Author Topic: Travel tripods  (Read 774 times)

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Travel tripods
« on: March 08, 2019, 11:01:08 pm »
Any recommendations for a decent travel tripod?
Would like something I can easily carry on the side of my rucksack, or in a pannier etc. Maybe folding up to about 30-40cm, weight less than 1.5kg?

Needs to be fairly sturdy, enough for a reasonable mirrorless camera (Lumix G80), sometimes with a longer lens.
Doesn't need to be too tall, 1m or so should do for most things?

Seems the most compact tripods use a long centre column, which may not be too stable. And a lot of them are 5 section legs, seems that means really thin bottom legs. 4 sections may be better.
Worth going for carbon fibre? I know it will save a bit of weight, but they are getting a bit more expensive.

I'm looking at Sirui, they have a decent range, seem reasonably priced.
Or maybe a Mefoto Backpacker.
Or 3 Legged Thing?

Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2019, 09:03:04 am »
I was wondering just the same thing the other night after chatting with a local cycling photographer (Finn Hopson). My current tripod on the bike is a little bendy legged thing. If I want a shot off the ground then it’s as stable as my bike / the nearby wall. The wall is obviously solid, but rarely exactly where I want to take the shot from.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 06:53:01 pm »
I have a Carbon Manfrotto Befree for my travels.  Expensive but it's deceptively sturdy.  I thought that, if I was going for a travel tripod, I may as well go the whole hog and get carbon.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2019, 07:49:43 pm »
Wot LEE says wrt to a tripod, but I've gone somewhat tangential, with a gorillapod. It does mean you have to find somewhere to attach it, but it is VERY light and fully functional.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2019, 11:24:57 pm »
Yes, I've got a Gorillapod, it can be very handy. Though sometimes there isn't any suitable rock/tree/wall etc to attach it to, in the right place to get the shot. And can be a faff to bend the legs to get it stable, and pointing in the right direction.

Manfrotto are decent, I've got a bigger tripod from them. Though annoyingly most of the heads use proprietary QR plates. I think its a lot simpler to use Arca Swiss plates for everything.

Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 07:36:12 am »
It's interesting how our experience with bikes means we understand carbon fibre and the potential benefits. Thing is, that doesn't seem to translate as well into tripods. Not in any way denigrating the Manfrotto Carbon, and it is 20% lighter than the ally equivalent. But that is only 20% lighter (250g on 1.3Kg) and the lightest tripod Manfrotto do (a cheapie "compact" so not really directly comparable) is ally. I decided, last time I visited the question, that when weight was paramount (ie travel, bike borne or otherwise) I resented the 1kg plus for a tripod and a gorillapod could be pressed into service. I'm currently re-thinking that in advance of a possible safari trip.

Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 12:12:20 pm »
that mefoto thing looks awesome, I've got an oben carbon tripod which looks large and heavy in comparison!  I guess it might struggle with a bigger lens on the camera.

(and @Ham, I've given up taking the tripod with me on safari, I've never used it! Star trails in the full dark nights would be fun but by the time it's dark I'm knackered! )

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 11:24:03 pm »
I genuinely don't rate Gorillapods.  I'd swap mine for a small budget tripod any day.

I never once thought it suitable for wrapping around anything and it makes a fairly lousy tripod.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2019, 09:17:03 am »

I never once thought it suitable for wrapping around anything and it makes a fairly lousy tripod.

There's a connection there - if you don't wrap it around summat it is a lousy tripod. Obviously, each to their own, and I'm not extolling it as a tripod replacement, but for those (few?) instances when you're on the road and need the camera held securely it can serve its purpose if you have the right one for your camera, and it helps if the camera is M4/3 or smaller. Personally I fix to whatever, using the level if needed, then attach the camera with the QR plate, works where I want to have a timed shot, or time lapse or to steady. My main use of a tripod is on those occasions I do studio work, but I have a vague desire to have one sometimes for long lens or tracking shots, and you're right, that's not the gorillapod's strength as there is no head and a long lens (especially if not M4/3) does nothing for its balance.

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2019, 09:40:23 am »
A monopod gives me an extra couple of stops, which can be enough for many shots. I've strapped a monopod to the underside of the top tube, as you might with a pump.

Re: Travel tripods
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 04:11:03 pm »
I use a sweet little Sirui (T005BX) that weighs almost nothing and cost about £80 and folds down to 30cm.  Worth it for something that can cope with a dslr but also fit in a saddlebag.  It came with an excellent matching ball head.

I also have a slightly larger Benro tripod (FGP18A - "GoPlusTravel") which helps when I am using a heavy lens, and/or when using an astrotrac mount.