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Author Topic: Tripod for motorcycle trips  (Read 3580 times)

60HzShuffle

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Tripod for motorcycle trips
« on: December 14, 2014, 08:15:47 am »

Is a quest for a light/small but very steady tripod pointless?  Any suggestions for a tripod and head for a Nikon D810 and a zoom lens?
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IanB

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2014, 10:34:24 am »

I use a Gitzo Mountaineer 1238 (and usually a Manfrotto 410 head) for everything - including 4x5, but mostly MF film when travelling. When I go on a motorcycle (quite often) it goes into a padded UPVC drainage tube with screw-cap ends which straps onto the rear carrier. It's no longer than the panniers are wide. How well it works for you would depend on the motorcycle, though  - a sports bike might cause problems! I also use the tube for carrying the tripod on airlines - much better than any padded soft bag. If you use a ball head instead of a 3-way geared one you can probably do it with a standard 100mm/4 inch dia tube.
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Some Guy

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2014, 12:08:47 pm »

I searched a long time and found the Cullmann Magic series fits well into my bags.  The yoke spins and folds flat.  One leg unscrews and it becomes a monopod.  Very nice design.  Will even fold flat enough for a thin brief case.

https://www.cullmann.de/en/detail/id/magic-systempod-cb63.html

SG
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Torbjörn Tapani

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2014, 01:12:03 pm »

Light, steady, cheap. Pick any two.

I recently got a Benro Travel Angel II (C1682TV1) it's the smaller 1" tube, 4 section (not 5) still folds real small over itself. Compared to other similar brands (triopo, sirui etc) the spindle is in my opinion much sturdier. Max load of 30 lbs for a travel tripod, that's Ok in my mind. Will go pretty low with short center column but I do prefer a systematic type tripod without center column but for travel use this will do. I needed a complete package as a complement to my bigger tripod. The included ballhead is OK but not great. It has one problem, I wish it would spread the legs a little wider in the normal position, feels a little top heavy with D800E + 14-24. It's really meant for a DX camera and future mirrorless but will see use with the D800 sometimes.
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60HzShuffle

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2014, 07:22:10 pm »

I already have a Manfrotto 190 series tripod,  but the head I have is is pretty stout "Manfrotto MH054M0-Q5 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release"

http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-MH054M0-Q5-Magnesium-Quick-Release/dp/B004MKNJ6Q

Is this as light as a good ball head is going to get or do you think there is a lighter option that I can use with the tripod I have.

Thanks....
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dwswager

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2014, 10:18:10 pm »

Is a quest for a light/small but very steady tripod pointless?  Any suggestions for a tripod and head for a Nikon D810 and a zoom lens?

Not nearly enough information for decent recommendations.  First, be aware that Steady comes with good design, appropriate materials and MASS!  If the tripod doesn't have it, then you should add it via suspended weight like a camera bag.

I hike with an RRS TVC-34L which is about 5lb.  It generally has an older Arca Swiss B-1 balhead on it.  I find that light compared to the 9lb tripod I used to carry.

How small does it have to be folded?  How tall extended w/ and w/o center column extension?  How heavy?

Assuming you 'zoom lens' isn't something crazy like the 200-400mm, then a RRS BH-30 or BH-40, or Arca Swiss P0 or Z1 would be great. I prefer Gitzo and RRS tripods, but other work fine.
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Geods

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2014, 02:42:19 pm »

For my, recently completed, five month and 16,000-mile motorcycle trip I used a small carbon Gitzo - one where the legs fold back on the extended center column... I used a D800e on the trip with a RRS panoramic mount for quality that exceeded an 8x10-inch camera. I recently replaced the RRS bracket with an Acratech pano head that is much smaller and lighter than a ball head plus pano mount.

You can see images, most of which were stitched with the aforementioned setup, on my 'blog here: georgedstewart.blogspot.com
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60HzShuffle

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2014, 06:59:36 pm »

Thanks, Geods.  I will check the blog.

The bike is not small :)  It's a BMW GS Adventure, so fitting in the aluminum boxes is nice but I can always put it in a bag and strap to the seat.  Box dimensions are 11" wide, 17.5" long and 15" tall.  I am just looking to get as small and light as practical (but not spend 1000's either, hundreds is fine) but has to be able to support my D810 plus a decent sized lens.



« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 07:01:40 pm by 60HzShuffle »
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dwswager

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2014, 08:02:50 pm »

Thanks, Geods.  I will check the blog.

The bike is not small :)  It's a BMW GS Adventure, so fitting in the aluminum boxes is nice but I can always put it in a bag and strap to the seat.  Box dimensions are 11" wide, 17.5" long and 15" tall.  I am just looking to get as small and light as practical (but not spend 1000's either, hundreds is fine) but has to be able to support my D810 plus a decent sized lens.

Gitzo GT1544T Traveler Tripod  $449 after Rebate  Folds down to 16.73".  2.2lbs.  55" max height. 46" without center column.  $150 rebate right now.

Gitzo GT2542T Traveler Tripod   Still less than 17" folded and series 2 so a little stiffer and 2.9lb.

ARCA SWISS Monoball p0 with Panning System and 1/4" thread   Don't need a panning clamp as the level is at the clamp end and pans and levels at camera base.  Get a SunwayFoto 64mm (2.51") Discal Clamp if using Arca Swiss plates.
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60HzShuffle

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2014, 09:39:28 pm »

Those look in line with what I need :)
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spidermike

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 03:50:14 am »

I have the Velbon Ultra-RexL which packs down very short (12" without the head) and for that reason is the one I take with me when travelling as it easily fits in a suitzcse which my Manfrotto 190XProB doesn't. It also extends higher than the Manfrotto and seems just as stable (if not more so), and weighs the same as a lot of carbon fibre tripods at a fraction of the price.
 
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Geods

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 05:12:07 pm »

I too used an Adventure...I kept all my photo gear in a dry bag which was strapped, via D-rings so I could leave it all attached when getting equipment, to the back of the bike.

Benro travel tripods appear to be good and inexpensive: http://www.benrousa.com/products/travel-flat/

Here is the Acratech pano head I know use in lieu of the larger and heavier RRS bracket plus ballhead: http://www.acratech.net/tripod-heads/panorama-heads/panoramic-head
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dwswager

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2014, 06:01:48 pm »

Here is the Acratech pano head I know use in lieu of the larger and heavier RRS bracket plus ballhead: http://www.acratech.net/tripod-heads/panorama-heads/panoramic-head

It does not appear that this head adjusts for the tilt (up or down) so the no parallax point needs to be centered by eye over the center of the head rotation and not in the clamp as you would when level.  My lightweight single row setup uses and RRS panning clamp and nodal slide.  If I need to shoot off horizontal with the camera tipped up or down, I insert a small Sunwayfoto monopod Tilt head between the panning clamp and the nodal slide and center the no parallax point over the monopod head.

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Geods

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Re: Tripod for motorcycle trips
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2014, 09:48:19 am »

The Acratech should be used with nodal point slide, which they make. While the RRS bracket is probably the best for precision, I've found the Acratech still works with the software available. As it sits today, this is the pano head I'd take on future trips, including a trek where I'd have to carry it, like in the Himalayas...
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