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Media and Arts, I don't know too much about tripods. Apparently there are way more factors I need to consider when buying one than I thought. I shoot with a Canon 7d, and I am looking for a heavy duty tripod that I can use on the mountain as well as off. Any recommendations? +K for helpful answers.
For your purposes, I think a Sachtler FSB 4 would be a good buy. Its payload is versatile enough for DSLRs or full size video cameras, and the price is reasonable ($840). It is almost the exact same design as Sachtler's FSB 6 and FSB 8 models, which are well over $1k; the only difference is two spring, which determine payload. In other words, you're getting a $1500 tripod built for smaller cameras for half the price.
Well, if you're on a budget, the manfrotto 501/701 heads with whatever sticks will work for you, but they'll get worn out eventually. Ive been using my 501 (older one) for almost 4 years now, its starting to break apart, i may be buying a much better one soon. But, for you, a 701/501 system will work and it will only be 2-300 dollars.
I bought that head after reading about it on Cheesycam, and I have to say I'm not really impressed with it at all. It okay for the price, and it's better than the cheap photo tripod I was trying to make due with before, but it is definitely not very well built. the horizontal panning has a good amount of play in it, and it does have some slight sticky spots in both vertical and horizontal axises. I guess you could make it work if you are REALLY on a budget, but if you can manage to spend any more, go for a Manfrotto head or just sack up and get a real fluid head that will last you for a long time.
When I first took it out of the box there was a lot of horizontal play but after messing around with it I noticed a screw was loose on mine and after tightening it there was no more play. Also I may have just had a bad experience with the manfrotto heads but I didn't like them at all.
These cheap friction heads are a great quick fix, but they don't stand the test of time. The reason why I always recommend spending more money on a tripod is because it is more financially viable. With a Manfrotto, you will spend about $1k just replacing it after about 8 years. On the other hand, you could spend $1k to begin with and have a tripod that lasts you a decade or more, and is a phenomenally better product. Buy once, cry once.
If you are going to get a Manfrotto, the 701 is a good bet because its just as good as the 501, only smaller/cheaper.
In your situation I would recommend the 055XB legs. The design of the "half bowl" on the 755 is despicable; if you're shooting in any sort of extreme conditions (snow) I guarantee it will malfunction very soon. the 055XB has a center column which is a more simple and durable design.
Meaning the tripod will work well for a few years but it will break down, my 501 head and legs are pushing 4 years of use and they're pretty beat up. The nicer, 1000+ tripods last forever like fks bindings, but its hard to fork out the money especially if you're on a budget, so the cheaper tripods are a quick fix but down the road you might have to deal with it.
Meaning it is only a cheaper solution temporarily. The poor design and durability of those tripods makes them more expensive than the $1,000+ models because you keep having to replace parts as they break down. When you buy a nice tripod, it is an investment.
When I was in high school I easily spent $1,000 replacing my Manfrotto as it fell apart over time. I should have just invested that money in a tripod that would actually have lasted and performed better, but I can understand how that isn't always an option.
it's because i am going to put money towards a glidetrack sd 1m, and a glidecam hd2000 later on. i can't spend 1000+ bucks now because then i will have little money for the other items. while i'm here, is the glidetrack worth it? i don't have the time to construct my own cine dolly, and figured for a decent price it would be effective on a tripod.
You don't have time to drill three holes? You can make a Glidetrack of your own using the bulkier parts from the same manufacturer for a third of the price. I own a Glidetrack SD 1m and I honestly regret not making my own.
Also keep in mind the price of a Glidecam + Glidetrack = the price of a sturdy tripod. Glidecams and sliders are fun and all, but if you don't have a solid tripod, you are going to find yourself using the former all too often. Videos that are all Glidecam get really boring really fast...
Besides, $1k will get you a Sachtler FSB 4 + used Glidecam. Just a thought...
with that in mind, i'm thinking about going with the 701 with 055xb legs, DIY glidetrack (can you help me out on where to get the materials?), and a glidecam 2000HD. i just dont think the 800+ dollar tripod will fly to well by my parents...