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This low cost tripod came up as a promotional offer when purchasing a camera so I really wasn't expecting much since the price was so low. I figured the tripod bag would cost nearly that much so decided to give it a try. While by no means is this a professional model, it is an excellent value for an affordable starter tripod or spare.

Features:
Relatively lightweight - certainly not in the lightest class but sturdy and still manages to remain light enough to not tire for standard use.

Ability to rotate in all directions.

Quick connect/disconnect feature.

Able to hold decent sized DSLR not just super light weight point and shoot models.

Decent little canvas bag.

Quick hang hook.

Good spread - fairly steady.

Ability to set-up on non level surface.

All in all, this is a terrific starter tripod or spare you can toss around, leave in the car etc for a very affordable price. Not sure about durability since I've only had a short period of time but like I mentioned before, at the current sales price a tripod bag will cost you nearly the same amount. This should have a little life in it and can double for other uses later. Better than expected at this price!
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on April 12, 2011
Look, I read a review here and there, complaining about how it doesn't swivel smoothly enough. How it has plastic parts...Wha, Wha, Wha.

This is the reality...IT ONLY COST $20!!!!

Let me tell you, it's a $20 well spent. If you need a basic tripod to hold your camera still in one spot...buy this.
If you want to record movies at your kids party, or at your sister's wedding, buy it.
Want to take some pics at the park this weekend because that's what you like to do as a hobby, and need a lightweight tripod, buy it.

If you think you are professional photographer and your income depends on your camera and tripod...don't buy it.

Some people want everything for nothing. This tripod gives you excellent VALUE for just $20. It even comes with a nice carry bag for goodness sake!

Recommended for folks looking for a cost saving and effective tripod for $20!!

Why 5 Stars? Because you get the most Bang for your buck.

BTW...yes there are "instructions" included. It's part of the Warranty Registration Card. I think most folks think the card is a brand label and just throw it away. It tells your how to set up the tripod and how to use panning and tilting. Don't throw away the 3 X 5 card that looks like a label tag.

It's super easy to use. But can refer to the card to give you peace of mind if needed.
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on October 15, 2009
This is my first tripod purchase and my biggest priority was portability because I know that if my tripod weighed too much, I just wouldn't bother carrying it. I shoot with a Nikon D80 and a 18-200 VR lens so stability was also important. I'm in the midst of a 365 project (1 self portrait every day for a year) so the freedom of a tripod has greatly expanded my photo possibilities. I was concerned that my camera body and lens are heavy enough that I wouldn't be able to use it in a portrait orientation without tipping over. Honestly, cranked up high, its a bit rocky but doable, at least on a flat surface in my house. I'm not sure I'd trust it on a rocky slope. I sort of wish I'd gone with a ball-mount tripod rather than the 3 way adjuster but most ball mounts were beyond my desired price range. The adjustments achieve all the same motions of a ball, it just takes a little more effort to perfect it. So far so good though. I have yet to encounter a shot I couldn't get.

PROS:
-very lightweight and portable
-bag is a great bonus even though its minimal
-possible to use in portrait orientation with a Nikon D80 and zoom lens (just be careful!)

CONS:
-less stable than I was hoping for
-3 way adjuster takes some getting used to

Overall, I am fairly satisfied with the tripod. It's a nice starting point. However, down the road I'm sure I'll desire a more substantial pro-style one.
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on December 22, 2008
This tripod is light and definitely for the amateur photographer, not for a pro. As others have stated, it's fine as a first tripod, and if you're looking for one on the cheap.

Features:
-The extendable legs are adjustable, and allow you to level your camera/camcorder, even on slopes or uneven surfaces.
-The included tripod bag isn't terribly fancy, but just that it's included is a plus.
-Built in bubble level. It's not much, but at least it's there.
-Pans and tilts - Meaning it goes, up and down, and left and right. Most (but not all) budget tripods do that anyway, so it's not a groundbreaking feature, but should be mentioned for something at this price range.
-Detachable head, for if you want to quickly remove your camera/camcorder.

Pros:
-Tall enough for most people (I'm 5'10"). Unless you are gigantically tall yourself.
-When folded, it's pretty small, and would be very convenient for carrying around.
-Fairly sturdy aluminum. It definitely supports the weight of larger cameras. That said, I wouldn't lean against it.
-It's fairly easy to detach the head, though you need both hands to put it back onto the tripod. (If you have multiple cameras/camcorders, I'm sure you can buy extra heads from the manufacturer.)

Cons:
-The plastic used for the feet, the head, and the handle just doesn't feel like it will last long. I have no doubt that with medium use, it'll start to wear and tear pretty quickly.
-Tilting and panning is not smooth at all, and ends up being sorta jerky.

The panning and tilting is not a problem for just photos, just don't use it for video. There are knobs on the tripod which allow you to loosen the head, but it's more intended for you to reposition and then retighten the knob. Certainly if you don't need smooth panning and tilting, then this one is fine.

For $25 (or less for those who got it on promotion), this is pretty good. If you want to move up beyond the ~$30 tier of budget tripods, the next step up are the tripods that are three or four times the price.
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on December 16, 2008
Pros: Good height, quick detach, fairly good construction, lightweight, low price.

Negative: At full extension the lower leg segments are a little flimsy.

Still great features for the price. No real complaints.
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on December 20, 2008
i also got this tripod with my camera on a promotional offer and didnt expect much but i was surprised in how versatile and sturdy it is!

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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on September 17, 2014
I purchased this tripod in a pinch while working on a photography class project. This tripod is inexpensive, and sturdy enough to support my T2i and Sony camcorder securely as it is. With a lot of plastic parts and an aluminum frame, the tripod does not feel as fancy as the $200+ all metal models, but for the price it is a pretty good tripod. The attached head features a 3-way pan/tilt "fluid-effect" design, with a built-in quick release mechanism. I like being able to quickly detach the camera from the tripod when needed.

The only gripe I had was the panning movement was not fluid. While recording a sporting event, the camcorder made "jumps" as I panned, the tripod head jerked and squeaked while turning from one side to another. Simply trying to loosen the knobs on the tripod just would't do. I was quite disappointed and started looking for a replacement video tripod head and realized good ones run about $80+. Bummer!

Anyways, with a pair of pliers, I figured out how to fix the tripod to allow fluid panning motion. The trick is to adjust a different setting. Located at the top of the tripod is a cap. Loosen this cap by using a pair of pliers and turn the cap counter-clockwise. Once this cap is loosened, the tripod left-right swivel/pan becomes effortlessly smooth. In the uploaded picture, you can see the two marks that my pliers made on the cap. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BhCY3VvrL.jpg

I don't know if the above fix will void the 10-year product warranty but now it works for my video recording.
review image
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on July 28, 2013
I have used this tripod only a handful of times. While it worked it was fine. However a part became loose and rendered the locking mechanism useless so that the camera would nosedive forward and point at the ground. I am a fan of good earth pictures, but focusing on my feet for every shot is a bit much.

Then, I looked at the product site on Amazon and found it has a TEN YEAR WARRANTY! Hurrah! So I fired off an e-mail to the manufacturer at their website. After nine days without a response, I fired off a second request. That was over a week ago again. Now I realize why it is a ten year warranty...because it may take ten years to hear back from them!

I understand that parts can get loose and break, but please don't market a fantastic warranty to us and then ignore us. Very poor customer service. I have notified Amazon and am working with them to find some sort of solution. Meanwhile, I have some excellent ground pictures and shoe shots, if anyone would like to see them...
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on October 29, 2009
This is my second tripod. My first was a Vanguard traveler that I bought for my Canon S1000 Point-and-shoot. It was a very compact tripod (16"-54") that worked out great for the P&S but was completely unusable when I got a Canon Digital Rebel XSi DSLR. That's when I got the Vista Explorer, for around the same price as the Vanguard. Its been about 6 months now with the Vista.

Pros:
1. Very inexpensive given features and weight rating. Was genuinely surprised with its build quality and features when I received it, given the price.
2. Holds the Xsi very securely at most of the orientations, heights and tilt angles. I have only the starter lens (18-55mm) on it and no attachments. I'm not sure how it would handle with heavier lenses, but I suspect it should do fine with most of the standard ones.
3. Has relatively smooth rotation, tilting and height adjustment, with locks abound.
4. The feet extensions have held very securely so far, which is more than I can say for the umbrella type extensions on the Vanguard.
5. 60" is a very good height for most purposes, and makes a world of difference from the 54" on my previous tripod.
6. Has built-in spirit levels which have proved very useful for ensuring level placement.
7. All of the adjustments and locks are quick and easy. Takes less than 2 minutes on average from bag to fully set-up.
8. Very light-weight, though sturdy.
9. Has a very convenient carrying handle built in.
10. Has a hook for weight attachment. I was planning to tie a bag filled with sand to it when taking pictures at the beach, but ended up not having to since it seemed to hold up to the breeze quite well even without it.
11. Comes with a bag. The Vanguard's bag was much better quality, but this one does just fine.

Cons:
1. The Vanguard easily fit into my backpack while flying. This is too tall to fit into a cabin bag.
2. The screw clamp for the sideways tilt doesn't quite lock the tilt however tight I screw it.
3. Rotation and tilt adjustments are smooth enough for adjustment purposes, but not quite smooth enough for video panning. But I hardly ever shoot videos anyway.

Overall, excellent value starter tripod for your starter DSLR.
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on December 1, 2011
First off if you think that this is supposed to be a professional grade camera, get out!
secondly this tripod is $20.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the features you get are fantastic for the price features such as
-3-way pan and tilt
-quick release
-crank lift
-handle
-angled feet for uneven terrain
-2 bubble levels
i use a canon eos rebel t3i with a rode videomic and it works flawlessly its sturdy and surprisingly even when the neck is cranked all the way up!!!
i dont know what people are saying when they say the pan isnt smooth enough you can adjust how resistant the pan and tilt are so you caan pan and tilt smoothly
did i mention its only $20.00?
this thing is great especially for the price and you get a carrying bag!!!!
lets review, you get an awesome tripod with pro like features but obviously not a pro tripod and a carrying case for $20.00
$20.00
$20.00
$20.00 i would have only put $20.00 as my review but it wouldnt let me
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