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Author Topic: A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.  (Read 9160 times)

The View

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« on: August 13, 2007, 01:59:54 am »

I'm looking for a very light tripod, which can be folded to a very small size.

A tripod you have in situations you normally don't have the possibility to carry a full sized tripod.

I found one at Ritz for 65$, it can be folded and extended quickly, and weighs 1 1/2 pounds.

Maximum height 4 to 4 1/2 feet.

Before I buy it I wonder if any of you has been using such a ittle tripod, and can particularly recommend it for quality.

Thanks.
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Raoul

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2007, 02:58:29 am »

Cheap, foldable, lightweight? Easy: check http://www.instructables.com/id/ERUNUN3F0ZSTF0W/

 
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Hank

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2007, 10:38:12 am »

Pretend you already own whichever model interests you, then call the store and ask for local repair service and/or replacement parts for it.  If unavailable, move on to another choice.  The problem with most cheap tripods is the expense of replacing them when a small part breaks.  

Name brands like Gitzo, Manfrotto and others may be more expensive initially, but they back their products with service and ready access to parts for self-repair.  A replacement warranty on a cheaper model is worthless if you have to send it for three months for service or if a local shop doesn't stock the parts to do it yourself.  I name Gitzo and Manfrotto specifically because we have found best access to parts with those brands.

Any brand of tripod is likely to break at some point, usually when you need it most.
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Lisa Nikodym

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2007, 11:48:30 am »

I started with a lightweight, relatively inexpensive aluminum tripod (for a very small, light SLR), and rapidly gave up in disgust, because I was losing a very large fraction of shots because the tripod was vibrating so much in even moderate breezes that the shots were unacceptably blurry.  I replaced it with a carbon fiber Gitzo and never looked back.  Before buying a cheap, light tripod, try it out first on a breezy day to make sure it can handle it (I'd bet it won't).

Lisa
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Don Libby

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 04:22:05 pm »

My tripod(s) of choice is Gitzo.  I currently have a Gitzo 1258 that weighs 3.1 lbs and can hold up to 17 lbs.  I took the center post out replacing it with a Kirk tripod base and an Acartech Ultimate Ballhead.  This system is light weight and has served me well.  I’ve used this with my Canon 1DsII with a 300 lens as well as a Mamiya 645 AFD II w/P30+ digital back and Mamiya 300 f2.8 lens.  I’ve walked many a miles with this tripod and have no complaints.  I encountered sticker shock at first when I found the price but I had it in my hands and really didn’t want to let go of it.  While there is IMHO no such thing as an inexpensive (cheap), lightweight tripod, there are plenty of examples where you get what you pay for.  Why trust a couple hundred to many many thousands dollars worth of equipment on cheap, inexpensive equipment?  One of the many reasons this type of tripod costs what it does is their warranty and quality control.

I’m in the process of buying yet another tripod.  More than likely it will be the Gitzo GT2530 setup similar to my 1258 but with larger capacity.

I can understand the need to save money and space and weight.  Of these three items I would count space and weight equally first and money (cost) way down on the list.  Remember buy cheap buy twice.  You didn’t skimp on the camera and lens, why skimp on a part of your kit that will in all likelihood outlast your camera?

The above are just the rambling thought of one person …..

BTW – listen to what Lisa & Hank has to say on the subject as well.


don

GregW

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 11:23:21 pm »

I normally shoot with a Series 3 Gitzo Mountaineer, 3 section, centre column replaced with a Markins leveling plate.  I like Gitzo because it reliable, tough, light and easy to use and maintain.

It's very sturdy but too big and heavy for serious climbing i.e. multi-pitch routes at high altitude which living in the alps is about 4000M.  For that I'm using a Gitzo Series 1 'Traveller'.  It's a 4 section model, about 40cm folded and weighs less than 1 Kg.  I replaced the long centre column with the short one from Gitzo and use a lightweight Markins Q3 ball head.   With a D2x or D200 and the 12-24mm f4, it's pretty good, with the 17-55 2.8 and mirror lock-up I can get away with it as long as I hang my pack on the tripod hook.  I try not to use the 4th set of legs.

Although an excellent product by virtue of it's weight and size you have to be realistic.

You'll need to check the specific model numbers as Gitzo changed them for 2007.  The series and model names stayed the same.

p.s. never believe manufacturer load claims.  As Lisa said try it first.  I do that for all support equipment.  It doesn't matter if you are spending USD 100 or USD 1500, try it first.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 11:30:20 pm by GregW »
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Goodlistener

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2007, 08:17:42 pm »

View, its a good question.  Two alternatives to a mini tripod if you want to look at them. One is to get a bean bag stuffed with styrofoam peanuts. The camera spply people have things like that.  if you have a small cloth sack (perhaps bulk rice or beans came in it) you can duct tape it to an hour glass shape and come out pretty good.  The two halves need to be able to flow into onne annother, just like ann hour glass.

I have heard of but never seen this technique. A small piece of rope or chain has a loop on one end and a tripod screw fitting on the other end. The loop is for your foot, and the other end has a male end that screws into the female socket on the bottom of your camera. Mr. Bagdikian of Pro Photo in Washington DC tells me that the pros in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, prefer a light weight metal chain so it does not stretch.

In terms of what are called travel tripods or mini-tripods: a small lightweight inexpensive model may be found somewhere but you would have to look a lot or get lucky.  The premium brands such as Gitzo will have small, light weigth, good quality but expensive.

A company called Rue at www.rue.com sells a product line called Kinesis bean bag, automobile camera supports. Its a good bean bag type of system.  

See http://www.rue.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4_5
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The View

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2007, 12:33:32 am »

Quote
Pretend you already own whichever model interests you, then call the store and ask for local repair service and/or replacement parts for it.  If unavailable, move on to another choice.  The problem with most cheap tripods is the expense of replacing them when a small part breaks. 

Name brands like Gitzo, Manfrotto and others may be more expensive initially, but they back their products with service and ready access to parts for self-repair.  A replacement warranty on a cheaper model is worthless if you have to send it for three months for service or if a local shop doesn't stock the parts to do it yourself.  I name Gitzo and Manfrotto specifically because we have found best access to parts with those brands.

Any brand of tripod is likely to break at some point, usually when you need it most.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132985\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for mentioning Gitzo.

I actually own a Manfrotto, but it's a big one, and I cannot always take it with me.

Quality gear is always a joy to use.

And thanks, Hank, for the tip for the Gitzo 1258.

And Lisa, for the carbon fiber tip.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 12:39:42 am by The View »
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The View

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A Very Light Tripod - Recommendations Please.
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2007, 12:42:59 am »

Quote
I normally shoot with a Series 3 Gitzo Mountaineer, 3 section, centre column replaced with a Markins leveling plate.  I like Gitzo because it reliable, tough, light and easy to use and maintain.

It's very sturdy but too big and heavy for serious climbing i.e. multi-pitch routes at high altitude which living in the alps is about 4000M.  For that I'm using a Gitzo Series 1 'Traveller'.  It's a 4 section model, about 40cm folded and weighs less than 1 Kg.  I replaced the long centre column with the short one from Gitzo and use a lightweight Markins Q3 ball head.   With a D2x or D200 and the 12-24mm f4, it's pretty good, with the 17-55 2.8 and mirror lock-up I can get away with it as long as I hang my pack on the tripod hook.  I try not to use the 4th set of legs.

Although an excellent product by virtue of it's weight and size you have to be realistic.

You'll need to check the specific model numbers as Gitzo changed them for 2007.  The series and model names stayed the same.

p.s. never believe manufacturer load claims.  As Lisa said try it first.  I do that for all support equipment.  It doesn't matter if you are spending USD 100 or USD 1500, try it first.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133100\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, Greg, I'll take a look at the Gitzo Traveller.
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