Art and Photography

Why one need a $600 tripod??

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  • Dec 8th, 2014 5:47 pm
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[OP]
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Feb 17, 2013
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Newmarket, ON

Why one need a $600 tripod??

Sorry I am a NOOB but there are tripod available for 50-60 bucks that can do the job then why spend more. how one can justify the cost. Kindly shed some light on it.
24 replies
Deal Expert
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Jun 9, 2003
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cause a high end camera is thousands of dollars....add a thousand of $ in lens...why use a non-sturdy tripod?

Yes a crappy tripod will blow over especially if you know how heavy high end equipment are...

light material tripods are also pretty expensive cause it weights so little.

Lastly a tripod (good one)...should last you for generations...you can pass it on to your kids
Sr. Member
Nov 12, 2012
611 posts
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Calgary
Not that I would ever try it, but the sales guy fully supported his weight on the floor model of my tripod. Sure it bowed a little bit, but that was easily 4x over the max weight according to the specs. Try that on a $60 tripod.
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May 28, 2011
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Depends on your camera, if its light and cheap sure, a 10$ one can probably even suffice, but if its a fullframe or a red then you must define can do the job, define why spend more, then justify your question and answer about cost.
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Mar 10, 2004
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You can buy a nice tripod for $300 bucks. The more expensive tripods feature more exotic materials like carbon fiber, which cost more.
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Deal Guru
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Dec 3, 2004
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I suppose you think a $2500 70-200mm lens is overprice when a $400 75-300mm lens does the same thing?
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Jan 27, 2006
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You might think that the $80 'pod is steady... try doing a long exposure (longer than 10 seconds) with both 'pods and compare the sharpness. The more expensive 'pod will be sharper.
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craftsman wrote:
Nov 28th, 2014 7:09 pm
You might think that the $80 'pod is steady... try doing a long exposure (longer than 10 seconds) with both 'pods and compare the sharpness. The more expensive 'pod will be sharper.
I can't see there being a difference. I just did a 30 second shot last night (Xmas stuff) , set it on a timer, stood around and waited. Turned out fine on my "cheapo" tripod.
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some people like the peace of mind that it can support expensive equipment (see the first reply)
in reality better/tighter vibration control, even from wind, lighter materials, stronger materials to support more weight, sometimes better features like going lower to the ground. Part of it is also people will pay the premium and no one is coming into the market with similar quality product and selling it for super cheap because there isn't enough volume in sales to survive that way. Get what is good for you, there will always something better but the more you spend the more you will face diminishing returns to the value you see unless this is your career where your livelihood could at times depend on the quality of the equipment you are using along with your your skills.
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tkl wrote:
Nov 28th, 2014 7:37 pm
I can't see there being a difference. I just did a 30 second shot last night (Xmas stuff) , set it on a timer, stood around and waited. Turned out fine on my "cheapo" tripod.
Christmas and cityscapes are relatively easy to do as the bright lights don't need too much precision.

Try going out to the Grand Canyon and taking some moon-lit shots of the canyon with a slight breeze (10 to 20 mph winds) in the middle of Winter.
[OP]
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Feb 17, 2013
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Newmarket, ON
thelefteyeguy wrote:
Nov 28th, 2014 3:12 pm
cause a high end camera is thousands of dollars....add a thousand of $ in lens...why use a non-sturdy tripod?

Yes a crappy tripod will blow over especially if you know how heavy high end equipment are...

light material tripods are also pretty expensive cause it weights so little.

Lastly a tripod (good one)...should last you for generations...you can pass it on to your kids
makes sense, thank you.
veryboredguy wrote:
Nov 29th, 2014 12:55 am
some people like the peace of mind that it can support expensive equipment (see the first reply)
in reality better/tighter vibration control, even from wind, lighter materials, stronger materials to support more weight, sometimes better features like going lower to the ground. Part of it is also people will pay the premium and no one is coming into the market with similar quality product and selling it for super cheap because there isn't enough volume in sales to survive that way. Get what is good for you, there will always something better but the more you spend the more you will face diminishing returns to the value you see unless this is your career where your livelihood could at times depend on the quality of the equipment you are using along with your your skills.
that sums it up, thank you
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Mar 1, 2004
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Taking pics of bright Christmas lights in a subdivision is not the same as taking a pic of a moonlit tree on a hill in the middle of nowhere. My first cheap tripod resonated horribly and produced blurry pictures. The second tripod was more sturdy but with a 24-70 Canon L lens on it, it was nose heavy and wanted to move slowly by itself.

Now I have an Arca Swiss ball head and a set of Gitzo 6X systematic legs. Shooting in the breeze is very easy and I can set up faster. It says it can support 80 lbs, it can support triple that, not that I need it.

If you don't pixel peek, you might not notice the difference on all but the cheapest tripod.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2007
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There are a lot of misconceptions in this area. E.g. "you need very expensive tripod for long exposures". Not always true. The shot below was made daytime with a 7 minute exposure (using 16-stop ND filter) with a 60$ tripod from Walmart. What's more, it was very windy on that day:

ImageUntitled by syamastro, on Flickr

Of course, it helped a great deal that it is a UWA lens. With a telephoto things quickly start falling apart (not literally!). But even with something like 300mm equivalent focal length (200mm on a crop) I expect top get tack-sharp photos up to a few seconds if I do it right (mirror is locked up, and I use a wireless shutter trigger) with my cheap tripod.

You definitely need an expensive (sturdy) tripod when using heavy gear (say more than 3kg - camera + lens), and when you are a pro and need the ability to quickly put up the tripod or put it away.
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Mar 24, 2004
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Was gonna post this.

It boils down to strength/weight ratio. You can get away with a very decent tripod about $2-300, but it might not be really light.

Those who shoot very long (birding, wildlife, etc) with really heavy lenses will require stronger tripods.

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