Photography can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean it has to be. When I’m not out being a photographer, I’m a full time college student in Southern California i.e. someone with a small income in a very high-cost place. A tripod is an essential tool in my photography arsenal, a $700 Gitzo tripod is not. But that’s okay!
When I started shopping around for a tripod I did have some minimum requirements:
1. It had to have a ball-head; a feature which I feel is infinitely more practical than constantly adjusting the vertical and horizontal axis separately.
2. Minimal plastic; plastic breaks easily and will just end up costing you time and money in the long run.
3. Must support at least 10lbs; the potential weight of my DSLR and film cameras with a zoom, or if I just feel like mounting a 10lb weight some day you know?
4. Had to be at least 60 inches tall or more;
5. Had to be under $100; keeping my wallet happy 🙂
I give you…the Dolica Proline 62″ ball-head tripod!
For $40 you get…
-an alloy ball-head
-aluminum tripod legs
-a telescoping center barrel
-an alloy quick release plate
-two built in levels
-13lbs carrying capacity
-VERY minimal use of plastic
-a nice carrying case
The ball-head is very sturdy and the knobs are easy to turn, and..get this…not made of plastic! Notice however, that the legs join onto the center barrel at separate joints. On more expensive tripods there is usually one larger molded piece of metal where the legs attach.
Despite this, the tripod still has a relatively solid feel.
The clamps for the telescoping legs are, unfortunately, made of plastic. I haven’t had any trouble with them breaking, but I also don’t abuse this tripod very much when I use it.
-you’re on a limited income
-you want the features of a more expensive tripod w/out the cost
-you don’t care about brands
-you want a reliable, but not overly abusable piece of equipment
-you want to shoot video…it doesn’t pan
-you shoot ultra-zooms
-you’re a gear snob
-you’re a professional
-you regularly run over tripods with your car
Thanks for stopping by today!