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Post Info TOPIC: Budget tripod advice


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Budget tripod advice


"you can't win them all" - actually I don't think John's lost this one smile. The rest of the story...

So the Slik U874 tripod arrived (early) - and quality wise it did tick the boxes, seemed well made, easy to use - but folded it was a bit longer than I was happy with - I carry my spotting scope + tripod in a rucksack and the Slik tripod was that 2" too long and was distorting the rucksack making it an uncomfortable carry. Now of course I could get a different rucksack but there are so many tripods (and rucksacks) out there - have to set the criteria somehow.

So I thought, lets have a look at the Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod but it seems like it's out of stock everywhere so no chance of actually trying one out in a shop, and not on Amazon prime either. At which point I fell down the rabbit hole of tripods on Ebay biggrin. Just sticking to Manfrotto there were loads so I realised that I'd find something on here eventually and sent the Slik back.

However most of the Compact Actions on Ebay were missing the quick release plate, but I found one that was out of the box but unused and won that little auction (not cheap but well below retail price) - in pristine condition (the booklet was still in the sealed poly bag), includes the genuine Manfrotto QR plate, etc. So now I am the owner of a Manfrotto tripod as per John's advice.

What's the tripod like - it seems that the Compact Action is the same tripod as Dave Broome's MKC3-H01 except that the QR plate design has changed (from a pentangle to a smaller circular one). Overall it's well made and easy to use, the only real downside is stability, but that's really a function of the lack of weight and I wasn't expecting any lightweight compact tripod in this sort of price range to be super-stable when fully extended - I don't need it fully extended to view horizontally or slightly downwards (angled scope, I'm 6') so I'm gradually finding what the optimum extension of the final leg section and the centre column is (i.e. how much of each). Pistol grip seems to work ok with a small scope. Only other negative is trivial - the shiny black legs are a bit prone to showing fingermarks.

One thing I have learnt is that even if I find that I don't quite get on with this tripod (i.e. end up wanting better stability), I can probably find something else from Ebay at a reasonable price and sell whatever I don't intend to keep without losing any significant amount of money.



-- Edited by Michael Hood on Saturday 3rd of September 2022 11:56:35 PM

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JOHN TYMON wrote:
Michael Hood wrote:

I'm looking for a new tripod for a Hawke Endurance 12-36x50 compact scope - so criteria are:

  • lightweight - so that it's similarly portable to the scope
  • compact - will usually be carried in a small rucksack with the scope - 19" max folded
  • not expensive - doesn't make sense to spend lots when the scope isn't expensive
  • as stable as possible - I realise this is a bit difficult to achieve with the lightweight & cost criteria

On Amazon there are loads of sub-£50 tripods (which would be ideal budget wise) but the reviews are very mixed - does anyone have any experience of these - either good or bad.

Similarly there is a "cheap" Manfrotto (at least this is a known make) - the Compact Action Tripod with pistol grip - this seems to get a lot of recommendations in "best travel tripod" type reviews - does anyone have any experience of this tripod.

Many thanks for any help


 Ignore Amazon take your scope to a local stockist of the Manfrotto and try it out ,either Wilkinson Cameras or Focalpoint can point you in the right direction ,so you don't name a mistake. 


 Thanks John for the recommendation anyway ......... you can't win them all cry



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Thanks for the replies.

I already had a Slik Compact tripod from 20+ years ago (they still essentially make this but it's now on Mark 8) and have not had any real problems with it so decided to see if any suitable Slik tripods were available.

I've ended up buying from Amazon (to arrive next week) a Slik U874 tripod, in some ways very similar to the cheap Amazon stuff but it looks to be better quality. If it does the job I'll keep it, otherwise it'll be returned and I'll have a proper look at some of the Manfrotto tripods (out of stock on Amazon at the moment).



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Thanks for the offer but too long I'm afraid



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Michael, i have a velbon ef 61 that is surplus to requirements, lightweight very good used condition   dosent pack down  to 19 in though if its any good for you,i brought it with a scope package and have another tripod by velbon,



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I agree with John Tymon, as I bought a Manfrotto budget small and lightweight tripod from Wilkinson Cameras 10 years ago for about at least £30-40? and I still use it to this day. I would avoid any other brand than what's being recommended on this thread as some cheep tripods have a "sticky" movement when panning left or right and locking the head from moving has (in my experience) moved the scope slightly and ment the bird is no longer in the centre view..A one-movement one-twist handle lock tripods are the best. Always have a littke play with it first before bying. If it helps, (if any information is still out there) the model I use is a 718B DIGI. (It extends taller than my needs too)

Thanks

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Sunday 7th of August 2022 10:04:37 PM

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Posts: 3486
Date:

Michael Hood wrote:

I'm looking for a new tripod for a Hawke Endurance 12-36x50 compact scope - so criteria are:

  • lightweight - so that it's similarly portable to the scope
  • compact - will usually be carried in a small rucksack with the scope - 19" max folded
  • not expensive - doesn't make sense to spend lots when the scope isn't expensive
  • as stable as possible - I realise this is a bit difficult to achieve with the lightweight & cost criteria

On Amazon there are loads of sub-£50 tripods (which would be ideal budget wise) but the reviews are very mixed - does anyone have any experience of these - either good or bad.

Similarly there is a "cheap" Manfrotto (at least this is a known make) - the Compact Action Tripod with pistol grip - this seems to get a lot of recommendations in "best travel tripod" type reviews - does anyone have any experience of this tripod.

Many thanks for any help


 Ignore Amazon take your scope to a local stockist of the Manfrotto and try it out ,either Wilkinson Cameras or focal point can point you in the right direction ,so you don't name a mistake. 



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Hello Michael
I have a Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01. I bought it a few years ago to stick in a suitcase on a couple of trips abroad. More recently I have tended to use it most of the time, as it goes in a small rucksack easily enough and I have got used to not carrying my usual larger tripod so much. It really isnt great in wind though, but really not too bad considering how light it is.

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Status: Offline
Posts: 123
Date:

I'm looking for a new tripod for a Hawke Endurance 12-36x50 compact scope - so criteria are:

  • lightweight - so that it's similarly portable to the scope
  • compact - will usually be carried in a small rucksack with the scope - 19" max folded
  • not expensive - doesn't make sense to spend lots when the scope isn't expensive
  • as stable as possible - I realise this is a bit difficult to achieve with the lightweight & cost criteria

On Amazon there are loads of sub-£50 tripods (which would be ideal budget wise) but the reviews are very mixed - does anyone have any experience of these - either good or bad.

Similarly there is a "cheap" Manfrotto (at least this is a known make) - the Compact Action Tripod with pistol grip - this seems to get a lot of recommendations in "best travel tripod" type reviews - does anyone have any experience of this tripod.

Many thanks for any help



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