Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Best Tripods and Heads

Best compatible:
Manfrotto 190XPROB 3 Section Aluminum Pro TripodGiottos MH5001 3-Way Pan Head with Quick Release

What is the best tripod for a Dslr???
Many people will say the most expensive one of course! But that isn't always the answer. Carbon Fiber tripods can cost anywhere from $400 to over a a thousand. They are light, durable, and easy to carry around. This can be very good if you are hiking often or walking around long periods of time because these tripods can start to feel heavy after awhile. But what I don't like about carbon fiber is its resistance to water. Though Carbon Fiber is high quality, it doesn't stand up too well if you are a beach/sand/salt water shooter like myself. Sand and salt water can eat your stuff alive, and it has happened to many of my cheap tripods that I first started shooting with, that is why I changed to a more durable heavy duty tripod by Manfrotto. I will display some of the tripods that I think are best to use for the mountains, hiking, water, beach, sand, street, and snow. 
Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black)

This is the Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. This is the tripod that I use whenever I shoot. It is very sturdy and easy to take apart for cleaning. It is light compared to others that I have used and it is very functional. 

Manfrotto 190XPROB 3 Section Aluminum Pro Tripod
This is the Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod. My best friend has this tripod and he loves it. I have used it as well and can say nothing but great things as well. This tripod is very inexpensive and it is made out of Aluminum so it is very light and accessible. This tripod can be easily taken apart for cleaning as well. You can adjust the tripod for extremely low shots or raise it high. The sturdiness feels nice and I would highly recommend this tripod for all terrain. 
Manfrotto 190XDB 3 Section Aluminum Tripod

Another great tripod here that is inexpensive and light to carry around. This tripod is a little lighter than the ones pictured above so it isn't as study if a wave were to hit it while taking a photo, but it will hold its own. This tripod is good for carrying around in the mountains during hiking or walking around for longer periods of time. 

Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber 3 Section Tripod with Q90 Column and Magnesium Castings (Black)

This is a Carbon Fiber tripod that is the lightest of them all. It is however, the most expensive as well. Even though it is very light, it doesn't lose its sturdiness when planted on the ground. The wide legs give it great support and flexibility. For those that do not shoot often where there is sand or water present, this is a great tripod to have! 

Now that you have your tripod, you need a head for it to mount your camera.
There are all kinds of tripod heads that people enjoy using. I personally like mine the most and I only got it for $50. Others enjoy fancy heads that allow for quick release and panning. 

Here are my favorites:
Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head Short
I see people all the time with this tripod head. With this head you can quickly release and mount your camera back on instantly. This head allows for 360 Degree movement in any direction. It has a set of levels to ensure that your photos are even and the horizon is perfect, which is one of the most important things that makes a great photo. With the squeeze of the handle you can move the head in any direction! 
Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2

This is the Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball head. I can't tell you how many people love having a ball head for their tripod/camera. Me personally, am not a fan. Why am I showing you this? Because many people enjoy it, after all we all have our own preferences. This is inexpensive and allows for quick panning and movement. It has a quick release to allow easy on/off accessibility. 

Giottos MH5001 3-Way Pan Head with Quick Release
This is the Giottos MH5001 tripod head that I use. Every movement is fluid. It holds my camera along with my flash and a 70-200mm 2.8 attached to it with no problem at all. With the dual handles it is easy to loosen and tighten for the position you want. It offers a quick release and it has 2 levels on it for making the horizon perfect! I highly recommend this tripod head! 

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