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tripod....which brand is the best?

Jay Yoo , Jan 22, 2007; 08:48 p.m.

im looking at getting a good tripod..what is the best brand to get? i know ive made up my mind at getting a ball head...there are so many brand names out there...and dont know where to start. thanks.


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Sergio Ortega , Jan 22, 2007; 08:54 p.m.


Thomas Gardner , Jan 22, 2007; 08:57 p.m.

Best brand.

The gold standard, hands down, Gitzo.

Ballheads is a bit more of an open field as there are many contenders in the TopDog ballhead arena. I have Markins, Bogen/Manfrotto and ReallyRightStuff ballheads and several Gitzo models.

The question that needs to be answered is, what's your realistic budget and what's your usage going be as this gets expensive shockingly fast; over a thousand but semi-quality can be had for a lot less; about a third of that.

It just depends on how far, deep and fast you wish to jump the first time out.

Anthony Bez , Jan 22, 2007; 09:01 p.m.

Manfrotto is also a good brand if the price of the Gitzo's scare you off.

Steve Torelli , Jan 22, 2007; 09:09 p.m.

Depends on what you want to do with it. If you're not going to take it backpacking into the mountains it's not necessary to buy the lightest (usually most expensive) tripod .

Mike Ferris - Omaha, NE , Jan 22, 2007; 09:22 p.m.

Slik makes a nice tripod...especially for the money. I got the Slik Pro 700 DX legs for $90...their nice, but I don't use a tripod alot.

Frank Uhlig , Jan 22, 2007; 09:48 p.m.

If you intend to go to ice and snow, salt and sand, frost and rain, Gitzos will foul you up. Take a wooden Berlebach instead.

Oh, this ubiquitous and very silly, even mindless question on the best brand. Why, oh why do phnetters fall for the implied fallacy of "best" so often? There is no best for anything. Sorry to have to point this out, Jay; did you not know this. Really, you did not know?

Sometimes a small hammer is best, sometimes a 20 pounder. As simple as that also applies for tripods, and lenses, and cameras, and film, and developers, and etc etc.

Mike Earussi , Jan 22, 2007; 10:04 p.m.

Best in absolute terms is Gitzo. Best as regards "biggest bang for the buck" is Manfrotto. Excellent all-around tripods. I personally prefer their leg locking mechanism to Gitzo; but it's a personal taste.

Ted Robinson , Jan 22, 2007; 10:09 p.m.

I'm learning to hate the word Best. It depends on the features and weight your willing to put up with. I've got a Bogen tripod that I've used in every condition possible for the last 15 years with a ball head and it's still like new.

Arnab Pratim Das , Jan 22, 2007; 10:18 p.m.

Leaving the cult brands (such as Benbo, Schatler(sp?), Berlebach etc.) aside, the best models of Gitzo far outshine the best models from other brands.

Leaving Gitzo aside, the best models from the other brands are very close in quality to each other (e.g. Manfrotto 055MF4, Slik 813, Velbon Neo Carmagne 830, Feisol 3371).

Some tripods have no comparison (Gitzo explorer, Benbo Trekker, Manfrotto NeoTec etc.) because of their uniqueness.

There is not much point in ranking brands as a whole since different products in one brand's lineup vary considerably in cost vs. quality. Still, an entirely personal opinion

Best: Gitzo

Best of the rest: Manfrotto

Close second (among the rest): Velbon Sherpa/Neo Carmagne series

Above-average: Slik

Best bang for the buck: Feisol

FWIW, because I have not used all the tripods in the world.

There's no "best" tripod, or a brand that makes them. Choose one that's best for your purposes, your load carrying capacity and your affordability.

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