I use an Induro carbon fiber 3-series (the model number eludes me at the moment) plus an RRS ball head. No complaints.
Right now in Spain they're holding the Running of the Bulls,
followed by the Soiling of the Pants, and the Burying of the Idiots.
Most reasonably made tripods can be made to be very rigid - including fairly light weight ones (like the old small Velbons, etc). The trick is to introduce some tension in the legs so that there is no room for vibration or movement. The simplest way of doing this is to take some nylon cord and attach in the following manner:
- Set the tripod up with the legs fully extended and fully apart.
- Just above the first release section (i.e the locking lever/ring/etc that releases the lowest section of the tripod leg) tie the nylon cord to the first leg, then stretch it taught and wrap around the second leg, then stretch it taught and wrap around the third leg and then repeat by stretching it taught and fixing firmly to the first leg.
- Take another bit of cord and attach it to the same point on the first leg, then attach it to the second leg leaving enough slack cord so that it almost reaches the ground.
- Repeat for leg three and the return to leg one.
- You now have three cords hanging down nearly touching the ground.
- Use another piece of cord to join the three loose pieces of cord that are hanging down just above the ground.
In use, you set up the tripod and when ready to take the shot, you tread on the three cords that have been joined together until they touch the ground. This makes for an incredibly stable platform. I have used this system for many years including photographing the North Devon coast in raging gales with 5" x 4" and 6cm x 6cm (with mirror locked up). All the results were sharp and shake/vibration free.
On my website there are six night images (2 - 4 minutes exposure) all using this technique on a small lightweight tripod.
Some of the Chinese models offer very good value for money, Benro and Feisol are popular brands. I use a Benro carbon fiber tripod that has replaced my Gitzo model as I think the Benro is a better product. Benro makes aluminum versions of their CF tripods that are just as good but weigh a bit more and the aluminum version of mine is the A2680T, sold only as a kit with the B1 ballhead. I reviewed mine almost a couple years ago and there are pictures of the construction in the review. The tripods are identical except for the leg sections (CF/aluminum) so you might want to look at the construction if you're unfamiliar with the brand.
Those benro models (travel angel series) seem very interesting.
Originally Posted by peter_n
I recall on a similar topic that a fellow forumer with a Hassie (WLF) had a tripod of this series and he was quite happy with it.
I've been "following" this series because of their travel qualities and don't have a tripod. I plan to go MF with a rangefinder in the future and a tripod like this seems competent enough, and being light & compact helps a lot for carrying it around. Surely not the best for MF SLR's but it should do well for a RF, considering that it holds DSLR things with weigthy zooms decently. The claim of 12kg (even if it were effectively half) is quite surprising, seems there is no tradeoff whatsoever.
The transfunctional versions, which convert to monopod seem more flexible. Although maybe it's a bit of a gimmick...
But their compactness and lightweight seem to be strong points. After all, the best tripod is the one you (are willing to) carry.
My vintage (40 year old) Leitz Tiltall weighs in at about 6lbs +/- a few ounces. I think there were different mfg's making them for Leitz so there might be variations in weight and handles etc.
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Thanks everyone for the recommendations and advice. To consolidate the options discussed, here's the list of candidates I assembled, based on the specs that are primarily important to me at the moment:
-Induro AKB0 - Max Load: 10.3 lbs. - Weight: 2.6lbs. - Approx. Price: $139 (Quick Release ["QR"])
-Flashpoint F-1128 - Max Load: 8lbs. - Weight: 2.8lbs. - Approx. Price: $149 (Carbon Fiber)
-Cullmann CU 53583 & Cullmann CB 7.3 Ball Head - Max Load: 8.8lbs. Weight: 3.4lbs. - Approx. Price: $236 (Monopod, QR)
-Tiltall 4 Section Traveler - Max Load: 8lbs. - Weight: 3.9lbs. - Approx. Price: $119
-Sirui T-1205X & Sirui G-10 Ball Head - Max Load: 22lbs. - Weight: 2.3lbs. - Approx. Price: $380 (Carbon Fiber, QR)
-Benro A2680TB1 - Max Load: 26lbs. - Weight: 4.2lbs. - Approx. Price: $212
All values are as advertised, not as tested, of course.
I ended up going with the Induro AKB0, because a) Lots of recommendations for the brand, b) optimal combination of max load, weight, and price, and c) quick release. I'll report back on how the AKB0 ends up working for my application. This will be my first attempt at using a tripod that's so light with this camera, and I'm healthily skeptical about the advertised max loads. But we shall see.
I've had good luck with a Benro Travel Angel A-269. It folds up very small and is very sturdy. I shoot my Chamonix 4x5 on it. It comes with a small ballhead that is decent (although I use my Acratech ballhead on it mostly.) I use it for travel because it folds to about 15 inches. It's aluminum and weighs a little more than CF, but it is affordable and solid.
Kent in SD
Yes their first design was just the screw-off leg, which made for a short monopod. They "fixed" that in the second (and current) version by mating the center column with the leg, which I would imagine isn't too stable. Not such a great idea.
Originally Posted by Prest_400
Congrats! The Induro brand is made by Benro so you'll likely find it to be well-made and durable.
Originally Posted by aarontalcott
Slight hijack here, Jeffrey I just looked at your website. Impressive work, beautiful photos.
Originally Posted by jeffreyg
Back on the tripod and head question, I use a Manfrotto 498RC2 head on an old Bogen tripod. The tripod is heavy, but the head is fairly light and supports my 501 and C330 just fine. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Ball_Head.html