Tripod recommendation?

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Hi everyone, I am looking for some tripod recommendations -- I think it was a Manfrotto I purchased a couple of years ago. Wish I could tell you the model. It has a rubber button that you push back and forth to lock/unlock the angle. I have found that it doesn't hold well and my camera has fallen a couple of times as a result.

Looking for something better. Features I am looking for:
  • Lightweight
  • Multi-position leg angel adjustments
  • Sturdy
Willing to spend a couple hundred, but probably not more than that. In case it matters, I would be using it with the Canon 5DIII.

Thank you for any suggestions!

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Will you be routinely carrying it any distance? If so, I would spend the extra $$$ on a carbon fiber one. Your camera isn't as important as the size of the lenses you will be using with it. Large telephoto lenses such as a Canon 2.8/300 and larger will require a larger, heavier tripod.

You said your camera has fallen a couple of times. Will changing the head and/or mounting plate solve the problem without the need for a new tripod?
Thanks Bill. The heaviest lens I'm shooting with right now is the Canon 24-70mm f2.8/L II.
As of right now I don't have plans to do any kind of photography where I would be carrying it long distances, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to plan for it should the need arise. I'll make sure to explore carbon fiber options.

Changing the head might work, I hadn't thought of that. The legs on the model I'm using are a little flimsy, so I may want to upgrade to something sturdier. But changing the head would be the cheaper option. Can I have the camera shops do the labor on that? I wouldn't trust myself to do it.

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
If you live in the Seattle area, I suggest you take your camera + lens + tripod to Kenmore Camera and see what they recommend. The head is very easy to install. I have installed the heads on my two tripods and I have absolutely no mechanical ability at all.
If you want something light, carbon fiber is the way to go generally, but it will cost you more. Of the "top" brands, Gitzo and ReallyRightStuff are pricier. You could find a nice one by Induro or Sirui that's slightly more affordable. With Induro you can get a 10 year warranty (as opposed to 5-6 with the other brands), which is why I went that route the last time I bought one.

And you will likely have to buy a separate head. Top heads for lighter weight gear (e.g., body + 24-70mm) include those made by ReallyRightStuff and Acratech, but there are a lot of options. Tripods, heads and accessories can definitely add up quickly.

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