[b]Beatrice in Japan Asks (a Ninja!):[/b]
…sorry I couldn’t help the Ask a Ninja Ref

Mother’s Day is around the corner and my husband wants to get me a tripod for my gear. It is waaaaay overdue! I am on the brink of a migraine and tears trying to figure out what to purchase. Could you make a recommendation based on the following information?

+ Canon 20D w/battery grip
+ Canon 580EX flash
+ largest lens: Canon 70-200L IS f/2.8 w/collar
(note: and she’s on a military base and so can play with options much)

[b]Ken Says:[/b]
You know, I hate tripods and consider them a necessary evil… so my advice is about what I use, and not up-to-date review filled with love for tripods ๐Ÿ™‚

I have an old, lightweight[b] Slik tripod[/b] I love. It seems like this one:
Slik U212 Universal Deluxe Tripod with 3-Way Pan Head #212
for $99 here:

๐Ÿ’ก I love that it’s legs can go out seperately, has a quick release for the camera, level, rubber and spiked feet and flips pretty easily and versatilely for copystand work, etc. Even though it’s light, it should be fine for a normal digital setup as you describe.

๐Ÿ˜ก I used to own a Bogen/Manfroto which was super heavy. You buy those legs, then head of your choice. It was nice and solid, but a bit of a pain then to drag around. But do you know the real reason I didn’t like it?? The stupid flip-style leg locks really hurt when opening and closing… Maybe I’m just a dufus, but I couldn’t find a way to not pinch my fingers in every photo session. So fortunately it was stolen and I didn’t have to keep getting pinched ๐Ÿ™‚

So do consider which leg lock setups it has. I don’t like the spinning lock as it’s harder to tell when they are tight, they get loose easily, etc… YMMV. Also how the camera will attach and quickly be removed.

My life is hit and run, so I like speed releases. I’m also a fan of the heads that you grip to let loose, then the ball gives total swivel positioning. BUT it MUST be a top-quality, expensive one or it can slip or be cheesy quality. Good ones are very easy to use and lock down tight.

I used to work at camera stores in college and my first year out, so I’ve been around a few tripods… but that’s 20 years ago now. I am interested that my Slik is still made. I think that’s a good sign for it. Also, tripods aren’t high tech and don’t change often.

Great husband, BTW to do that. Military and supporting the photo habit. Tell him I say he rocks.

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