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Old February 24th, 2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs


I need to get a tripod that will support my about 18 lbs rig. I don't use a tripod as much as my RedRock rig. But I do a fair amount of locked down interviews (about 60 or 70 in next few months).

I have narrowed down my search to two tripods:


Any thoughts? I just can't go over $700 for the tripod for the next six months. For now I'm not interested in tripod suggestions over my budget. I will be once I have paid off some debt. So for the time being...what else is out there in my range?
Lathe Poland
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Old February 24th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #2
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Re: Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs

Either of these seem like they would work locked-off.

You'd be over the weight rating for the 503HDV head; in my experience with the earlier 503, you're not going to get smooth moves anywhere near the weight limit.

I don't have experience with the Libec, but I have been impressed with inexpensive libecs, the moves are very smooth for the money.

Can't imagine buying a head without thinking about that slow zoom and tilt into an interview subject... If you're truely looking at locked-off, spend less and get the libec!

For $700, I'd be shopping for a used head. There really is a substantial difference between the high-end prosumer and the low-end professional heads.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #3
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Re: Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs

The Manfrotto 504 head is a better head than the 503. B&H price is about $400. The 028B legs (center column type) is just under $240. Add shipping and you're right there.
I've run 22 pound rigs on the legs and a 501 head. Not ideal at all head wise but at the time it's what I had to use. It worked as long as I didn't try to get crazy with pans and tilts. The 504 is far far better. The legs are tough as nails and will go up 8 feet if needed.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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Re: Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs


I have the Bogen 475B tripod with the 503HDV head and it has worked well for me. My other tripod is a much more expensive and better set up - Satchtler FSB6 but I end up using the 475B/503HDV combo over 90% of the time because the geared center column lets me get the tripod high enough to get over peoples heads at weddings when I am not shooting from a balcony.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:32 PM   #5
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Re: Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs

Good evening,

you should really go to the tripod list for real information.
the above tripod is rated extremely well!!!! a tad over your limit!!!

I evolved through a pile of tripods and wished I had done more homework and saved for a better tripod from the start!!!!

tthe libec ls 38 is rated for 17 pounds and is one of those best buys not beyond diminishing returns!!!

Go check out all the reviews you can!!!

I personally use a gitzo 1380 video head on a pair of manfrotto legs and it is solid as can be, I also have a vintin 6 but now your are beyond your current intentions!!!

check out the libecs!!! I do not own one but i know they are high value for the price!!!!
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Old February 26th, 2011, 04:25 AM   #6
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Re: Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs

I have had the manfrotto 503 and looked at the 504 for a friend but the Libec heads and legs are far superior and it is worth paying a little more to get you to that level. I have two H50 heads with libec sticks and use them with my HPX301 eng camera.

Also have a look at the Acebil range at B&H as they seem to be clones of the older libec models at lower cost :
I appreciate your $700 limit but I think you will be better off waiting for more funds to get a better tripod or look at the second hand market, this is a bargain on the UK e-bay and might be worth considering even with shipping to the USA:
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:16 AM   #7
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Re: Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs

I have used 3 503HDV heads and 2 Manfrotto legs (can't recall models) and could not stand using them for anything except completely locked down on a hard & flat surface. Every single head had a 'pop' at the beginning of a pan and both sets of legs were not very stable with an EX1 on them. Maybe I am spoiled by my FSB 8 and FSB 6 with CF legs.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 06:31 AM   #8
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Re: Sub $700 Tripod kit that support 20 lbs

B & H has a nice feature of viewing tripods by support weight, length and tripod weight, you can click on entire tripods or just the head or legs.

Tripods & Support - B&H Photo Video
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