would suggest at least a Slik Pro 700DX, they're ~ $100.

    Cheers, Don

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