Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: armand on October 27, 2016, 09:19:26 am

Title: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 27, 2016, 09:19:26 am
As the title suggests, I'm looking for a small backpacking tripod.

The lighter one that I'm using currently is a Sirui T-005, the older version where you cannot remove the center column. It's almost 2lbs and in my last trip I used only for 2 group shots so practically I carried it for nothing in an overloaded backpack already. I could have found an use in the evening but it was too windy.

I keep thinking to get the newest version, remove the center column and 2-3 segments but I'm not sure it will work. A Manfrotto Daytrip looks good but it's way too heavy, I want something under 1lbs including the ballhead, able to support at least a Fuji X-T2 with a larger lens, if not a Nikon D750 with a 24-120 like lens.

With the above criteria it looks like only a table tripod like will fit the bill. Any suggestions? I can use the ballhead from the Sirui, roughly 1/2 lbs. An FLM CP10-A1 or a Feisol TT-15 mark 2 are among the candidates, not sure they are easily adaptable to trickier terrain (as in not flat)
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on October 27, 2016, 09:40:56 am
A sometimes use a Manfrotto table tripod I got a few years back, with a small ball head. I use it when I need to hike really light. The following pic was shot on the top of Pico Mtn. (highest mountain in Portugal, Azores). It is a night shot, 8 minute exposure, on a Sony Alpha 7 and with a Batis 25 lens.

On other occasions, I carry an old Gitzo series 0 tripod without centre column. It depends on the kind of trip.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: SZRitter on October 27, 2016, 09:50:34 am
Not sure your criteria, but I've been happy with the Benro Travel Angel series. There should be Carbon Fiber ones out there.

Also, what about one of those bean bags with the tripod mount on top? I have one of those and they are great, if you are using a smaller camera and have something to set it on.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 27, 2016, 10:15:09 am
Not sure your criteria, but I've been happy with the Benro Travel Angel series. There should be Carbon Fiber ones out there.

Also, what about one of those bean bags with the tripod mount on top? I have one of those and they are great, if you are using a smaller camera and have something to set it on.

It's in the text: under 1 lbs in weight, support at least an APS-C mirrorless camera, accommodate various terrains.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 27, 2016, 10:22:57 am
Here are some options I've mentioned above:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/999205-REG/flm_32_10_901_cp10_a1_tabletop_tripod.html/prm/alsVwDtl

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1249619-REG/feisol_fett15m2_tt_15_mark_2_mini.html


I have something like this (an earlier version, slightly lighter): https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1244061-REG/sirui_sut005kx_t_005x_aluminum_tripod_with.html
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: brianrybolt on October 27, 2016, 10:23:49 am
Gorillapod.  The large one is robust and light weight.  Can be put almost anywhere.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: SZRitter on October 27, 2016, 10:29:10 am
It's in the text: under 1 lbs in weight, support at least an APS-C mirrorless camera, accommodate various terrains.

And this is called lazy people don't read :-P
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 27, 2016, 10:40:20 am
Gorillapod.  The large one is robust and light weight.  Can be put almost anywhere.

It's a good idea, I almost forgot I have the SLR version. It is 387g on my scale (13.7oz) and compact enough. The reason I rarely use it it's that it's quite clumsy, rearranging those legs can be annoying. Portrait orientation can be a nightmare and despite the fact that it's compact it used to find a way to catch something in the backpack very often, in or out.
However I will probably give it another chance in a trip where weight does matter to see if those "traits" can be more tolerable.

On a side note that FLM tripod looks better the more I look at it. Kind of expensive though.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: SZRitter on October 27, 2016, 11:35:24 am
A bit above your weight (1.8lbs with head), but what about this one? Has two section legs and a center column you could adjust to get a bit more height flexibility.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/994911-REG/mefoto_a0320q00r_daytrip_tripod_kit.html
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 27, 2016, 01:24:04 pm
A bit above your weight (1.8lbs with head), but what about this one? Has two section legs and a center column you could adjust to get a bit more height flexibility.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/994911-REG/mefoto_a0320q00r_daytrip_tripod_kit.html

I've seen it before, it looks good but it's just too heavy as it doesn't save me any weight compared to what I have now. If they would make a carbon version with no center column it would be almost perfect.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: TorbjŲrn Tapani on October 27, 2016, 03:17:55 pm
Gorillapod can not support a DSLR well. And absolutely not with the 24-120 attached.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: alan_b on October 27, 2016, 03:52:45 pm
Gorillapod Focus works for me, which is heavier duty than the DSLR version.  I use a RRS BH-25 on it.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/586957-REG/Joby_GP8_01EN_Gorillapod_Focus_Flexible.html (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/586957-REG/Joby_GP8_01EN_Gorillapod_Focus_Flexible.html)
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: TonyVentourisPhotography on October 27, 2016, 04:11:25 pm
Just saying...
How about a Platypod and assistance from the natural surroundings!  You can get this thing to stay on just about anything, including the sides of trees...

http://www.platypodpro.com/

Talk about space saving!
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 27, 2016, 05:08:29 pm
Gorillapod Focus works for me, which is heavier duty than the DSLR version.  I use a RRS BH-25 on it.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/586957-REG/Joby_GP8_01EN_Gorillapod_Focus_Flexible.html (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/586957-REG/Joby_GP8_01EN_Gorillapod_Focus_Flexible.html)

Quite heavy according to their specs, 1.1 lbs without a head. On a second thought my Gorillapod is quite lighter than the SLR version they have on the site so unless so made it tougher and heavier (or their specs are wrong) I probably have a lighter variant. I could have sworn it's the SLR version ...

Just saying...
How about a Platypod and assistance from the natural surroundings!  You can get this thing to stay on just about anything, including the sides of trees...

http://www.platypodpro.com/

Talk about space saving!

Interesting. You do need a flatish surface to start with but it could work.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 27, 2016, 05:27:19 pm
While we are at it here are a couple more that might work for some people but for one reason or another I excluded them:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086410-REG/manfrotto_mkoffroadr_off_road_aluminum_tripod.html
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1226351-REG/pakpod_pakpod_adventure_tripod.html
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: NancyP on October 27, 2016, 07:36:00 pm
What height do you need?
The Feisol TT-15 looks good for a table top pod or ground pod, as long as your ground is pretty level - there's no way to adjust leg length to compensate for uneven ground.  Much as I love Feisol products, I would prefer a 2 leg section or continuously variable angle one-section ground-pod for outdoors.
Other possibilities with 2 leg sections: PakPod adventure tripod at 15.5 oz, 1.5 to 17.75" height. Berlebach 50031 wooden mini-pod 1.3 pounds. The PakPod looks weird, but functional. Of course the problem with these two pods is that you may wish to add a ball head at a minimum of 8 extra oz. for a decent head that can handle more than just a small speedlight.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: NancyP on October 28, 2016, 01:46:37 pm
Do you use hiking poles, and are you hiking with someone else who has poles? There are a few DIY projects out there for making a temporary tripod out of 3 hiking poles and a home-made connector with ball head platform. And some (not exactly sophisticated) hiking poles have 1/4" screw on top - Mountainsmith might make one. Why not check out backpackinglight.com fora?
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 30, 2016, 07:39:56 pm
What height do you need?
...
Other possibilities with 2 leg sections: PakPod adventure tripod at 15.5 oz, 1.5 to 17.75" height. Berlebach 50031 wooden mini-pod 1.3 pounds. The PakPod looks weird, but functional. Of course the problem with these two pods is that you may wish to add a ball head at a minimum of 8 extra oz. for a decent head that can handle more than just a small speedlight.

The higher the better  :D
I plan to add the head from Sirui, it's about 1/2 lbs. The Pakpod looked good until I realized it's not that compact (or light) and while those legs can expand, it seems it requires some effort and it's not that fast to get where you want to.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 31, 2016, 10:01:46 am
Continuing my search I found this review (again): https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/beyond-the-table-top-5-mini-tripods-reviewed

From the comments a couple of other alternatives are the RRS TFA-01 Ultra Pod or the discontinued, very pricey, much more flexible albeit a touch heavier Gitzo GT351 (the 00 series).


I'm really tempted to get a Sirui T-025x and take away the long center column (available by design) and 2-3 segments and it might be close to 1 lbs total.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: NancyP on October 31, 2016, 02:40:49 pm
Re: tripod made of hiking poles: https://hikinginfinland.com/2013/10/trailpix-ultralight-tripod.html
For the home 3D printer fan: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:650943
The ZipShot shock-cord folded aluminum tripod that used to be advertised: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/660803-REG/Tamrac_TR40601_TR406_ZipShot_Compact_Ultra_Light.html


"Lord V" macro technique: hold both the camera and the pole with one hand. I have tried this and it does help.

Lord V's technique: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordv/75900443/
--
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on October 31, 2016, 06:29:25 pm
Re: tripod made of hiking poles: https://hikinginfinland.com/2013/10/trailpix-ultralight-tripod.html
For the home 3D printer fan: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:650943
The ZipShot shock-cord folded aluminum tripod that used to be advertised: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/660803-REG/Tamrac_TR40601_TR406_ZipShot_Compact_Ultra_Light.html


"Lord V" macro technique: hold both the camera and the pole with one hand. I have tried this and it does help.

Lord V's technique: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordv/75900443/
--

Thanks, good tips. This post might become a repository for others.

From what you shared the "Lord V" technique is the most appealing to me. I might transform it in the "W" technique by holding 2 poles, one on each side  ;)

I was vaguely aware of the trekking pole adapter but it has significant limitations:
- fixed height and angle of the poles
- you need a second person willing to share their pole; carrying a third accessory pole as they advertise will have the limitations of stability as it weighs only 70g therefore I doubt it can match the hiking poles


In other order I did cut the center column on my Sirui T-025 with the grand savings of about 25g. Now it looks exactly as the new version T-025x with the short center column. I think it did gain significantly in stability in windier situations but at a total of 780g (the C-10 head is 190g) is heavier than I want. Getting rid of the last 3 segments (out of 5) will get take off only ~ 180g, pretty lousy to really worth it.


The FLM and Feisol are my best choices with possibly the Platypod also, depending on how easy is to mess with those screws to get somehow level.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: NancyP on October 31, 2016, 07:22:04 pm
Personally, I don't anticipate ever trying to go lighter than the 2.75 pound full-height set-up I have now: Feisol 3442, no center column, Arca-Swiss p0, Sunwayfoto screw clamp, and the center plate hook and set of 2 hex wrenches (those L shaped things). It's a real tripod that handles everything but the heavier supertelephotos. But I am not trying to scale mountains with winter gear. I'd rather lose 2 pounds of fat to compensate.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: rdonson on November 02, 2016, 02:37:44 pm
Armand, have you looked at these?   Just got an email on them.  They seem to be new.

http://www.mefoto.com/air
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on November 02, 2016, 07:37:15 pm
Armand, have you looked at these?   Just got an email on them.  They seem to be new.

http://www.mefoto.com/air

Looked good until I saw the weight, the lightest is 2 lbs (910g).

Here is what I have so far, with too much time on my hands I even took some pictures. The lightest ballhead that I have is a Sirui C10 which is decent in terms of holding power and weighs 189g,
In order, from left to right:
- Sirui T-025 with the center column sawed off and the rest glued together (you can buy the newer version, T-025x, and with the short column it should be quite similar): 589g - with ballhead 778g
- Sirui T-1205x: 906g (change the center column to the short one and I save another 50g or so)
- Gitzo 1541T: 986g
- Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 (my first tripod, probably the most stable): 1337g

The Gitzo 1541T is my go to most of the times unless I want to save weight and then I take the smaller Sirui. The Sirui T-1205x I left in a trip and missed the deadline to return it. There is nothing wrong with it but the main thing it has on the Gitzo is the most compacted weight as it's not that much lighter; it will fit on the bottom of a backpack when I'm travelling and don't want to advertise that I have cameras with a tripod on the outside.

So bottom line I need something that's clearly lighter than my current combo at 780g, roughly under 450g. By going with a hefty table tripod sized one I should be gaining in stability for windy conditions also.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: NancyP on November 03, 2016, 11:43:17 am
Another tripoholic! We could start our own chapter of Tripoholics Anonymous.

Feisol 3442 with Arca p0, Feisol 3472 with Arca Z1, Manfrotto 055B with Manfrotto 410 geared head adapted to A-S plates (my first tripod, and a good one for out of trunk use), Benbo bent-bolt tripod (heavy aluminum thing but once you get the hang of it you can make difficult angle shots) and the Z1 taken off the big Feisol, and Induro monopod with tilt head, and lastly, some awful cheapo tabletop tripod. And a handy but heavy (8 oz, plus 1 or 2 oz for generic nylon strapping to attach it to pack) made-for-tripods roll-top stuff sac with daisy chains and d-rings by f-stop gear. This last item does hide your full-sized 8# tripod from view, but it is overkill for small tripods. If I had a sewing machine, I would run up a small version out of lightweight ripstop nylon for the Feisol 3442.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: stever on November 03, 2016, 10:46:13 pm
suggestion - remove 2 or 3 bottom sections from the little Sirui.  the bottom 2 are too flexible to support much of anything.  i suggest this because i don't think there is a 2 section lightweight carbon fiber equivalent.  This may be an irreversible modification unless you can find rubber tips that are the right size for the remaining bottom section.

suggestion #2 adds weight - i've found that using a nodal slide to get the cg of camera & lens over the center of the head seriously increased the weight that the tripod and head can support (if there's no wind)

i've as many tripods as you do (doesn't every photographer) - not counting the table tops (i've given up carrying tables around) and come to the conclusion that the little 4-section Sirui is about the minimum that will work as a real tripod (although i haven't added it yet as i'm not back packing long distances and it's not that much lighter than my Feisol w/short column).  If you're not carrying a table, i think the short tripods have limited usefulness (that said, i once took a class from a professional that used limited ISO cameras, carried a tabletop pod on on camera all the time and was very creative finding things to support it).

The reason we have so many tripods and heads is that outside a studio (and without an assistant to carry them) is that they're all flawed in one way or another.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: Phil Indeblanc on November 04, 2016, 03:41:19 am
I will never use a twist lock EXCEPT for weight and space being a big factor. And for that I use a
Cullmann Magic. It folds flat to about and 1.25 inches thick, and stores in the laptop slot. It maybe limited in some articulations, but when hiking the basic is all I need. Converts to chest and mono pod as well.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on November 04, 2016, 04:52:04 am
Except for putting my self into a picture I do not see the need for carrying a tripod.
I carried an F3 with a 24/50 Zoom (and lots of real film) back in the day. But with modern Image Stabilization and Sensor Gain Circuitry giving absurd ISO levels why bother?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: Mike D. B. on November 04, 2016, 07:47:54 am
Except for putting my self into a picture I do not see the need for carrying a tripod.

Photographing landscapes, architecture and especially macros, I always use a tripod.  It not only allows for sharper images but gives me time to contemplate composition.  Panning through various axes often suggests (even slight) corrections and improvements.  A tripod also allows for quick switching image orientation by 90į without major repositioning of the camera.  I often take photos in both orientations to meet varying application demands.  Thatís why I absolutely require a tripod collar on as many lenses as possible.  And thatís the reason I never bought the Zeiss 100/2 macro (no collar!).

The greatest advantage tripods offer me is to slow down my photography.  Naturally I donít lug one along when takes photos down town.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: petermfiore on November 04, 2016, 08:23:59 am
  Thatís why I absolutely require a tripod collar on as many lenses as possible.  And thatís the reason I never bought the Zeiss 100/2 macro (no collar!).

I use L plates for that very reason...

Peter
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: SZRitter on November 04, 2016, 10:09:28 am
Except for putting my self into a picture I do not see the need for carrying a tripod.
I carried an F3 with a 24/50 Zoom (and lots of real film) back in the day. But with modern Image Stabilization and Sensor Gain Circuitry giving absurd ISO levels why bother?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

When you hit certain points of time, or are trying to do certain things, the tripod definitely helps. I can generally get acceptable sharp photos hand held, but there are different situations (Sunrise, Sunset, post sunset, under dense foliage, etc) that just flat out make it much more valuable to carry a tripod. Last backpacking trip (ok, for the record, only full backpacking trip) was under dense foliage in summer. Mid-day, with a stabilised camera, I still had to shoot at ISO 1600 to get acceptable sharpness while hand held.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: Mike D. B. on November 04, 2016, 10:54:43 am
I use L plates for that very reason...

Peter
Yeah Peter, I've still got one (similar to the current models) in the basement somewhere which I used on my (analog) Minoltas.  Given a choice, I'd still prefer the tripod collar.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: NancyP on November 04, 2016, 12:43:44 pm
On lightweight short telephotos, the camera/lens center of gravity is still pretty close to what it would be with a lightweight pancake lens, and using an L bracket to support the camera/lens won't put significant stress on the lens mount. I want a lens collar on the long telephotos - helpful for the 180 to 200mm 1.2 to 1.5 kg lenses - not as much of an issue for the dainty 70-200 f/4.

As for weight-saving, I found that I used the tripod much more when I had an L bracket than when I had just the one camera body plate. I want to be able to switch orientations without having to put the center of gravity off axis, as happens when one uses the 90 degree slot on a ball head. The weight of the L bracket is compensated by the ability to use a slightly less robust tripod. I hadn't thought about the use of nodal slides to place the center of gravity - thanks for reminder, stever.

I like using tripods because I do slow down a bit. I feel obligated to putz around with various possible viewpoints using the hand-held camera before whipping out the tripod. I REALLY like using tripods when waiting for animal / bird / insect to arrive at the desired position (a flower, a nest, a place in your anticipated composition) - it's much more relaxing to sit there of minutes or hours with a wired release in your hands, and maybe your hands in your coat pocket if it is cold out.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on November 04, 2016, 09:55:06 pm
suggestion - remove 2 or 3 bottom sections from the little Sirui.  the bottom 2 are too flexible to support much of anything.  i suggest this because i don't think there is a 2 section lightweight carbon fiber equivalent.  This may be an irreversible modification unless you can find rubber tips that are the right size for the remaining bottom section.

Unfortunately doing this doesn't save much weight. I could very well leave them on and not extend them with the same end result and less headache.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on November 05, 2016, 11:16:31 am
If (when) I go backpacking I don't go to take pictures. So I guess it's pa-tay-toe / pah-tah-toe.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: Phil Indeblanc on November 05, 2016, 03:12:20 pm
Seriously! the question was for what type of tripod, not questioning the need to use one vs not needing to use one!

Just from expereince, I have to say I never liked any twist style leg lock I have tried. I will take a latch lock over twist every time. Unless its some super crazy hike where every gram counts...I might work out a month ahead of time to keep the latch tripod, or just toss up my hands and take the Cullmann Magic.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on November 05, 2016, 04:45:28 pm
I've had twist locks grit up from sand. Not good. Give me flip locks every time.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on November 05, 2016, 08:47:55 pm
Just came across 3leggedthing.com.
They have a carbon fiber travel tripod "Leo" whose specs look promising:
1.44 kg/3.18 lbs
2 section center column and 5 section legs (it's not clear but seems to include a ball-head).
Range is 4.75" lowest to 51.5" highest. 3 position leg locks and 13.75" folded. Price is $ 299.99.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on August 12, 2017, 06:34:57 pm
For some recent backpacking/hiking trips I got this one Pedco UltraPod II (https://www.amazon.com/Pedco-UltraPod-Lightweight-Camera-Tripod/dp/B000ANCPNM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502577152&sr=8-1&keywords=Pedco+UltraPod+II) and it's working well.
Not the most stable but at that level the wind doesn't blow that hard and it's good enough for a mirrorless if you are careful.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: MattBurt on August 14, 2017, 01:20:35 pm
When I'm going as light as I can I just take a little Ultrapod II tripod. It's short for your needs (like the Gorillapod) but it can be easily attached to any pole, tree, or column you have handy. I take mine backpacking and peak bagging and used it yesterday for this sefie. You can make a reasonable taller "tripod" using some trekking poles and cord by attaching the Ultrapod to a pole, lashing the handles together, and attaching or weighting the tail of the cord on the ground while leaning the poles in a A configuration against the cord.
(https://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/Ultrapod_PD02010_2_Black_1472755558000_239963.jpg)

Here I just set it on a flat rock on the ground.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4352/36427069161_17b5868d1f_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XuWfyz)IMGP8487-Edit (https://flic.kr/p/XuWfyz) by Matt Burt (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbnet/), on Flickr

Super light and under $20! Just don't put a really big camera on it.

I'm taking mine to climb Kilimanjaro in a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on April 26, 2018, 03:05:19 pm
After using the Pedco for a while I decided I want to try something else, a little more stable and streamlined (I hate taking out the Pedco out of the side mesh pocket as it has an irregular form and just gets caught in the mesh).

I have a small Sirui T-025 which I modified (cut the center column, in the new one you can remove it) but it was a little too big for what I wanted.

Enter the RRS TFA-01 with BC-18 microball: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1317755-REG/really_right_stuff_13718_tfa_01_ultra_pocket_pod.html
This is not a cheap combo and I went back and fourth many times if it's worth it before going for it.
It is lightweight 239g (8.45oz) on my scale and very solid. The legs have 3 independent positions and with the lower 2 it provides a very stable combination for most cameras that you might want to take when hiking (load capacity at 15lbs for legs, 10 lbs for the head). It is definitely much more stable than the Pedco and with 3 independent positions for the legs it is more versatile for a small penalty in weight and a big one in price.
The head feels incredibly strong. A little more difficult to lock it in place exactly where you want it but with a little practice it becomes easier. It only tilts up to 45 degrees but I don't think it's a big deal here, more and you lose stability and I use an L-plate anyway.
So far I only used in the city but I think it will do as well or better when hiking. Had it with an E-M5ii and 12-100, could easily take a camera twice as big.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on September 28, 2018, 11:54:40 am
New competition for the above. Quite expensive yet cheaper than the RRS.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/8905087733/gitzo-announces-gitzo-mini-traveler-tripod-with-patent-pending-pull-fix-technology

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1434505-REG/gitzo_gktbb_mini_traveler_tripod.html
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: MattBurt on September 28, 2018, 01:01:46 pm
That does look nice and although not cheap, it's not bad for anything with Gitzo printed on it!

I agree on the Pedco one being easily caught on mesh but I addressed that issue by storing it in a different compartment of my pack.
What I'd really like to see is something like the Gitzo but also with the strap feature of the Pedco. The strap is occasionally very handy!
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on September 28, 2018, 03:13:09 pm
For a handy person if the need is high one could come up with a DIY option. I might try that and see what I can come up with.

I already got the RRS so I find hard to justify getting this one too for no obvious benefits. The main change is that with that head you can go to 90 degrees instead of the max 45 on the RRS but honestly on a tripod so small I'm not sure it's such a good idea, too unstable. I would rather continue to use L-plates. With the RRS if I drop it on some rocks I'm not worried, with a carbon fiber one not so much.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: MatthewSaville on September 28, 2018, 08:16:00 pm
My favorite tabletop tripod has been the Giottos QU500B; it's slightly bigger and yet lighter than the Manfrotto 209, but you have to look for the Giottos used, it's discontinued. There are some knock-off generic brands, but they're junk. Stick with a solid, known brand.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on September 29, 2018, 05:58:02 am
I don't see the utility of tabletop tripods, unless you are a very short Hobbit.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on September 29, 2018, 09:36:32 am
I don't see the utility of tabletop tripods, unless you are a very short Hobbit.

There are almost 3 pages in this thread going over the use of a compact tripod. It's a good start.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on September 29, 2018, 10:21:50 am
Compact/travel - yes. Got one. Tabletop - no. Tried it, didn't like it.
I thought a tabletop tripods would work for macro, not. Found the best, most flexible setup was camera on a rail, 105 macro and subject on a small table.
There are almost 3 pages in this thread going over the use of a compact tripod. It's a good start.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: stever on September 30, 2018, 05:57:06 am
there are a few situations where tabletop tripods are useful without a table, but i don't find many of them where i want to take a photo
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: MatthewSaville on September 30, 2018, 08:05:31 pm
I don't see the utility of tabletop tripods, unless you are a very short Hobbit.
When you've already lugged 2-3+ tripods (per person) into the wilderness, but you know you might still want just one more timelapse, then you definitely start wishing you had a tabletop tripod in your bag... ;-)

 (https://photos.smugmug.com/Camera-Reviews-Tutorials/Behind-The-Scenes-Images-and-Stories/n-zzb995/i-PJRx278/0/76ddb9a2/X3/i-PJRx278-X3.jpg)
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: armand on September 30, 2018, 10:10:44 pm
When you've already lugged 2-3+ tripods (per person) into the wilderness, but you know you might still want just one more timelapse, then you definitely start wishing you had a tabletop tripod in your bag... ;-)

 (https://photos.smugmug.com/Camera-Reviews-Tutorials/Behind-The-Scenes-Images-and-Stories/n-zzb995/i-PJRx278/0/76ddb9a2/X3/i-PJRx278-X3.jpg)

WTF?  :D  4 tripods? I suspect in that bag you only have camera equipment? Either way, almost makes me want to man up and carry a bigger tripod which is still quite flimsy though. The one that I have now: http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/Pocket-Pod-Packages?quantity=1&custcol34=1&custcol35=12 is small but mighty, quite solid.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: MatthewSaville on October 01, 2018, 12:46:04 am
WTF?  :D  4 tripods? I suspect in that bag you only have camera equipment? Either way, almost makes me want to man up and carry a bigger tripod which is still quite flimsy though. The one that I have now: http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/Pocket-Pod-Packages?quantity=1&custcol34=1&custcol35=12 is small but mighty, quite solid.

Haha yeah, sometimes one of us carries more tripods or lenses while another carries more tent poles or pots & pans...

I'm part of a group of friends who plan adventures centered around a single, ambitious image, and what winds up happening is that 2-5 friends lug 2-3 cameras each up a mountain or into the wilderness, ...and see what ensues. Sometimes we fail miserably to capture the one image we had planned, of course, but we always come away with loads of other stuff. It's hard not to when you have 2-4 cameras per person at your disposal for various still/timelapse ideas.

Often, the 2nd or 3rd and/or 4th camera that we bring is just a compact camera, a Sony RX10 or RX100 for example, or a Canon Rebel or Nikon D5300 class camera. It's usually not a problem to find a nearby rock or log to set a tabletop tripod on. But, I've also never had a problem getting a giant DSLR and lens stably supported by either of the ones I've owned.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Camera-Reviews-Tutorials/Behind-The-Scenes-Images-and-Stories/n-zzb995/i-m75W9w2/0/62ae8af7/L/i-m75W9w2-L.jpg)
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Camera-Reviews-Tutorials/Behind-The-Scenes-Images-and-Stories/n-zzb995/i-9gPjkzC/0/9649507b/M/i-9gPjkzC-M.jpg)

In the 2nd image, I modified the Manfrotto to have a tiny little Arca Swiss plate, the QRC-1 if I'm not mistaken. It only weighs a few ounces total...

BTW, here's a couple videos of the fun times:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-UOryF4J1Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox1NzjRMfxw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFxbx--HFUs


Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on October 01, 2018, 06:31:00 am
OMG
When you've already lugged 2-3+ tripods (per person) into the wilderness, but you know you might still want just one more timelapse, then you definitely start wishing you had a tabletop tripod in your bag... ;-)

 (https://photos.smugmug.com/Camera-Reviews-Tutorials/Behind-The-Scenes-Images-and-Stories/n-zzb995/i-PJRx278/0/76ddb9a2/X3/i-PJRx278-X3.jpg)
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on October 08, 2018, 03:38:57 pm
I carried an F3 with Nikkor 25-50 F4 Zoom and 10 rolls of 36 exp (ISO 200) on a 10 day/100 Mike AT hike. My walking staff had a 1/-20 stud in the end. But that was a hike to go 100 miles not a trek to take pictures. I'll day hike with a tripod, maybe even overnite but that's it.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: muntanela on December 27, 2018, 04:59:33 pm
The specs of the FLM CP10-Tabletop Tripod seem very interesting for wide- (and very low-) angle macro shots (and for cardiopathic lovers of alpine flowers photography as well... ;D)
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on December 27, 2018, 05:25:40 pm
Where are you going to find a table when you're 30 miles from Nowhere USA?
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: muntanela on December 27, 2018, 05:44:52 pm
"In truth I tell you, the ground will be your table"
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: CeeVee on December 27, 2018, 07:21:03 pm
U R dreaming.
Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: bassman51 on December 28, 2018, 05:06:59 pm
I have this Manfroto table tripod and it works well.  The legs will support anything you are likely to have, and you can upgrade the ballhead if you need to.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/283757-REG/Manfrotto_709B_709_Digi_Tabletop_Tripod.html/?ap=y&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItYew_sPD3wIVUuDICh3zuAc4EAQYAiABEgIfhfD_BwE&lsft=BI%3A514&smp=Y

Title: Re: Small backpacking tripod
Post by: muntanela on December 29, 2018, 09:39:59 am
U R dreaming.

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"

I have this Manfroto table tripod and it works well.  The legs will support anything you are likely to have, and you can upgrade the ballhead if you need to.


I prefere those with adjustable leg angles, in order to go really to the ground with camera in portrait position on an L-bracket and tilted on the side, so that it can touch the ground.