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A Decent Tripod For Under £30

Posted: Sun, 31st Aug 2008, 10:05pm

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Adman

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Hey guys.
I need a little help here. I have been looking around the net for a decent tripod as mine came to unfortunate end when one of my crew members decided it would be a good idea to use it as a ski. Don't ask.
Anyway, I am on a very tight budget, but I hope to find a tripod that is smooth, maybe a fluid head, for under £30. I fear the budget may be too low for anything like that, but I am hoping some God of FXhome could be my savior.
So anybody got any recommendations or is my budget a lost cause?
Posted: Sun, 31st Aug 2008, 10:59pm

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pdrg

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Blimey, 'fraid you'll need to spend about 10x that for even an ok tripod - there's nothing at the £30 mark really worth even having to be honest sad They'll buckle, wobble, and be generally so annoying you'll hate them. Even second hand there's nothing even remotely usable at this price - they may be fine for cheap stills cameras but utterly useless for nice tilts and pans sad
Posted: Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 12:36am

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The FE

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Adman wrote:


mine came to unfortunate end when one of my crew members decided it would be a good idea to use it as a ski. Don't ask.
Do you honestly expect no one to ask? A ski?
Posted: Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 12:45am

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Adman

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biggrin Well let's just say putting a skate board and a tripod next to an actor who has the attention span of a chimp isn't a good idea.

Last edited Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 8:38am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 1:12am

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Thrawn

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Was it a crew member or actor? Or both? Not that it matters, really..
Posted: Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 1:31am

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D3L3T10N

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Ask the crew member who broke your last one to pitch in some. At least that'll lower the amount you have to pay.
Posted: Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 3:39am

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Serpent

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The Libec TH-M20 is the cheapest decent tripod you will be able to find. Make sure it can support the weight of any setup you are going to put on it (jib, camera, etc.). It's sturdy, compact, smooth, easy to use, etc. Everyone I've recommended it to has loved it.

That is a little less than $200 USD.

If you are going to get one for less than that, just go to Wal-mart/electronics store and get a sh*t one.

Tripods are extremely important, don't get a cheap tripod.
Posted: Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 10:37pm

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Adman

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OK guys, thanks for the feedback. I have decided it would be best to wait a while and save up to increase my budget. Serpant, I am considering your suggestion as it shouldn't take me too long to reach that target.

Thanks allot guys.
Posted: Mon, 1st Sep 2008, 11:24pm

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RodyPolis

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i've seen descent trypods for about 60 bucks at Best Buy. Kinda like the one I have which works really good.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 12:40am

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pdrg

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RodyPolis wrote:

i've seen descent trypods for about 60 bucks at Best Buy. Kinda like the one I have which works really good.
With respect, that rather tells me you've never used a decent tripod or larger camera (which would crush/bend a cheap pod). The fluid head is absolutely crucial for smooth pan/tilt action!
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 12:47am

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RodyPolis

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pdrg wrote:

RodyPolis wrote:

i've seen descent trypods for about 60 bucks at Best Buy. Kinda like the one I have which works really good.
With respect, that rather tells me you've never used a decent tripod or larger camera (which would crush/bend a cheap pod). The fluid head is absolutely crucial for smooth pan/tilt action!
yeah it could be. my camera isn't big. but It really works good for anything I'm doing, so I don't see the point of getting one 200 bucks. I don't see the use for a tripod other than holding the camera, but I'm no pro
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 1:42am

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nerfgunnerz3

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are u guys serious!?!?!?!? i got a really good tripod at a garage sale for $5 USD
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 2:10am

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Serpent

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nerfgunnerz3 wrote:

are u guys serious!?!?!?!? i got a really good tripod at a garage sale for $5 USD
No you didn't.


Rody: a tripod is indeed for having the camera just rest on it in one position if you are a photographer. Photography tripods are sturdy for photo equipment, and keep it still so the picture can be tack sharp. Great photography tripods are $400+. Crazy right?

However with video, a tripod has to support (sometimes) a MASSIVE setup. When you are working on independent films and don't have a proper crane, your tripod may have to support a jib as well (small crane-like rig).

And finally, video adds another variable: it's moving. So you have to be able to pan and tilt smoothly with setups of varying size.


The Libec TH-M20 is perfect for people with smaller rigs, like a DVX100/GL2/smaller with some accessories (rails, matte box, etc.). The heavier the rig, the more difficult it becomes for the tripod to support it in different conditions (slopes, wind) and pan smoothly.


Hope that helped.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 2:16am

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RodyPolis

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Yeah, I see what you mean Serpent. But I'm not using any of that stuff yet that's why I said I don't really need an expensive one. But thanks, now I know why they cost so much. But a photography one for $400, dang. That thing would have to walk itself, fold itself, and do all kind of cool stuff for me to buy it
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 2:31am

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Limey

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Serpent wrote:

nerfgunnerz3 wrote:

are u guys serious!?!?!?!? i got a really good tripod at a garage sale for $5 USD
No you didn't.
im not sure why people would wanna go out and buy real expensive tripods. The cheap one I have works just fine. All its realy gotta do for me is stand still for a little bit.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 2:39am

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nerfgunnerz3

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[quote="Serpent"]

nerfgunnerz3 wrote:

are u guys serious!?!?!?!? i got a really good tripod at a garage sale for $5 USD
No you didn't.


ok, maybe not a really good tripod, but it gets the job dun. and yes i did get the tripod at a garage sale for $5.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 4:05am

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Lior

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My first was a bogen 503 I believe. It was worth every cent. My tripods now that I get I buy the heads separate. It costs me alone more than 10x the price. The still camera cheap tripods never do a good job. You might as well save up and buy something good. Besides do you really trust your camera on a cheap tripod. My cams are worth allot of money and I would never risk it to be on something cheap. If you love your cam you will save for a better tripod. It's not even the matter of pan and tilt its the matter of quality. The sticks and the head.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 4:20am

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Serpent

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@Limey: read my post, I feel like I just wasted my time. A tripod isn't always about "staying still for a little bit." So if that's all you do with your tripod, you're one of the few and it's really irrelevant to a topic discussing the quality of tripods.

@nerfgunnerz: I'm sure it's functional, but that's not what the topic creator asked for really. So if you aren't going to get a good tripod, yeah, you might as well get a $5 tripod at a garage sale. Who knows? Maybe you'll score a multi-hundred dollar rig for a few bucks at a garage sale, you never know. wink

@Rody: Even if you aren't using bigger equipment, a nice tripod with a good, fluid head is important with any rig. Even a little handicam or something. So if you ever do consider a tripod upgrade and you are using your current camera, consider the Libec. It's really perfect for indie filmmakers who don't have massive rigs. And it's sturdy and tough as nails, mine has been through a lot (banging around in trunk, in water, etc.). It will last you a while, especially if you are more careful with it than I am. Mine is still alive though, after 3 years of craziness. smile

Lior wrote:

It's not even the matter of pan and tilt its the matter of quality. The sticks and the head.
Pan and tilt factor into the quality on a tripod. I know you know this, but I'm just clarifying. The build quality and move-ability of the head are the biggest factor in the price of the head.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 2:54pm

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pdrg

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For anyone still unclear about the difference between this and this,

read this and this - you'll see a world of difference - and a really good, solid, last forever set of legs and head will cost hundreds of pounds (£1 = $2, by the way, roughly) second-hand. Now I know very few people here will have a camera that needs such a sturdy set of legs, but that's not the same as saying a $5 'pod is all anyone could ever need!

I recently turned up on location to a guy who had a nice set of redheads, a PD150, radio mic kit, so I didn't stop to question when he said he had a 'nice new tripod' - this thing was so weak it could not hold the weight of a PD150 (not a big camera by any means), and we had to splint it just to stop it wobbling by itself. There was absolutely no chance of even touching it whilst taping, the wobble alone would ruin any shot, in the end we had to bind the whole thing in gaffer tape and instead of operate the camera, just guard it from the wind! At the end of the day, the tripod was so unstable just from holding a PD150 still for a few hours, the whole damn thing went in the bin, completely unsalvageable. Maybe it would work for static shots for a lightweight handycam, ot a consumer stills camera, but for anything even vaguely future-proof, save your money.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 3:47pm

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Lior

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pdrg you are extremely correct. I helped out a buddy who bought a dvx100b in a sucker deal on ebay. You know the one that gives you a bad case and a free so called pro tripod for free. This tripod was so horrible. The wind was shaking the tripod. The whole damn thing fell and you know the anamorphic adapter for it has a really bad connection to the camera so when it fell the lens cracked off. He lost 800 bux that day. I was just glad his camera didn’t break. That’s my point. If you love your camera. Do not trust it on a cheap one.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 9:09pm

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BlueSmudge

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You can also try and buy an old O'Connor off ebay. You can get one from the 70's or 80's for under $500. Sounds crazy but that will be the last head you ever need. These things cost over $4500 new. Its overkill for small cameras but you will have absolutely perfect pans and tilts every time and those units are built like tanks.
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 7:01pm

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Adman

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If anyone is watching this topic still, here is an update. I finally purchased a new tripod, but not any of the ones recomended here. After thumbing through some other information on the net, I discovered the 'Velbon CX-686' on the HV20 forum. It said it had a great fluid head, in fact the same one found on the more expensive 'Velbon DV 6000/7000' and it was highly recommended. I was skeptical and in two minds as to purchase one of the ones recommended here, or take the plunge and purchase the 'Velbon CX-686'. It eventually became a no brainer when a brilliant deal fell in my lap. I managed to pick this tripod up for 32 pounds shipped, brand new and the price is ironically just over my origional budget.

It it good? In my opinion it is great. Obviously, with the expensive head, the cheaper part of the tripod is the legs, but I have to say it is not noticeable. They have enough weight to them to be robust and it looks as if won't easily topple over. I am using it with the HV20 and it is great. You really can't go wrong for the price. What is 32 pounds? Two tickets at the Odeon on a Friday night, so not only are you paying peanuts, your getting gold for it.

Here are the happy couple:



I highly recommend this tripod. Can you get a decent tripod for under 30 pounds? No, but for 2 pounds more you can.

I will post the link to the dealer in the forum.
Posted: Tue, 11th Nov 2008, 12:00am

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pdrg

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I'm so pleased you're happy with your purchase! To get a fluid head in that price is remarkable, and I'm sure a few people will be interested in your link if they have smaller cameras like the HV20 smile
Posted: Tue, 11th Nov 2008, 5:32pm

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Adman

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pdrg wrote:

I'm so pleased you're happy with your purchase! To get a fluid head in that price is remarkable, and I'm sure a few people will be interested in your link if they have smaller cameras like the HV20 smile
Yeah, I posted away on the forum. Maybe it will help someone out, it is really outstanding for the price.