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06-30-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
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SMALL and lightweight Travel tripod tips

I have been looking all over for this. I need a small AND lightweight travel tripod that's gonna be able to hold my FA* 80-200/2.8. I doubt I will ever get something bigger than that as I am beginning to fall in love with primes.

The thing is, it has to be able to fit inside my National Geographic Medium bag. What that means is no more than folded height of 12-13"(I think 13 is exactly a little bit too much)/31-32 cm. My other requirement is that it has to be lightweight. Very lightweight. I live and breathe for small limitedlenses while travelling. No point in ruining that with a heavy tripod. If I have to put a number on it I'd say NO more than 1,5 kg including the ballhead. But I prefer around 1 kg. The ability to add some weight would be awesome for concert photos with my 80-200.

I understand I have high demands, so you just give me the cheapest ones that fill my needs. I understand it won't be cheap, but $600 is a little too much I think.

06-30-2010, 11:39 PM   #2
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Check out the Velbon Ultra and Maxi lines.

Velbon Tripods

I've got an Ultra Maxi S for motorcycle travel and it's great.
07-01-2010, 12:00 AM   #3
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Do you mean Ultra Maxi Mini?

Maybe I'll do a 2 x tripod combi. One of the Ultra Maxi Mini and one bigger that can expand a little higher.
07-01-2010, 12:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nimrad Quote
Do you mean Ultra Maxi Mini?

Maybe I'll do a 2 x tripod combi. One of the Ultra Maxi Mini and one bigger that can expand a little higher.
No, the one I have is no longer made. It's a little smaller than the Ultra Maxi M but the legs don't spread wide for low-angle shots

This one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/800708207-USE/Velbon_ULTRAMAXIS_Ultra_...ion_Shaft.html

07-01-2010, 12:34 AM   #5
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Remember if you go too light weight, they start to add problems rather than curing them.
07-01-2010, 12:45 AM   #6
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There's three words you need to remember when looking for a tripod. STRONG - LIGHT - CHEAP

You can only have two of those.
07-01-2010, 12:55 AM   #7
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Benro C-269 or C-268 would seem to fit the bill.

07-01-2010, 05:55 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dangie Quote
There's three words you need to remember when looking for a tripod. STRONG - LIGHT - CHEAP
You can only have two of those.
Ditto that. A 80-200 isn't exactly light which means you'll have to go to carbon fiber if you want to get decent performance. Carbon fiber = $$$
07-01-2010, 07:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Benro C-269 or C-268 would seem to fit the bill.
Even the C-069 is longer than his 12-13" requirement at 13.4" folded (w/o head), so I can't see how the C-269 could meet his max folded length requirement.

Slik Sprint Mini might work, but not sure if it's sturdy enough for an 80-200/2.8. The non-Mini Sprint or the Sprint Pro might meet your requirements and be sturdy enough?
07-01-2010, 08:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Ditto that. A 80-200 isn't exactly light which means you'll have to go to carbon fiber if you want to get decent performance. Carbon fiber = $$$
The 80-200 will be a challenge for a smaller tripod. Avoiding full extension of the legs and center column will make it more stable, but still...

FWIW, here's a pic with a K20d/DA* 16-50 F2.8 on the Velbon:



I turned on the intervalometer and set the drive mode to 2s timer to force MLU and increase the chances of getting a sharp photo. I did several sets at different FLs and shutter speeds. Some were blurry. But one set was plenty sharp - 50mm @ 1/100.

It probably took me longer to get a setup that was stable. A bigger, heavier tripod would have made the job easier, but when you have to travel light, you've gotta make compromises and try to work around them.
07-01-2010, 01:59 PM   #11
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Look at Feisol.
And remember that load limits tend to be conservative and are relevant to full extension. A tall tripod with a lowish load rating will have a much higher rating if shortened somewhat.
Knowing this can give you a tall enough tripod most of the time, and one that perhaps needs to be set up a little shorter with your heaviest equipment.
I don't know how the weights compare, but my Feisol 3 section Tournament with the CB-50D head is very secure under my K7 and 60-250. I wouldn't want to go a lot heavier than that combination, but I wouldn't hesitate to add another couple of pounds either.
07-01-2010, 08:47 PM   #12
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A minimal 6" mini job without sectioned legs, and hold that on something such as a post or table, or against a wall or tree, etc.
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