1. Check it out:
    amazon.com/dp/B004RBX0GO/?tag=viewnow-20

    Background music: Sneaky Snitch by Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com)

    What kind of tripod can $40 get you these days? Even i was surprised by what i got.
    The Ravelli 65", 17lb capacity tripod is made of all metal, i swear i cannot find any plastic anywhere, there's just a few proper rubber parts and that's it. I live in NYC, and have access to the disneyland of photo/video gear that is B&H. They have literally hundreds of tripods on display for you to play with, so i can say with honestly that i've seen a lot of tripods.

    When you're looking at the inexpensive ones, you almost always find plastic, and usually plenty of it. Not this tripod. The screw locks also appear to be all metal underneath, with thick nice feeling rubber to grip onto. I also noticed that while at first glance the ballhead knobs appear to be rubber, they're actually metal with a rubberized coating. The coating already has some wear, but it's good to know that the knob itself will hold up.

    The legs aren't the thickest, which is to be expected at this price. The usual concern is how thin the thinnest stage is, and in this case it's not too thin. I've seen thinner, so that's good. This all adds up to how stable it is. The way i test for tripod stability is to set it to its max height and then grab the neck where the legs all meet at the top, and then torque it, see how much it twists. Just about all smaller/inexpensive tripods have a fair amount of twist, and this one isn't an exception. But while it does twist, i find it to be more than acceptable, especially for $40.

    Then there's the portability. It excels here, because it's legs can flip all the way around, and the neck can extend all the way up, and it packs down to just 19", great for carry on size luggage. I can also note that there are two click positions for the legs to lock into, one for most regular use, and one more for near perpendicular /low position. There's also a spring loaded spring at the bottom of the neck for you to add some weights for more stability.

    The ball head, is actually the main reason i bought this. I didn't need new legs, i was just shopping for a cheap but decent ballhead to use on my monopod for run and gun video shooting. What i discovered was that any decent looking ballhead costs quite a bit. So when i saw this tripod for only $40, with an apparently decent looking balhead, i jumped at it. I'm very satisfied with what i got. the ball is of decent size, a little smaller than a ping pong ball. The locking mechanism gives a reassuring lock with few turns of the knob. There's also a knob to lock or unlock the pan mechanism. This is where it really shows extra value, it has a very fluid pan, plenty smooth for video use. Great. But don't go thinking this is a video tripod, it's most certainly a photo tripod. I plan on mostly using it as a backup or for shoots with simple locked off shots and maybe a pan. You will not be getting a smooth tilt out of it. However, the ball, once unlocked, has a nice solid feel to it, it's not swimming around in its hole, feels like nice tight tolerances. You can also see the bolt that connects the quick release to the ball neck, which i like to see. The quick release is nothing special, it's got a little bit of front/back adjust-ability, but that's about it. They also give you a spare, but they hid it in the padded case.

    Let's say it again, it's $40. It's a ton of value for your money, one of the best deals i've seen. You don't get a few little bits, like foot spikes. You get cushions on 2 out of the 3 legs. Though that's not really a downside as only two legs are needed to sit on your shoulder. You don't get a bubble level, but those are cheap as chimpanzees.

    But then you do get a nice case for it, seems well made and fits the unit well. And then you also get this adorable little cheapo tripod, which is basically useless for anything except point and shoot cameras, but hey, you can't complain when it's a free addition. So overall, i can't see any reason why not to buy one. Heck, buy two and use it for your slider, the ballhead comes off and there's the standard 3/8" screw.

    # vimeo.com/60903949 Uploaded 2,936 Plays 7 Comments
  2. See why good why lenses are important, I suggest a great lens, and also juggle a few.

    Lenses covered in this episode:
    Canon 28mm prime: http://tinyurl.com/oekv5yh
    Canon 50mm prime: http://tinyurl.com/o3yrdee
    Canon 85mm prime: http://tinyurl.com/pyqhnnd
    Canon 24-105 Zoom (sales price): http://tinyurl.com/q6vo9tj
    Canon 24-105 Zoom (normal price): http://tinyurl.com/pkuogja

    Borrow Lenses: http://tinyurl.com/p7seuua

    THIS MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE:
    Please like, comment and subscribe: http://tinyurl.com/78tf9qk

    REACH THE BASIC FILMMAKER:
    Email: thebasicfilmmaker@gmail.com
    Blog: thebasicfilmmaker.com
    Facebook: facebook.com/TheBasicFilmmaker
    Twitter: twitter.com/basicfilmmaker
    YouTube: youtube.com/thebasicfilmmaker
    Vimeo: The Basic Filmmaker
    50% Off Vimeo: jdoqocy.com/click-7168208-11319345

    ABOUT THE BASIC FILMMAKER:
    I post videos, short films, DIY build projects you've never seen before, After Effects tutorials, and cover cameras, gear, sliders, makeup, DSLRs, cranes, jibs, dolly's, stabilizers, shoulder rigs, rail systems, green screen tutorials, and answering any question you ask about filming.

    GEAR USED.
    Canon DSLR and 50mm lens. Rode lapel mic and Zoom H1 recorder. Edited in Premier Pro CC.

    MUSIC, FOOTAGE AND GRAPHICS LEGAL:
    All music, footage and graphics are either created or licensed by me. Don't steal! It kills your brains! :)

    THANKS.
    To My YouTube Favs...
    Video Copilot, Andrew Kramer, FreddieW, Film Riot, The Frugal Filmmaker, Knoptop, Indy Mogul and Corridor Digital for trail blazing, and, to YouTube and Vimeo for giving filmmakers a home.

    Here's some gear you can check out. It's linked to my Amazon account, throws a few pennies my way, and costs you nothing. :)

    CAMERAS:
    Canon 550D (T2i): http://tinyurl.com/cflafjj
    Canon DSLR 600D (T3i): http://tinyurl.com/cdh83ce
    Canon 650D (T4i): http://tinyurl.com/cftuvm4
    Canon DSLR 60D: http://tinyurl.com/cje6tbk
    Canon 5D Mark III: http://tinyurl.com/bpxmkdk
    Canon XL-H1S Professional Camcorder: http://tinyurl.com/cr7rme2
    Canon Canon XF300 Camcorder: http://tinyurl.com/92zardq

    Tripod (Works): http://tinyurl.com/95wm3zg
    Manfrotto Tripod: http://tinyurl.com/cwy3ztg

    STORAGE:
    SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 16GB SDHC Card: http://tinyurl.com/7wd2p5a
    3 TB USB Drive: http://tinyurl.com/9xl4gk3

    LENSES:
    Prime 28mm Lens: http://tinyurl.com/oekv5yh
    Prime 40mm Lens ("pancake"): http://tinyurl.com/9k6grha
    Prime 50mm Lens ("the nifty fifty"): http://tinyurl.com/7c7wsaa
    Prime 50mm Lens: http://tinyurl.com/o3yrdee
    Prime 85mm Lens: http://tinyurl.com/pyqhnnd

    Zoom Lens 24-105 Zoom (sales price): http://tinyurl.com/q6vo9tj
    Zoom Lens 24-105 Zoom (normal price): http://tinyurl.com/pkuogja

    Compact Prime 28mm: http://tinyurl.com/cwgqgx9
    Compact Prime 35mm: http://tinyurl.com/csm4ng6
    Compact Prime 50mm: http://tinyurl.com/chtn2sx
    Compact Prime 85mm: http://tinyurl.com/crrgtgg
    Compact Prime 135mm: http://tinyurl.com/d92xgkj

    FLUID HEADS (MY FAVS):
    Manfrotto 701HDV Pro Fluid Video Mini Head: http://tinyurl.com/95uf5bu
    Manfrotto 501HDV Video Head: http://tinyurl.com/8osn6vh
    Manfrotto 504HD Video Head: http://tinyurl.com/8veyxle

    QUICK CONNECT CONNECTOR (MY FAV):
    Manfrotto 577 Rapid Connect Adapter: http://tinyurl.com/8jrc26v

    COOL STUFF:
    Fig Rig: http://tinyurl.com/bn6m7ph
    GlideCam: http://tinyurl.com/csaspjl
    Full Steadicam Rig: http://tinyurl.com/c94bk9e
    Phantom Quadcopter: http://tinyurl.com/d8dqaav
    Motion Control Dolly: http://tinyurl.com/boll4wu

    SOUND:
    Zoom H1: http://tinyurl.com/7mu5tb2
    Zoom H4n: http://tinyurl.com/8wnefkp
    Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lapel Mic (Cheap!): http://tinyurl.com/8wrtg3z
    Rode Lapel Mic (Not Cheap!): http://tinyurl.com/8zt9xu7
    Rode MiCon-2 Connector (3.5mm Stereo): http://tinyurl.com/ctk8q9d
    Rode Micon Extension Cable: http://tinyurl.com/9cs77pt
    Shure SM-58: http://tinyurl.com/86neg7k
    JuicedLink (minijack - cheaper): http://tinyurl.com/7u679s7
    Hosa Line Match Transformer: http://tinyurl.com/8zdc24g

    HDMI MONITOR (WORKS)
    Lilliput 7-inch: http://tinyurl.com/8eh57j3

    SLIDER (BEST FOR THE MONEY):
    Konova Slider: http://tinyurl.com/976lgpl

    GREEN/BLUE SCREENS (NOT THE BEST, WILL WORK):
    Portable: http://tinyurl.com/9c9lbud
    Full Studio Set With Lights: http://tinyurl.com/9bftnqo

    LIGHTS (CHEAP):
    Camera Top Mounted LED: http://tinyurl.com/9kcx9e9

    CLAMPS:
    Pedro Clamps: http://tinyurl.com/8wsjwf3
    Mini Spring Clamps: http://tinyurl.com/9mkk6df

    WHITE BALANCE:
    White Balance Filter: http://tinyurl.com/7e4k3rr

    # vimeo.com/70271639 Uploaded

What to know before I buy.

Doug Sjogren

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