Ok I noticed there has been some discussion of tripods in the camera thread so I thought I would start a fresh thread on the subject of tripods, since, as has been pointed out, there is a huge range of features, prices, weight, etc., both full size and mini, such as the Gorillapod.
I think in might be useful to start threads on different types of gear, and if we start with the key Camera_Gear: followed by the subject it might be easier to locate different topic areas on this general topic rather mixing everything up in one long thread.
Note: that I changed the title to include an underline character between the words "Camera" and "Gear". I did this because of the way the search engines work, by making it all one "word" searching on Camera_Gear: will filter out anything with just "Camera" or "Gear". So lets see if that will help in searches.
So to start here's what I just purchased and more importantly, why, lets here from others on what and Why they use/purchased the ones they did. Note the emphasis on WHY.
The tripod I finally settled on was a Promaster, I believe it was one of the 6100 series, but I’d have check when I get home. Regardless of the actual model number, following is a quick rundown on the features I liked.
They were (though not necessarily in this order) the quick-release base, having two handles on the pan head, one for up and down (I guess that would be vertical ?) tilt and one for horizontal tilt, a bubble level and spirit level on the tilt for horizontal alignment, locking center leg support, tensioner on the center column rise, overall smoothness of operation, overall size, and all metal head. Other things I considered were number of leg segments, the more segments the less sturdy they tend to be, but two few and they get awkward to carry on a motorcycle, so three seems to be a good compromise. I think that a level on the front/back tilt would have been more useful than the bubble level, but other than that, I’ve found it to be a good compromise of price, features, sturdiness and weight.
Price was less than $100, around $65-$75 if I remember right.