Home Buyer's Guide Tripods & Supports-2011
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Tripods & Supports

Choosing the right support can do as much for your photography as a new camera

This Article Features Photo Zoom

TRIPODS: FOR THE STEADIEST SUPPORT, THE CLASSIC TRIPOD STILL REIGNS SUPREME

CULLMANN
The Cullmann Magic 2 uniquely folds flat for travel into a 14x6-inch package that’s only 1.5 inches thick. This allows it to fit in the bottom of many packs and bags. The unit can be quickly converted into a monopod. The support weighs 2.5 pounds and includes a small, removable ballhead. Estimated Street Price: $140.

DAVIS & SANFORD
Davis & Sanford professional tripods use classic designs with all-metal construction for solid support. The ATPX10 All Terrain Pod with FX10 head has pivoting flat and pointed feet to adapt to different ground surfaces and an adjustable cross brace with locks for added stability. The weather-resistant tripod folds to 31 inches, extends to 61 inches and weighs seven pounds. Estimated Street Price: $199.

FLASHPOINT
Flashpoint tripods by Adorama have a reputation for high value and affordable prices. They come in both carbon-fiber and metal-alloy models. The Flashpoint F-1328 is a solid carbon-fiber tripod that extends to 63 inches and collapses to 21 inches with four-section legs. It weighs four pounds. Estimated Street Price: $260.

GIOTTOS
The Giottos professional-series MT and MTL tripods offer a great deal of flexibility for the photographer. You can get these with a straight center column or a cantilevering center column that allows unique positioning of the camera, plus each leg can be set to three different spread angles. The MT 8361 carbon-fiber tripod extends to 58 inches, folds to 27.5 inches and weighs 4.1 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $415.

GITZO
Gitzo tripods have a longtime reputation for high-quality craftsmanship. The Series 2 Carbon 6x Explorer 4 Section Tripod (GT2541EX) uses a unique and versatile locking mechanism for the legs that allows them to be set to any angle, plus the center column tilts and rotates to any position needed by the photographer. This tripod is 21 inches closed, extends to 53 inches high and weighs four pounds. Estimated Street Price: $650.

MANFROTTO
The Manfrotto X family of tripods are new designs built from the company’s solid tripods of the past. The 190PRO CX carbon-fiber support includes an innovative center column that can be used horizontally without removing the head or the column. It collapses to 21.5 inches, extends to 47 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $330.

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