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Old August 25th, 2015, 09:21 AM   #1
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Which budget tripod to buy?

I shoot with a DSLR and I'm deciding between the following:

Davis & Sanford PROVISTA18 with the geared center column
Davis & Sanford PROVISTA18 ProVista Tripod with FM18 PROVISTA18


Davis & Sanford Provista 7518 Tripod with FM18 Head
BH (Links)


Magnus VT4000
Magnus VT-4000 Tripod System with Fluid Head VT-4000 B&H Photo

The Magnus is the only one I've actually used and I do like it, it's easy to quickly setup and get the shot, but I think the features/build of the Davis and Sanford's are better so I'm leaning towards one of them.

The PROVISTA18 has a center column. This seems like it would be really beneficial, if I need some extra height for a shot, I quickly raise 1 column, instead of having to adjust 3 legs.

Now with a center column like that, how does one level the head? I've never had a tripod like that, I'm use to ones with the short column grip where you just twist.

Which is the Provista 7518, I think it is the same tripod just without the center column. The plus with this one is that if I want to upgrade the head in the future, I could, and still use the sticks. Which could be better in the long run.


Anyone have any experience with them? Which one should I choose? Based on your experience would it be better to go with the center column so I don;t have to fiddle with the legs as much during weddings or without it and be able to use the sticks down the line with a future head.

Thanks
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Old August 25th, 2015, 10:05 AM   #2
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

I use a Fancier FT-717 1.66m Heavy Duty Video Camera Tripod Kit w/ Fluid Head Panhead
for AU$150
Which seems the same as a
Kowa F-717A DV Aluminum Tripod with Pan/Tilt Head F-717A B&H
for US$199

But the B&H version is much more expensive so look around for a cheaper version.
It's really good for a DSLR or light weight video camera although I have experienced some tightness in the cold at only about 10C or 50F but it soon loosens up.

Hope this helps
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Old August 26th, 2015, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

So what are the thoughts on the advantages of the center column?
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Old August 26th, 2015, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

I have personally used the Davis and Sanford tripod with the column. Honestly, I love having a column. I think the fluid head is great for the price. I now use the Manfrotto 502AH head with Manfrotto sticks, because they are lighter weight and easier to deploy. I used the Davis and Sanford for years but this year, when I got into weddings, I began hating to lug it around. It is significantly heavier than the Manfrotto I use, (with the exception of the 502AH head being fairly heavy), it has made a huge difference in my portability.

As far as the center column goes, I'm entirely disappointed in my Manfrotto's center column because not only is it shorter, but feels cheaper than the center column on the Davis and Sanford. The Davis and Sanford is much taller than most tripods I've used, which is excellent for some, and doesn't matter for others, but this also meant that it didn't get as low as others. It's a very solid tripod but a heavy one.

It's totally up to you what you want. I think the Davis and Sanford, because of it's weight, worked better with my Kessler slider than the Manfrotto does, but I still use the Manfrotto because of how much lighter and quicker it is to deploy.

The decision is really up to you and remember, the head is detachable from the Davis and Sanford with the center column, so if you get that one, you could always upgrade your head later.

EDIT: Just saw your question about leveling the tripod with a center column, in order to manage this, you do have to adjust the three legs. There is no easy way to do it like there is with a ball head. I personally don't mind however, since I mostly use my tripod in level conditions (at a church, at a reception venue) and when I'm out at a location that may not have level ground, I typically use a monopod. So that is the biggest downside to the having the column.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

I'm using Weifeng tripods and hate a centre column ..unless you pay BIG bucks it always wobbles and as for adjusting legs one by one?? YUK! Go for a bowl tripod ...it's super quick to level at weddings and I never would use anything else ...My Weifengs are 3 years old and still as good as new and cost under $200! OK they are a little heavy compared to the super light flimsy aluminium ones but they are tough and work every time
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Old August 26th, 2015, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I'm using Weifeng tripods and hate a centre column ..unless you pay BIG bucks it always wobbles and as for adjusting legs one by one?? YUK!
My only response to this is that I never had a wobbling problem with the center column on the Davis and Sanford but I do with the Manfrotto. Also that I can see over most standing guests at a ceremony with my Davis and Sanford tripod because of the column, which is great.

Everything you say about leveling though, I agree with.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I'm using Weifeng tripods and hate a centre column ..unless you pay BIG bucks it always wobbles and as for adjusting legs one by one?? YUK! Go for a bowl tripod ...it's super quick to level at weddings and I never would use anything else ...My Weifengs are 3 years old and still as good as new and cost under $200! OK they are a little heavy compared to the super light flimsy aluminium ones but they are tough and work every time
Well Chris, the Fancier FT-717 is a Weifeng as I'm sure you will know, but the column is nice and firm and gives the extra height I need. I think this is a great tripod for the price if you are using a fairly small camera.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

Velbon DV7000

99, lighter than a manfrotto. Has no low level spreader so good for weddings and churches and has a crankable thingy to get up high over peoples heads.

Its all we use.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 03:24 PM   #9
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

Is this the tripod you are talking about? If so, I think it is a bit more than 99, unless some thing drastic happened to the exchange rate between a and $.

EDIT: I think I may have found the one you were actually talking about, on Amazon, going for $130 used, but it appears it is discontinued, is this correct?
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Old August 27th, 2015, 03:05 AM   #10
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

Looks like it's been replaced with the dv7000n. No idea of the difference to justify a 100% price increase.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 04:57 AM   #11
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

I have been using Velbon for years and have 3 of the DV7000s and before that the DV700s

The head is very smooth to use, the centre column doesn't wobble and is great if you want to clamp a locked off camera on it but still use the main cam on the head. It is also light enough to quickly kick the legs in, grip it by the centre column and use as a monopod. Like Danny I wouldn't be without it.
They are still doing the N version at about 121 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Velbon-DV-70...ds=velbon+7000

Roger
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Old August 27th, 2015, 05:00 AM   #12
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

There are several companies selling the Velbon, here is another that I have used for varies camera bits
Velbon DV-7000 Video Tripod: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

Roger
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Old August 27th, 2015, 03:44 PM   #13
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

I was this close to purchasing, the D&S Provista 7518, not sure if it was the XB model or not. Luckily, I was able to test it out at a store. I liked it except the plate mechanism, it was hard to get in on the head and lock the camera. Furthermore, the locking lever would hit the camera body.

Super disappointed and a deal breaker for me, I guess it is back to the Magnus.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 04:18 AM   #14
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

spend some money...

I've gone through a a lot of crap tripods over the years, currently have 2 Benro s6 and a Miller DS5 - the Millers a dream to use but not cheap.

Benro A2573FS6 S6 Video Head and AL Flip Lock Legs Kit A2573FS6
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Old August 28th, 2015, 06:10 AM   #15
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Re: Which budget tripod to buy?

I should also add that with our velbons we use Manfrotto heads as the velbon heads tend to struggle with the 70-200 IS lens. Wont be so bad if we use the lens mount to give it better balance but were lazy and just keep the camera as the mount so the balance is way off.

The velbons really are a little gem. Cheap but so far have lasted us for 8 years and when we setup the new company we didn't even question what legs to go for.
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