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ChrisGorabPhotography
21st of August 2008 (Thu), 10:02
I have about $150 in Adorama gift cards/certificates and it's burning a hole in my pocket. I'm looking for some advice on how to spend it. Here is a rundown of what I own:


gripped XSi
wireless remote
50 1.4 (no hood)
24-105
10-22 (no hood)
70-200
Manfrotto grip tripod head (no tripod)
cheap light tripod with attached pan-tilt head (came with an old video camera)
Crumpler 7 MDH
Lowepro Fastpack 350
rocket blower
lens pen and cleaning cloth
various UV and CPL filters (need a ND filter for waterfall shots)I was thinking of finally picking up a nice tripod, but I don't want to spend a ton. I'd really like something relatively compact that I can hike with. I also don't have a flash, but I was thinking about waiting on the 430EX II. My focus/interest is mostly outdoor landscape photog, and I use my 50 1.4 indoors, but I know I could use a flash. I also have a trip to Italy lined up this October and could use this opportunity to further prepare for that.

Should I drop $100 on a 6- or 10-stop ND filter? Should I put the $150 towards a carbon fiber tripod or a 430EX flash? Should I pick up a E-1 hand strap? Maybe hood for my 10-22?

What would you do?

TheHoff
21st of August 2008 (Thu), 10:24
ND filter is pretty useless without a tripod, IMO.

A good hiking tripod for $150 isn't in the cards unless you're going to add cash to the deal.

A handstrap is nice as is a hood but neither will make a huge difference in your images.

Of all the choices, I'd say a flash is the right way to go. Though considering your interest, a tripod may be a good choice, too. It depends on your definition of "good hiking tripod" in terms of stability, weight, and price, as to whether it is in your budget.

SYS
21st of August 2008 (Thu), 10:29
Assuming that you'll be taking thousands of photos while traveling in Italy, you'd need to think about a portable storage plan -- unless you already have something... And some extra cards and batteries...

ChrisGorabPhotography
21st of August 2008 (Thu), 10:52
I have about 10 GB worth of SD cards. I really am torn between flash and tripod. I know I will be getting both eventually. As for the ND filters, I already have a cheap tripod, but I know I need something better.

I've been eyeing Adorama's Flashpoint CF tripod ($170), the Slik 613 CF tripod ($210), and some of the Bogen-Manfrotto aluminum tripods. I'm looking for a good value, something I can hike with, but something that will not be too shaky.

Jon
21st of August 2008 (Thu), 10:58
I have the Slik 613CF for travel; It's nice, it's light, but it's short. If this is going to be your only tripod, I'd look for something bigger.

ChrisGorabPhotography
21st of August 2008 (Thu), 16:10
I don't mind that it might be short. That would actually make it smaller and lighter to pack and carry. As long as it holds my gear steady to take pictures.

Bryman
21st of August 2008 (Thu), 16:18
That's a tough choice between flash and tripod. I think I would go with the flash since you already have a cheap tripod.

But on the other hand, you have a built in flash on your XSi.

I guess it boils down to your shooting style. I would personally feel more prepared for a trip to Italy if I had a tripod. So I vote tripod, final answer

ChrisGorabPhotography
22nd of August 2008 (Fri), 13:15
Bryman, thanks for the input, but I don't think I'm any closer after your response. Seems your as indecisive as me.

In any case, I did pull the trigger and purchased the Slik 614 CF tripod. I guess I'll have to ask Santa for my flash. The handstrap is probably unnecessary. The filters I can get from HVStar.com and the hood for the 10-22 will come in time. Thanks to all.

ed rader
22nd of August 2008 (Fri), 13:32
Bryman, thanks for the input, but I don't think I'm any closer after your response. Seems your as indecisive as me.

In any case, I did pull the trigger and purchased the Slik 614 CF tripod. I guess I'll have to ask Santa for my flash. The handstrap is probably unnecessary. The filters I can get from HVStar.com and the hood for the 10-22 will come in time. Thanks to all.


i just sold my slik 614. it is a great travel tripod that i took to africa. i used it with the manfrotto 484 head and with center column removed it weighed 2 lbs.

ed rader

ChrisGorabPhotography
22nd of August 2008 (Fri), 14:55
Thanks for the endorsement and reassurance. I have the Manfrotto 322RC2 grip head, but I think it might be a bit big/bulky/heavy to travel with, so I was thinking of getting that ball head. The 484RC2 with quick release plate probably makes sense for an extra $15 (over the 484), right?