Tripod

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    • #68491
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      I just bought a Canon XA20 to do freelance, but haven't bought a tripod yet. 'Til recently I've always worked at TV stations that had very nice tripods with fluid heads and the handy leveling adjusters below the main assembly. I didn't have to think critically about which tripod to buy, its features, its drawbacks, etc. I was actually a department manager who also shot and edited rather than a full-time photographer.

      Anyway, I'm looking for a quality tripod that's light, that has the leveling adjustment, and that has a real fluid head. I can pay up to, say $600 or more if I must, but I just don't want to get it and immediately regret not aving gotten better. I've read dozens and dozens of reviews online and they always seem to run the gamut of "best ever made" to "this thing fell apart in weeks." Do any of you highly informed professionals have any strong recommendations? I'd sure appreciate it.

    • #208185
      AvatarDaniel Bruns
      Participant

      Hi VTexan,

       

      Congratulations on the recent purchase of a Canon XA20!

       

      I have been using Manfrotto tripods for years now and have found them to be fairly reliable. I have only had to fix a Manfrotto tripod once after a group of students got too abusive with their tripod (the leg got bent). Even so, I would still recommend Manfrotto due to its decent prices, quality of build, and huge selection. Just keep in mind though that this is the opinion of but one "professional"!

       

      If you do go with Manfrotto, the best tripod for your XA20 might be the 504HD head and the 546B 2-Stage Aluminum tripod system: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/683563-REG/Manfrotto_504HD_546BK_504HD_Head_w_546B_2_Stage.html. Though the 504HD is bigger than your camcorder's weight strictly requires, I have found that overcompensating for weight is always a good idea since you may add more items to the camcorder in the future and since it tends to steady the shot more than one that is right at the weight limit. In addition, the 546B tripod has a bowl which will allow you to level your tripod head just by twisting the lock underneath the bowl of the tripod. Lastly, the tripod also has the ability to get fairly high (66 inches) and very low (18 inches) which will give you more options when setting up your shots. I can't tell you how often I've needed to get my tripods lower to the ground but couldn't due to a center column that was too large or to legs that wouldn't spread.

       

      Hopefully that helps!

      Dan

    • #208188
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      Thanks. Yes, that's the kind of recommendation I'm looking for. It's more than I want to spend, but with the $150 rebate, it's…well, affordable. I like the push button light for the leveling bubble. That could be really handy in low light situations. And I simply won't consider getting sticks without the twisting leveling lock below. 

    • #208193
      AvatarBruceMol
      Participant

      I bought a set of Manfrotto legs in 2007 (one of the 055 series) and bought a mini video head (700RC2) rather than a large, fluid type, video head because I couldn't afford it. Turns out to be a good decision! The legs are light, very dependable and can be used in a number of different ways.  The very best thing is that, in buying a tripod that allows a variety of heads, it also allows for the additon of sliders and little jib arms. You can't add those products with your amateur variety tripod or, if you do, the wobble a lot. I use it originally for my Canon XHA1but now with a 60D; Works great.

    • #208205
      AvatarDaniel Bruns
      Participant

      Hi VTexan,

       

      I'm glad I could be of some help!

       

      I'll be honest, tripods are one of those items that you can almost never overspend on. They are the difference between a smooth shot and one that's just frustrating and choppy. Also, they will outlast your camcorder and editing system since there are few things that can go out of date on a tripod! As such, I've always felt that when it comes to tripods, it's worth paying more for rather than less! I know it can be tough to swallow that initial investment but I feel that it will more than pay off in the end when all of your shots come out smooth and usable.

       

      Just a thought. I wish you the best in finding a great tripod!

       

      Dan

    • #208446
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      So I bought a really nice Manfrotto–$750 worth of Tripod. Within 2 weeks though, a small, cast iron piece failed on the leg stabilizers. I wrote to them on August 2nd asking what my options were on getting that piece replaced. I got an e-mail saying they had gotten my query and would be back to me soon. Thus far–9 days later–no follow-up.

      Have any of y'all gone down this road with Manfrotto?

      Thanks.

    • #208451
      Mike WilhelmMike Wilhelm
      Keymaster

      VTexan-

      Since it happened so quickly, could you just exchange it for a new one from the retailer you bought it from?

    • #302647
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      It's B&H, so maybe. I got a response from Manfrotto asking me to call X number for parts. I called , got an answering machine, and left a message. 

    • #302139
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      It's B&H, so maybe. I got a response from Manfrotto asking me to call X number for parts. I called , got an answering machine, and left a message. 

    • #301891
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      It's B&H, so maybe. I got a response from Manfrotto asking me to call X number for parts. I called , got an answering machine, and left a message. 

    • #208453
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      It's B&H, so maybe. I got a response from Manfrotto asking me to call X number for parts. I called , got an answering machine, and left a message. 

    • #301738
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      It's B&H, so maybe. I got a response from Manfrotto asking me to call X number for parts. I called , got an answering machine, and left a message. 

    • #302829
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      It's B&H, so maybe. I got a response from Manfrotto asking me to call X number for parts. I called , got an answering machine, and left a message. 

    • #301553
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      It's B&H, so maybe. I got a response from Manfrotto asking me to call X number for parts. I called , got an answering machine, and left a message. 

    • #208457
      AvatarVTexan
      Participant

      That was two days ago I left the message. Still no response from Manfrotto.

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