1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Okay Guest, it's coming up to the festive season. If you'd like to take part in this year's Secret Santa gift exchange, click the link below and speak to our resident Jolly Red Guy.

    Dismiss Notice
  1. Dashing

    Dashing

    Messages:
    113
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hi everyone,

    Looking to purchase my first tripod and was thinking of the Manfrotto Compact Advanced Aluminium one. It's around 50 quid, so is quite steep. Just want to make sure I'm purchasing something that'll last a long time.

    I currently use a Nikon D3300, with a standard lens so I'm not asking the tripod to be carrying anything particularly bulky or heavy.

    I mainly like to shot landscapes and cityscapes as I travel around quite a lot. Is this tripod lightweight and easy enough to get into hand luggage?

    If anyone has any other recommendations that could potentially save me a couple of pounds (so I can put towards my savings for a new wide angle lens) then I'm all ears.

    Thanks
     
  2. Dashing

    Dashing

    Messages:
    113
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Also, really sorry if this was posted to the wrong section - feel free to move to the beginner thread if needed.

    Thanks.
     
  3. Snapsh0t

    Snapsh0t

    Messages:
    1,671
    Name:
    Jonathan
    Edit My Images:
    No
    There was a thread about it here in May. The basic rule of buying tripods is that you can have any two of sturdy, light and cheap. As you've chosen light and cheap (£50 is dirt cheap, not steep), you can't expect sturdy. Also, the head is not removable on that tripod so it can't be upgraded.
     
    keeweeman and Dashing like this.
  4. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    1,224
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    If my budget was £50 then I think I'd be having a good look at the 'used' market to see what I could find there (after reading any fairly recent threads on 'budget' tripods I could find on this forum to 'gen up' on the subject first). I might not get 12 months warranty and an unopened cardboard box, but I might get more 'bang for buck'?

    Although, to be honest, I think something genuinely light, portable and sturdy (by today's standards) is still going to be a big ask for £50, even from the second hand market; so you might have to put up with a compromise on one or two of your requirements (please not on 'sturdy'!) or wait until you can put another £50 or £60 to your budget... and even then it might be a struggle to find something in nice condition on the used market that truly fits the requirements you stated above.

    To give you an idea, I think you could probably expect to pay between £150 and £300 (even second hand) to properly tick all the boxes you've specified, particularly the 'last a long time' and 'lightweight and easy enough to get into hand luggage' ones. I'm not pouring scorn on 'budget' tripods here - I've bought some myself in the past, but it's a bit like buying a car... you can't expect 'supercar' spec and build quality for Mini money, so something has to give.

    It might be an idea to go into a large, well-stocked camera shop and have a look at some tripods and see what you get for the money? Extend one of the 'budget' tripods fully and see if it reaches eye level and doesn't wobble and creak, and check the head is easy to adjust, smooth and secure, then try that with one or two of the £150-£400 ones and see if there's a difference? Hope this is useful and that someone else can add to this and that you find something suitable. (y)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  5. stupar

    stupar

    Messages:
    7,050
    Name:
    Stuart
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    To be honest the Manfrotto Compact range is more placed for compact cameras due to their smaller footprint and lighter weight, i wouldnt use one for a bulkier DSLR.

    Have a look at redsnapper tripods.
    The below one is a smidge over your budget but is good bang for buck
    Screenshot_2017-09-12-11-24-48.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    Ian W, weybourne and Dashing like this.
  6. tijuana taxi

    tijuana taxi

    Messages:
    8,529
    Name:
    Rich
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I just bought a slightly used Mefoto Backpacker from a UK shop trading on Ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MeFOTO-Cl...627846&hash=item3f8691a7ac:g:zuIAAOSw1LRZrVqn
    Stupidly sold a travel tripod the other week then something came up that it would be very useful for, always the way.

    Seems a decent enough bit of kit for the 65 quid I paid, folds down to just over a foot and weighs approx 2lbs.
    Not expecting it to be anywhere near as stable as a full size tripod, but considerably better than my shaky hands.

    As mentioned above fifty quid is on the bargain basement side of things, also don't forget no point in getting a good tripod paired with a crappy head (or vice versa)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    Dashing likes this.
  7. Dashing

    Dashing

    Messages:
    113
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
  8. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive

    Messages:
    3,178
    Name:
    David
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    The Befree is very nicely made, one of my workshop attendees had one last weekend, and it was surprisingly stable even fully extended. The locking attachment for the tripod plate is a bit fiddly, and you cannot rotate the head without loosening the ball, but its still a nice piece of kit.

    I wrote a little blog post a few weeks ago about choosing a tripod, you may or may not find it helpful. https://www.davidyeomanphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/12/choosing-a-tripod
     
  9. jockwav

    jockwav

    Messages:
    5,792
    Name:
    James (Retired)
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I have had my redsnapper for years & still works great for me,i can,t see any reason for me to change.:banana::clap:
     
    stupar likes this.
  10. Dashing

    Dashing

    Messages:
    113
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Great Blog! Really helpful and informative. Thanks for that.

    100% will be looking for a photography shop to go in and have a look at some tripods.

    Thanks everyone.
     
    Mr Perceptive likes this.
  11. Snapsh0t

    Snapsh0t

    Messages:
    1,671
    Name:
    Jonathan
    Edit My Images:
    No
    It's a tenner cheaper at Clifton Cameras, Wex & Castle Cameras, just for starters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  12. chris malcolm

    chris malcolm

    Messages:
    1,022
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I'd like to argue in favour of cheap lightweight tripods. Easy portability is an often underestimated virtue in camera gear. What you actually have with you always trumps what you left at home because it was a bit too big and heavy.

    While very cheap tripods are cheap in more than price, they're also a big step up in camera stability from handheld, even very carefully handheld while leaning against a wall. My first portable carry around all day just in case DSLR tripod was a tiny wobbly one I got for £1 in a charity shop which opened up to about five feet high at max. It wobbled so much that it was useless if there was any wind, and took so long to stop wobbling that I had to get a remote shutter for it, and wait at least fifteen seconds after composing the shot to fire the shutter. Once I'd discovered that I could take really sharp photographs of many seconds exposure duration in museums and churches, which usually had very stable floors and no wind, and even outside in slightly gusty conditions it was still more stable than handheld. It greatly improved the sharpness of my photographs.

    I upgraded it to a £13 ALDI special, big enough to hold the camera above my eye level, and stable enough if the centre was down and a weight hung off the central column hook to cope with mildly gusty conditions. At 1kg it was still light enough to carry around all day just in case. It's cheap non-detachable head was pretty rubbish at holding the camera in portrait orientation too, so much droop that it was impossible to get the camera really vertical.

    A decade later my portable carry around tripod is a Mefoto Globetrotter. I bought it as a good travel tripod because the ALDI special was too big to fit in airline cabin baggage. It turned out to be so surprisingly good that it's also become my general purpose best tripod. Given that it was ten times the price maybe that shouldn't have surprised me! I don't regret buying the other two cheap tripods -- they've become cheap portable light stands.

    I recently wondered why it was I didn't carry the smaller (when folded up) Globetrotter around as much as I used to carry the old ALDI special. Was it because I was getting older and weaker? I weighed them. The Globetrotter weighed 2kg compared to the 1kg of the ALDI special, quite enough to make the difference between something I'd nonchalantly carry around all day, and something I'd heft and wonder if it was really worth lugging around all day just in case, and most probably wouldn't use.
     
  13. chris malcolm

    chris malcolm

    Messages:
    1,022
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I'd like to argue in favour of cheap lightweight tripods. Easy portability is an often underestimated virtue in camera gear. What you actually have with you always trumps what you left at home because it was a bit too big and heavy.

    While very cheap tripods are cheap in more than price, they're also a big step up in camera stability from handheld, even very carefully handheld while leaning against a wall. My first portable carry around all day just in case DSLR tripod was a tiny wobbly one I got for £1 in a charity shop which opened up to about five feet high at max. It wobbled so much that it was useless if there was any wind, and took so long to stop wobbling that I had to get a remote shutter for it, and wait at least fifteen seconds after composing the shot to fire the shutter. Once I'd discovered that I could take really sharp photographs of many seconds exposure duration in museums and churches, which usually had very stable floors and no wind, and even outside in slightly gusty conditions it was still more stable than handheld. It greatly improved the sharpness of my photographs.

    I upgraded it to a £13 ALDI special, big enough to hold the camera above my eye level, and stable enough if the centre was down and a weight hung off the central column hook to cope with mildly gusty conditions. At 1kg it was still light enough to carry around all day just in case. It's cheap non-detachable head was pretty rubbish at holding the camera in portrait orientation too, so much droop that it was impossible to get the camera really vertical.

    A decade later my portable carry around tripod is a Mefoto Globetrotter. I bought it as a good travel tripod because the ALDI special was too big to fit in airline cabin baggage. It turned out to be so surprisingly good that it's also become my general purpose best tripod. Given that it was ten times the price maybe that shouldn't have surprised me! I don't regret buying the other two cheap tripods -- they've become cheap portable light stands.

    I recently wondered why it was I didn't carry the smaller (when folded up) Globetrotter around as much as I used to carry the old ALDI special. Was it because I was getting older and weaker? I weighed them. The Globetrotter weighed 2kg compared to the 1kg of the ALDI special, quite enough to make the difference between something I'd nonchalantly carry around all day, and something I'd heft and wonder if it was really worth lugging around all day just in case, and most probably wouldn't use.
     
  14. chris malcolm

    chris malcolm

    Messages:
    1,022
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    [deleted duplicate post]
     
  15. mjmountain

    mjmountain

    Messages:
    642
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I just picked up a vintage Hakuba E.V.Tripod off ebay for £6. Really pleased with it. Very well made, metal gearing. Head screws off and can be slung underneath. Easy to maintain. Reasonably light and packs small.

    The only downside is there is no quick release plate. But I can live with that, and even replace the head at some point.

    M
     
  16. TLR-330

    TLR-330

    Messages:
    914
    Name:
    Charles
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    That would be a triplicate then :)
     
  17. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

    Messages:
    1,224
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Perhaps he worked for a government department? :D

    Joking aside, it's easily done especially if your computer/internet is running slow and you think it's not uploaded. I'm sure one of the Moderators such as @TheBigYin will soon sort it out (and probably delete our daft comments too, as they won't make much sense then!) :) (y)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    TLR-330 likes this.
  18. TLR-330

    TLR-330

    Messages:
    914
    Name:
    Charles
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Been there and done it too ;)
     
  19. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    21,310
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Then I can't believe you did anything more than look at it. BeFree is useless for anything heavier than a compact on a dead calm day - very small and light, but hopeless for serious photography.
     
  20. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive

    Messages:
    3,178
    Name:
    David
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    The lady in question was using an M43 Panasonic, and despite your thoughts, it was very stable throughout the day. Perfecting suitable for the task in hand.
     
  21. Nostromo

    Nostromo

    Messages:
    1,446
    Name:
    Dominic
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I would say don't go cheap, but also don't blow mega money. I've had cheap and they just don't do the job. The slightest touch or breeze and the camera wobbles/vibrates, which is no good for slow shutter speeds. My tripod is not small or lightweight, but i don't go trekking up and down hills or across the countryside but it's pretty solid.
     
  22. ChrisR

    ChrisR

    Messages:
    7,290
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I think it's horses for courses. If you're seriously into landscape photography, long exposures outside on hilltops, then buy quality, strong and sturdy tripod. If you want something that's easier to carry around for less demanding applications, get one of the lighter ones (after trying it first). I had a charity shop Vanguard tripod bought for £5, and it did the job for me for exposures up to a few seconds, even outside. The only reason I replaced it was that I dropped it while falling the other way on some slippery rocks, and dented the legs so they don't fold any more! I did spend a bit more on the replacement, as I found it awkward for interior macro style work and I wanted one with a vari-angle column. But it weighs nearly twice as much, and I must admit I was tempted to buy another cheap one! However, for most not-long exposure situations I find a monopod really makes a difference and is much easier to carry!
     
  23. strobemonkey

    strobemonkey

    Messages:
    2,221
    Name:
    call me anyhting u want
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Manfrotto 055 with a Manfrotto ball head
     
    an1uk likes this.
  24. Mozthecat

    Mozthecat

    Messages:
    112
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I really am impressed with the manfrotto befree, it cost the same as the three cheap ones I have destroyed (all by overtightening various joints to try and make them stable) put together, but is a simple, robust design that is perfect for my small D40 and small (sub 200mm) lenses.

    It is also light enough to carry around without complaint (me or the wife when I hand it over to change lenses and forget to take it back...)
     
  25. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    21,310
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    For anyone considering a Manfrotto BeFree, please try before you buy. Just set it up to full height and see how sturdy it feels, see if it flexes (not difficult). That flexing translates directly to blurring in a light breeze, and mirror-shock at critical shutter speeds around 1/15sec.

    Then compare it to a good/light tripod like the Manfrotto 190Go! or the excellent M'frotto 055.
     
  26. tijuana taxi

    tijuana taxi

    Messages:
    8,529
    Name:
    Rich
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Whilst I agree with the science, the MeFoto I bought for sixty five quid will still produce better photos at 1/15th than my shaky hands.
    No idea of the Befree price, but no doubt the 190Go and 055 are considerably dearer, not much use if you don't have the money.

    Lots of people on here are very blasé about money, oh its only another 100 or so quid, not everyone has got it though.
     
  27. mjmountain

    mjmountain

    Messages:
    642
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    my £6 vintage ebay purchase is great... go vintage. Well built, cheap and serviceable. The one I got is even pretty light.
     
  28. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    21,310
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    BeFree £249
    190Go! £249
    055 £329

    There are good tripods available for £100, but none of them weight only one kilo. Here's one, maybe the best 'budget' tripod I've tested, including a very good £50 ball-head too. The head is just as important as the legs.

    From CameraGearUK in Norwich http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Venturer-...mm-Ballhead-/252542368294?hash=item3accb2ba26
     
    taxboy likes this.
  29. taxboy

    taxboy

    Messages:
    1,004
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    If you can cope with the weight the aluminium manfrottos are available at very sensible prices pre owned. I found an 055 at £65 or best offer. With completed listings for 190s with heads for under £100 from a week own auction site
     
  30. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    21,310
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    All the tripods I mentioned above are carbon-fibre, aluminium is roughly 30% heavier (very roughly).

    There are undoubtedly used bargains to be had, but bear in mind that not all Manfrotto 190 or 055 models are the same. They're like VW Golfs - same name but totally different cars over the years.
     
    taxboy likes this.
  31. taxboy

    taxboy

    Messages:
    1,004
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks for the clarification. Looks like we're back to an earlier post in this thread about sturdy, light, cheap.......
     
  32. simonbarker

    simonbarker

    Messages:
    1,179
    Edit My Images:
    No
    True but you can also turn that to your advantage as the earlier models are considerably cheaper yet not hugely different in some cases and most people want the latest and greatest regardless of actual differences. It's not really helped by Manfrotto when they bring out the 055V, 055AB, 055CLB, 055X, 055XPRO followed by the 055PXROB then the MT055XPROB; not forgetting there's 3 and 4 for leg sections, C to denote Carbon Fibre and who knows whatever else I'm forgetting.

    Manfrotto really should hire someone to come up with decent model names...
     
    strobemonkey likes this.
  33. Mozthecat

    Mozthecat

    Messages:
    112
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Sorry, my earlier post referred to the befree one, which cost £79.99 from wex with the discount code shown on their site.
     
  34. Dashing

    Dashing

    Messages:
    113
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thoughts on the Benro Mach3 TMA18CV1 Carbon Fibre Tripod?

    Seen a nice deal on wex and considering it.. it doesn't look quite as sturdy as a manfrotto though.. Looks almost quite flimsy. Although I'm assuming this is just the pictures..
     
  35. Snapsh0t

    Snapsh0t

    Messages:
    1,671
    Name:
    Jonathan
    Edit My Images:
    No
    That looks a pretty good deal so definitely worth considering. The next pitfall is whether you will prefer twist or lever locks on the tripod legs. Twist locks are the most common but I don't like 'em so my choices are a bit limited. I think I've probably bought my last set of legs but the head may need a bit of tweaking.....
     
  36. Dashing

    Dashing

    Messages:
    113
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I've just looked at a YouTube video of a guy setting the Benbo up. Actually looks far more sturdy than the pictures suggest. Think I'll go for it and find out the hard way if I can't get used to it - considering it's my first tripod I think I need to experiment instead of asking so many questions haha.
     
  37. chris malcolm

    chris malcolm

    Messages:
    1,022
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Carbon fibre is stronger and lighter for the job the tripod is designed for -- keeping the camera stable. But aluminium is stronger, and not always so much heavier, for the important job the tripod wasn't designed for -- resisting breakage when you accidentally sit or stand on it, or stumble and fall on it.
     
  38. tijuana taxi

    tijuana taxi

    Messages:
    8,529
    Name:
    Rich
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    You have to do quite a bit to break Carbon Fibre, bike frames can take a hit as can the handlebars, even small diameter stuff like fishing rods can take a fair bit of abuse.

    Never hear or see photos of broken CF tripods, not to say it doesn't happen, but the chance of it wouldn't put me off buying
     

Share This Page