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.