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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Best tripod options, used/new, <$300? (1 Viewer)

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
I have been reading a lot about tripods, and I have come to realize that there is a world more to read about them. Frankly, it is not my goal to become a guru on tripods and while I don't like to be the guy who asks for "best ____", here I am, because I know some of you have a ton of experience and I am overwhelmed with my choices and very confused about how to distinguish 'good for photography' from 'good for birding with a scope' tripods.

I would be most grateful for a few suggestions for what to look for, my best options for $200-300usd, for a tripod to use with my new Nikon monarch 60ed (angled model; I am 6ft tall; I do not expect to walk more than 1-2miles with it). I have a sirui va-5 head, but I can return it if there's a better tripod-head combo that is in the ~$300 range. I am plenty happy getting something used, and OK with waiting for a better deal. My problem is that I don't have a short list of desirable models to be on the look out for.

Thanks very much, in advance, for your suggestions.
 

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
Alright, well, in the absence of low cost recommendations I’ve splurged on a used Gitzo Mountaineer (GT2531 series 2) from Adorama. A little past my $300 limit... just hoping that throwing some extra money at the situation will make it work out better, and down the line I probably won’t even remember the extra couple hundred. Maybe NEXT weekend I can finally try out my scope. [fingers crossed]
 
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Aotus

Well-known member
United States
Sounds good.

John
Glad you think so! My dad has been a photographer his whole life and as much as I like taking pictures with a point and shoot, I’ve always had this mental block on all things that relate to professional photography, apparently including tripods. Fingers crossed this will work and using a scope will be loads of fun… if not, you’ll see my posts in the classifieds!
 

johnf3f

johnf3f
Aotus, you are going to be a happy bunny!

I have had mine (GT2531) for quite a while and cannot fault it. Although it is a fairly light tripod it makes many heavier models (from other makers) look like a joke and I hope you live long enough to wear it out.

I admit to being a Gitzo fanboy (have 4 of them) but that is because I have found nothing to compare at prices similar to what I paid.

P.S. Spares are available (I doubt you will need them) here: Gitzo GT2531 Spare Replacement Parts
 

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
Aotus, you are going to be a happy bunny!

I have had mine (GT2531) for quite a while and cannot fault it. Although it is a fairly light tripod it makes many heavier models (from other makers) look like a joke and I hope you live long enough to wear it out.

I admit to being a Gitzo fanboy (have 4 of them) but that is because I have found nothing to compare at prices similar to what I paid.

P.S. Spares are available (I doubt you will need them) here: Gitzo GT2531 Spare Replacement Parts
Thanks for the tips, and the reassurance!
 

Tim J.

New member
United States
I have been reading a lot about tripods, and I have come to realize that there is a world more to read about them. Frankly, it is not my goal to become a guru on tripods and while I don't like to be the guy who asks for "best ____", here I am, because I know some of you have a ton of experience and I am overwhelmed with my choices and very confused about how to distinguish 'good for photography' from 'good for birding with a scope' tripods.

I would be most grateful for a few suggestions for what to look for, my best options for $200-300usd, for a tripod to use with my new Nikon monarch 60ed (angled model; I am 6ft tall; I do not expect to walk more than 1-2miles with it). I have a sirui va-5 head, but I can return it if there's a better tripod-head combo that is in the ~$300 range. I am plenty happy getting something used, and OK with waiting for a better deal. My problem is that I don't have a short list of desirable models to be on the look out for.

Thanks very much, in advance, for your suggestions.
It depends on how much your camera and your heaviest lens weigh? Sirui is pretty good equipment . . . I prefer Oben or Benro
heads.
 

birdcat

Active member
In response to the original question, I would recommend the birder tripod from the Audubon shop. It is actually very stable. I ended up not keeping mine and instead opted for a Gitzo Traveler GT2545T for the smaller size. The Gitzo is not as stable, but close enough for my use with an ATS 65.

 

rpg51

Well-known member
Supporter
Look at the new Leofoto line. They are getting really good reviews. I have one on order.
 

Rob e

New member
United States
Alright, well, in the absence of low cost recommendations I’ve splurged on a used Gitzo Mountaineer (GT2531 series 2) from Adorama. A little past my $300 limit... just hoping that throwing some extra money at the situation will make it work out better, and down the line I probably won’t even remember the extra couple hundred. Maybe NEXT weekend I can finally try out my scope. [fingers crossed]
What head did u get with this?
 

Aotus

Well-known member
United States
What head did u get with this?
I got the sirui VA-5. It works nice, but I have been a little annoyed with the tiny levers to adjust the movements. I just bought a Gitzo “birdwatching” head that, based on 10 minutes in my living room, works like a dream! The Sirui will be in the sales forum if my living room impression holds.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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