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05-03-2021, 09:08 PM   #1
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Travel tripod that I cannot find

I am looking for a travel tripod, and cannot find anything that would match my wishes. Am I wanting too much, or just looking in a wrong place? Please, direct me to the right place.

I am looking for a travel tripod, for occasional video and panoramic shooting (with a separate pano head). It does not have to be heirloom quality, but reasonable quality that would last for 20 years of light use.

Must haves:

Price (tripod + head, before taxes): under USD 200
Weight: under 2lb is really desirable
Folded length: under 20" (16" is really desirable)
Extended length: at least 40" (no need to go longer)
Leveling base
Pan/tilt head (for reasonably smooth video panning)
Ability to shoot vertical without an L-bracket.

Nice to haves:

Lever locks (instead of twist locks)
Lowest height: under 4"
Independently spreadable legs
Handle (for panning)
Quick release

Here is the closest combination I was able to find, but it is missing the tilt:
Tripod: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1411323-REG/field_optics_research_ft5...981&
Leveling base: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/886344-REG/Sunwayfoto_DYH_66i_Levelin...981&
Panning base: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/848913-REG/FEISOL_PB_70_PB_70_Panning...NPZE1c016W6FkY

I think if the tripod, leveling base and pan head are combined into one product, there would be significant weight savings. I am not going to mount anything heavy onto it. The heaviest combination I would use is KP + 55-300 PLM.
Would you have any recommendations?


Last edited by Pentaxxoid; 05-03-2021 at 09:42 PM.
05-03-2021, 09:29 PM   #2
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I just received from amazon.com.au :

PEAK Design Trépied Carbone TTCB5150CF1 ( that is in Australian language - apparently )

In USA language:
?tag=pentaxforums-20&https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1495136-REG/peak_design_tt_cb_5_150_c...981&

it is absolutely superb , love it.
You would need to get some extra peripherals to fulfil your wish list.
Yes , it is under 200 Bitcoin , just remember it come with lifetime warranty and it will last you forever.


Please Note. I already reached my magic “6” for today, This is actually the meaningful conversation.
05-04-2021, 02:09 AM   #3
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Keep your eye on the B&H daily deals. They sometimes have tripods, I got a nice Sirui for about $85 last year, well under the retail. I believe they do this to clear out for new models. Anyway it is a nice set of legs that meet your requirements, which there should be many but at higher prices. Just make sure you get one with a good load rating, so many ate really designed for phones.
05-04-2021, 02:46 AM   #4
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Not sure that you will get all your must haves for under $200 !

However you may want to look at something like the Zomei 669c. I bought this when looking for a traveller comparing to one of the Gitzo travellers it was very close spec. wise including 8 layer carbon fibre but very affordable at around $100. You would need to look at a P&T head perhaps and no levelling base.

Z669C Portable Travel Pro Carbon Fiber Tripod Monopod+Ball Head for DSLR Camera | eBay



05-04-2021, 03:49 AM   #5
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If I look at the must haves, to me, the real issue is you need a removable / reversible column or easily detachable head, because the biggest issue is the collapsed height (presumed to fit carry on baggage) and the head you describe, pan and tilt with a hinged platform (and embedded levels) will be at least 4 inches high on its own.

The removable / reversible column also allows the camera to be suspended below the tripod for really low level shooting

The price can be forgotten, because
- a good head will cost that much if you want all the bells and whistles ( you could go cheaper if you purchase separate levels)
- you will find weight is inversely proportional to price.
05-04-2021, 05:03 AM   #6
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The price constraint is a real challenge. If it's open for business where you are, try a camera shop with used equipment. That's your best bet. A good ball head will cost $200+ new.
05-04-2021, 05:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxxoid Quote
Price (tripod + head, before taxes): under USD 200
Respectfully, that is the main problem with your list.

You want a fantastic tripod but are not willing to pay for it.

It ain't going to happen.

Be prepared to pay the price upfront, pay once and be happy with your purchase, or cheap out at first, hate your tripod every time you use it, and replace it with a more expensive solution (total cost will be higher).

In particular, travel tripods are all about compromise. They're great (I use two of them as my main shooters) but they're not perfect.

The best bang for the buck is probably Sirui's T-025x replacement (can't remember the name).

The best bang, period (and still a pretty good deal if you compare with top-shelf brands like Gitzo) is Peak Design's Travel tripod:

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
05-04-2021, 06:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Respectfully, that is the main problem with your list.

You want a fantastic tripod but are not willing to pay for it.
That totally seems to be the explanation, except: My current tripod was purchased 25 years ago for $20 (regular price, no sale). It is still in perfect shape and has everything I listed except for the leveling base. Accounting for inflation, that's $50 in today's $. That leaves me with $150 for an entry-level leveling base. Is that unreasonable?

The reason I cannot just slap a leveling base onto this tripod is because I would have to add a pan/tilt on top of that. That would be redundant with the current head (that cannot be removed), and just add weight/size.


Last edited by Pentaxxoid; 05-04-2021 at 06:48 AM.
05-04-2021, 06:54 AM   #9
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You may be able to find a very basic tripod for 50, but it'll certainly not last long with regular use. How you use it is the biggest factor, go daily to the beach with salt and sand and wear will be quick.

2lb weight almost certainly means carbon fiber, which is not cheap if it's good quality. In addition, i think compatibility with a leveling base is usually found for higher price brackets.

Last edited by aaacb; 05-04-2021 at 07:01 AM.
05-04-2021, 07:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
You may be able to find a very basic tripod for 50, but it'll certainly not last long with regular use. How you use it is the biggest factor, go daily to the beach with salt and sand and wear will be quick.
My current cheap tripod lasted for 25 years, so my use must be very light.
QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
2lb weight almost certainly means carbon fiber, which is not cheap if it's good quality.
My current one is aluminum and weighs under 2lb (albeit with no leveling base).
05-04-2021, 11:53 AM   #12
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right now 58% off with free delivery

ZOMEi Ultra Travel Tripod with Twist Locks - Enough Compact and Sturdy for Outdoor Long-exposure Images Shooting,Camera Tripod


Please Note. I already reached my magic “6” for today, This is actually the meaningful conversation.

Last edited by i_trax; 05-04-2021 at 11:59 AM.
05-05-2021, 05:53 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxxoid Quote
My current tripod was purchased 25 years ago for $20 (regular price, no sale). It is still in perfect shape
Well, if you're happy with that, who am I to judge? I will simply add some comments:

1-cheap some years ago (when metal was used more than plastic) doesn't equal cheap nowadays

2-often, people (me included) think they like their tripod because they take in stride flaws that they have always lived with. These remain flaws nonetheless, which a better tripod can solve

3-everyone who has gone through your questioning in the last years has ended up getting a better tripod own the road.

If you do want to spend 50$ on a tripod, ask Amazon and take whatever fits your budget. I've had passable results with a Dolica tripod in the past. I've revisited it a few weeks ago and hated every second of my experience with it.
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