Recently I ran into something of a snag in my plans to make more videos.  My tripod, admittedly an $8.99 El-Cheapo off-brand, is fast becoming unstable.  Everything was find up until a few weeks ago when I was getting it out.  As I extended the legs, the super-cheapo locking mechanism on one of them literally came apart in my hands and most of one leg and a very small piece of the lock assembly landed on the floor.

Naturally, as anyone who’s ever dropped small plastic parts before knows, the piece of the lock hit the floor and bounced.  Exactly where it bounced to I couldn’t begin to tell you because it’s a rule of the universe that when small parts bounce they land somewhere deep in the twilight zone, never to be found again by anybody that needs it.

Of course I did what any red blooded American man would do, I got out my trusty roll of duct tape and managed to get that third leg back in place.  It’s now permanently extended with a couple feet of the universal silver-grey patch kit wrapped around the joint holding it in place..

While my five minute duct tape miracle has at least rendered the tripod usable again, it now stands just a bit lopsided no matter how I adjust the other two legs which means I have to compensate for that with a combination of turning it just so, skewing the camera angle a bit, and sometimes using pieces of cardboard under one leg to try to even it up a bit.  All of this having to be re-done each and every time I move the tripod which wouldn’t be a problem if my office / studio was big enough to leave the tripod permanently set up and I never needed it anywhere else.  Unfortunately it’s not big enough and I do need to use it someplace else once in a while.

sunpak tripodThe only permanent solution is, of course, to buy a new tripod.  Preferably one that is made better and less likely to suffer such a catastrophic failure than the El-Cheapo was.

The problem with this very quickly became apparent early on in my search.  A Good tripod is NOT going to be cheap (as in inexpensive) and still have good quality.  Just today however I found what may well be the answer.  It’s a professional quality Sunpak 620-750BB Tripod.  This baby has the sturdy construction something like this *should* have.  Normally it sells new for $179.99 or more.  Not something for somebody with a “fragile budget” like me but fortunately I can count myself blessed because I actually found it on sale, new, for an amazing price of only thirty dollars!

The only obstacle now is the fact that we’re getting well into Christmas shopping season and I don’t know about you, but in my family it’s considered bad form to buy stuff for yourself between the end of September and Christmas or from about 30 to 45 days ahead of your birthday because you stand a chance of duplicating somebody’s gift buying plans.

I’m having to weigh the P.I.T.A. factor of using a very touchy and often uncooperative tripod for another few months against the potential for hard looks, barely audible grumbling and hurt feelings that could result if I go ahead with the purchase only to find out that somebody in the family had plans that I’ve now ruined.

Then there’s the factor that has just now made me decide to go ahead and wait as I was writing this.  Of the nine family members most likely to be present at our Christmas celebration, seven of them are women.  Four of whom are in their teenage years.  No way am I going to take that big of a risk of offending or hurting feelings.  Believe me, there’s no percentage in it.  Instead I’m just going to add it to the wish list and if need be, wait until after Christmas.

Technorati Tags: tripod, christmas shopping, duct tape, gift spoiler, wishlist, tripod fail

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