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05-28-2019, 02:22 AM   #1
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Which budget travel tripod and which features are important

Weight, size, flexibility, height what do you think are important in a travel tripod?

I was looking at Benro or Rollei tripods, preferably under a hundred dollars or 70. I was originally going to just buy a pixi evo2 and keep my old Slik Black Diamond but I don't ever take the Slik as it's too big and heavy, so I was thinking I might as well consolidate to one do it all tripod.

The ally versions weigh a bit more but cost less but is it worth going to the carbon versions and paying a bit more?

05-28-2019, 03:09 AM   #2
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I am reallyn amazed about the quality and features you get from Fancier branded tripods at prices at 1/3rd of other comparable tripods.
05-28-2019, 04:04 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Slik makes good tripods at very competitive prices. Go to B&H, click through until you have only Slik tripods listed, then sequence them by price, lowest to highest and see if there's a model below your target price that has the features you want. A few recommendations:
1) flip locks are quicker and more reliable than collar locks
2) commonly a head bought separately from legs will be better than a head that comes with a tripod (there are exceptions to this - but for price and features, I think Sirui has the best ball heads)
3) the difference in weight between aluminum and carbon fiber is commonly less significant than the difference in price.
4) if the tripod offers multi-angle legs to get low, be sure it also has a two-section center column. Separate short center columns are a clumsy solution to getting a low perspective. You must decide ahead of time whether to take the long column or the short because switching both the column and the head is royal pain, and taking a both a long and a short column each with a head attached is a royal pain.
05-28-2019, 04:26 AM   #4
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this setup is ideal

Moman Mini Tripod - Greatest $30 Purchase in Last 5 Years! - PentaxForums.com

05-28-2019, 05:23 AM   #5
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if you have a local camera/photography store, see if they have any used tripods with or without a head - I bought a used Manfrotto 3021 for a song...
05-28-2019, 05:40 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
if you have a local camera/photography store, see if they have any used tripods with or without a head - I bought a used Manfrotto 3021 for a song...
I don't. It's an aside but over the years most have closed. A few years ago, my local one closed. In my nearest town there are two when there used to be 6 or 7 but they've obviously identified their market and they tend to concentrate on higher end accessories.


I tend to rely on forums like this, youtube and reader reviews now because you're often buying sight unseen.
05-28-2019, 05:54 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
. . . I tend to rely on forums like this, youtube and reader reviews now because you're often buying sight unseen.

a number of user reviews of tripods can be found here:

Tripod Reviews - PentaxForums.com
05-28-2019, 07:45 AM   #8
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This is your best bet right now.
https://www.amazon.com/ESDDI-Aluminum-Monopod-Professional-Panasonic/dp/B07F...ntaxforums-20&

$35 after coupon. Coupon Code: LVAXWYDR

05-28-2019, 08:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
Weight, size, flexibility, height what do you think are important in a travel tripod?
We need to know more about your photography to make good recommendations.


What camera and lenses will you be using? Heavy lenses and long telephoto need a more sturdy tripod to prevent shake.


What form of "travel" will you be doing? For multiday backpacking weight might be your most important concern, and then saving a few ounces/grams with carbon fiber might be worth the extra cost. If traveling mostly by car then the extra weight of aluminum probably doesn't matter.


Will you be doing any night or other long exposure photography? 30 second exposures need a very stable tripod. There are tricks, such as hanging your camera bag from the bottom, to increase stability.


Do you have a preference for twist-lock or flip-lock legs? Some people have strong preferences but I do not. Twist-lock takes a fraction more time to use IMO. Flip-lock is a little bulkier.


I've had good experiences with a Sirui travel tripod. It's small enough to fit inside my camera bag. It's held up well for several years, in spite of sometimes being used in gritty sand and corrosive salt water. Here's the closest current model to what I have: Sirui A1005 Aluminum Tripod with Y-10 Ball Head SUA1005Y B&H.
05-28-2019, 10:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by shardulm Quote
This is your best bet right now.
https://www.amazon.com/ESDDI-Aluminum-Monopod-Professional-Panasonic/dp/B07F...ntaxforums-20&

$35 after coupon. Coupon Code: LVAXWYDR
I can get that here in the UK too via Amazon for about 45, which is not that much more than the little Pixi Evo I was originally thinking of. I've never heard of the make though, does anyone know anything about it?

my kit is a K5 with small primes and I plan to carry the tripod in a rucksack, plane, train, bike and hike. No preference on locking mechanism, I'm quite used to twist lock on walking poles, I have had flip locks jam with sand, so marginally more for the twist lock but no real preference.
05-28-2019, 02:18 PM - 1 Like   #11
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My travel preference (assuming small primes and not worrying about super long exposures) would be portability over all else. All tripods are a compromise and the head is probably most important. For me it only has to be about 4 foot tall (to clear railings etc) and one with 4 section legs make it compact and can easily be used as a table top tripod.

I used a Hama mini pro with a larger (25mm) ball head last time I travelled (flying family holiday). Normally I wouldn't take a tripod but this was sufficient with good technique for my K-1 and small primes. The bottom section of legs are very narrow so I didn't extend them.

I also have a Manfrotto 190 Go which was to be my travel tripod, but it's too big and heavy for lightweight travelling.
05-31-2019, 03:04 AM   #12
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Thank you for all your suggestions and the thread links. I've had a good read through which has been very helpful. The one I currently favour is the Benro slim travel

It hits most of my criteria in terms of weight and size and flexibility. I've done a quick search and can't see a review for that particular model but Benro is well represented otherwise.

So any views before i take the plunge?
05-31-2019, 06:20 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Benro is well-regarded and that is certainly a nicely featured, very compact tripod & head for the money. My comments
1) It's rated for 8.8lb (4kg) which should be enough for a travel camera system but not good if you're using a large zoom or long prime tele;
2) the column is not split, so the lowest height is determined by the length of the column = about 12 inches (~ 30cm) I suspect, BUT, how often do you use a 4 inch (10cm) above the ground perspective? That's most commonly a nature photographer's viewpoint. The wider leg spread angles the Benro offers will probably be most useful on very uneven or sloped ground, or perhaps on a staircase.

3) collar locks, which I do not like. Conventional advice: extend and lock the LARGEST leg first and work down to the smallest. TEST each leg after extension if you are using it with legs fully extended (= put the end of each leg in turn to the ground and press down at the top, the smallest leg should not slide in).
05-31-2019, 09:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Benro is well-regarded and that is certainly a nicely featured, very compact tripod & head for the money. My comments
1) It's rated for 8.8lb (4kg) which should be enough for a travel camera system but not good if you're using a large zoom or long prime tele;
2) the column is not split, so the lowest height is determined by the length of the column = about 12 inches (~ 30cm) I suspect, BUT, how often do you use a 4 inch (10cm) above the ground perspective? That's most commonly a nature photographer's viewpoint. The wider leg spread angles the Benro offers will probably be most useful on very uneven or sloped ground, or perhaps on a staircase.

3) collar locks, which I do not like. Conventional advice: extend and lock the LARGEST leg first and work down to the smallest. TEST each leg after extension if you are using it with legs fully extended (= put the end of each leg in turn to the ground and press down at the top, the smallest leg should not slide in).
I'm not quite sure what circumstances would require a split centre column so this is an unknown for me. It does have the two section centre column, reversible and separable to make a monopod. I think that will suit me. I don't make much use of a tripod but that is perhaps because I find the old Slick Black Diamond just too clunky to carry in the field and I'm hoping something like the Benro will change that. I'm particularly thinking of using ND filters on a 20 or 35mm prime, which I'd like to do more of but it's an effort to carry the tripod. However I've made a conscious effort to be able to easily take things with me now, even if I don't use it much. The purchase of the Lowepro Photosport means I can carry a camera three lenses and a travel tripod plus accessories relatively easily.

My experience of tripods really stops at the Slick so I have no real idea how good modern ball heads might be, another unknown. I'm hoping it's good enough to hold the K5 and maybe up to a 200mm prime. Right now I have no plans to purchase a bigger telephoto. That may change in the future but it's not something I'm aiming for.
06-05-2019, 02:03 AM   #15
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The Benro arrived today. Quality piece of kit. It will quite easily replace my old Slick and be a damn site more useful. I'm not quite sure if it fulfills my needs as a general travel tripod and I may yet supplement it with a table tripod such as the evo or the one linked to above.

Now, wonder if anyone will actually want to buy the old Slick or I should just give it away!
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