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03-09-2015, 12:11 PM   #1
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New Tripod thoughts

Hello folks, I'm considering selling my tripod, its a Henry's Canada rebrand called the HT100. I think its a Velbon 200R. This is the same here: http://www.amazon.ca/Henrys-HT100-Premium-Tripod-Velbon/dp/B008XPFCWK
I also have a ~$40 ballhead that I'm not finding reliably holds my arca plates from Peak Design Clip.

I'm looking for something small, light but very versatile.
The Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod mentioned on PF article / videos definitely catches my attention. It would likely fit in the water bottle holder on my backpack. The other option that catches my attention is the Sirui 2204x.

Both of these would improve what I have in the following ways:
- variable angle legs
- carbon fiber
- lighter / smaller (especially the T025x)
- monopod (2204x)
- better ball head (t025x)
- feet spikes
- likely better leg locks
- ???

I am also considering adding an arca pistol grip. Is there any reason to avoid these? I couldn't stop playing with one the last time I was at a camera store.

I really appreciate any advice / pointers / notice pf pitfalls of either. For instance is the T025X too flimsy for a K3 (maybe+ grip) a prime lens or a Sigma 100-300 F4 (if I dont' sell it). I am also open to other ARCA options that are similarly priced and featured. At this point, I can't justify owning multiple tripods so one for travel and one for other uses is not possible at this time.

Thanks!

03-09-2015, 01:03 PM   #2
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Last summer I purchased the MeFOTO Road Trip aluminum. The potential issue for you is that being aluminum it weighs in at 3.6 lbs, but on the other hand it has a very nice case and folds up to less than 16 inches. It is very well made and I have had no issues with it and have used it with my HD 55-300 lens with no issues. The ball head is very well built.

Why I bought it:

- My wife and I do road trips in a two-seat sports car and space is at a premium.

- I hike and backpack and this works well for that other than the fact it is not carbon fiber but for wilderness landscapes in low light you need a tripod to do it justice.

- Once I figured out how to do it, I can turn it into a monopod in a about 60 seconds which Occasionally use for Birding with the longer lens.

- Legs can set at normal for very wide for low to the ground shots.

This is one of those rare purchases where I have zero regrets and would purchase it again in a heart beat. I'm sure there are better but the value on this is high in my opinion. I got mine on sale for significantly less than the current price.

MeFOTO RoadTrip Aluminum Travel Tripod Kit (Black) A1350Q1K B&H
03-09-2015, 01:25 PM   #3
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Check the latest RedGed ball-heads with arca-compatible QR. While the ball head of this size cannot be very smooth in movements (in small adjustments), RedGed keeps your camera like in irons, good value for your $$.

-----
QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
I also have a ~$40 ballhead that I'm not finding reliably holds my arca plates from Peak Design Clip.
[...]
- better ball head (t025x)
[..]
I am also open to other ARCA options that are similarly priced and featured.
03-09-2015, 01:37 PM   #4
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Though I ended up buying an older Induro CF pod, I was looking hard at the Oben CT-3581 before finding the Induro. Folded size just less than 17", and weight just under 4 lbs.

Edit: I should also add that with the money I saved by going used on the tripod that I picked up a used Acratech GP w/lever clamp. Very nice head.

03-09-2015, 02:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TedW Quote
Last summer I purchased the MeFOTO Road Trip aluminum. The potential issue for you is that being aluminum it weighs in at 3.6 lbs, but on the other hand it has a very nice case and folds up to less than 16 inches. It is very well made and I have had no issues with it and have used it with my HD 55-300 lens with no issues. The ball head is very well built.
I can second this one. I have been very happy with mine.
03-09-2015, 06:07 PM   #6
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Thanks folks! Is this the one you have

??
03-09-2015, 06:09 PM   #7
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I use RedGed tripods too, they're all excellent in my experience

03-10-2015, 05:02 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
- feet spikes
The T025X doesn't have spikes, but the rubber is pointed somewhat. I've never felt the need for spikes.

QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
For instance is the T025X too flimsy for a K3 (maybe+ grip) a prime lens or a Sigma 100-300 F4 (if I dont' sell it).
It will work, do not worry.

The one thing you will gain that you have not mentioned is stability. It's amazing how much more stable, vibration-free, just plain reliable a high-quality tripod is. Carbon also works wonders (and is so light it's ridiculous).

I compared long and extensively before getting the Sirui T025X. Others like the Mefoto are good enough, not none is as light, as compact, as inexpensive (relatively) and as sturdy as the Sirui.
03-10-2015, 05:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
It will work, do not worry.

The one thing you will gain that you have not mentioned is stability. It's amazing how much more stable, vibration-free, just plain reliable a high-quality tripod is. Carbon also works wonders (and is so light it's ridiculous).

I compared long and extensively before getting the Sirui T025X. Others like the Mefoto are good enough, not none is as light, as compact, as inexpensive (relatively) and as sturdy as the Sirui.

Thanks so much! I really liked the idea of the T025x. I had reservations about getting anything as large as mine is now, in that I may not end up bringing it along with me. Mind you I had reservations about the T025x because there are multiple B&H reviews indicating it isn't stable enough. Are you suggesting these comments are unfounded? I can't imagine too many setups actually exceed the weight limit. Is there a formula or something about not going above half the limit or something?

I really don't want the size or weight of a tripod prevent me from bringing it along when I'm travelling light ( I walk everywhere and can't drive). I also don't want a tripod that doesn't do what it is supposed to do. I won't bring it then either. Long exposures are a must.
03-10-2015, 08:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
I had reservations about the T025x because there are multiple B&H reviews indicating it isn't stable enough.
QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
Are you suggesting these comments are unfounded?
I haven't read those reviews, so cannot really comment on them. I know that my experience shows it to be much, much more stable, vibration-free and sturdy than my aluminum tripod which is 2x as heavy, has much larger legs with fewer sections and a larger head (a good quality Vanguard). I have done 14 minutes exposures with the aluminum tripod and it worked, and the Sirui is better in every way. It's very light, though, so if there's a lot of wind or tricky weather, you'll be well advised to put some weight on the hook, but the same applies to any tripod.

QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
I can't imagine too many setups actually exceed the weight limit. Is there a formula or something about not going above half the limit or something?
The rule of thumb is to divide the maximum weight by 2, to be safe. So far the heavier I've attached is a K-3 with 60-250 and weight to the hook.

QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
I really don't want the size or weight of a tripod prevent me from bringing it along when I'm travelling light ( I walk everywhere and can't drive). I also don't want a tripod that doesn't do what it is supposed to do. I won't bring it then either. Long exposures are a must.
That's the whole point of such a tripod (Sirui or other). You can bring it anywhere. I have a Timbuk2 snoop messenger bag (small) and the tripod actually fits INSIDE the bag, over the camera. There are hooks under the bag to attach a tripod but the Sirui is too short to use those hooks without extending the head. It's unbelievable how small it is. And ridiculously light.

After almost a year with it, I have not found something I don't like about it.

At first I expected to use my Vanguard head on it, but it's way too large, the legs won't fold completely with that head. The head provided is excellent, no sagging and good controls. The only thing missing is a friction control, but I found a workaround by knowing at which angle to position the tightening screw to get the friction I want. Sirui make more expensive heads that do have friction control and fit with the tripod, but so far I've managed very well without.
03-10-2015, 08:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TedW Quote
Last summer I purchased the MeFOTO Road Trip aluminum. The potential issue for you is that being aluminum it weighs in at 3.6 lbs, but on the other hand it has a very nice case and folds up to less than 16 inches. It is very well made and I have had no issues with it and have used it with my HD 55-300 lens with no issues. The ball head is very well built.

Why I bought it:

- My wife and I do road trips in a two-seat sports car and space is at a premium.

- I hike and backpack and this works well for that other than the fact it is not carbon fiber but for wilderness landscapes in low light you need a tripod to do it justice.

- Once I figured out how to do it, I can turn it into a monopod in a about 60 seconds which Occasionally use for Birding with the longer lens.

- Legs can set at normal for very wide for low to the ground shots.

This is one of those rare purchases where I have zero regrets and would purchase it again in a heart beat. I'm sure there are better but the value on this is high in my opinion. I got mine on sale for significantly less than the current price.

MeFOTO RoadTrip Aluminum Travel Tripod Kit (Black) A1350Q1K B&H
Echoing the MeFoto. I picked one up in February and I'm not regretting it at all. Mine is the yellow/gold colored one, but its the same thing. My original intent was to pick up a yellow Q. I changed my mind about the Q but kept the tripod. Having a colorful tripod does a lot to make you look less intimidating when you're out shooting.

EDIT: Mine was the next model up, holds a bit more weight and a touch sturdier, but its the same thing, essentially.

Last edited by Sagitta; 03-10-2015 at 08:40 AM.
03-10-2015, 01:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
Thanks folks! Is this the one you have Travel Tripods for Roberts - YouTube

??
That is the MeFoto tripod that I have in the video. I have the silver version so there is nothing to scratch. If you notice that one leg has foam cushioning at the top segment. This is the leg that comes off fairly quickly to convert it into a monopod.
03-10-2015, 02:45 PM   #13
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I have one of these heads review here on Pentax Forum: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/45654-...301-656-a.html

Love this head. I mount it on a Gitzo Reporter Performance G220 tripod and yes, the total package weighs 5.6 pounds. Most of all, it is versatile, strong and rigid. Never have vibration problems, especially when I hang the camera bag from it. Of course, I come from a background of medium and large format film cameras. If I was still using them I would need something even bigger. You can get a great tripod these days that is just as good and lighter in weight by going with carbon fiber.

The other head I swear by is a Leitz Large Ball Head. Very strong, fast to lock and will last you forever. I actually put it on a Leitz Table Top Tripod which can rest on your chest with the camera in perfect position to view your subject. I have taken photos perfectly sharp with shutter speeds of 1 second with it. You can also press it against a wall, a post, or set it on a rock etc.

I just mount my K-3 and lens on the tripod and carry it on one shoulder. You might be surprised how fast you can set up and get the shot. If you want to take the camera off, the quick release is fast. My tripod can go to almost flat on the ground to over 6 ft high and it isn't very long when the 4 sections are collapsed.

I know you will never go this direction, but I really do recommend it. Most people worry way too much about finding the perfect "light weight" tripod. I consider "stability and light weight" an oxymoron.

Last edited by jeverettfine; 03-10-2015 at 03:06 PM.
03-10-2015, 06:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
I know you will never go this direction, but I really do recommend it. Most people worry way too much about finding the perfect "light weight" tripod. I consider "stability and light weight" an oxymoron.
I appreciate your input Jeverettefine. The Gitzo Reporter looks pretty decent as well. I'm not sure it'd be much of a change from what I have though. That Leitz is interesting. I keep searching it and finding only Leica's and stories about using the Leitz. I read a DIY article once about making a chest "tripod" out of PVC or something. That option seems appealing other than the "where do you store it when not in use" factor. Where'd you get the Leitz? Would you say it could be used as a monopod replacement?



TedW & Segitta, I've added the Mefoto to the possible list. I wish I could actually try these things out! The closest camera store with any selection is about 50-60 km away (i can't drive---bad eyesight) and I think they mostly carry Manfrottos.

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Sirui is better in every way. It's very light, though, so if there's a lot of wind or tricky weather, you'll be well advised to put some weight on the hook
Does tripod load ratings include the weight hung from the hook? Would an alternative be to use bungee cords / rope cinched to tent pegs or something? Just a thought.

By the way any idea the weight of the 60-250 and Sigma 100-300 F4? Likely not close to the weight rating, but maybe close to the halfway point?
03-10-2015, 07:50 PM   #15
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Oh there is also the Sirui N 1205x with higher weight rating and is 15" long when collapsed, but also has a removable monopod leg (EDIT: doesn't include head). Any experience with this one? It's not much more than the T025x.

Also, anyone have experience with pistol grips? I've heard complaints about needing 3 hands. Mind you there is a Vanguard 300T that has a built in shutter release.

Last edited by wissink; 03-10-2015 at 09:09 PM.
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