I know very little to nothing about tripods and photo equipment. Like an idiot I gave away my really nice heavy tripod to a family member thinking I'd never use it.
I need a HEAVY DUTY one, which will hold at least 11 pounds, preferably 15 lbs or more. What's that in kilos? At least 4.9 kilos, for the Euros among us.
The little tripod I have (ProMaster XC525) is outstanding, but won't hold up my heavy (10 lbs, 6 oz) Celestron Mak-Cas C130 spotter that I use for astronomy and the rifle range.
In addition, I'm starting a new business where I'll be making videos for youtube and such of a professional quality nature and I need stability - but presumably it doesn't need to hold a lot of weight for a small video camera (Idunno; haven't gotten my video camera yet - that will be the next thread), so I'm sure the ProMaster XC525 will work fine for that.
So I mainly need this one to be my heavy duty one for the Celestron reflective spotter and I also may be getting another refracting spotter in the form of a heavy 20-60x100mm, and these are quite heavy. However, it certainly wouldn't hurt if the one I get will serve me well in the video taking function as well. Just basic videos of people doing things (specifically me reviewing products, ha ha).
Like everyone, I want the best value; but specifically I want the best value under $300 in an HD tripod - super stable. I will find out the make and model of the one I had and gave away to family like an idiot and post that later if it helps - it was a very good one which worked great for the Celestron - at the time, I thought I'd be moving and I thought the smaller one would hold the Celestron - Had no idea that pods had weight limits, being a newbie.
Anyway, my cursory research has led me to a few potential frontrunners - what say you about these?:
--Vanguard Alta Pro 260 AB 100 ($250)
--Manfrotto 190XPROB ($152)
--Giottos MTL9360B ($180)
--Benro A2970F ($154)
--Vanguard Abeo 323 AV ($250)
--Davis & Sanford Magnum XG13 ($180)
(Those are in US Dollars)
These seem to get good reviews and can hold a load.
Which of those, if any, to rule out and why? Any to also add to my list for consideration? I'd prefer to stay under $200, but if you've got a killer value for me in the $200 - $300 range, please share. Heck, for that matter, if I'm missing out on the best value in the universe in the $300 - $400 range, please let me know that too - maybe I can find it used and afford it.
Please understand that I despise plastic. I like metal and rubber parts. I want virtually no, to no plastic parts. Aluminum, CF, steel, rubber, all good. Having zero plastic is not a requirement; but the less the better. More than anything, I want robust quality / durability. Nothing fragile survives my life it seems. Note that this one most certainly does NOT need to be lightweight! I want heavy for this one. Frankly, the heavier the better. It's only going to go to the yard for making the vids, and be toted to the gun range or yard for spotting bullet holes or the moon.
What about the Ravelli AVTP Pro 75mm @ $130 - is it junk? It gets good reviews but serious people seem to shun it for some reason?
Thanks very much.
P.S. Oh, my spotting scope has a "foot" on it, about 8-9" long and 1.5-1.75" wide, with two hole choices for the "bolt" to go in. Therefore, what I want is a pod with a large "base" on it to "mate up with" the foot on the scope, to provide support/stability. Rather than just a little 1.5" circle with the bolt in the middle, or a little square head in the 2" x 2" range, I'd rather have something maybe 2" to 2.5" wide and at least 3 or 4" long. Oh, and preferably with some rubbery covering or "inserts" to the base, for gripping the "foot" of the scope....If all that makes sense. Clearly, I don't know the lingo here.