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Old August 3rd, 2004, 10:31 AM   #1
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Low End Tripods?

I'm looking to pick up a low-end (<$100, hopefully <$50) video tripod for static shots. I know the prevailing wisdom around here is a $500+ fluid head on a solid base, and I have access to several very high-quality fluid head tripods through my university's DV club, but checkout is a pain and I'd like to own my own tripod for personal use. Considering I just sent off a tuition check, my budget is all kinds of limited. Within that price range, can anyone reccomend the best I can get?
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 12:28 PM   #2
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Although it's a bit beyond your quote, I've heard people say (maybe here) this is a pretty good tripod for the price:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=223630&is=REG

I have no experience with it personally.

Good luck.

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Old August 3rd, 2004, 02:00 PM   #3
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Used is your best bet.

Post a note on the University bulletin boards, check ebay, etc.

$50 should get you something to hold the camera.

If you are going to lock it down, maybe you ignore video heads altogether and go with a still-camera tripod and head. They tend to be a fair amount cheaper.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 04:05 AM   #4
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Cheap tripod

Check out B&H's video tripod specials.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home;jsessionid=BQdou72u79!-140993484?O=breadCrumb&A=search&Q=&ci=5167

The Davis & Sanford ProVista is a decent pod and would be my first recommendation in the "best cheap tripod" catagory...but it is $150. I have not seen the D&S Ranger pod in person so I cannot comment on it.

In the back of my mind, I think that I have seen a Tiltall. It looks like a decent buy at $110. One leg comes off to make a monopod, so that's nice. It's probably worth the extra money over the standard Slik or Velbon.

I have seen some Hakuba pods in person but I don't know which models or price range. They were *very* nicely made.

You didn't mention which cam you will be using with this pod. It does make a difference. I mean, I have a $20 Ambico pod that I use for a small digital still cam but I wouldn't dream of putting my VX2100 on it, even if it was locked down. It's actually a decent pod (legs, not head) but it probably weighs only two pounds. I've almost knocked it over with my little digicam on it, several times.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 08:50 AM   #5
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That's funny. I also had a $20 Ambico and used it for several years with various consumer cams. That was a nice pod considering how cheap it was. It finally broke about a month ago after using it for close to 10 years.
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Old August 4th, 2004, 07:48 PM   #6
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You can normally get the cheap tripods repaired at really cheap prices. Call the manufacturer. I had 10 school-owned tripods repaired (missing clamps, broken legs, etc.) for under $150. Only took about 2 weeks too.
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Old August 7th, 2004, 11:59 PM   #7
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Before my upgrade, I was using a Velbon CX585 which was cheap, and did quite a good job for a small set. The head was actually quite fluid too.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 11:15 AM   #8
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That's what really surprised me... that Ambico had a head on it that was smoother than a 501 that I used once. I don't know if it was just that 501, if the camera was too heavy for it, or what the deal was. You can find some nice, cheap tripods if you look around enough.
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Old August 13th, 2004, 12:26 PM   #9
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Sunpak & Bescor fluid head tripods?

Does anyone have experience with the Sunpak VideoPro-M tripod? B&H is selling it for $170. You can check it out at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=331624&is=REG.

Here's the manufacturer's description:

The Sunpak VideoPRO·M is an advanced, high-tech re-creation of the classic cinematographer's tripod, an open-leg design with center-bracing that's still unsurpassed for combining maximum stability and minimum weight. The Sunpak VideoPRO·M tripod extends to 59", closes to 30", has a minimum operating height of 27.6", and weighs only 7 lbs.

Improvements include: 1.Ultra-smooth all-metal fluid-filled head for precise panning control with no backlash. 2. Quick-release leg locks for fast set-up. 2. Quick-release platform locking lever with second release button to prevent accidents. 3. Extra-large camera platform supports full-size camcorders and cine cameras up to 15.4 lbs. 4. Floating ball system with bubble level for quick, precise leveling of panhead. 5. Extra-long panning handle with angle adjustment assures precise control, attaches to either side of pan head. 6. Heavy-duty rubber leg tips with retractable metal spikes.

The Sunpak VideoPRO·M is protected by a limited lifetime warranty and includes a free tripod case!

For under $200, B&H also sells this Bescor tripod. I have a Bescor camcorder light that get's a weekly workout, so I suspect this tripod is decent (but not great). Still, it has be ben an improvement over the $80 Quantaray (Ritz Camera) "fluid-effect" tripod I'm using now. To see the Bescor tripod, surf to http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=getItemDetail&Q=&sku=92994&is=REG&si=acc#goto_itemInfo .

I'm also interested in hearing opinions about this tripod.
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Old August 13th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: that Bescor tripod -

I posted a little blurb about it a while back. Here's the link to the thread (scroll up):

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...cor#post177068

If that didn't work, just search this forum for Bescor.

Bottom line: for I cheapie I liked it.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 03:14 AM   #11
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do a search for Libec TH - 650 .

Cheap and good. supposed to be a fluid head. sure feels like one to me. after forking out on Magiqcam and maybe a DVprorig in the future, I'm sticking to this til it gives up and getting a new one.

Imagine I can go through 8-9 of these instead of getting a fabulous vinten vision 3.

I hook up my DVX with a AT-Pro 88 VHF wireless mic receiver and a frezzi microfill, running on np-1 batts and still it pans pretty smoothly with the extra weight.

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Old August 17th, 2004, 08:04 AM   #12
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Wouldn't that be the Bescor TH-650?
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Old August 18th, 2004, 02:30 AM   #13
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ah. the confusing rebadging...

Libec, Bescor . Bogen, Manfrotto.

Geez. yes then.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 11:01 AM   #14
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However, it looks and talks just like the Libek 120 which does not have a good head. The head tilts whenever you release the pan lock. Perhaps this is a re-engineered head but any head that has a lock and drag combined into one knob is likely not to work very well.

It isn't a matter of long life. It's a matter of high-quality control of camera movements. Cause if you don't have it, the lack will show up in your work.

Trust those who know because they've use both, the difference between this Libec and the Vinten or Miller or OConnor is light years.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #15
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Stationary vs. panning, etc.

This was an interesting thread. If the camera repair place here in the Atlanta area can fix my eBay purchased Canon L-1, I want to do something easy with it like film the children's choir at church. Will a good 35 to 4x5 still camera tripod like my Tiltall 4602 do for a job that requires nothing but staying still? I understand that to get into what a lot of you are doing will require the expenditure of big bucks for many things - including a new camera - to be able to put out quality video. But this seems simple.
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