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Thread: Need to buy travel tripod

  1. #1
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    Claude McIntosh

    Need to buy travel tripod

    Want to buy a travel tripod. Have a Nikon D90, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED and 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lenses. Limited budget. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    Are you flying, driving, carrying checked luggage? Sounds like you want one that is mainly disposable. If that's the case, try the Promaster series but make sure it can handle the weight of your gear. Also, the versions with plastic knobs will not last very long.

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    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    Adorama recently ran this article: http://www.adorama.com/alc/article/13051

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    Claude McIntosh

    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Are you flying, driving, carrying checked luggage? Sounds like you want one that is mainly disposable. If that's the case, try the Promaster series but make sure it can handle the weight of your gear. Also, the versions with plastic knobs will not last very long.
    Thanks! will be flying. Wasn't thinking about disposable but will now take that into consideration.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    Thanks!

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    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    For my travel tripod, I am quite happy with my modified SLIK Pro 330DX ( http://www.adorama.com/SearchSite/De...%20pro%20330DX ) which I modified in the following ways:

    1. Replacing the long OEM center column with the shorter (and lighter weight) optional center column ( http://www.adorama.com/SL330DXSCC.html ) Note: I could have cut off the center column but, I preferred to retain the resale value of the SLIK by replacing the stock center column.
    2. Replacing the rather heavy and bulky OEM pan-tilt head with the timy, but adequately sturdy Adorama Flashpoint F-1 Magnesium Arca Compatible ball head ( http://www.adorama.com/FPTH1.html ).

    My modified SLIK next to my full-size Giottos MT-8180 tripod...
    Need to buy travel tripod

    This rig weighs less than one-kilo (2.2 pounds) and supports my 1.6x camera with 70-200mm f/4L IS lens just fine. I have used this setup in some brisk winds on the rim of Utah's Bryce Canyon with quite satisfactory results...
    Need to buy travel tripod

    I bought the SLIK on sale at Calumet about two years ago when I needed a tripod which would fit in my checked on bag for a trip to China. I also wanted a tripod for walk around shooting and boonie tromping. My total investment in this rig is less than $150 USD. This unit adequately fills my needs. There, however, are two minor downsides to the rig:

    FIRST: the tripod/head combination is not very tall. I am 6'1" (185.4 cm.) tall and either need to stoop a bit or use a right angle viewer. I could also extend the center column a bit, but I don't usually do this with a lightweight tripod. Of course if you are shorter than I am, the problem would be somewhat mitigated.
    Need to buy travel tripod

    SECOND: this tripod doesn't articulate like my Giottos MT-8180. However, I have found that articulation is not as important in a travel tripod since I seldom do macro or much close-up work which would require articulation when I am traveling. When I want to shoot macros, it will usually be on a day dedicated to that type of shooting and I will use my Giottos MT-8180. OTOH, the shorter center column does allow my SLIK to support my camera/lens in a lower position than if I were using the standard center column...

    Neither of these drawbacks are important enough to make me dislike using the Modified SLIK Pro 330DX as my travel and boonie tromping tripod. However, I would not want this as my only tripod...

    The advantage of using the Flashpoint F-1 head is that my Giottos is set up with an A/C quick release as is my Calumet monopod. I can take advantage of using my RRS L-bracket when shooting with camera/lens combinations that don't include a tripod-ring. The L-bracket places the camera directly over the head and apex of the tripod and can make use of lighter weight gear since it is far more stable than hanging the camera cantilevered over to the side in the portrait position which is the technique used with other quick release systems and tripod heads.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 10th June 2011 at 03:45 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    Claude. For a lightweight, easy carry tripod I purchased the Velbon Luxi L which is mentioned in Bill's link. It is in 4 sections so it does fold up small and is both light and reasonably priced. I have used it with a lot heavier equipment than you have.

    On the downside, I find the twist lock mechanism a little difficult to lock at full stretch; but would probably be easier for someone with longer arms! And if you want to fold it up to the smallest size to place into the carrying bag you have to remove one of the head twist lock handles and store it inside the other handle.

    I don't bother with that as it will fit inside my backpack with both handles intact.

    The centre column is in two sections which screw together so with the lower section removed the unit will get very close to the ground.

    All in all I would say this unit is worth the money; but for serious use I revert to my trusty Manfrotto. Heavy, awkward to carry around and expensive. But well worth the extra cost and trouble if you are in a position to use it. However, not exactly a travel tripod.

  8. #8
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    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    Thanks.

  9. #9

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    Colin Frydrych

    Re: Need to buy travel tripod

    Does it have to be a conventional tripod? I travel with a Gorillapod SLR Zoom which will support my Nikon D200 and either my 18-200 or 70-300 lens. It will serve as a very short tripod of course, best stood on a rock, table etc but has the added feature of being totally flexible for wrapping around tree branches, railings & fences, lamposts etc. I used it on a recent trip to Lake Garda, Italy for some night shots with exposures up to 20 seconds with great results using a remote release. Here is one example.
    Need to buy travel tripod

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