Tripod Nirvana

I am so excited!  I finally have a decent tripod!  I went to Best Buy after work this evening and purchased the Sunpak Pro 523PX 64″ model with the pistol grip ball head.  It has a lot of features that I really like, including:

  • Pistol grip ball head with trigger control (no more levers!)
  • Quick release plate with a built in screwdriver (no more using a coin to tighten and loosen the screw)
  • 360 degree rotating ball head (no more taking the camera off the tripod and repositioning the not-so-quick release plate to change from landscape to portrait mode)
  • 2 bubble levels
  • Adjustable lift n’ lock center column (with an extra shorter column for tabletop configuration)
  • Neoprene leg grips
  • Center column accessory hook
  • Carbon fiber leg sections
  • Rubber feet with retractable spikes

I love the pistol grip trigger control.  It makes it possible to reposition the camera and have it locked into place for the next shot with just a squeeze.  I can’t wait to take this thing out this weekend and give it a test run!

The only photography that I got to do today was totally by accident.  We had a baby shower for a co-worker in the office today, and the person who was supposed to be taking pictures ran out of memory in their point-and-shoot camera after only a couple of shots.  I happened to have my camera at the office with me, so I grabbed it and started shooting.  I had the telephoto lens already attached, so I went ahead and used it.  All the better to get shots of the action from the far end of the conference room table.  It also gave me some depth-of-field variety:

Since these were just snapshots, I only published them to my Facebook page, but you’re welcome to view them (click here).  The conference room had a ton of natural light, so I only needed the flash when taking pictures of people who had their backs to the windows.  I had the camera on Auto the whole time, and I was pretty pleased with the way the pictures came out.  I haven’t edited any of them, just published them as is (except for some resizing, of course).

I’m hoping to get some good shots this weekend.  They’re predicting a 60% chance of rain tomorrow and 30% on Sunday, so it could be dicey.  But I’m determined to find that window of opportunity so I can get my dose of Zen–I need it!!




  1. I’m looking to buy a tripod and have been seriously considering the Sunpak Pro 523PX. Now that you’ve had it and played with it for a few months what are your thoughts? Is it pretty sturdy outside in a breeze? Does it work well on uneven terrain? I’ve never had a tripod before, but from what I can see this one seems pretty good and reasonably priced. Thanks, Zann!

  2. Hi, Thomas,
    Yes, I would whole-heartedly recommend the Sunpak tripod! It’s very sturdy, even when getting bumped around in an airline overhead bin, and it handles uneven terrain very well with the adjustable legs (each leg has three sections with two adjustment levers). The best part is the trigger mechanism on the tripod head that allows you to tilt and pan the camera very quickly and easily. I haven’t had any problems with it handling the weight of my Nikon D5000 with a 75-300mm telephoto lens, even when tilted 90 degrees to the side for a portrait orientation. It comes with a very nice carrying case as well. Geez, I sound like a commercial, don’t I? LOL

    I’d say “Go for it!”.

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