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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong and lightweight best deal for price
I use this to mount my older Hi8 digital camcorder for recording beach volley ball tournements and it holds up well to the strong on shore breeze. This thing is made of alumninum and is very light for its size. Its also strong, I set up a Nikon DSLR and hooked my bookback in the middle of the tripod as counter weight. It was holding at least 15lbs. You can point it in...
Published on July 22, 2009 by tattler

versus
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Small, but inexpensive
My old trusty Vivatar tripod snapped a rivet at the leg support, rendering that tripod useless. I needed a quick replacement and found this unit at a local retail store, on clearance.

The good:
* Price - for a compact tripod, I couldn't beat the price
* Lightweight
* Carrying bag w/shoulder strap -- must be completely retracted to fit the tripod...
Published on January 20, 2012 by The WB


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, absolutely!, April 19, 2011
By 
Klisk (Wayne, NJ; United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod (Camera)
I'm really shocked by this tripod. For the price, it's quite heavy duty, functional, and worked fine right of the box. I'm not particularly sure what happened to the other people who are unhappy with it - One could only assume that there were QC issues at one point or another. However, as of writing this, I do believe such issues were fleshed out.

I bought two and both function well beyond their price point.

First of all, my main camera is a Pentax K-r. This tripod is more than heavy enough to accommodate it without the need of a counter weight. Getting it balanced was a tad tricky - There are 2 liquid levels build in to help you get a good idea of rather or not the tripod legs are even or not. I found that, even with the bubble dead center, it was much more prudent to trust your own eyes - In my case, I had to over compensate one of the legs in order to get it balanced. Strangely enough, the bubble remained center on the balance even after raising the single leg.

Panning is smooth. Being left handed, I don't find the placement of the handle awkward at all - Of course, right handed people might be a little bothered by it.

The camera mounts via the traditional screw, which is connected to a detachable plate that clips in to the top of the tripod. This allows you to move around the camera without having to unscrew it every time you do so, keeping the option to switch to hand as simple as twisting a knob. Which sums up this entire tripod, really - It's incredibly convenient, and all of the locking mechanisms work much better than you would expect. If I didn't spend 17.99 on this unit I would of assumed it was easily worth 60.

That all being said, I find the ST-500 to be easily recommended. It even comes with a nice cloth (and zippered) carrying bag. Dolica exceeded my expectations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Busted, March 7, 2011
By 
G. Strimbeck (Trondheim, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod (Camera)
One of the plastic quick release levers broke off the first time I tried to use the tripod. Returned for full refund. I will never buy another Dolica product.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feels cheap, is cheap; relatively sturdy, December 18, 2011
By 
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This review is from: Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod (Camera)
This camera looks fine from far away since the aluminum portion of this product is pretty well-done. However, the plastic part isn't molded very well and you can see obvious jagged edges and uneven spots of plastic. I considered the possibility that it was just me getting a used product, but the picture when zoomed in on Newegg shows the very same defects.

Of course, I still give it four stars because for a ~25 dollar product (though I only paid half due to the promotion) if you were expecting much more... well, don't. It is relatively sturdy for the price and does crane up pretty high at 68 inches for shots needing that extra height. The legs are surprisingly solid (but doesn't pull out that smoothly) with a nice metal bar that connects to the center piece to ensure that they're all evenly spaced. Also of interest is that plastic hook, which despite reviews claiming it's ability to hold 15 lbs, looks fragile and resembles a slightly thicker coat hanger. A metal carabiner type of thing would've probably made much more sense, but at this price, I don't think they were going for what was logical.

While the semi-large mounting bracket does inspire some confidence in mounting a heavy DSLR, the tripod as a whole seems like it would top out at 5-6 lbs. Anyhow, if you're just mounting whatever DSLR with a kit lens, you should mostly be fine since I don't think anybody with a multi-thousand dollar set-up would even entertain the possibility of getting this tripod (or at least, I don't think they are). If my case, my GF2 with a small 20mm lens barely goes over a pound so I couldn't be bothered getting a tripod that costs substantially more than this.

Essentially, if you were looking for a cheap, disposable tripod to bring anywhere and one you don't mind throwing around and abusing, this is the one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't give it more than it's due: it's still a $30 tripod, December 28, 2010
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Edit: After some dealing with its shortcomings, I found that the problems were unbearable, especially the tight elevation knob and jerky panning. I think that this may be due to a defective unit, so I will not change my review score. Nevertheless, I will be returning this for a refund and buying another tripod.

---Original Review---

I actually give this a 3.5/5, but Amazon doesn't allow half ratings.

I needed a budget tripod to record video with on a DSLR. I bought this because of the glamorous reviews it had gotten. I'm a bit disappointed.

Pluses:
- This thing is huge! Make sure that you don't underestimate its height, because I sure did.
- With all three leg sections unlocked, it's quite stable. I haven't tried it in a hurricane, nor is my setup anywhere close to the max load of eleven pounds, but it's nice.
- It's got a good bit of heft, and it feels solidly built for a budget tripod (good for a no-cost steadicam!).
- It has a handle on it, and it comes with a bag.
- It has TWO bubbles levels, aww yeah!
- It has a counterweight hook, albeit a plastic one
- Tilting (vertical panning) is quite smooth
- It can go into portrait mode with looks steady

Cons:
- It is NOT a "hydraulic fluid" head as the description states, nor did I expect it to be for this price.
- It IS a tension head, and although the vertical tension knob works wonders, the horizontal knob is crap in comparison
- The panning (horizontal) ultimately is smooth, but it starts with a jerk, with seems to be the result of a loose part (maybe just mine?)
- With only two or one extensions extended, it wobbles quite a bit, especially with panning
- Some of the knobs can get quite tight, making it hard to unscrew them, especially the elevator tension knob
- The elevator handle feels quite cheap compared to the rest of the tripod, and doesn't operate very smoothly
- The quick release comes out a bit roughly

All in all though, this is a decent tripod for the price (I got it for $20 with the Amazon Prime trial), and it will serve it's purpose. If I were to do it over, I would probably not buy this tripod again (probably going with a Slik or a Sunpak), but none of the cons are serious enough to warrant a return.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy tripod, August 10, 2011
By 
nb (Chicago, US) - See all my reviews
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As other reviewers said, it's a sturdy tripod, and not expensive.

I also own the Polaroid 57" and 50". This tripod is noticeably heavier, maybe 50%? (the legs are thicker) and hence, more stable. The footprint is bigger as well.

It is basically the same construction of the Polaroids, but a little better (and the Polaroid 57" is better built than the 50"). Box says it's 3.5 lbs, and supports max 9 lbs.

The 50" Polaroid is too feeble and light, but may be useful if you're camping, hiking, etc. Between this one and the Polaroid 57", it depends on what you want. If you want the lightest tripod possible, but still decent, go with the Polaroid. If you want more stability and slightly better build and you don't worry about space, go with this one. Both are good tripods for a point and shoot.

A few details on the Dolica:
1. the upper bubble level is useless, it should be put up in the head
2. the foot is looser than the Polaroid 57", which is good
3. the crank has a spring to keep it in closed position, unlike the Polaroids
4. the plate's lock locks when releasing the plate, like the P 57", but the P 57" lock is better
5. I find it a little too hard to pan, you have to hold the tripod to pan, but I think it's by design (took one star)
6. the hydraulic fluid head gives it a smoother pan/tilt than the P 57"
7. I paid less for the Dolica
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Swivel issues, October 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod (Camera)
Swivel is sticky and very jerky when changing directions. I've tried every kind of lubricant I know and still no improvement. The tripod is useless to me in this state.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good tripod for the price., September 1, 2010
By 
pdxpro (Oregon, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod (Camera)
Actually bought this from another vendor, but at same price as Amazon.
Bought it for the price, but was very happy with its sturdiness and features.
I owned another inexpensive tripod purchased for the same price and this is vastly superior.
This does not feel like a flimsy, cheap tripod.

One negative for me is that the tilt control lever is on the left side of the tripod head. I'm right-handed and most other tripods have the lever on the right side. I guess I'll adapt to it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective Mounting Plate - Poor Quality Plastic, May 20, 2012
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Purchased this tripod at the end of December 2011 with the intention of keeping it at my house as a spare. Today was only the 4th time I used it. After mounting my Nikon on the tripod, I stepped back to take a remote shot. The plastic lever that holds the camera mounting plate in place snapped off and down went my Nikon DSLR onto a wooden floor. The camera luckily survived but the tripod is now useless. I have other Dolica products and have never experienced any problems. Unfortunatley, this model appears to have a poor quality plastic camera mount.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Serves it's purpose........, April 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod (Camera)
Bought this to hold a pair of Celestron 15x70 binoculars. Not thrilled with how the tripod adapter for the binocs "locks" into place and this being a lightweight tripod combines for a slight wobble sometimes. But for binoculars up to this size the tripod is fine. The legs and head movements are satisfactory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great replacement tripod, November 24, 2010
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I bought this tripod to replace the $25 model that was stolen out of my car during repairs last month; I don't have the money for a professional model right now but wanted something sturdy and easy to use. This one is far more sturdy than the one it replaced, and almost as sturdy as my old Bogen; that makes it quite a bit heavier than the cheaper model, but since I use a tripod primarily for composed shots rather than on-the-go hiking expeditions, it does just what I need it to do. I would give it 5 stars within its own class (affordable/amateur tripods) but, of course, it just isn't in the same class as the professional models. Overall, though, it's a really nice tripod for the price, and I'm actually glad I had to replace the cheaper one.
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Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod
$54.99 $24.99
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