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Thread: travel Tripod

  1. #1
    Dr Bob's Avatar
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    travel Tripod

    I am in the market for a tripod to use when traveling and hiking and would like some comments and suggestions on what to consider. I am making a trip to the desert southwest (USA) next month and would like to take a compact, light weight tripod on short hikes of 2 -5 miles. I will be using gear in the 3 - 6 lb range (camera and lens) and I am not considering those table top size tripods but one that has a height of at least 50 inches or so. I would like carbon fiber, but my budget is around $350 not including the head.

    I would be interested in what you use for travel and what are the pros and cons.

    Thank you in advance.

    Dr Bob

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: travel Tripod

    Bob

    Whilst you wait for other to come in with idea, you could also click on 'Discussion Categories' in the menu bar above and then, from the list available, 'Tripods'. I'm sure there will be threads in there that address the same issue as you raise above.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: travel Tripod

    Bob - I was in a similar position a couple of years and picked up the smallest of the Benro Travel Angel carbon fiber units. Small size and light weight and price point were all key considerations in my purchase..

    It's not as rigid as my larger tripod and I do have to hunch over a bit more to use it (or crank up the centre column), but it staps to my backback and is perfect for travel to out of the way places.

  4. #4
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: travel Tripod

    Bob I also use the Benro Travel Angel. I like the way the legs can be inverted and folded back 180 degrees for easy packing and carrying. It can also be converted into a compact monopod without tools. Well worth the money

  5. #5
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    Re: travel Tripod

    I agree with Donald--there have been a bunch of threads with lots of information. I'll add only a couple of things. First, there are a lot of quite good carbon fiber tripods in the $200-300 range. Second, they vary in many ways. The array of features is bewildering at first. What I suggest is that you pick a small number of well-reviewed or well regarded moderate-priced tripods and make a spreadsheet with their features. Then figure out which ones are most important to you (e.g., split column, reversable column, or neither, spikes or none, hook for weights or none, length when folded, height with and without column extended, and on and on). Unfortunately, I deleted the one I made a few years ago. I ended up with an Oben tripod (B&H store brand), which I picked over several very close contenders because the particular mix of features worked for me. I bought an Induro BHD0 ball head, sacrificing the smoothness of some larger heads for low weight. I often carry it on my back (I have a pack with tripod straps). I've been quite pleased, but it might not be the right mix of features for you.

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: travel Tripod

    Just a quick comment triggered by Dan's comment. Induro and Benro are made by the same (Chinese) company; the name on the gear is the only difference that I have seen.

  7. #7
    Dr Bob's Avatar
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    Re: travel Tripod

    Thanks Donald. I will check under "Discussion Categories" and "Tripods". (Why didn't I think of that?)

    Dr Bob

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: travel Tripod

    One thing that I definitely recommend in any lightweight tripod is a Arca Compatible Quick Release! The A/C Q/R will allow you to work with a lighter weight unit and still maintain stability. That is because you can use a RRS or Kirk L-bracket will allows you to use a non-tripod ring equipped camera/lens in the portrait position without having to hang the camera cantilevered over the side. Maintaining the center of gravity over the apex of the tripod triangle allows using a lighter weight tripod and head unit while still maintaining stability.

    I modified a SLIK Pro 330 DX tripod by switching the standard center column with a shorter and lighter weight SLIK center column. You could, alternately, simply saw off a portion of the stock center column.

    I switched the rather heavy stock SLIK pan-tilt head with a Flashpoint F-1 magnesium ball head which has an Arca Compatible quick release clamp.

    The total weight of the tripod and head, as modified, is right at two pounds and can support a Canon 7D and 70-200mm f/4L IS lens. I used mine in Utah's Canyon Lands and the stiff breezes did not bother it.

    The downside of this combination is that I either need to bend down a bit or to use a right angle finder to view through the viewfinder. However, in order to get a two pound tripod which will support a decent load and which cost less than $150 USD (total for tripod, new center column and Fashpoint Head), having to bend down a bit is a small price to pay.

    My modified SLIK Pro 330 DX next to my full-size Giottos MT-8180 Tripod...
    travel Tripod

    Flashpoint F-1 head next to my Giottos head...
    travel Tripod

    Camera and 70-200mm f/4L IS lens on SLIK Pro 330 DX eith F-1 head...
    travel Tripod

    SLIK Pro 330DX fully extended but without center column raised. I am 6'1" tall...
    travel Tripod

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