First "real" tripod

Started by eyeland, April 02, 2014, 12:09:00 PM

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Not sure if its appropriate to talk about gear that is is totally unrelated to ML, but I feel a sense of kinship with the user-base here, so it seems natural to pose gear questions. If you think that we should only talk about ML related Hardware and Accessories, just say the word and I'll get back in my box :)
As the title indicates, I am looking to invest in my first "real" tripod and I suspect that the related considerations could be relevant at some point for other users here.
So, tripods... chepo budget or "pro" budget?
I have been using a horrible weifeng 717 at home and an older Manfrotto at work.
I recently discovered the brand "Benro" and I find the price/feature-set of the Benro A3573F S6 kit very appealing. I am however a bit sad about the lack of Pan drag adjustment compared to the equivalent Manfrotto kit. Even more so, I worry that buying low-end will lead to frustration in the long run and that it might be better to get a a Sachtler Ace on credit.. Any informed opinions on this dilemma?
Benro A3573F-S6: 260€
Manfrotto MVK502AM 470€
Satchler Ace M 600€
Daybreak broke me loose and brought me back...


To choose a tripod you have to know where and how do you want to use it.
Studio work needs different tripod and nature photography or traveling around needs another.
Better if you ask this question on some photography forum which discuss about tripods.
EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 7D, EOS 5, EOS 100 + lenses (10mm to 300mm), 600EX, 550EX, YN600EX x 3
EOScard, EOS DSLR firmwares, ARMu, NiControl, etc.:

Walter Schulz

I have a Benro (mostly for photography) and I'm quite pleased with it's performance regarding it's price. Tested it against Manfrottos equivalent and both performed at the same level. Long term experience: Screws get loose more often (compared to Manfrotto).

Your chosen one is called a video tripod but it's just a photographer's tripod with a video head on top.
Resistance against torque? Sorry, that's quite a different game and that's played by tripods with dual piped legs (in majority).

My personal opinion: I will never ever buy a tripod without - at least - basic testing. I have to feel/touch with my own hands, carry it around, use knobs and levers ...




Good points Walter, didn't think about the aspect of those photo legs not having good torque resistance. I am going to the shop to test-drive it tomorrow. My problem is that the Sachtler ace is on backorder, so I wount be able to compare the two. I guess I could keep on renting/borrowing until then. As to the price/class jump from the Benro to the Sachtler, I normally buy either cheap budget or semi-pro and try to avoid the in-between. I find that this makes for less buyers-remorse :)
Daybreak broke me loose and brought me back...


Have you look at Manfrotto, I have 2, (055XB) New, with 501HDV video head & (455) $175.0 used, with Ball head (352RC) $39.95 Used.
Of the 2 I like using Manfrotto 455 with ball head the best. ;D


Heard very mixed things about the budget manfrotto heads and I had some bad experiences with manfrotto legs (especially the mid-spreader) so I ended up going with the Benro S6 kit yesterday.
Still not sure about keeping it though. Fluidity and build seems very nice but I am experiencing a bit of elastic springback when panning to the right and the lack of pan drag adjustment could become a problem for me as I plan to use the head in fairly hot conditions where the pan action might be too loose. The legs seem very solid and stable in spite of their being photo legs. Also, they go extremely low (the center column can be flipped if one needs to go even lower (mounting camera upside down and flipping footage in post)
All in all, if I can solve and/or live with the pan situation the tripod seems rather perfect for me until I can afford a Sachtler or something similar.
Daybreak broke me loose and brought me back...


Carbon fiber tripods are best because of lightweight.. Manfrotto tripods are best in quality....


I have many tripods, both aluminum and carbon fibre.

My two carbon fibre tripods cover me at both ends, ie travel and solid.

My solid one is

I'm very happy with the solid one as it carries my 5DIII, gear head, etc.

Bottom line: you will not find a single tripod to cover all your needs, at least in my experience.