Which tripod is good for beginners

Purchase advice: 10 photo tripods from 70 euros in the test - which tripod suits me?

In order to take the camera and lens with you on extended photo tours, we also recommend a sturdy tripod, because it not only helps in many shooting situations, but is even indispensable for some subjects. We have tested ten photo tripods from 70 euros for you and give you three clear purchase recommendations.

Ten tripods in the test

Which camera tripod is the best?

That's a question every photographer has asked himself at some point. The answer to this is individual. The value of the tripod should match that of the rest of the equipment: Approx 30 percent the camera price are a good guide. If you have a camera worth 1,000 euros, a tripod worth 300 euros makes sense.

This test includes ten tripods, which are divided into three price ranges. The models of Mantona, Cullmann and Hama are with under 150 euros attractively priced. This is followed by the middle class up to 300 euros from the manufacturers Vanguard, Rollei, Dehydrator and Leofoto. The models of Manfrotto, Feisol and Tiltall form the premium class from 301 euros. The price always refers to the tripod incl. (Partly optionally available) tripod head. Due to the large price range, we do not choose a classic test winner here, but give purchase recommendations.

Quality categories for the tripod purchase

Aluminum vs. carbon

Tripods with a carbon finish are highly recommended. The composite material made of carbon fiber and plastic is around three times lighter and less susceptible to vibrations than its biggest competitor: aluminum. Unfortunately, the production from carbon is comparably expensive. This is also clear in our practical test. Carbon tripods are rarely found in the entry-level segment. Still are Aluminum tripods are not a bad choice. They are also light, but in direct comparison they are heavier and not as stable. With aluminum models, look out for foam jackets or rubber coatings, which many tripods offer.

Equipment in detail

What can your tripod do? The equipment starts with a well-made tripod cross, which ideally has an integrated spirit level or spirit level. So the tripod can be aligned plumb. Furthermore, a rotating, reversible and swiveling center column are a helpful feature. In windy conditions, a hook on the underside of the center column helps to stabilize the tripod with a weight (e.g. with the camera backpack). Many tripod manufacturers offer the option of using a tripod as a monopod as standard. If you are often out in nature and on rough terrain, you should also watch out for spikes on the tripod feet. These can be enclosed with the tripod or integrated.

Friction on the tripod head

Well-equipped ball heads offer a friction setting with which the resistance of the tripod head can be adapted to the weight of the camera and lens. In our test field, five out of nine tripods with ball heads offer such a setting. Even models in the entry-level area can be found with it, as the tripod from Cullmann shows in this test. In the higher-priced segment, ball heads are usually equipped with friction. Read more about tripod heads in the next section.

Ball head or three-way head

Which tripod head is the right one?

What kind of tripod head do you prefer? Most tripod manufacturers rely on classic ball heads or three-way pan heads. Ball heads are comparably compact and allow the camera alignment to be changed more quickly. On the other hand, three-way tilt heads are more recommended for photographers who want to select the most precise image possible. With them it is possible to set the camera orientation independently on three axes. However, our test also shows that ball heads are more compact than three-way pan heads. Photographers who like to travel with compact equipment should keep this in mind. When it comes to compact travel tripods, manufacturers therefore mostly rely on ball heads. Tripod kits are often also available with different tripod heads. Find out for yourself what you like better.

Tripods up to 150 euros

Mantona SG-350

With a new price of just 70 euros, this is tempting Mantona SG-350 Photo beginners to buy. The tripod makes a good impression on the data sheet: It is made of aluminum and has tripod legs with foam covers. The tripod legs can be folded in by 180 degrees and thus enable a compact pack size of 46 centimeters. Including the mounted tripod head, the Mantona weighs 1.9 kilograms the most. It is designed for up to six kilograms.

Simple tripod

Whoever reaches for the Mantona will have to make compromises, as with any other tripod in this test: The tripod has neither spikes nor a shortened macro column. However, deep camera positions can be achieved thanks to the reversible center column. The stability is good and can be improved thanks to a hook on the bottom of the center column. The biggest advantage of this tripod, however, remains the low price.

Max. Height / pack size166/46 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookyes / no / yes
Load capacity / weight6 / 1.9 kg
Handling (30%)3,5/5
Processing (15%)3,5/5
Stability (30%)4/5
Functional scope (25%)3/5
RATING3,5/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)
Product notice

Mantona SG-350 tripod (height 168 cm, load capacity 8kg, twist lock leg lock, ball head with quick release plate, premium carrying bag) black

Cullmann Rondo 480M RB8.5

The new tripod series rondo finds with the 480M a full-fledged model in its ranks. With the mounted RB8.5 ball head, the aluminum tripod measures 183 centimeters when fully extended, making it by far the largest tripod in this comparison test. However, it is only designed for a payload of four kilograms and so it quickly becomes clear in our test that there are more stable tripods than the Cullmann model. In addition, the processing of the tripod, which costs around 90 euros, is rather mediocre.

Including monopod function

The range of functions is good: The Cullmann has a foam-coated tripod leg that can be converted into a monopod with the reversible center column. You have to do without spikes or a macro column here. The ball head with friction is a plus. It is the only tripod in the test field that is supplied with quick-release fasteners. Similar to the Mantona, the most convincing is the low price.

Max. Height / pack size183/49 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookyes / no / yes
Load capacity / weight4 / 1.67 kg
Handling (30%)3,5/5
Processing (15%)3,5/5
Stability (30%)3,5/5
Functional scope (25%)3,5/5
RATING3,5/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)
Product notice

Cullmann Rondo 480M RB8.5 all-round tripod with ball head, load capacity 4kg, pack size 48cm, extension height 185cm

Hama Trekking Duo Carbon 160

The Trekking Duo Carbon 160 from Hama With a price of around 140 euros, it bridges the gap between the entry-level tripods and the next more expensive mid-range models. It is pleasantly light at 1.37 kilograms and only measures 44 centimeters when folded. The handling is good: The twist locks are much easier to use compared to the Mantona model. The tripod legs made of carbon consist of four segments. Spikes for rough terrain are not included.

Our price tip

The stability is okay for the comparatively light tripod. The maximum working height of 160 centimeters with the center column fully extended is also impressive. Those who prefer perspectives close to the ground can mount the center column upside down in the tripod cross. A macro column is not included. There is a monopod function and tripod legs that can be folded in by 180 degrees. All in all, a good purchase decision for photo beginners.

Max. Height / pack size160/44 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookyes / no / yes
Load capacity / weight8 / 1.37 kg
Handling (30%)4/5
Processing (15%)4/5
Stability (30%)4/5
Functional scope (25%)4/5
RATING4/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)

Tripods between 151 and 300 euros

Rollei Rock Solid Gamma Mark II

With a payload of up to 20 kilograms, it does Rollei Rock Solid Gamma of the second generation lives up to its name. It offers more features than almost any other tripod and comes with spikes, a monopod function and a macro column. The ball head has a panorama scale and a friction setting. Nevertheless, we did not give the full number of points in terms of functionality, as the Rollei is quite large at 61 centimeters due to the legs that cannot be folded by 180 degrees.

Editor's recommendation

If you don't mind the comparably large pack size, the Rock Solid Gamma Mark II is an outstanding tripod. The workmanship is very good. Our conclusion on handling is correspondingly good. All adjustment elements, including the twist locks on the four-segment tripod legs, are easy to use. The extension markings on the lowest leg segments are helpful. The price of around 235 euros is cheap.

Max. Height / pack size164/61 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookyes / no / yes
Load capacity / weight20 / 1.79 kg
Handling (30%)4,5/5
Processing (15%)4,5/5
Stability (30%)4,5/5
Functional scope (25%)4,5/5
RATING4,5/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)
Product notice

Rollei Rock Solid Gamma Mark II incl ball head T3S Carbon, professional camera tripod with 20kg load capacity I Ideal for travel and nature photography

Vanguard VEO 2 PRO 263 CPV

Vanguard asks little more than the above Rollei tripod for this VEO 2 PRO 263 CPV. It is the only tripod in this test that does not have a ball head. The multifunctional three-way pan head can be converted into a two-way pan head in a matter of seconds. Nevertheless, the rather bulky head also has a large pack size: the Vanguard measures 62 centimeters when pushed together. With a weight of 1.69 kilograms it is one of the heavy tripods.

Consistently good

The rubberized, wide rubber feet offer great support. It's nice that the manufacturer includes spikes. The processing made of carbon is also well done. But why is the center column not made of carbon, as is the case with other tripods in this test? We do not know it. Buyers can expect a good tripod from the Vanguard Veo 2 PRO 263 CPV, without highlights such as a monopod function. The cheaper Rollei (see above) is better.

Max. Height / pack size152/62 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookyes / no / yes
Load capacity / weight6 / 1.69 kg
Handling (30%)4/5
Processing (15%)4/5
Stability (30%)4/5
Functional scope (25%)4/5
RATING4/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)

Dörr Racer CR-1700 + CNC-40

Photo accessories manufacturer Dörr presents with the Racer CR-1700 with ball head CNC-40 the lightest tripod in this comparison test. The carbon tripod weighs just 1.32 kilograms - perfect for long photo tours. But here, too, compromises are necessary: ​​The dehydrator only offers two leg angles (all other tripods in this test offer three) and does not require a monopod function or spikes. The tripod legs, each with three twist locks, are neither rubberized nor encased in foam.

Compact and light

The pack size is just as pleasing as the low weight: the dehydrator measures 45 centimeters when folded. The locking screw of the included ball head takes a bit of getting used to, but is okay with a little trial and error. With a new price of 249 euros, the dehydrator can be found in the ambitious segment. We would have liked a little more functionality (e.g. supplied spikes) and even better handling.

Max. Height / pack size167/45 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookyes / no / yes
Load capacity / weight6 / 1.32 kg
Handling (30%)4/5
Processing (15%)4/5
Stability (30%)4/5
Functional scope (25%)3/5
RATING3,5/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)

Leofoto LS-254C + LH-30

The most expensive model in our middle class is Leofoto with the LS-254C with ball head LH-30. The combination of tripod and tripod head costs 299 euros and weighs 1.35 kilograms. The carbon tripod has functions that are similar to those of the Dörr model, but remains larger with a pack size of 51 centimeters. It's a shame that the legs can't be folded 180 degrees. The tripod with the enclosed center column reaches the maximum extension height. Then there are photos from 160 centimeters high.

Very good handling

In our test, the Leofoto scores above all with very good handling and commendable workmanship. As you can expect from a tripod for 299 euros, all setting elements are easy to use. Unfortunately the ball head is not provided with a friction adjustment. You also have to do without foam sheathing and a monopod function with the Leofoto. All in all, it is a good tripod without any special features.

Max. Height / pack size160/51 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookno no no
Load capacity / weight8 / 1.35 kg
Handling (30%)4,5/5
Processing (15%)4,5/5
Stability (30%)4/5
Functional scope (25%)3/5
RATING4/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)

Tripods from 301 euros

Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO

Manfrotto sends that Befree GT XPRO Carbon into the race and thus claims a unique selling point: the tripod is the only one in this test to be equipped with a swiveling center column. In addition, optional accessories such as an LED light can be attached to the stand cross using the Easy-Link connection. With a weight of 1.82 kilograms it is comparatively heavy - the payload of up to ten kilograms makes up for the weight. The stability is very good.

Premium quality from Italy

During the test, we immediately noticed that the Manfrotto is superbly processed. It is a premium tripod that the manufacturer with production in Italy can also pay for accordingly: With a price of around 323 euros, the Manfrotto is a high, but fairly priced tripod. If you rely on spikes or a monopod function, you should use another tripod. However, the pivoting center column is irritating.

Max. Height / pack size163/44 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookno / yes / yes
Load capacity / weight10 / 1.82 kg
Handling (30%)4,5/5
Processing (15%)5/5
Stability (30%)4,5/5
Functional scope (25%)4/5
RATING4,5/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)
Product notice

Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO Carbon: tripod with ball head 496, M-Lock system, 90 degree column, 200PL-PRO plate, for DSLR or CSC cameras with long lenses, macro photography, carbon, MKBFRC4GTXP-BH

Feisol CT-3301 + CB-40D

The Feisol CT-3301 rightly places itself in the premium segment of this comparison test. The processing quality is excellent. The carbon tripod also shines with its great handling. Together with the optionally available Ball head CB-40D it costs around 441 euros. In this kit, the tripod does not have a center column, but it is available in the manufacturer's shop. The ratio of pack size and extension height is better with competing models. The legs cannot be folded 180 degrees.

Very stable carbon tripod

In terms of stability, no other tripod in this comparison can hold a candle to the Feisol model. The tripod is specified with a maximum load capacity of 18 kilograms and we accept this from the manufacturer after our test. The Feisol does not offer a monopod function. Spikes for rough terrain are not included, but are optionally available (13.95 euros). Conclusion: strong tripod for professional photographers.

Max. Height / pack size147/67 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookno no no
Load capacity / weight18 / 1.78 kg
Handling (30%)4,5/5
Processing (15%)5/5
Stability (30%)5/5
Functional scope (25%)3,5/5
RATING4,5/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)

Tiltall TC-254 + BH-20

For those who are willing to spend more than 550 euros on a tripod including tripod head, Kaiser Photo Technology has the Tiltall TC-254 + BH-20 a suitable model. The 1.58 kilogram carbon tripod is comfortably compact with a pack size of 43 centimeters and when fully extended it is 156 centimeters tall. The center column is reversible and has a weight hook. The ball head offers a panoramic scale and can be adapted to your equipment as you wish thanks to the friction setting.

Plenty of equipment

If there's one thing the Tiltall doesn't lack, it's the features. The tripod can be converted into a monopod and, thanks to the spikes integrated in the rubber feet, offers a secure hold even on unpaved terrain. The workmanship is outstanding. The tripod was also able to convince us in the test with its very good stability. Our tip for every photographer, if it weren't for the high price.

Max. Height / pack size156/43 cm
Means. ub * / sb ** / hookyes / no / yes
Load capacity / weight8 / 1.58 kg
Handling (30%)4,5/5
Processing (15%)5/5
Stability (30%)4,5/5
Functional scope (25%)5/5
RATING5/5
(Scroll horizontally to see the whole table)
Product notice

Kaiser Tiltall TC-254 Professional camera tripod incl. Tripod bag

Conclusion

Three price ranges and three clear recommendations. Once again it has been shown that there are good tripods for little money. The more money you are willing to invest, the higher the quality of workmanship that you can expect.

The Hama model is rock solid and a good choice for those new to photography. More ambitious photographers, for whom a good price-performance ratio is particularly important, are best advised with the model from Rollei. For around 235 euros, it offers an outstanding service package and is only four percentage points behind our professional tip for this comparison.

The model from Tiltall is excellently processed, convinces with high stability and very good handling. However, with a price of 558 euros, it is also very expensive. The Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO Carbon, made in Italy, claims a unique selling point, which is not only superbly manufactured, but also has a swiveling center column - practical!

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