Sat 11-May-13 05:03 PM | edited Sat 11-May-13 05:06 PM by JPJ
Entry level Feisols from reallybigcameras.com are just around $200 and are very good quality. These are the models without anti-rotation legs - but ou won't get a good tripod with that feature at your price point anyway. I own two Feisols and a Gitzo and while the Gitzo is the gold standard, Feisols are way less money and worth a silver at least.
I echo the caution about going too cheap. Cheap tripods are cheap for a reason. Bad support in photography is like bad support in a relationship, its only a matter of time before you part ways and find something better.
Don't buy twice.
Also consider the lens you will put on it. Anything bigger than 200mm is going to require more money as you won't get thick enough legs for $200 worth squat.
P.s. in before this gets moved to the tripod forum.
I would agree with the others that you get what you pay for in an inexpensive tripod. But, you might be OK with what an inexpensive tripod gives you. I am.
I use a Slik 700Pro DX that I've had about four years, and it works great for what I do, which mainly is long exposure night shots and macro. The tripod is stable and easy to use. I am completely satisfied with it, and it costs about $100.
Drawbacks? One is that it is relatively heavy, so probably not a good choice if you are going to do a lot of hiking with it. Also, it has minimal features. No option for spiked feet, no center hook to hang extra weight for added stability. If you want a lighter tripod, or more features, you have to pay more. But if all you're looking for is a stable and easy-to-use platform for your camera, I have found my inexpensive tripod to be completely satisfactory.
I suggest looking at the Slik 700Pro DX. You might like it, or you might look at it and say "I want more than this so I'll have to pay more." Either way, it will give you a point of reference on what you can get in an inexpensive tripod.
I ended up ordering a Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 with a 324RC2 head. After reviewing all the features I decided I wanted something that was fairly light that had a pivoting center column. I paid $365 on ebay.
Anyone have any experience with this tripod or head?
I think you did a good choice with you tripod. You got what you pay for.
I got the Velbon C600 tripod for about 100$ but that one is not a quality tripod at all, I have changed different parts three times on warranty. But it is enough stable for me. The only fun with that one is that I got the 600 number in the camera, the tripod and my flash unit
A video head with a long lever is usually more easy to fine adjust with a long tele lens compare to a ball head without the lever.
The 190 series has roughly 25mm diameter legs. You may find it quite challenging at the long end of your 300mm zoom. In that case try shooting it with no sections extended, or as little as absolutely necessary.