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06-30-2017, 07:48 AM   #1
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Tripod recommendation

I need some help finding a good tripod. I want something portable for hiking or taking team pictures for my son's soccer games. I use a K-3 with my heaviest lens being the 55-300 wr right now.

I think I'm looking for:
1. Something with a ballhead
2. Can convert to monopod for photographing the soccer games
3. 3ish lbs or under
4. $300 or under - unless there's a very compelling reason to go a little over
5. Something that when folded up isn't huge but will extend enough for portraits if needed. I'm 5'6".

I was looking at the Sirui t-024x but it doesn't convert into a monopod and I wasn't sure how stable it'd be for me.

I also have a Peak Design Slide. It says it has an Arca compatible tripod plate. What exactly does that mean I should look for when looking at tripods?

If it's possible I could use a tripod with one leg extended instead of a monopod I'd be open to buying a tripod that didn't convert.

I know I may not get all of my criteria perfectly but does anyone have a good suggestion?

Thanks!

06-30-2017, 08:08 AM   #2
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I have a similar requirement and was looking to replace my Manfroto tripod head with a ball head and found this:
Novo Explora T5 Carbon Fibre Professional Tripod Kit
Novo Explora T10 Carbon Fibre Professional Tripod
In the UK it's currently £186 which looks like a steal.
I have seen the head recommended elsewhere, but have not seen any comments on the carbon fibre tripod. The one review I did find looked favourable.
I might just take the plunge for it this weekend.
06-30-2017, 08:11 AM   #3
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I would first recommend that you go to the top of the page and click on "Accessories"

go down and you will find " tripods and other riggings "

there you will find links where members have reviewed various tripods and other equipment

"acra " probably refers to the acra swiss quick release system

' 1) Arca-Swiss Quick Release
The Arca-Swiss quick release system is based on a two piece mechanism. The first piece, generally referred to as a “plate”, is attached to a camera or a lens (or any other device). It comes in a standard, “arca-style” 35mm wide form with a 45° dovetail and can vary in length (a sample plate is illustrated above to the right of the tripod head). The second piece is the mounting base, generally referred to as a “clamp”, where the plate gets attached and secured. The clamp can be fully opened, allowing the plate to be dropped in and secured, or can be partially opened to allow the plate to be slid into the position. The biggest advantage of the Arca-Swiss quick release system is this ability to slide the plate without having to worry about mounting or dismounting anything. The 45° dovetail on the plate, as pictured below, allows equipment to be moved across the clamp and secured in a specific location using a side knob or a locking release. . . . "

What is Arca-Swiss Quick Release System?
06-30-2017, 08:14 AM   #4
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To get the weight requirement you want this will push you to a caebon fiber tripod, which increases the cost generally.

Try this one:
Jet.com - Prices Drop As You Shop

or this one:
62" DSLR Camera Carbon Fiber Tripod w/ Monopod & Ball Head - TheLAShop

Maybe others can chime in on the quality of these.

06-30-2017, 08:20 AM   #5
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You should have a look at the Sirui NX series. I have the N-3203X with the K-20X Ballhead. I'm very happy with it's quality and handling. My tripod would be too big and heavy for your purposes. I use it for landscape, astro and night photography with my K-1. Thats why I went for big and sturdy. But I guess something like the N-2004X or N-2204X with either K-10X or K-20X would suit your needs very well.
06-30-2017, 08:45 AM   #6
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I did look a little at the Siruis but it might push me over my budget too far after including the ballhead. I'm considering them though.

Any experiences with the MeFoto Roadtrip? The aluminum is a little heavier than I wanted at 3.6 lbs but it's $175 right now. The carbon fiber is 3.1 lbs but $299. Is there any other reason to go with it other than the half lb weight difference?

---------- Post added 06-30-17 at 08:56 AM ----------

I guess the N-2004x might be within budget but significantly heavier than the MeFoto. I see it extends slightly further but is that worth the weight increase? Any other advantages?
06-30-2017, 09:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by leonardotmnt Quote
. . . I see it extends slightly further but is that worth the weight increase? Any other advantages?
remember the higher you extend the center portion of any tripod, the higher the center of gravity

that can effect stability of the tripod If my info is correct

06-30-2017, 10:23 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by leonardotmnt Quote
I did look a little at the Siruis but it might push me over my budget too far after including the ballhead. I'm considering them though.

Any experiences with the MeFoto Roadtrip? The aluminum is a little heavier than I wanted at 3.6 lbs but it's $175 right now. The carbon fiber is 3.1 lbs but $299. Is there any other reason to go with it other than the half lb weight difference?

---------- Post added 06-30-17 at 08:56 AM ----------

I guess the N-2004x might be within budget but significantly heavier than the MeFoto. I see it extends slightly further but is that worth the weight increase? Any other advantages?

I love my mefoto aluminum roadtrip...comes in a nice travel bag and really convenient to use...i have been very happy with it...i have used a biggger lens combo but i would not leave it unsupervised
06-30-2017, 11:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by leonardotmnt Quote
I did look a little at the Siruis but it might push me over my budget too far after including the ballhead.
I recently saw a B&H OPTIC 2017 talk by Roman Kurywczak. He is a landscape photographer so his tripod requirements are probably a little higher than yours but I would like to quote him anyway: "Don't buy that inexpensive tripod. You're gonna own five tripods in your lifetime. Skip one through four and buy number five." I skipped two through four and bought number five even though it was way over my budget. But I'm confident I made the right decision.

Concerning height and weight: It's always a good idea to go to a store to try it out. I decided for a smaller tripod before I actually went to a store before buying it and ended up choosing a different (taller) one because of my height (6'1").
Weight is actually good for a (aluminium)tripod. The more weight your tripod has, the sturdier it will be. If you want sturdy and light you will have to go for carbon fibre.

Last edited by alpheios; 06-30-2017 at 11:23 AM.
06-30-2017, 11:38 AM   #10
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Pearsaab, have you had any issues with the height or the fact that the roadtrip only seems to have 2 locking lengths for the legs? Is it reasonably stable if you extend the center column?

I'd love to spend whatever it takes to get the best of the best but the family budget comes before my hobby so I'll have to make due with what I can reasonably afford.

So far I don't see many options that much better than the MeFoto Roadtrip when price is taken into account. The Sirui N-2004x with ballhead would be over $100 more. It would weigh almost half a lb more but only extend 1.6" further without the center column raised and only 3.4" with it raised. That seems like the trade-off might not be worth it?

Right now that's the one to beat. If I'm spending significantly more I'd like some pretty good benefits.
06-30-2017, 02:14 PM   #11
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I have the Sirui T-2005X. It does not convert to a monopod, but does convert to low position shooting. I also have the Sirui EN-2004, which is a bit larger. I use the Sirui K-20X ballhead on both of them. The Sirui T-2005X is more compact and lighter, but is still a very stable tripod and easier to carry and/or travel with, weighing 3.1 lbs. and folding down to 14.6 inches. The K-20X is interchangeable between the two tripods. I have mounted my K-3II and Sigma 150-500 to both tripods using the K-20X ballhead without a problem. Below is a shortcut to the Sirui T-2005X listing, which is the smaller tripod I mentioned, and the shortcut to the K-20X ballhead listing is below that. The T-2005X costs approximately $148 and the K-20X ballhead approximately $119,

amazon.com : Sirui T2005X TX Series Tripod Legs 5 Section 61?tag=pentaxforums-20&" Height Aluminum - Sirui T-2005X : Camera & Photo

https://www.amazon.com/Sirui-K-20X-Ballhead-Release-Capacity/dp/B004QC3COO/r...keywords=k-20X

Last edited by C_Jones; 06-30-2017 at 02:30 PM.
06-30-2017, 03:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by leonardotmnt Quote
Pearsaab, have you had any issues with the height or the fact that the roadtrip only seems to have 2 locking lengths for the legs? Is it reasonably stable if you extend the center column?

I'd love to spend whatever it takes to get the best of the best but the family budget comes before my hobby so I'll have to make due with what I can reasonably afford.
Regarding a tripod recommendation, the other responses are offering you better than what I can share. I wanted to add a few comments about some aspects that I have had experience with. My "travel" tripod is a Slik Pro 340 ball head tripod that I've had for a few years. The weight of 3.26 pounds is quite acceptable. At the time I would have had to spend at least double to get weight down to about 2.5 pounds, so I thought the weight/cost trade off was not worth it. My tripod legs are metal allow that have worked well. I did not place a premium on carbon fiber except for possible weight management. I have four leg sections (three locks), but would prefer only three leg sections (2 locks), for ease of set up and take down, and also for a bit better stability. However, to get three leg sections, I would have had to give up much on the folded length - I wanted to be able to stow the tripod in most conventional luggage and three leg sections would not allow for that (with an attached head). So, my question for you is how small do you want your tripod to get for travel? The shorter you want the tripod to be folded, the more leg sections you need. As for use of the extended center column - my belief is that any tripod with the center column extended will be marginally less stable, but it depends on the conditions of use. On flat ground on a calm day, I feel that using it extended is not a problem, and I have used my tripod this way for portraits in calm conditions. In the outdoors and in rugged and windy conditions, I'll try not to extend the center column. I can also work a little faster that way. Bending over a little more to set up the camera is not a problem. My tripod does not go "mono", but I have used it like a monopod by just not spreading the legs. It worked okay.

My tripod can be purchased new for about $100 now. Your $300 budget should allow for a great tripod and head, I would think.
06-30-2017, 03:35 PM   #13
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I'd like it to be 20" or under folded I think. It'll be my first tripod so I'm not positive what all I'll use it for yet. I've been thinking of getting a monopod anyway for my son's U11 soccer games to keep a little steadier so I figured it might help to get something that can do both.

So far I'm leaning toward the MeFoto Roadtrip Aluminum because it's only a little higher than weight I want at 3.6 lbs. It's only $174 currently. It's 53.1" w/out the center column extended and 61.6" extended. I think that'll be satisfactory for me because I'm only 5'6". It's also only 15.4" folded. There have been a lot of good suggestions so far but so far this one seems to have the best price/extended height/weight combo.
06-30-2017, 03:59 PM   #14
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I purchased an open box demo Benro Go Travel 1 GA168T Tripod [ legs only ] from bhphotovideo.com

Product Highlights
Load Capacity: 30.1 lb
Max Height: 59.4"
Min Height: 14"
Folded Length: 17.5"
Leg Sections: 4
Weight: 2.9 lb
Reverse Folding Legs
Quick Flip 90° Center Column
Leg and Center Column Convert to Monopod
Twist Locks, Spiked Feet, Carrying Case


it has been discontinued by Benro but perhaps you can find it if interested

I haven't used it much but it did support my K 3 ( with battery grip and extra battery ) + HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW + HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter in Yellowstone

over 2841 g, 6.3 pounds

Last edited by aslyfox; 06-30-2017 at 04:34 PM.
06-30-2017, 05:49 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by leonardotmnt Quote
I did look a little at the Siruis but it might push me over my budget too far after including the ballhead. I'm considering them though.

Any experiences with the MeFoto Roadtrip? The aluminum is a little heavier than I wanted at 3.6 lbs but it's $175 right now. The carbon fiber is 3.1 lbs but $299. Is there any other reason to go with it other than the half lb weight difference?

---------- Post added 06-30-17 at 08:56 AM ----------

I guess the N-2004x might be within budget but significantly heavier than the MeFoto. I see it extends slightly further but is that worth the weight increase? Any other advantages?
I don't have the Roadtrip, but have the Backpacker and the Daytrip.(now discontinued). I just wanted to chime in that they are well made. I bought them for travel but use them when I don't want to get the big Induro out.
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