Decent Tripods, Relatively Inexpensive

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    • #44388

      I have tripods, but they’re definitely not smooth-panning. I’ve tried all the adjustments with no success. Can anyone personally recommend a fluid head tripod $200-400 range?

    • #185864

      To put it simply, you get what you pay for. So if your budget for a tripod is up to $400 dollars, then get a $400 dollar tripod.

      A tripod that has a drag function for panning and tilting will allow for much better control. This is because drag allows you to adjust the amount of resistance the tripod has while you pan or tilt, and because there’s some resistance against the pan or tilt you’re trying to perform, you’ll have much smoother movement.

    • #185865

      first try out high end gear at your local photo video store… learn what features you need… then consider shopping used….

    • #185866

      Industry standards such as Bogen/Manfrotto and Miller are expensive but have a variety of models and makes to pick from. There are a number of other brands that offer reasonable quality, sturdiness and smoothness of operation in the $400 to $700 range. Check out some of the recent reviews by Videomaker here on the forums and in recent magazine issues. Look at the offerings available at B&H PhotoVideo.

    • #185867

      You can also check out eBay – I got a Bogen Professional tripod with a nice fluid head and big control arm for about $100 (worth ten times that). I had to tighten some nuts but it now works great,

      Of course with eBay, as always – caveat emptor! Check out the seller and item description very carefully.

    • #185868

      Valid comments, all of them. I will likely peruse eBay, Craigslist and several local trading sites.

      I tried the one local photo/video store with the results I currently have achieved. I love living in a rural area but, well, it does have a few drawbacks. Thanks everybody!

    • #185869

      If you have a decent tripod you might consider putting the Bogen/Manfrotto 503HDV head on it — $359 at B&H. Add a ball leveler if you don’t already have one and you’re in for just over $400.

      We’ve used 503 heads for several years and find them to be reliable and, if well maintained and adjusted, quite smooth in both pan and tilt.

    • #185870

      I have the Davis & Sanford Provista 7518 tripod w/ FM18Head it is 189.95 + free shipping at B and H

      This is a great value it also includes a case. I also have the mathews M25. Both are very smooth heads but I think the davis and sanford is the best value.

    • #185871

      Thanks Jack and Cville, I’ll take a look.

    • #185872

      I’ve been shopping on various internet sites for a fluid head or tripod with a fluid head, new or used. A question thatI’ve been wondering about is this: are some fluid heads unsuitable for smaller lighter camcorders?Some fliud head tirpods are listed as suitable for the new lighter camcorders. In other words do somefliud head tripods pan and tilt more smoothly with heavier, bigger equipmant than with smaller, lighter?

    • #185873

      i saw a video on here not too long about an Matthews M25 tripod on here. It seemed like a pretty decent tripod that depending on what your filming might work out for you.

    • #185874

      I have the Davis and Sanford as well got it off of really love it good tripod I think I paid 180.00 for it. It works real good for panning and tilting

    • #185875

      B and H Video have the tripod mentioned above for $169.95 right now. Sale ends Jan. 31

    • #185876

      I just receiveda used Manfrottotripod with fluid head purchased on ebay for $65.00 plus s&h. I was the only bidder and bid the minimum. It took couple of weeks or so of watching ebay to come across this and I think thelack of aninteresting picture for this listing led to the lack of interest. It’sin great shape, a little dusty, works fine but lacked the quick release plate ($15 new). For $80plus s&h this seemed like a great deal can’t wait to start using.

    • #185877

      I bought this on a recommendation from a friend. I was a bit skeptical but it’s just what I needed. It’s heavy, strong enough for my equipment, pans and tilts very well, for the money. With anything you buy you will want to lube and adjust fittings on it to suite you.

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