Glueeater wrote in post #12587872
My heaviest lens is the Sigma 85 and with my 60D it comes out to roughly 4ish pounds. Would a $100 Slik or Benro or even $160 Manfrotto not hold up to some basic conditions? I say this because I find these brands to be reoccurring and trustworthy (although at higher price points). I find it hard to believe that once they drop below the $200 mark there's an exponential decrease in these brand's quality. That is, their tripods (because they weren't "expensive") will just suddenly shatter and drop my equipment.
To clarify, I do not hike. I rarely do landscape, but I wanted a tripod to try things out. If anything, I'd use a tripod to play
with IR and take some portraits (at some point down the road).
Also, are tripod prices ever-decreasing or fairly constant?
Prices stay fairly constant, technology improves over time and prices drop on old stuff, but not a whole ton.
You'll be just fine with cheaper tripods if you choose carefully and have realistic expectations about how steady it will be and how much you can load on it. It's not like a $100 set of tripod legs is likely to fail, it's just that the mere possibility that it could fail is enough that many won't risk putting their gear on it.
There is a good point being made though. Even though you can get by with less, it's probably best to spend a little more here now if you think you'd be upgrading later anyway. Then again, it'd be nice to just have it now to start using and worry about upgrades later.
I'd look HorusBennu (on ebay), Giottos, Benro and Manfrotto in that price range. I haven't used the cheapest Horusbennu ones but I'm very impressed with their higher end legs which are still quite a bargain so I assume the low end is at least decent.