Looking for Travel Tripod

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by BetterSense, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I'm looking for a tripod that will fit in a carry-on bag and hold up, for example, a 35mm AF SLR or maybe a medium format rangefinder. Lightest weight is not important as value. What names and models should I be looking for on the used market. I don't have the budget to go out and buy a new carbon fiber wonder. I'm more looking for the "tiltall" of smaller tripods, in terms of value.
     
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Tripods are very tricky to choose from, what may work for someone else may not fit with your style. I suggest you pick a max price point, figure out max weight needed for your heaviest body and lens setup (and flash if you use one or plan to), and the look for smallest collapsable length for pack ability in travel on luggage. From there you can figure out if you want a center column, what type of leg locks, what kind of head. I recently got a vanguard Auctus plus 323 ct tripod for my LF setup, and it's very high quality that matches up to the bigger names such as gitzo and manfrotto at a more affordable price so don't be afraid to look into these smaller brands. If buying used get something that's more recent, there will be parts and less worry about wear and tear from previous users. There are a few tripods at my work that can't be fully repaired without getting another broken one for parts. The lightest tripod I have is the Tamarac zipshot, it's basically 3 tent poles and a ball head, very good for a smaller camera on relativly even ground as there isn't much leg adjustment.
     
  3. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Google for reviews of brands and model numbers you are looking at. Use the experience of someone who has tried it, but also look for indications of a reason they might favor a brand other than its quality.

    John Powers
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I bought a Slick Sprint Pro II about 5 years ago, it's small enough to fit in a backpack, I can fly with it - it would fit a carry-on case, and I use it with MF and LF (5x4). Mine has a ball head but they have a pan tilt head available as well. Calumet sell them as own brand (in the UK) but you'd need to see who is selling them now in the US.

    Ian
     
  5. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    A Manfrotto 714 B might fit your needs. Small and steady. Here is one on eBay. 261500339820. If interested I have one I am selling for a friend. Send me a PM. I use a Velbron 343E for travel, although I've given serious thought to buying the Manfrotto. Bill Barber
     
  6. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I picked up a carbon fiber dolica with ball head at Costco for hiking. It can hold my Canon SLR as well as a Toyo Field 45A, albeit not as solidly as my Manfrotto 3021/3047 combo. I prefer lever locks so I'm not thrilled with the rotating ones on the Dolica, and it's four segment not three, and not as tall as the Manfrotto, but a fraction of the weight and height when packed. For how I use it, I can live with the trade off.

    Dan
     
  7. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    For $299 I don't think you can do better than this. Even if it's a bit more than you want to pay, Feisol tripods are an excellent value in terms of quality, and will last as long as you do....(or a lot longer!) :wink:

    http://reallybigcameras.com/Feisol/Traveler_Class.htm
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I'd go for the anti-rotation feature even if it's nearly a hundred more... With three collars per leg, the thought of locking and unlocking each segment in the correct order and with sufficient firmness to prevent the one above from unlocking as you try to unlock the one below... the thought is mind-numbing.
     
  9. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I've recently bought the Slik Mini Sprint II GM which holds my Nikon F3 no problem. It folds very small, but is not very high at max extension. It's great for travel. It will fit hand luggage no problem.
    Alex.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I have one of the Feisol travel tripods, and I'm happy with it for the purposes described, but I suspect from the original post that it may be over budget.

    If you've got a Tiltall, have you tried removing the center column and seeing if it fits your luggage in two pieces? As I recall it's simple to remove, and while the reversible legs of a Gitzo Traveller or Feisol Travel Class are an elegant solution for getting the tripod into your luggage, when I get to the destination, I don't walk around with it that way, and could just as well use use a tripod where I would separate the column for packing, and then assemble it on location.
     
  11. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I don't have a tiltall. I have I think a 3028 legs and 3047 head. It' s great for my 4x5 and RB67, but I have been traveling more for work and sometimes not checking a bag at all so I've downsized to a 35mm camera with a zoom. Having some sort of tripod would be good but it would have to be small. The two Slik tripods mentioned in this thread would seem to fit the bill, but I'm not sure if the tinier of the two would be sturdy enough or not...probably it would be better than hand-holding.
     
  12. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    If the camera and lens are heavy, I'm thinking something less than full extension is the way to go with the lighter tripods. A tripod collar on the lens also might make sense. Bill Barber
     
  13. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    If you want to spend some $$$ the Gitzo G1127 carbon fiber or similar with the G1276M magnesium head will easily handle your 35mm and medium format. I have traveled with mine for a number of years with medium format and lenses up to 250mm. I generally remove the head and put it in my camera backpack and the tripod in a tripod bag which easily fits in the overhead compartment.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  14. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    + 1 for the CF units from Feisol. I've had the 3301 since they'd updated with the anti-rotation legs and the steel sleeved & sealed twist locks. I've used the unit with both the RB67 and the Wista 4x5 for a couple years now and love the system.
     
  15. Nuff

    Nuff Member

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    I also recommend Feisol, I have thrown it into my checkin luggage at the airport many times and it still looks brand new. I agree, the anti-twist feature makes setting up this tripod a snap. Something that's very important for me when I travel.
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The regular Tiltall won't fit a carry on but they (Leitz) had a short version.
    Bogen also had a 3021s that was a short version of the 3021.
     
  17. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    I'm over 6 feet tall, so choosing a travel tripod is always a compromise between convenience in shooting, portability and the budget. My current solution is a very small Manfrotto 732CY carbon fiber travel tripod with a tall Leitz ball head, and both were bought used. The ball head brings most slr viewfinders up to about 56 inches without the center column extended, and the rig weighs 2.8 pounds. I would not put anything heavy on it, but it is better than a monopod, and with the ball head off the tripod legset is about 17 inches long. Before I got the ballhead I often used to kneel to take photos with the little tripod.
     
  18. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I'm also a 6 ft.+ shooter. Compact tripods tend to be lighter and shorter, but if your primary use is your 35mm SLR (use don't mention brand) consider a right-angle viewfinder for it. I use one on my Nikons often and it helps a great deal.
     
  19. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    I use a Feisol CT-3402 from Kerry at Really Big Cameras. Fits in a carry-on legal case/ with head removed. I would buy anti-rotation legs if in your budget. TSA does not like the spiked feet kit, leave them home or put them in a checked bag.
     
  20. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I wouldn't try a Tiltall if you are thinking of that route. When I moved up from 35mm to an RZ67 I initially tried it on the Tiltall I had been using for 35mm. The RZ pretty much threw the Tiltall around. It was jut too much weight for the the Tiltall. The used Gitzo Studex I got was too big for your travel bag purposes.

    John Powers
     
  21. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I have an Induro aluminum 3-section travel tripod that I can recommend - it is sufficient for a 35mm/DSLR with a normal lens or a compact zoom, or a medium format rangefinder/TLR (I used mine with my Rolleiflex in France last year). It was about $100 new ( Induro_472_013_Alloy_8M_AT013_Tripod ). Another option to look into is the Travel Angel ( Benro_A2690TBH1_A_2690_Travel_Angel_Aluminum ). They're more expensive than my Induro, but they fold up even smaller and are just as sturdy. The Travel Angel kit includes a ball head for the price, so it really isn't THAT much more than the Induro.
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Find the lightest strong tripod that you can find. Look for aluminum or carbon fiber tripods. Anything else is guaranteed to gain weight with every step as soon as you are more that 100 yards or 100 meters from the car.
     
  23. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    FWIW, my Toyo 45A-II on a cheap Dolica carbon fiber tripod. It's much easier to pack into the woods than a Manfrotto 3021/3047 combo.

    Dan

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