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01-09-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
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Tripod...so many options

I am looking to purchase new tripod, there are just too many options out there.... Here is the criteria I am considering and features I am looking for:

Lightweight - Doesn't have to be carbon fiber, but the lighter the better...I will be taking it backpacking so 5 lbs. or lighter is best.

High/Low Height - I would like something that extends for sure about 60", preferable around 70" (even though I know I would not extend it to its max). Also one that allows for low angle shooting.

Load Capacity - I am looking to support my K5 with a grip. i don't use a lot of long lenses...would around 10 lbs. be enough?

Legs/Feet - Not sure which is better; flip lock vs. rotating twist lock. Dust/dirt resistant would be nice. I wouldn't need spikes, but would also be a nice option. Anyone have one that converts into a monopod?

Ballhead - I used pan/tilt before, but am looking to get a ballhead, preferably in a package with the legs.

I am looking into a couple brands I have not used before, Oben, Benro and Vanguard. If anyone has experience with these brands or a specific model, some input would be much appreciated. I am looking to buy from B&H as I have a $100 gift card to spend. Looking to stay under $400....really closer to $300 if possible. Here is a couple I am looking at:


Vanguard Alta Pro 253 CB 50 Tripod W/SBH 50 ALTA PRO 253 CB 50

Oben CT-2310 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with BA-1 Ball Head

Benro A-1691 Travel Angel Alum. Tripod A1691TB0 B&H Photo Video

So if you have any input on a good tripod system or features you feel are important, I am all ears.

01-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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Backpacking? Are you sure you need a TRIpod? A good monopod can double as a walking stick. Add a 1m length of double sided Velcro and you can use most trees (I guess not redwoods) or posts if you can't hold the monopod. Or need a perfectly steady mount. Add a ball-head and quick release and a monopod is always at the ready along the trail.
01-09-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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The Dolica AX620B gets many recommendations. Comes with a ball head. The center section is actually sturdy when raised. Comes with case that has a non-adjustable barely long-enough strap.
01-09-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
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Hands down have to recommend the Giottos Vitruvian. I bought the carbon fiber version for under $400 in Canada, so I would imagine that the B&H price would be lower, if not the same. It comes with a good ball head (upgraded/newer version than what's in most the reviews/pictures), which holds plenty of weight (K5+grip and FA*28-70 or DA* 200). it's got a seriously compact size and weight with plenty of height and low angle capabilities as well as dust sealing, a case and even converts to a full size monopod. I have a half decent review on here if you need more, but check it out. It's got everything you need.

01-09-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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It's not from B&H, but I highly recommend you look at this NEW FEISOL Classic Tripod CT-3401 Rapid
it's under $300, with a head it will be even higher. Folds small and super light, this is without centre section, you can buy it as an add on.

I've their tournament tripod and I'm very pleased with it.
01-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #6
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Take a look at the Benro Travel Angel carbon fibre series on ebay. I'd look at those model numbers starting with C-1 (or C1)

Last edited by twitch; 01-10-2012 at 02:18 PM.
01-09-2012, 10:36 PM   #7
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Look into the Manfrotto 293A4. It's very compact and perfect for backpacking. You can get it with a ball or 3-way head, and it's fairly inexpensive (for a good quality tripod). There is a 4-section version (which I recently bought) that closes down to 52cm length or a slightly less compact 3-section version if the closed length is not a concern. Quality is excellent and it give a reasonable height and is pretty light for a solid tripod.
01-10-2012, 01:08 AM   #8
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Great....more options All these tripods look awesome, tons of cool features and specs...now I just have to remember which go with which tripod. There might be a spreadsheet in my future.

QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Backpacking? Are you sure you need a TRIpod? A good monopod can double as a walking stick. Add a 1m length of double sided Velcro and you can use most trees (I guess not redwoods) or posts if you can't hold the monopod. Or need a perfectly steady mount. Add a ball-head and quick release and a monopod is always at the ready along the trail.
Good ideas JimJohnson, but I do need a tripod. Waterfalls, star trails, and photos of my girlfriend and I on the trail necessitate three legs

I did see a Feisol in the marketplace once and tried to buy it.....but alas I pondered too long. I had not heard of their company, but it looks like the have solid products including the one you mentioned. It would be nice to have a column-less base, and their specs are ridiculous. The tournament is very nice, but $$$$. The 3401 is a great deal at under $300 though

I really like some of the Giottos and Benro CF tripods i see on BH, but they might be a bit out of my range. Maybe find a deal on Ebay and save the $100 gift card for a rainy day.

Thanks for all the responses. If anyone has anything to add, has found a deal, or another tripod to throw into the ring it would be much appreciated. For now I will compare and try to narrow it down.....

01-10-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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To me, the best tripod is the one I have at hand. For travel, I recently bought a Benro C1190T Travel Flat Tripod. It's light-weighed, compact, and solid. I've been using it with K7 + DA* 60-250mm + 1.7X AFA without any problem (I don't bring the hand grip when traveling light).

My other tripod is a big Hakuba HG-6230C with Kirk ballhead. I'm not going to let it go, but am using it less and less. The Benro has replaced it in many situations.
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