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I'm looking for a decent tripod for general use. The problem is the huge price difference between them. Of course, more expensive is better.. But how much difference does it really make?

For example, i could buy a manfrotto for 120,- USD

Or a Ravelli for 40,- USD;

Of course there are tripods that are even more expensive.. Mind that these tripods are just examples, other recommendations are welcome.


A little background;

I'm a photo enthusiast, not a professional. But i do like to take beautiful, tack sharp photos. (landscapes, city life, travel destinations, people). I own a Canon EOS 500D. Which is a good camera to learn the basics. But now i'm really facing the limits of this entry level camera. I'm about to buy a newer, more professional camera (e.g. EOS 5D Mark III). 

Please advise, thank you very much! 

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First off, the $40 tripod is a waste on money. It will be very unstable, leading to camera shake. I got the SLIK Pro 700DX from Amazon for about $150. Though a bit heavy (7 pounds) it is solid as a rock. I have set it up in streams, on the side of steep banks, and in strong winds, it has never failed to produce a sharp image. Because it is a titanium alloy, can retract the legs went still wet, and there is no corrosion problems, and they slide out smoothly. It also extends from about a foot high to 6 feet. If you want sharp images, invest in a solid tripod.

Thanks for the replies. I think i will buy the manfrotto one.

Hiya Arnoud,

Just my five cents to this subject...

I totally agree with the three other posters, the 40$ tripod will just be a waste of money. Especially as you describe yourself as an enthusiast... Never ever will it be able to handle the weight of a decent ball head as well as a camera like the 5DIII plus a nice lens...

I do own a Manfrotto 190 that I have now for around 15 years and it did and still does serve its purpose. Of course, as your photography evolves, your demands to your tripod will also change. The tripod has a few shortcomings as for example in macro photography, but I think it is perfect for landscapes and similar uses.

One thing that you didn´t probably realise... your tripod comes without a head, one very important part of your tripod. Choose it carefully, depending your needs.

I loved reading the following article about tripods, and I can assure you that it is valid...

Pripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan

You will realize why there are huge price differences... 150$ for a tripod is almost cheap ;)

I have to agree... Manfrotto/Bogen is the way to go. I have a number of them ranging from full size down to the little 6" ones that I carry in my bag and probably use more than any other. They have just worked and worked without fail. You wont go wrong with a good tripod and it pays you back in dividends with great images!

My two cents too, :)

I bought the fifty dollar ones from wm and best buy. I reasoned with myself 'a less expensive tripod (& ball head) is better than none'. Which worked until I purchased my dlsr's. To me paying $120 for a tripod and $79 for ballhead could n't make that much difference in your photos--well maybe wasn't in the photos necessarily that made the difference but the movement and setup a whole  heck of alot better than the cheapies. Less expensive are good for starting and getting a feel, but if and when, you feel you'll be expanding beyond your basic photography, you will know you want something better!

How did your purchase go Arnoud?

The photos also suffer because of tripod bounce causing blur. This is why it is better to use a remote, as well as a delay on all your shots.

Yes indeed, Greg Maklae! As well as a timer to help stabilize before the shot...

Looking to get a decent pod with a ball head myself, when I can afford it. Good to hear that the setup is easier - thought it would be, but glad to get some positive feedback on that.

Expect I will be hanging on to my hateful cheapo pod for those occasions when I'm around sea water or up to my welly tops in nastiness on the farm.

Hi Mark..Best thing i did last year was too invest in a heavy Manfrotto and ball head...I used to come home with so many fuzzy shots when I used the old Jessops tripod,then I tripped down an embankment one day and that was the end of that cheapo tripod...haha


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