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Great Bang For Buck Film-making Tripod


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Hello Guys, don't know much about different tripods iv'e had my good old CULLMANN photography tripod for over 6+ years now (no idea what make or model it is.. it's just a well built tripod to me :P) it's head is also ample for me most of the times as it's pretty smooth just never designed for film-making in mind if you know what i mean.

But i'm looking for a good to great film-making tripod for around £100 however if there is a special fluid head tripod or tripod in general that people simply swear by then i'd like to hear about it even if it's £150+

A tripod that doesn't need tightening like the Oconnor 2575D to keep the camera still would be awesome but i'm pretty sure anything along those lines would still propbably be half the price of an oconnor... darn expensive.

Any big name tripods out there. Great price great quality most indie film-makers go for? I have looked but not got much from it, if there is a good cult of tripod lovers out there that can recommend some obvious ones.

Much appreciated.

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For £150 on a new tripod for regular video use, people would more likely swear at it - rather than swear by it. 

I'd personally search for used ebay tripod listings for that budget. Broadcast houses often turf out gear that is not needed any more - and it's possible to grab a bargain sometimes on some decent quality Manfrotto or Vinten model from the HDV days. I'd recommend going with a known name rather than the thousands of tempting cheap Chinese no-brand models, as it's always a lucky dip as to what the quality of some of the components are like....and they are often not as lightweight as they appear in pictures (if you are after a lightweight model). Going with a known brand also increases the likelihood of finding spare parts or online help if something ever fails.

Saying that, I'm sure people will chime in with good experiences with cheaper Chinese models they have had (E-Image brand for example) - but everyone's needs for durability and payload are different. But there is a reason that camera hire facilities do not rent out these models....they simply ain't built to last, unless you are handy with modifying/ upgrading failed components as they occur. 


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superb, heavy tripod.  avail for less than $150 on ebay US I imagine.  Just search 'Fluid head tripod' on ebay and you'll see them pop up.

I've had one for around 6 years.  i had it around 5 months and the rivets died on the spreader.  these were easy to drill out with a 4mm drill bit.  I then replaced the rivets with some m3 bolts and some locking nuts.   if you grab one of these then replace the rivets before they break you'll never look back. - 30mins work to swap the rivets for some stainless m3 bolts.  

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M3-M4-M5mm-A2-Stainless-Steel-Machine-Screws-Slotted-Pan-Head-Bolts-/150863410183?var=&hash=item232028f407:m:mgDxTbKl1z2ODx5iv040BHA  some m3, 30mm bolts will do it.    


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/A4-Marine-Grade-Stainless-Steel-Nyloc-Nylon-Insert-Locking-Nuts-M3-4-5-6-8-10-12-/360650014234?var=&hash=item53f86a7e1a:m:mO7ApJ-con6PbvWHpFurl-g  m3 nylock nuts.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/A2-STAINLESS-STEEL-FORM-A-FLAT-WASHERS-TO-FIT-METRIC-BOLTS-SCREWS-M1-6-TO-M30-/150802639052?var=&hash=item231c89a8cc:m:mAdvuPIIKGFCGZAWUgnX8gQ  washers.



quick release plates are around $10usd.  


it's got a mini bowl for quick levelling.


ps.  it takes around 2 months for the head to become truly fluid.  at first it might be a bit graggy, but once it's been used a bit it smooths out lovely.


so apart from the rivets on the spreader this tripod has nothing to go wrong and is lovely and heavy - perfect for dslr's


pps.  I forgot to mention, I replaced the rubber feet on mine for some softer rubber feet (i used the type for walking sticks) since the ones on there from the factory were a bit hard and could slide on hard flooring.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Walking-Stick-Rubber-Ferrules-Tips-Feet-Stoppers-Black-Choice-of-5-Sizes-/400887863108?var=&hash=item5d56c75744:m:m86f6CfsJQHFUwHkLERgBkQ  13mm should do it.  or bigger ones will go over the existing feet.








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I got my son on of those "fancier" tripods from Amazon when he started UT film school. Then I got one for myself after playing with it. 75mm bowl, decent head. I use it when I have to manage multi camera shoots, or for making oddball rigs, and I often stick the head at the end of my crane. Really phenomenal for the $$.  They start at $99.


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Yeah, the 717 is pretty legendary. Picked the fluid head up in GH2 times, as recommended on http://www.gh1-hack.info/wiki/ShootingMoviesWithHackOnVeryTightBudget . I think everyone has (had) one, e.g.

However, I'm all about lightweight and twistlocks, so I didn't get the video tripod... went ahead and picked up a Velbon Rexi-L and Sirui N-2004. Nice ones. Very affordable as well.

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