Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Manfrotto 536 Tripod - It Pays to Shop Around!!!

Recently I acquired Manfrotto's excellent new 504HD video tripod head for its additional weight-handling capacity over my current 501 model. I also wanted to upgrade the tripod to a Manfrotto 536 carbon fibre, again for its extra sturdiness & stability coupled to light weight for carrying in the field.

Having purchased the 504HD head through Henry's, I noted that the price of the 536 tripod was also similar to Vistek's (see below) -- both prices pretty steep at over $1000 CDN delivered. On a whim I checked B&H Photo in New York just for reference and got a huge eye opener!!!!! Check the table below and see why I ordered from The Big Apple:
Henry's: Price: $949.99 (+HST tax: $123.50; +shipping: $9.95) Total: $1083.44
Vistek: Price: $939.95 (+HST tax: $122.19; shipping=free) Total: $1062.14
B&H: Price: $564.00 (+Duty: $36.07; +GST tax: $30.00; +shipping $47.71) Total: $677.78

I held off posting this until today when I received the final invoice from UPS for the B&H shipment tax and duty charges. As you can see, I would've paid a whopping $405.55 MORE by purchasing locally at Henry's, with Vistek marginally better at a still-outrageous $384.36 MORE going into their pockets. To be honest, I feel I can better put that cash to use on more equipment for ME.

As they say, "Caveat emptor"...."Let the buyer beware".

Here's how the Manfrotto 504HD/536 setup looks with my Canon dslr/telephoto setup with Rode Videomic and Marshall 7" HDMI:

It's a fair weight all up, but this head & tripod combination readily handles it well.

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