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02-23-2013, 01:34 PM   #1
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Travel tripod suggestions

I know there's been other threads about this, but i'm looking for a small-ish travel tripod and I've had a hard time sorting through the options/recomendations.

I know, its gonna be pick two of light-stable-cheap. stable and cheap are probably my two choices.

So, I'd like to keep it $250 or under, but if there was something great I could extend that a bit.

Priorities in order:

1) folds small- i'd like to say 12 inches or 30 cm. maybe up to 15 inches if it'll offer a big advantage to stability.

2) I'd like a low minimum height and am less concerned about max height (4 ft would be fine)

3) weight to support say around 8-10 lbs- biggest lens right now is a 60-250. its more likely to see use with a sigma 10-20 f3.5 or DA* 16-50, but i'd like to have a little wiggle room.

4) cost/wieght. I'd like to stick to my budget but would stretch it a bit, especially in exchange for lightness. I know i'm probably looking at aluminum in my price range, but would consider CF as it'll save some lbs and be better in the cold (it'll be used below 0C for sure)

5) head- don't necessarily need a ballhead.

I don't need a super stable "pro" tripod. Just something for traveling relatively light.

Looked at those colored benro's... i think MeTOTO or something. They don't look bad, but not sure how low they'll go and two leg positions make me think its not gonna get very close to the ground. Does anyone have any experience with either of those models?

Otherwise, looked at velbon's travel model and they look pretty flimsy (my bigger tripod is a velbon and it works well enough for me). Saw a light fancy Gitzo that looks pretty impresive, but not lookin to spend $600.

is there anything else in theis price and size range that I havent found yet?


02-23-2013, 01:51 PM   #2
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I've got one of these with a different head and they are surprisingly good. Ravelli Professional 65-inch Carbon Fiber 3 Axis Ball Head Camera Video Photo Tripod with Quick Release Plate and Carry Bag: Camera & Photo
02-23-2013, 02:04 PM   #3
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I'd recommend Feisol, but I see they have gone up a bit in price since I bought mine. Still, consider it a s once in a lifetime investment, as it should easily last that long, provided you don't use it to pry a 4x4 out of the swamp.
02-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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Not really an answer to your questions but i would just like to say that you must get a bag for it (something you might not get if it's not very expensive) so you can carry it with you over your shoulder, i wouldn't have used my tripod even half as much if i didn't have a bag to carry it in.
One could say that it makes it's portability better which is as good for travel a light weight.

02-23-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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I have a Benro C1190T with a B0 head. Since I bought it, the Hakuba hasn't left home.

The Benro has no problem handling a gripped K7 + DA* 60-250mm, as long as I don't pull out the last (smallest) leg section.

I know it's out of your price range. But if you go for the Al version (A1190T) and a B0 head, the price is not too bad.

The tripod is so compact if I don't carry a laptop, I put the tripod inside the backpack, where the laptop should be.

Last edited by SOldBear; 02-23-2013 at 02:45 PM.
02-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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GO TO B&H Photo Video Digital Cameras, Photography, Camcorders
select accessories, then tripods
select with/without head, depending on what you want (heads vary enormously in price - ball heads are generally more compact)
enter the parameters you want: weight capacity, folded length, etc and see what the offerings are
any/all carbon fiber pods will probably too expensive
To get a really short travel pod, you will probably have to go to four or more leg sections, which makes for slow set-up - personal recommendation: flip levers are significantly quicker and more convenient that twist locks on the legs

Manfroto probably has the most extensive offerings. Their 190 series tripods with four leg sections might suit.

Cullman has offered a very compact travel pod for many years, and the price is reasonable. It is unique in several ways: you twist the entire leg to lock each section (=no flip levers or twist collars, the mechanism is called a "cam-lock"); the yoke at the top pivots so when collapsed the legs lie side-by-side (extremely flat - easy to pack); the center column is double to get decent height, and is reversible to reduce folded length for transport; one leg unscrews and can be threaded into the double center column to make a "full height" monopod; the unit comes with a ball head that has a quick release plate. It might be worth a look, but fair warning, all that fold-down to be compact means slower set-up, and when the double center column is fully extended tripod stability is not very good.

02-23-2013, 03:18 PM   #7
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I just checked @ B&H and here are two possibilities:

Sirui T-025X, about $230, a carbon fiber pod rated at 13lb load capacity

Benro MeFoto A1350Q1A , about $190 rated at 17lb load capacity

I don't think this is the same model Benro just recommended by another Pentaxian.

Both of these tripods include a ball head with quick release (ever popular Arca-Swiss type)

I have no experience with Benro, but I do have a larger aluminum Sirui which is sturdy and has very solid twist locks.

02-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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I have Velbon UT 45L and it is really good for travels with backpack.

02-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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I recently purchased the Sirui CF T-025x and Ball head kit, it is extremely versitile. I walked around sydney with it in my girlfriends handbag! Had no problems using in combination with a da* 16-50. It can be had from Mainline Photographics for $200AUD, plus shipping.
02-23-2013, 03:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies! I think the sirui t-025. Is probably the best fit for me and ill likely end up goin that rout. The feisols look nice too at a few inches longer.... We'll see.
02-23-2013, 07:23 PM   #11
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check also the giotto vitruvian tripod. its compact made of carbon fiber with one leg convertible to a monopod. It comes with free bag, so very handy.

Giottos - Premium Quality Tripods, Heads & Accessories

Last edited by ltded; 02-23-2013 at 07:30 PM.
02-24-2013, 08:30 AM   #12
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Just bought the Benro MeFoto A1350Q1 and I can recommend it!
Light, good head and stable.
The ability to change it into a monopod is a big + and the free bag is also nice
02-24-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
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I also ordered the Benro MeFoto A1350Q1. Should be here tomorrow. Specs met my desires.
02-24-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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My lightweight travel tripod is actually a sturdy monopod with a mini-ball head and quick-release. Add to that a 1m / 3ft length of self-stick Velcro tape. My monopod fits inside my carry-on legal roller bag. On the go it doubles as a walking stick. Wherever I need a truly stable platform, I can usually find a park bench, a lamp post or a small tree where I can attach the monopod via the Velcro tape. You didn't mention where you will be using this tripod, but when I enter museums using my monopod as an ambulatory assistance device, I can typically enter with it even if tripods are banned.

My monopod probably hasn't been manufactured for years, but that also shows how well it has stood up to travel across 3 continents: Manfrotto 3006 "Junior", with a Giottos mini-ball head and Sima quick release.
03-27-2013, 10:25 AM   #15
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I just ordered the Sirui T-005X, which is an update to the Sirui T-005, now having a removable center column. At $140, 2.2 lbs, and 11.8" folded, I think it's an ideal travel tripod.

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