Cheap Compact tripod

Ok, so I have asked a question like this before, but I never did get a compact tripod, and i am going on a trip in a few weeks and could really use the tripod. So I'm going to ask this again, but a little differently

I need a tripod, preferably;

Less then 16" when folded. I'd very much like 14" or even 12" if possible
Extends to 50" minimum. Preferably >52"
Costs less then $50, around $35
Weight is not really an issue, but lightness helps :)
I am going to be sticking it in like the waterbottle holder on a bag- maybe a clip or something so i could hook it to the strap
Stability is not a huge issue, as I am only putting an FZ100 on it (19.9 oz), so it doesnt need to support a DSLR, just a heavier P&S- I do plan on some longer exposure shots however
I think thats it...

I do feel kind of sorry asking this question, but I really dont have the time or resources to find this completely on my own, and I am asking for a pretty strict set of rules. Thank you all so much in advance-


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aelias366 years ago
This fits your description perfectly:
astroboy907 (author)  aelias366 years ago
not quite- its a bit long folded. But I checked out B&H and its a lot easier to find tripods there than I thought. I think im going to get the Sunpak Travelsmart, or Sunpak 620-005S
rondezvous6 years ago
Hey, I've been looking for a tripod with the same criteria as you. I will be traveling overseas in a couple weeks and want to find something that is inexpensive and compact.

I am a more advanced amateur photographer with a dslr weighing about 3.5 pounds with an ultrawide angle lens. I plan on using the tripod for slow shutter speed photography, landscape and night shots.

What tripod did you end up getting?
astroboy907 (author)  rondezvous6 years ago
A sunpak travelsmart. Its a bit more bulky than I hoped when I got it (Its hard to put the head under the lags in a compact way..), but its good :)

Some of my other choices which I might have ended up getting- Sunpak travellite, Opteka FTR56, Sunpak 620-005S, and Sunpak DigiPro Compact B. These are all more or less in the same price range (0-60$, mainly around $30) and have about the same specs (folded length, extension, etc).

The travelsmart does have a bit of a quirk to it- only one of the leg sections is adjustable, the others *click* to their lengths (if you do not click them into place they do not lock and go all flappy)
Its a goot tripod, I use it now mainly for time lapse photos, and its pretty stable up until the last sections of the legs. At full extension it did fall down once (in 30mph winds). Just let me know if there is any more info I can give you to help :)

Thanks for the tips. I'm looking at a few of the Sunpaks.

Have you encountered the Sony VCT r100? Folds to about 14" , under 2 pounds, and costs about $25.

I need something that's relatively stable for long shutter speeds, but I can always try to stabilize the tripod with a rock, camera bag, beanbag or such.

I didn't see all of the Sunpak models on Amazon. Do you know of a good source? I've only seen them on the B&H site.
astroboy907 (author)  rondezvous6 years ago
Ive seen the sony- but I think it only extends to 39 inches or so.

Umm- ebay is probably your best bet. I would've ordered through B&H but I found the same one on ebay with faster shipping- which when you need it in less than a week, is totally worth it :)

Ive done some 60 second exposures with some ok results.

My first choice would've been probably the Sunpak DigiPro, but its more expensive, and I was tied for the Travelsmart and the 620-005S, it just depended on what head I liked. The 620 would probably be more compact, as it is a ball head, rather than a 3 way pan.
I decided to go with the 620-005S.... it's at the right price and dimensions. Seems light, but i'll find a way to stabilize it. Found it on Amazon with free 2-day shipping since I'm a Prime member. I'm gonna do some testing when I get it a couple days.

My main concern was the load capacity. I've done different searches online and I've seen two different weights: 3.3lbs and 4.4lbs for the same product. I'm hoping that it's the latter.
rickharris6 years ago
Use Amazon etc - as a curiosity why do you feel others should do your searching for you?/

its your money and needs.
astroboy907 (author)  rickharris6 years ago
I did not have any intention to be rude/mean in any way when asking this question. I am sorry If anything has insulted or angered you. It was not my intention.

And to answer your question, 1500+ tripods on amazon is a bit harder to look through than 100 or even 300. I was wondering of a person had one or knew where one was sold.

OK I guess it is a fair question in that light - Your original came across to me differently - Sorry :-)
astroboy907 (author)  rickharris6 years ago
oh, and actually 100 tripods isnt as hard to look through as I thought, as there are 500 entries of the same thing...
astroboy907 (author)  rickharris6 years ago
no problem :-)
astroboy907 (author)  astroboy9076 years ago
just found this guy
Kiteman6 years ago
Do you really need a tripod? A four-section monopod would be a lit lighter.
astroboy907 (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
I'd like the extra stability, especially for some night shots at long exposures (30 sec)

In that case, I think you'd best get on ebay to find what you want in your price-range. Most new tripods in that price-range will wave in the breeze.

astroboy907 (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
yeah. Want to try taking some time lapses of the sun coming up, palm trees waving in the wind, that kinda thing :)
thegeeke6 years ago
I used to like one at Walmart... I think they still have it. It's an extendable tripod, it runs around $20. Just don't expect a nice fluid head tripod. (It's not bad for stills, but a little jerky for video... but then again, I do media production, so I expect perfection.) ;)
onrust thegeeke6 years ago
Man, a good tripod is not cheap! I suggest Walmart online. If you you use the site to store option, you can make out pretty well.
thegeeke onrust6 years ago
A GOOD tripod cannot be purchased at Walmart. If you want a GOOD tripod, you have to go to a good photography store. (Of course, I'm used to using 1/4 million dollar tripods... but that's just me.) ;)
onrust thegeeke6 years ago
YEA, but a cheap one can be found @ Walmart..... and it could get even cheaper at Walmart online. relax man
thegeeke onrust6 years ago
Sorry... when I make a word in caps I am just trying emphasize that word... not shout it as it might appear.... I apologize.

Yes, cheap ones can be purchased at Walmart or Walmart online. (Not sure about everywhere, but at my Walmart, their prices are the same as online...) But if you want a good tripod, don't go to Walmart. ;)
onrust thegeeke6 years ago
I don't want one man.
thegeeke onrust6 years ago
You don't want a nice tripod, or you don't want the price of a nice tripod??? ;) Every time I walk into a photography store around here, they always ask me... "OK, now are you here to buy something, or to drool over new equipment?" :)
astroboy907 (author)  thegeeke6 years ago
As of now I drool :)
you know you can italicize and bold words? just go to rich editor

Yes I do know about the rich editor, but every now and then I forget.
astroboy907 (author)  thegeeke6 years ago
haha :) I do too... its just easier to caps isnt it...
Yep! :)
Re-design6 years ago
A tripod is something that you really should check out in store, unless you are buying a name brand.

Some of the nicest looking tripods are worthless.

astroboy907 (author)  Re-design6 years ago
Unfortunately, I am in a rural area with not many shops nearby. I do my best to read reviews and take heed to any quality problems/seller trouble, or any other problems people might have. If I find one that I think I really want, I go to other sites to read reviews there. Unfortunately, this is the best I can do unless I find it somewhere nearby...