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Thread started 26 Jul 2010 (Monday) 14:35
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Does anyone here own a Sunpak 3300 Pro Tripod? Help Needed

 
boufa
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Jul 26, 2010 14:35 |  #1

I have the Sunpak 3300 Pro tripod (please no judging me for it, I know it is cheap).

The problem I am having is that the quick release plates are loose, have a little left right play in them, when they are mounted on the tripod (magnify the play with a 400mm lens and it becomes nearly unusable). Does anyone else have this problem?

I contacted a company that claimed to repair them to see if I could get parts for it. They are sending me a new catch lever (for free!) to see if that part has worn and will fix it.

I don't consider myself a heavy user of it. Both quick release plates have similar play in them, so I am doubting that it is the plates themselves.

Is this just how life goes with a cheap tripod? Should I expect more, even from this pos? I am considering replacing it with a Promaster 4750 tripod. It runs $99. I don't want to replace it if I don't need to, since the sunpak is very rigid, and very capable (except for the quick release thing).

I would take other tripod model recommendations but DON'T spend my money freely... I have a $100 budget (+/- $15), including head, and I use it with a 40D and a Tokina 80-400mm lens (with tripod mount on it). Its fairly heavy, but reasonably light for a lens that goes to 400mm.


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argyle
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Jul 26, 2010 17:11 |  #2

boufa wrote in post #10606454 (external link)
I have the Sunpak 3300 Pro tripod (please no judging me for it, I know it is cheap).

The problem I am having is that the quick release plates are loose, have a little left right play in them, when they are mounted on the tripod (magnify the play with a 400mm lens and it becomes nearly unusable). Does anyone else have this problem?

I contacted a company that claimed to repair them to see if I could get parts for it. They are sending me a new catch lever (for free!) to see if that part has worn and will fix it.

I don't consider myself a heavy user of it. Both quick release plates have similar play in them, so I am doubting that it is the plates themselves.

Is this just how life goes with a cheap tripod? Should I expect more, even from this pos? I am considering replacing it with a Promaster 4750 tripod. It runs $99. I don't want to replace it if I don't need to, since the sunpak is very rigid, and very capable (except for the quick release thing).

I would take other tripod model recommendations but DON'T spend my money freely... I have a $100 budget (+/- $15), including head, and I use it with a 40D and a Tokina 80-400mm lens (with tripod mount on it). Its fairly heavy, but reasonably light for a lens that goes to 400mm.

Pretty much, that's what you can expect from a low level tripod. And with your budget, unfortunately, you'll be stuck among the low level tier of tripods. You need to decide if a tripod is important to you...if it is, try to up your budget a bit and go for something of bit higher quality. Also, scour the Buy/Sell section...never know when something decent will pop up for a good price.

Look at what you're in for already...my guess is the Sunpak is about $75 or so, now you're looking at another $99 on top of that for the Promaster...you'll be in for basically $175, and still be stuck with a low quality rig. Give it some more thought before dropping any more cash...if you can swing it, get a better quality rig and save yourself some money in the long run.


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CW ­ Jones
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Jul 26, 2010 17:18 |  #3

That's a pretty big lens to be honest and I would never trust any of my equipment on that. Look into the Manfrotto 550Xprob legs and then either a ball head or pan and tilt.

Yes, it is more, but do you really want to see that equipment hit the ground? I would keep saving if I was you.

That is just my $.02 though.


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boufa
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Jul 26, 2010 17:42 as a reply to  @ CW Jones's post |  #4

Thanks, at least for spending my money... this forum is great for that... anyways, the tripod I have cost $50, and I have had it for 3 or 4 years. I agree that more tripod would be great, but in the end it just is not in the cards. The strength and safety of the unit I have had never been in doubt. It is a solid build, kinda light weight, and other than the quick release issue, the head has been rock solid... when I twist the handle to lock an axis, it stays locked.

I will watch the used section... and maybe I will get lucky and the catch that they are sending me will be enough to get me along. Lens glass is different, but in tripods spending less is better than nothing at all, assuming you meet the minimum threshold to keep your gear from hitting the ground.

Having no access to other copies of this tripod, I was wondering if that was the norm for this tripod... expensive tripods and L glass are the only things that won't get you laughed at on this forum... there is more to the world than just that. (please now spew your "you get what you pay for" cliche replies that do nothing to answer the question.... I cannot be the only one who tries to enjoy photography on a reasonable budget)


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CW ­ Jones
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Jul 26, 2010 17:57 |  #5

I used a $30 Walmart one for almost a year! Then my gear starter to get heavier and I was too worried all the time about it. Now I have a Manfrotto 190XPROB and a nicer ball head for it. I would leave my gear on it and walk a mile away from it without a worry in the world that it would tip over or break!


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HrcRacing
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Jul 26, 2010 19:14 as a reply to  @ CW Jones's post |  #6

I paid $115.00 for my SLIK 400DX and it's rated to 11lbs. So far I'm really liking it.


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argyle
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Jul 26, 2010 19:15 |  #7

boufa wrote in post #10607358 (external link)
Thanks, at least for spending my money... this forum is great for that... anyways, the tripod I have cost $50, and I have had it for 3 or 4 years. I agree that more tripod would be great, but in the end it just is not in the cards. The strength and safety of the unit I have had never been in doubt. It is a solid build, kinda light weight, and other than the quick release issue, the head has been rock solid... when I twist the handle to lock an axis, it stays locked.

I will watch the used section... and maybe I will get lucky and the catch that they are sending me will be enough to get me along. Lens glass is different, but in tripods spending less is better than nothing at all, assuming you meet the minimum threshold to keep your gear from hitting the ground.

Having no access to other copies of this tripod, I was wondering if that was the norm for this tripod... expensive tripods and L glass are the only things that won't get you laughed at on this forum... there is more to the world than just that. (please now spew your "you get what you pay for" cliche replies that do nothing to answer the question.... I cannot be the only one who tries to enjoy photography on a reasonable budget)

First, you weren't getting laughed at. Second, you don't need to spend $1000 to have a tripod that will give you good service for a number of years. And no one is "spewing" the "you get what you pay for" cliche', to use your words. You yourself called it a POS. The point that I was trying to make was that you'll be in the hole for about $150 if you buy the new tripod, and still have a POS. Ask for advice, and you'll get everything from high to low.

My advice is the same...save a bit more and get something that's at least marginally better. If you don't want to, that's fine too...its your money.


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boufa
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Jul 26, 2010 20:41 as a reply to  @ argyle's post |  #8

I apologize for getting defensive. It is a wild world out here on this internet thingy. I have been researching lens options, and the one constant is "I can only spend X amount so what do you recommend?" always garner the reply of I would not waste my money I would go for the X + $1000 lens. It actually becomes meaningless to ask many buying questions... Its all about the L glass and the expensive tripods.

Honestly, I have to imagine that there are cheaper tripods that would serve the purpose. It is 3 sticks and a head. Sure, I understand precision glass. I even understand high end tripods. ultra light, premium heads... but there has to be a point where the cheaper tripods will actually do the job.

In my case I was asking about the loose quick release plate/holder. It is not a technological marval. It is 2 interlocking pieces of metal. I was curious if anyone else had this tripod, and if they might have experienced similar issues with the plate. Bad design or bad individual piece is what I was looking for. I realize that a Hyundai is not gonna be as good as a Cadillac, but I don't expect the wheels on the Hyundai to wobble as it drives down the street. That is what I was asking.

I will look into the Slik tripod. Interestingly, the quick release plate on my $50 Sunpak is the exact same quick release plate that Slik has used on several of its tripods (http://www.amazon.com …ef=acc_glance_e​_ai_-2_t_8 (external link)) .

Hmmm makes ya wonder.

Thanks for the feedback anyways, obviously no one here owns this particular tripod.


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CW ­ Jones
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Jul 26, 2010 20:48 |  #9

Trust me, you are not alone on a tight budget! lol I try and scratch up what I can for this hobby. Luckily my girlfriend got me the tripod for my 21st birthday a month or so ago. If she didn't I would still be using my $30 Walmart cheapy haha

You won't get laughed off the forum, or treated like crap. This place is in all honesty a little harder to get some respect on but eventually you will earn it based on your images. No one really seems to care after a while what lenses you shoot with as long as the result is good. People actually do care on here and just don't want to see you get something you might regret that's all. Don't take everything anyone on here says as truth, people say the 18-55 IS lens has decent at best IQ.... I think its pretty impressive for a budget lens however, its all opinions.

You have better equipment than me already hahaha


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Jul 27, 2010 14:04 as a reply to  @ CW Jones's post |  #10

boufa wrote in post #10606454 (external link)
I have the Sunpak 3300 Pro tripod (please no judging me for it, I know it is cheap).

The problem I am having is that the quick release plates are loose, have a little left right play in them, when they are mounted on the tripod (magnify the play with a 400mm lens and it becomes nearly unusable). Does anyone else have this problem?

I contacted a company that claimed to repair them to see if I could get parts for it. They are sending me a new catch lever (for free!) to see if that part has worn and will fix it.

I don't consider myself a heavy user of it. Both quick release plates have similar play in them, so I am doubting that it is the plates themselves.

Is this just how life goes with a cheap tripod? Should I expect more, even from this pos? I am considering replacing it with a Promaster 4750 tripod. It runs $99. I don't want to replace it if I don't need to, since the sunpak is very rigid, and very capable (except for the quick release thing).

I would take other tripod model recommendations but DON'T spend my money freely... I have a $100 budget (+/- $15), including head, and I use it with a 40D and a Tokina 80-400mm lens (with tripod mount on it). Its fairly heavy, but reasonably light for a lens that goes to 400mm.

As was said before, yeah, this is pretty much how it is. There's an old photography adage that says the three most desirable qualities in a tripod are light weight, rigidity and low price. Pick two, because you can't have all three...

As I read it, your biggest issue is with the quick release system and not with the weight or rigidity of the legs. I suspect what you have is a plastic-on-plastic quick release and it's worn (or never fit well in the first place). Is it possible to replace the entire head with something that has a better QR, like the Manfrotto 498RC2 or even the older 488RC2?


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boufa
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Jul 27, 2010 23:44 |  #11

No replacement options for the head. It is punched on and replacement is not an option (o.k. that is a distinct drawback of a cheaper tripod)

The quick release system is all metal. It is possible that it still wore. When I tighten down the screw all the way tight on the release lever, the plate holds tight.... of course, then I cannot work the lever. It almost seems as though the machining on the lever might have been just a hair off. The screw hole is slightly indented, and tightening down the screw forces just a slight bit closer (were talking maybe a 1/16th of an inch). The new lever assembly might fix it.

Other posibilites I am thinking of... a thin layer of something to fill in the slot that the QR plate sockets into, just that very little bit to force it to snug in lighter. A thin layer of epoxy or maybe a tiny amount of JB Weld. Put in magic putty (an epoxy) then insert the QR plate to form it, then remove the plate and let it harden (since it is a pliable putty until it sets). Again were only talking about a 1/16th of an inch.... but that is enough play to move the plate approx 5 degrees either side of center.


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Jul 28, 2010 00:31 |  #12

Just line the QR tray with some tape, keep adding layers until you get a tight enough fit.


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Jul 28, 2010 00:58 |  #13

Just to follow the advices here, in the sell section theres a Manfrotto 055Xprob with tilt/shift head fo sale, granted it'll be a bit more on the $$ side than your budget, but it'll last longer and it's way below the price for the same rig as new.


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boufa
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Jul 28, 2010 01:02 |  #14

redjamesg wrote in post #10616286 (external link)
Just to follow the advices here, in the sell section theres a Manfrotto 055Xprob with tilt/shift head fo sale, granted it'll be a bit more on the $$ side than your budget, but it'll last longer and it's way below the price for the same rig as new.

Looks o.k., but the budget is a hard line that cannot be crossed. I looked the sunpak 3300 pro up on amazon and its running $80 (I already have it, its over 3 years old). The one I was looking at runs $99. So going strictly on price the new one is not an upgrade. However, since I can touch the new one and test the very unit I would buy, I feel better buying locally so that I know I am not getting a bad copy.


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tun
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Jul 28, 2010 08:31 |  #15

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …3-REG/Induro_470_010.htm​l (external link)
You can make up the $21 difference by selling your old one.


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Does anyone here own a Sunpak 3300 Pro Tripod? Help Needed
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