Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: rgs on January 21, 2018, 08:53:15 pm

Title: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: rgs on January 21, 2018, 08:53:15 pm
My long time tripod is a Manfrotto Pro55B mounted with a large Sirui ball head. In fact I've had it so long it has both the Manfrotto and the Bogan model numbers on it. It's my second of this series, the first (a Bogan pre-Manfrotto) was broken when a horse decided to mash it between a tree and my leg. I also have a wonderfully solid and quite heavy mahogany and paduk one that I used to use with my view camera.

But the Manfrotto is really difficult to fly with. I would like to find a smaller (but still solid) tripod that would fit in suitcase and could be used for travel. It would also be handy if one of the legs could be detached to serve as a monopod. Some of the Siruis do that but I don't know if others do. I would like CF but aluminum will do. I would like to spend no more than about $300. I plan to put a geared head on the Manfrotto and move the ball head to the new tripod.

My local camera store only stocks Manfrotto and their store brand so it's difficult to get hands on with other tripods. Failing that, maybe you folks can make suggestions for me to look into. Thanks.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: Kevin Raber on January 21, 2018, 09:39:40 pm
I use a Three Legged Thingy tripod.   I have a YouTube Video at.  https://youtu.be/camC_jWM_-s

I now have two of these and itís great and firs in my carry on bag.  Check it out.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: stever on January 21, 2018, 10:34:40 pm
i am extremely happy with the Sirui 4-section tripod for travel - there really isn't anything else that is as light, compact and stiff (i don't think the 5-section is worth considering).  However it's a very light tripod and i always use remote or timed release, and as with any light tripod it's pretty useless in the wind even when weighted.  Also not for the tall.

the included ball head works if you use a nodal rail to balance the camera & lens (good for overall stability as well) but again, any other reasonably light ballhead will have creep and control problems with an off-balance camera
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: stever on January 21, 2018, 10:49:44 pm
there are a few tripods about half again as heavy as the Sirui with a significant increase in rigidity.  i used to travel with a Feisol 3441 which is also a well-made tripod, and probably a better choice for regular rather than occasional use although i think it also requires timer or remote release and some attention to balancing the camera for best results.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: tom b on January 21, 2018, 10:55:50 pm
I'm travelling to Hong Kong (stopovers) then Italy for six weeks in total travel. I just want one carry-on travel bag. No camera backpacks or added gear.

My Manfrotto tripod (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/663224-REG/Manfrotto_732CY_732CY_M_Y_Carbon_Fiber.html) with Arca-Swiss PO ballhead (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/658802-REG/Arca_Swiss_801211_Monoball_P0_with_Panning.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAkZHTBRCBARIsAMbXLhGzzYxufFj1DN02Nbx005OqG9-GNUbVDWOkADuki-MZY36en_A2C-kaAv-rEALw_wcB) fits the bill.

But, hey my photography is now limited to posting online.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: jeremyrh on January 22, 2018, 01:36:39 am
I was wondering if you ever have a problem with tripods being refused carriage in the cabin, on account of the potential for using it to bonk the pilot on the head, or other terrorist-type activity?  I am sort of loath to turn up at the gate with hundreds of $$$ of carbon fibre loveliness only to be forced to put it in the hold :-(
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: tom b on January 22, 2018, 02:15:48 am
In Sydney they confiscated my toothpaste. Back in the day I could walk through borders with a knife in my camera bag.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: armand on January 22, 2018, 10:23:55 am
I was wondering if you ever have a problem with tripods being refused carriage in the cabin, on account of the potential for using it to bonk the pilot on the head, or other terrorist-type activity?  I am sort of loath to turn up at the gate with hundreds of $$$ of carbon fibre loveliness only to be forced to put it in the hold :-(

I take the ballhead out to avoid this implication, so far it worked.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: qwz on January 22, 2018, 02:48:45 pm
 I have Sirui W-2204 and can recommend it for relatively light and compact solution with integrated monopod.
I used it with Sony a7 series cameras and sub-kilo lenses (like 24mm TS-Em sometimes short-teles 70-300 etc.).
For Pentax 67 is not as sturdy (with 55-100) but ok with 55, 100 and 200 primes.

Although i can only strongly disbelieve if you say that today is possible to take such stuff into cabin luggage.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: rgs on January 22, 2018, 03:15:29 pm
Although i can only strongly disbelieve if you say that today is possible to take such stuff into cabin luggage.

Thanks. And thanks to everyone for their input. It is very helpful.

qwz, I am not thinking of taking the tripod as cabin luggage. My backpack is full of cameras, and lenses, ect, and there is no room for a tripod. My thought is more along the lines of put it in a suitcase (along with clothes) to take as checked luggage. Beats having to ship my manfrotto ahead or rent locally or do without.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: E.J. Peiker on January 22, 2018, 03:27:52 pm
I'm using a MeFoto Globetrotter Carbon Fiber (not the Air version) for that mission.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: sc_john on January 22, 2018, 06:02:06 pm
I'm using a MeFoto Globetrotter Carbon Fiber (not the Air version) for that mission.

Have used this tripod at full extension, or do you tend to use it at shorter heights? Thanks.

John
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: E.J. Peiker on January 22, 2018, 08:41:36 pm
Have used this tripod at full extension, or do you tend to use it at shorter heights? Thanks.

John

I have, even with long exposures.  This entire page was done with it and a Sony a7R II.  I know that internet photos don't really show sharpness but they are very sharp - click on Marina Bay and Gardens By The Bay for the longer exposure stuff...
http://www.ejphoto.com/singapore_page.htm

Of course it's not perfect but it's good for what it does.  It takes some getting used to after working with my Gitzo's and RRS large tripods but I have confidence in it for travel, especially weight and/or size restricted travel.

Here's another page completely shot with that tripod, click through to the different areas:
http://www.ejphoto.com/mississippi_page.htm
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: armand on January 22, 2018, 10:10:21 pm
Although i can only strongly disbelieve if you say that today is possible to take such stuff into cabin luggage.

So far so good, I took a Sirui 1205 carbon fiber in the carry-on multiple times, with the head off (still in the carry-on though) and I had no comments. Now this particular tripod is likely too flimsy for OP's needs. Last I did this was in the last couple of years or so.
The longer tripods I take in the checked luggage.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: Two23 on January 22, 2018, 11:04:14 pm
Nothing delicate about a tripod.  Look for a used one and save big $$.  I have a Feisol 3441T for what you're doing.  I use camera gear up to a Nikon D800E + Nikon 80-400mm AFS or a Chamonix 4x5 on it with no problem.  Very light, compact, solid. 


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: Schmoe on January 23, 2018, 05:09:39 pm
I have the RRS TVC-33S and BH-55 ballhead. Thereís no way Iíd feel comfortable checking this equipment in, so I searched around for a bag that would fit this not-small setup. Finally found a soft-shell Eagle Creek roller carryon that it would fit into if I took the head off. So, camera gear goes into a backpack that can fit under the seat, and tripod + clothes and such go in the carryon. This system has worked well for me.  And to answer a previous question, Iíve never had even the slightest attention paid to my tripod going through airport security. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: philbond87 on January 23, 2018, 08:35:05 pm
I was wondering if you ever have a problem with tripods being refused carriage in the cabin, on account of the potential for using it to bonk the pilot on the head, or other terrorist-type activity?  I am sort of loath to turn up at the gate with hundreds of $$$ of carbon fibre loveliness only to be forced to put it in the hold :-(

Yes. Coming out of Taipei a few years ago.
I don't recall the numbers cited but I was threatened with confiscation of a travel tripod because exceeded some length. That length was quite short, by the way, as the legs actually fit in my carry-on suitcase.

I believe that tripod was a Manfrotto 190B.
I've done a lot of testing on small tripods (tripods of all sizes, really) and finally settled on a small Gitzo (the model eludes me right now). It's an excellent balance of size, weight and vibration dissipation/suppression.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: hogloff on January 24, 2018, 09:11:23 am
Yes. Coming out of Taipei a few years ago.
I don't recall the numbers cited but I was threatened with confiscation of a travel tripod because exceeded some length. That length was quite short, by the way, as the legs actually fit in my carry-on suitcase.

I believe that tripod was a Manfrotto 190B.
I've done a lot of testing on small tripods (tripods of all sizes, really) and finally settled on a small Gitzo (the model eludes me right now). It's an excellent balance of size, weight and vibration dissipation/suppression.

Yes Taipei has those restrictions when going through security. I believe it is 17". They have a display case showing items that were confiscated and there are tripods in the display case.

I travel a lot and always put my tripod into my check baggage. Never had an issue.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: KLaban on January 24, 2018, 09:18:36 am
My carbon fibre Gitzo Explorer with Arca Swiss P0 head are constant companions in my checked baggage. Great combination for travelling, so adaptable.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: GuyPhoto on February 16, 2018, 03:13:57 pm
I always put my travel tripod in checked baggage. Tripods made for travel fold down to 15" or so, weigh 4 lbs or less, and are plenty protected by my clothes. I haven't ever heard of anyone getting one stolen from baggage, but I'm sure it has happened.

I have used MeFoto and 3LT travel tripods. A travel tripod is never going to match up to one's "regular" tripod, but I found using one a good opportunity to bone up on tripod technique, one of the most neglected camera skills. Being careful to use the proper feet (spiked or rubber) for the terrain, choosing a good, solid spot to set up, mounting the camera correctly (I see so many people who neglect to have the lens extension over a leg), making sure all the knobs are tight, using a remote release or timer, detaching the dangling strap, shielding from the wind or adding weight, and waiting for vibrations to stop - all these have more impact on your final shot than having the ritziest tripod. Any tripod is better than the alternative.

Taking my travel pod out on a shoot before the trip makes operating it smoother on the trip.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: mshea on February 19, 2018, 01:01:16 pm
I owned a great Gitzo travel tripod that was stolen. I replaced it recently with a Sirui 2205X (approx. $300.00) on which I use an Acratech Pro head. The Sirui is very lightweight and folds to 15" (shorter than my old Gitzo). I imagine it's not quite as rigid as the Gitzo, but it serves me well. As noted by others, it's not meant for very windy conditions, though you might be able to mitigate that somewhat by using IS lenses or IBIS. Fortunately, I've had no trouble on foreign trips packing it with my camera gear in a Think Tank Airport Accelerator.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: NancyP on March 09, 2018, 01:10:29 pm
I take it that the people taking tripods in checked luggage have hard-shell luggage? One of these days I am going to have to break down and buy actual hard-shell roller luggage - my checked luggage to date is a really shabby (by now) nylon cloth number with the university logo on its side, without any rigid frame. There are some benefits to unlocked ugly shabby luggage, I suppose.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: armand on March 09, 2018, 01:51:58 pm
I take it that the people taking tripods in checked luggage have hard-shell luggage? One of these days I am going to have to break down and buy actual hard-shell roller luggage - my checked luggage to date is a really shabby (by now) nylon cloth number with the university logo on its side, without any rigid frame. There are some benefits to unlocked ugly shabby luggage, I suppose.

I do but I don't think they are truly necessary to protect the tripod. Unless the gorillas* that deal with them throw the luggage with the soft side into a sharp corner some clothing around it should do the the trick.

* - they were successful in breaking one on my hard shelled luggage
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: bassman51 on March 10, 2018, 10:18:18 pm
I always pack my tripod in my checked bag (unless I'm traveling by myself and have only carry-on). Our trip to Africa last summer required soft duffels for our checked luggage, and my Airport Essentials had no way accommodate a tripod internally.  So it went in the duffel. 

By the time we reached our first stop Johannesburg, the center column was jammed beyond my ability to repair.  Fortunately, I had almost no use for the tripod and should have left it home.  But packing a normal (not tabletop) tripod in a soft checked bag is asking for trouble.

P.S., MeFoto repaired it at no cost beyond my postage to get it to them - customer service the way you want it!
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: armand on March 10, 2018, 10:51:34 pm
When I said soft shell should be fine I wasn't thinking of duffels, that is pushing it. More like this:
https://m.kohls.com/product/prd-2903354/samsonite-hyperspin-2-spinner-luggage.jsp?ci_mcc=ci&utm_campaign=LUGGAGE&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=google&utm_product=62135319&CID=shopping15&utm_campaignid=%7Bcampaignid%7D&ci_mcc=ci&utm_campaign=LIA_Luggage+&gclid=Cj0KCQiAoY7VBRDtARIsAHWoO-JRAbZ9mhDeh8cn2WflsGbf2OuWrlrs3Bysl7wJvbohrwWeIEAHU2oaAtQdEALw_wcB

PS. the cheapest place with good variety for luggage I found it to be TJ Maxx
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: NancyP on March 12, 2018, 03:55:28 pm
Thanks Armand. I should get a checkable roller. The duffle-ish soft sided suitcase is fine for weekends or casual weeks, but does have the annoyance of being a non-roller, carry it by the handle type. Hiking poles are also going along.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: hogloff on March 12, 2018, 07:51:59 pm
I live and die by Eagle Creek luggage. I traveled extensively for business and it never let me down. I have since retired and have traveled the world for pleasure and always have my Eagle Creek luggage with me. Life time warranty and they stand by it.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: vulture on March 13, 2018, 01:22:13 am
I am travelling with my Gitzo carbon tripod with Manfrotto 501 head since years. With the head off and the tripod disassembled, I never had an issue to pack it in checked luggage (hard shell).
Also as carryon, head in backpack and tripod in my hands was never an issue - Frankfurt check-in security sometimes apply the graphite paper check - and that's it.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: NancyP on March 14, 2018, 11:10:36 pm
graphite paper check????
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: NancyP on March 15, 2018, 03:02:03 pm
I bought a hard-shell, latch / lock-only, no-zipper Samsonite last-year's model roller in check-in size in an obnoxious color (red, and I am adding lime-green X-strap as well - UUUUGLY). I figure that those are more nuisance to try to break into than the zippered variety, less likely to be targeted by airport thieves.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: vulture on March 15, 2018, 03:07:26 pm
It's a piece of graphite (?) paper they sweep over the tripod legs and then insert into a special computer.
It's showing them if there is anything inside the pipes of the legs, they told me.
But you have to go to a special room with the security.
Sometimes they do it with my large lenses as well.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: vulture on March 15, 2018, 03:10:00 pm
<graphite paper check?>

It's a piece of graphite (?) paper they sweep over the tripod legs and then insert into a special computer.
It's showing them if there is anything inside the pipes of the legs, they told me.
But you have to go to a special room with the security.
Sometimes they do it with my large lenses as well.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: Wayne Fox on March 15, 2018, 03:45:55 pm
It's a piece of graphite (?) paper they sweep over the tripod legs and then insert into a special computer.
It's showing them if there is anything inside the pipes of the legs, they told me.
But you have to go to a special room with the security.
Sometimes they do it with my large lenses as well.
I believe itís detecting residue from materials that are used to make explosives.  Be pretty easy to make a pipe bomb out of a tripod.

When I traveled with my wife in her wheelchair and she couldnít go through a metal detector, they would always swab the chair in several places. 
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: hogloff on March 16, 2018, 10:04:15 am
I believe itís detecting residue from materials that are used to make explosives.  Be pretty easy to make a pipe bomb out of a tripod.

When I traveled with my wife in her wheelchair and she couldnít go through a metal detector, they would always swab the chair in several places.

That's exactly it. I've had my gear swabbed quite often.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: NancyP on March 16, 2018, 11:33:10 am
That's interesting. Being a naive law-abiding citizen who spent "too much" on that tripod, the possibility of a pipe bomb never occurred to me. So my carbon fiber gets to meet some more carbon - cool. But lenses? You'd think that taking the front and back caps off and staring down the barrel would convince them that the lens is full of glass and air.
Title: Re: Airline Travel Tripod
Post by: hogloff on March 17, 2018, 09:32:01 am
That's interesting. Being a naive law-abiding citizen who spent "too much" on that tripod, the possibility of a pipe bomb never occurred to me. So my carbon fiber gets to meet some more carbon - cool. But lenses? You'd think that taking the front and back caps off and staring down the barrel would convince them that the lens is full of glass and air.

The swabs are very sensative and a quick swab of the camera case or one piece of equipment is all that is required to see if there are any residuals of bomb materials in your gear. I've travelled a lot with my gear and have had my case swabbed a few times.