Customer Reviews

290
4.2 out of 5 stars
Dolica ST-500 68-Inch Lightweight Tripod
Size Name: 68 inchChange
Price:$24.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2009
Size Name: 68 inch
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 any direction and orient the camera how you like. big plus for me because i like to point my camera at the sky.

the locking mechanisms allow you to control how tight or loose you want to be able to move your camera very well. at the appropriate tightness, you can move the camera very smoothly and it will stay in place when you let go, but make sure its not too loose. all the tightning nuts can all be adjusted by hand too, including the piece that connects to the camera(ive seen some tripods that require a screwdriver).

this tripod is sturdy, and can be set up very quickly. and it packs up nicely. i can attach it to my rebel camera bag with no problems.

Im very happy with this tripod.
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2010
Size Name: 57 inchVerified Purchase
Pros:
- Plenty sturdy for point and shoot and small video cameras. I haven't tested with a big SLR, but it seems like it would do fine and has a hook for a weight as well.
- Easy to use quick release plate
- Tall enough for most purposes. I'm about 6'2" and have no problem using it.
- Good features and easy to use - level, pan and tilt lock, portrait mode, crank elevator with lock (not sure what this is actually called).
- Very light
- Folds up to a pretty compact size
- Good price
- Carrying handle (not really needed IMO)
- Comes with a bag

Cons:
- The locks for sliding the legs in and out are a bit sticky. It does make it seem the thing isn't going to collapse, but they're not very easy to open.
- One of the clamps broke and would not fasten. Fortunately it was just the plastic piece that provides resistance to the clamp, so I stuffed some pipe cleaner into the space and now it works again. This doesn't inspire a lot of confidence though.
- I could not find a Dolica spare quick release plate from anyone. I finally found a compatible one from a different manufacturer, it's a Sunpak SP620-731. That plate is bigger and doesn't seem quite as high quality as the Dolica one, but it fits and it's inexpensive.
- I emailed Dolica about a spare QR plate and they never responded, so I can't really say anything good about their customer service, at least via email.

I recommend this tripod unless you will need extra quick release plates. In that case I would look for something that you know you can get original equipment extras for.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2010
Size Name: 68 inchVerified Purchase
If you want an inexpensive tripod that won't let you down, this is it.

I'm going to assume that anyone reading this review is looking at this product for the same reason I did - I wanted a tripod that was cheap. That's it. This thing is cheap, lightweight and so far has not let me down. It comes with a bag to carry it which makes it much easier to lug around between photo sessions. It has two bubble levels to make sure your shot is perfectly leveled. When it's extended fully and neck extension (the part that lifts the camera with a little crank) is fully raised, I'd guess this thing comes up to a full six feet. When it's completely collapsed it's no bigger than a rolled up poster and only slightly heavier. Personally, I'm a weakling, so it's great that this thing is light. I could carry it around all day without a problem.

Is it sturdy though? It -is- inexpensive, which does mean you're sacrificing some sturdiness but unless you're hiking up mountains or something like that, you'll never notice.

If you're an amateur or novice just getting into photography or want a tripod that won't break the bank, you can't do better than this.

[UPDATE] - February 11, 2012
Still works as good as the day I first got it. I haven't noticed a single scratch, ding or dent. The bag is even in great shape.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2012
Size Name: 57 inch
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 in
* Solid if you don't crank up the head adjustment
* Quick release head mount
* Thumbscrew attachment of head mount with screw wings on the attachment screw.
* The mounting screw is a standard 1/4" screw
* Flexible rubber feet to hold flat on a floor
* Fully retracted, this tripod is 22 1/4" high
* Bubble levels for the tripod and the head mechanism.

The not so good:
* Short! I'm 6'0" and I have to crank up the tripod all the way just to use it.
* The head extension retracted down, for best stability has a maximum height of 48 1/2"
* The extension mechanism for the crank up head is very sloppy -- I don't trust it with my Fujifilm S100FS.
* Cheap rivets again hold the leg supports together
* The movable head pieces are all plastic
* The head extension crank is flimsy plastic, use caution.
* NO head tilt bubble level

This is a very lightweight and light duty tripod. If you purchase it, remember, it will not handle mistreatment well. The rivets are the weak link in this tripod. The true usable height for the tripod is only 48 1/2", even though overall extended height is 57".

I use it sparingly, mounting the camera and leaving it set in that position. I also use the delay timer to take my pictures to help compensate for the lose construction that makes this tripod not as steady as more expensive models.

I'm currently looking for an upgrade that is taller and more steady.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2009
Size Name: 57 inch
Pros:

- 2.3lbs weight makes itself in Ultra light-weight level, that is great for travel. I easily put it in my suitcase (folded height is 23").
- Heavy duty construction. The tripod is used to elevate my Canon Camcorder XH-A1 (5.2 lbs) without trouble.
- 3-section legs with locks that can be adjusted to several different angles.
- 90 degrees vertical platform and 3 way fluid panhead that make easy-to-use controls.
- The ball head that attaches to the device is very tight. It can hold heavy load (my Canon Camcorder XH-A1) even in movement.
- Includes tripod bag.

Cons:

- The material looks like a little bit cheap (just a feeling).
- 57" max height sometimes makes inconvenience. Depending on your purpose to choose a right height.

If you are looking for a good tripod, but don't want to spend too much money, Dolica ST-300 is a right choice.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2009
Size Name: 63 inch
Based on positive Amazon reviews and a price that met my budget, I purchased one of these and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and features of this tripod. You may be able to find tripods which are lighter, more sturdy or sport a more famous brand, but I dare you to find one with this mix of features at this price point.

If you're a professional photographer, go look at Manfrotto or some of the other high end brands. If you're an amateur photographer looking for a good tripod that won't cut into your lens budget, then look no further. Its lightweight so you don't mind tossing it into your travel bag. It holds my old Nikon d70s with no problems and is sturdy. Comes with a balistic nylon bag.

Firstly, the legs adjust to 3 different angles, the most extreme of which allows the legs to go perpendicular to the center column. The ball head mechanism is very smooth and precise, allowing fine adjustments with ease. Due to the various angles the legs are capable of doing, Macro work would be nice on this tripod.

Its obviously not in in the league of those carbon fiber tripods, but for under $40 shipped, its a steal.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2010
Size Name: 65 inchVerified Purchase
Love it! Pans smoothly, very easy quick release plate and sets up in a snap. I think it is very sturdy. Seems well constructed and has a nice black canvas back with a strap for slinging over your shoulder. It says it can take up to 11 pounds. The tripod weighs a little over 4 pounds. I use my husband as my personal sherpa, so he can carry it when we trek out together.
You can also tilt the plate and lock it for vertical shots.
Got a great deal on this baby, very happy! Super easy to use.

October 2013: It broke. I can't even say exactly how it happened. My kids put it in the bag and when I went to use it again, it is like it's neck is broken. Just flopped around. I wish I could be more forth coming on HOW and the precise mechanism that seemed to snap, but I couldn't quite figure it out. In it's defense it lasted a while. My kids used it constantly for making their movies so it was put through abuse. I am now searching for a replacement.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2009
Size Name: 60 inchVerified Purchase
I bought this for use with a Canon HF-200 camcorder. I had been looking at lots of lightweight tripods, and finally decided on this one. Using it primarily for indoor use (gymnasium) but have used it outdoors. I am very pleased with it.

Pros
-Sturdy construction
-Easy to setup/use
-Very stable
-All directional movements have tighteners to prevent unwanted movement or gravity's pull
-Very smooth panning
-Quick release pad attaches securely to camera and tripod- metal screw (not cheap plastic)
-Lightweight
-Simple leveling system (single multi-directional bubble)
-Entry level price
-Includes zippered carrying bag w/ adjustable strap

Cons
-None with the tripod itself, but the "instructions" consisted of a double-sided 3X3 glossy card pointing to the various parts, but no explanation. I'm OK with that, I've used a tripod before, it's not hard. For the complete novice, it might be frustrating.

Bottom line:
Unless you are with Nat Geographic or plan on "extreme" videomaking, this tripod is perfect. Very impressed. I've seen plenty of other tripods with less to offer for more money.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
Size Name: 68 inchVerified Purchase
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2012
Size Name: 68 inchVerified Purchase
I ordered this tripod after lots of Amazon research. I was not looking for anything too fancy, just a tripod to put my camera on. This one seemed to have good reviews, and I even read the negative ones, but figured with 88 reviews and 4 stars that it must be decent. I was wrong. The very first time I got it out to use it, I adjusted the height on the legs, and the locking tab broke off in my hand! I was shocked, it was not at all difficult to move the locking tab, its not like I was forcing it or something. The next tab was fine, but the third one broke off in my hand as well. What a piece of junk. I'm with another review, I will never buy another Dolica product again. Absolutely ridiculous!
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