As I was reading a recent posting by Ned Bunnell, on how it is best not to “cheap-out” on buying proper support for your camera, I kept thinking to myself that his warnings were all too true. I find myself in the situation he warns against.
A couple years ago I ran out a bought a cheap tripod at Circuit City. Partly it was a desire to buy one quickly, but I also chose to spend as little as possible. It seemed like a decent enough tripod, and in theory its weigh rating would be plenty to support my camera. Unfortunately, although I spent a good long time carefully researching and considering my camera purchase, I didn’t even give the tripod five minutes.
Over the past couple of years I have used my tripod a few times, but it mostly collects dust. This state is not from a lack of situations where it would be nice to have proper support, but rather due to a number of technical faults limiting the tripod’s utility. Some of the faults have arisen as my lens collection skewed towards heavy premier glass. Others are simply a matter of cheap construction and bad design.
The bottom line is that I went cheap and got what I paid for. I now need a new support system. Unfortunately, unlike camera bodies and lenses, there is a dearth of detailed head and leg reviews. I have seen a few recommendations, but it would be nice to actually read detailed pros and cons. Even better would be to talk to someone with experience. Alas, Lansing doesn’t really have a camera shop anymore (that I know of).
P.S. – If you are interested in photography, and especially if you are Pentaxian, I highly recommend Ned Bunnell’s blog. He is the president of Pentax USA and an avid photographer. As such he has some great comments and, of course, great photos.