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Author Topic: Travel Tripod  (Read 10957 times)
Goodlistener
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« on: April 14, 2008, 08:46:50 PM »
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Advice please? I need a compact light weight travel tripod which can fit into about 18" long bundle when all folded up. The tripod and a ball head should add up to at least $100 (I wish) but no more than $300 total.  I could go above $300 if the ball head is VERY good but it seems like $300 should be enough for the whole system. Gitzo is just to costly for this.

What do you have?

PS: I have a big heavy CF tripod and keep it in the trunk of my car. Its good but I will be flying out of town and then in a very small car with the family after that. The goal is to get nice landscape and available light shots.

One other alternative just to ramble on. I have on good Canon L series lens, 75-200 with vibration reduction. Maybe I can just rely on the VR feature? Lord knows, it cost enough.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2008, 09:05:21 PM »
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Slik has a nice little CF tripod that a friend uses a lot.  Not sure of the model but it wasn't too expensive.  Throw in a cheap feisol ball head and you should be good to go.  He uses the RRS BH-40 with his.

BTW, was just over at adorama's site.  This looks like it would work, too ...

http://www.adorama.com/FPTPF1128.html

Oh, and I think the slik was the 714 ...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/4399..._714_CF_II.html
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 09:11:14 PM by DarkPenguin » Logged
Greg Lockrey
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 02:06:54 AM »
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I hear good things about the Feisol 3441. There was a good article in View Camera Jan/Feb I believe. I personally have a 3471 which I feel is the best tripod for the dollar available. This would be too large for travel purposes. You can get them from Really Big Camera in the US http://reallybigcameras.com or directly from Feisol in China http://www.feisol.com/english/feisolen.htm
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 02:11:24 AM by Greg Lockrey » Logged

Greg Lockrey

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David Sutton
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 03:37:08 AM »
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Firstly you might consider a bean bag. I got mine from http://www.wildlifewatchingsupplies.co.uk/
but they are easy to make, and I just buy a 2kg bag of rice or whatever for filling when I arrive. Brilliantly stable. If you are travelling with children the best behaved one can be allowed to carry it.
Otherwise I have a Velbon sherpa pro if flying. They go by different names in some countries. It's a 4 section carbon fibre weighing 1.6 kg (less than 3 lbs), 18 1/2 inches folded, extends to about 4 ft without the centre column extended, and is very stable especially  if you use the stone bag. I always have found the twist type locks a complete pain, but actually the legs are extended and locked in under 15 seconds, so it's not so bad. And it will go to near ground level.
I just got a Markins Q3 ball head and RRS quick release clamp and L bracket for it. I can't tell you what they cost as I blacked out while paying.   But they are beautifully engineered and just WORK. I had one of those tripod heads with 3 knobs sticking out at various angles, and when dropping the camera over to portrait in the semi dark in a strange place, I simply couldn't remember which knob did what. The L plate keeps the camera in the same position and takes only a moment to release and reclamp.
Yes, I agree it would be nice to rely on the VR, especially considering the cost, and I often do if I can, but, but every time I've left the tripod or beanbag behind I've been sorry. Good luck with your trip, David
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Colin Griffiths
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 06:46:17 AM »
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I've got an expensive CF Gitzo, but for 14 years I've hiked over mountains with a very inexpensive aluminium Slik tripod. It slips in and out of my rucksac very easily and has a 1" ball and socket on top of it. I made an adapter to fit a climber's karabiner underneath and just hang my rucksac on it. It worked perfectly for my Mamiya 7 and these days a 5D and 24-105 lens. It has easy to operate leg locking catches that I can flip open whilst wearing gloves. Weighs about 1.5lb. Now and again I think about replacing it for something a bit trendier, but the alternatives are always heavier and not quite so convenient to use.
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aaykay
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2008, 09:37:34 PM »
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I like the Velbon 640A Carmagne tripod.  Very good overall size and made of CF and Magnesium - hence the name "Carmagne".  I think the folded size is around 17" or so.  Check it out.
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chez
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2008, 06:44:05 PM »
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I have a Feisol 3442 tripod with a Markins Q3 ballhead for my travel outfit. Light, compact and very sturdy. I use it with lenses upto 300mm without an support issues. This will put you over the $300 budget, but you will be getting a quality system that is very easy to travel with. My travel involves both airlines and hiking and this setup is idea for both those conditions.
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pete_truman
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2008, 08:45:37 AM »
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I know its above your budget but the Gitzo Traveller 1550T is in my opinion great. It's small and light - so it does always stay in the backpack rather than being left at home. It also gets used as it works very well. It is solid enough to support my large Canon and 24-105mm lens. I also use it regularly for macro work with a 180mm f3.5. Anything larger gets a bigger tripod.
Having spent a small fortune on a variety of tripods and heads in the past, most of which are now in an embarrassingly large heap in my shed, I'm of the opinion that buying a decent one in the first place is actually a less expensive option!
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Pete Truman
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2008, 08:56:08 AM »
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I would like to thank everyone and let you all know what happened in the end.  First I bought a small light weight Bogen travel tripod for about $125, and returned it unopened the next day.  The reason for that was because it was so light and flexible that a wind would move it and it had a huge amount of flex if you simply rested your hand on it.  At that point I figured I would look into either a bean bag, a table-top model, a MUCH more expensive Gitzo travel tripod or rely on image stabilized lenses.

My hands shake a bit, its a nervous system thing which runs in the family, so the issue of camera stabilization is something that matters. What to do?  I ordered a nice Canon 24-105 L series lens with image stabilization and I'm glad I did. Too bad about the cost though, everything else is fine.

Next, and this should have been done much much sooner, I reviewed the airline baggage rules. Lo and behold, I could take enough pieces of luggage and enough weight so that a specialized travel tripod was not really necessary in the first place. So, I took the regular old big and heavy model which I have in a specialized tripod bag and everything was fine. The every-day tripod lived happily in the trunk of our rental car and came out on special occasions when the light was low or where the landscape opportunity was really compelling.

I hope nobodyy feels like why did he ask all this and then go in another direction. The reason for psting all of this is to build a community of knowlede and shared experience so we can all get better at the craft.

Thanks
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pete_truman
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2008, 04:16:24 PM »
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Quote
I hope nobodyy feels like why did he ask all this and then go in another direction. The reason for psting all of this is to build a community of knowlede and shared experience so we can all get better at the craft.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=204316\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

On the contrary - a good lesson that shiny new equipment is not always needed to get the job done. Happy you have also managed to save a few $.
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Pete Truman
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