Are cheap tripods worth it?

Mtnhuntr

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I have used a Vanguard for several years with no issues. I think it was around $120 new.
 

TM0218

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Awesome thanks for everyone’s responses. It’s funny to see the varying opinions but it’s given me plenty to mull over
 

Rzrbck918

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I did a lot of Moderating on this thread.
Guys, no links to third party sales sights. Read the rules of the forum please. Per Big Fin:

"Guys - I apologize in advance for this change, but I am to the point where I really have little choice.

From now, on, web links, URLs, and other advertising links/posts will not be allowed in your signature lines or in the forum threads. If you care to do this, you must contact me or Mrs. Fin in advance (kim@onyourownadventures.com).

This site is here for helping those who are interested in self-guided hunting, with emphasis on public or accessible lands. It is only possible to have this show and site because some companies understand the value in connecting to you and being supportive of your style of hunting. Without these committed folks, there would be no website or TV shows."
Do we a forum sponsor who sells tripods?
 

schmalts

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Do we a forum sponsor who sells tripods?
YES Actually Leupold sells a great tripod!
Leupold 170602 Compact Tripod Aluminum Kit. No problem with anyone recommending other brands, such as Slik, but it gets a little sticky when guys post links to ebay or other direct sales links. We have a lot of guys trying to advertise direct here and link to their own ebay store or amazon page. So again, discuss brands all day long, just be respectful posting a link to any outside direct sales page. Nuff said. BTW, I have 4 tripods, A Leupold, a Slik with a different brand ball head, and 2 Bogen Manfrotto pods. The Bogens are only used at the range or next to the truck.

trip.jpg
 
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hank4elk

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I got a Manfrotto years ago for light weight high country spotter/bino set up & pics. On sale at local camera shop,maybe $160? Very lightweight,not for movies or 85 spotter............but solid sitting.
Might change the head from the pistol grip that came with it,but do like the quick release bases. I use a Y yoke for shooting,but have shot off my spotter once in one quick set up.
 

vanish

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Gee, I've been using one I picked up at a thrift store. :ROFLMAO:

I did eventually swap to a vanguard ph111 head.
 

Vaultman

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I know that a good Tripod does make a difference. I also know that a good head is part of what makes a tripod system. What I do not know is if a tripod and head can be done in the $40-$50 range. Maybe the tripod only can, but I do not know. If you have other gear you are buying for this planned hunt, I think I would put the $40-$50 on something else, because I think your satisfaction with this budget of tripod would be low.
 

TM0218

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I can definitely believe that quality would be on the lower side. I may end up having to just get one, try it, and compare it to free handing. Worst case I’m sure I could return it
 

schmalts

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Make sure if you get a cheaper tripod you don't get one with the leg connectors. You need to be able to splay the legs out wide and also sit below the tripod with your legs between the tripod legs. A compact tripod can handle a spotter if you open the legs wide for stability. The Leupold shown in the picture has release buttons near the hinges allowing for this, as do many other brands. You NEED this.
 

hank4elk

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Make sure if you get a cheaper tripod you don't get one with the leg connectors. You need to be able to splay the legs out wide and also sit below the tripod with your legs between the tripod legs. A compact tripod can handle a spotter if you open the legs wide for stability. The Leupold shown in the picture has release buttons near the hinges allowing for this, as do many other brands. You NEED this.
THIS!
The lower the better in most situations I have found. My Manfrotto can splay out almost flat & has center pole that raises. Adjustability can make up some for weight stability.
 

hank4elk

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I am rarely standing while glassing.
Main concern is not being seen,skylined, staying out of wind & sun,for me.
 

wllm1313

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YES Actually Leupold sells a great tripod!
Honestly Leupold really needs to get their marketing game together, as an adult onset hunter literally the only reason Leupold was on my radar was Big Fin. I've seen a couple of guys in the field/at the range/friends who have Leupold scopes and they to a person absolutely love them, but I've never seen anyone with any of their other products and you just don't hear much about their spotting scopes, binos, or tripods (never knew they made a tripod). Maybe they are focused more on print media, or sponsor hunter's that I am not aware of or don't care to follow.

I think they sponsor Shockey, but his platform hasn't embraced the cord cutting age and I haven't found a way to view any of his content even though the few episodes I have seen of uncharted were pretty good.

Anyway Leupold is luck to Randy on their proteam.

- Sorry for the totally unsolicited diatribe and derailment of the thread.
 

schmalts

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Honestly Leupold really needs to get their marketing game together, as an adult onset hunter literally the only reason Leupold was on my radar was Big Fin. I've seen a couple of guys in the field/at the range/friends who have Leupold scopes and they to a person absolutely love them, but I've never seen anyone with any of their other products and you just don't hear much about their spotting scopes, binos, or tripods (never knew they made a tripod). Maybe they are focused more on print media, or sponsor hunter's that I am not aware of or don't care to follow.

I think they sponsor Shockey, but his platform hasn't embraced the cord cutting age and I haven't found a way to view any of his content even though the few episodes I have seen of uncharted were pretty good.

Anyway Leupold is luck to Randy on their proteam.

- Sorry for the totally unsolicited diatribe and derailment of the thread.
Yeah, not really known for tripods, but someone asked if any sponsor here sold tripods. They ARE nice, but there is a lot of options out there. A crappy salesman I am... so I will tell you that there are a ton of off brand name tripods on a certain webstore that also has Big Fins TV shown on demand. They all look the same with maybe different colors and different names..... ball heads, maybe not the lightest out there but actually very nice tripods. If you are going to spend less than 80.00 this is a good route. I actually took the ball head off one of those and installed it on my slik mini2. The panning motion is very fluid like too. Just type in "tripod" you will figure it out. As far as spotters and Binos, they have great products. A lot of the new high end models they have are quality optics. Leupold makes great USA made scopes, but they do not make their binos and spotters, however.. they have them made by very good companies who have been doing that form of manufacturing for a long time and you cannot go wrong buying them.
 
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std7mag

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I'm using a $35 Craftsman tripod.
Use it for my chrono & spotter.

A cheap easy hack for sticky tripod heads is a touch of dry graphite.
 
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A cheap easy hack for sticky tripod heads is a touch of dry graphite
That’s what I use as well. Just a bit of graphite powder and the head swivels smooth as silk. Got the idea to use that after helping my kids with building pine wood derby cars years ago (the graphite is used to reduce wheel friction).

As for cheap tripods, I have been using one for years that weighs just 2 lbs and don’t see a need to upgrade ( think I paid 35 for it years ago).
 

Old man bob

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Any Tripod is Better than none. Iv'e had a Manfrotto for 25 years and it aint a top of the line. Get what You can afford and then upgrade. I have a ball head and find it easy, Not many will agree. Most serious Glassers use a pan head . Personally don't like them. Use Smats He will fix U up. I not a Homer But wish more would Buy from the Sponsers. Randy does not Support Junk................BOB!
 

Bigjav

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I don’t know if they have them anymore, but I got a very sturdy (albeit heavy) one from mono price a few years ago along with a camcorder pan head and don’t have any real complaints
 
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