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01-24-2014, 03:31 PM   #1
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tripod recommendations

I'm looking for a portable, small sturdy and easily packable tripod.
what do you got...?

01-24-2014, 03:40 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
I'm looking for a portable, small sturdy and easily packable tripod.
what do you got...?
I'll recommend this:

Slik Sprint Pro II GM Tripod with Ballhead - Supports 611-849

It's the one I've been using for over a year now. I regularly go overnight hiking/snowshoeing with it. It came to Asia with me this past Fall and it performed quite well.

There are over 50 reviews each on B&H and Amazon and the average rating is 4.4/5. I myself would give it a 5/5.
01-24-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
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That is a tall order, the Holy Grail of tripods, so to speak.

A few years ago I was on a similar quest and posted the results on Hins gear blog:

Part I
Hin's Photo Corner: The Magic Tripod
Part II
Hin's Photo Corner: Magic Tripod, Part II
I covered this on the blog but will restate it here as well, that being that the stated load capacity for both tripod legs and heads are generally grossly overstated.

Since you did not mention price, you might want to consider Adam's favorite:

Sirui T-025x Travel Tripod Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

It is not particularly cheap, but not that expensive either.


Steve
01-24-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
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My brother got the Sirui and while it's not good for heavy long lenses (too light, it becomes too top-heavy) it's actuallt really sturdy without taking much space and while being really light.

01-24-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
I'm looking for a portable, small sturdy and easily packable tripod.
what do you got...?
I only have sturdy, Manfrotto 475B with 229 super head.
Sounds like you might find something useful from Gitzo lineup. We have some at work and they can take a beating.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 01-24-2014 at 05:38 PM.
01-24-2014, 04:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
I'll recommend this:

Slik Sprint Pro II GM Tripod with Ballhead - Supports 611-849

It's the one I've been using for over a year now. I regularly go overnight hiking/snowshoeing with it. It came to Asia with me this past Fall and it performed quite well.

There are over 50 reviews each on B&H and Amazon and the average rating is 4.4/5. I myself would give it a 5/5.
Plus one. This is a great, durable tripod that packs down small but performs like a much larger one. I have put mine through absolute hell over several years with 3 DSLR's and I keep waiting for it to fail. The ballhead is tiny but holds my cameras sturdy as a rock. It might be one of the best values of any purchase on any single item I have made.....camera related or otherwise. I would give it a 5/5 as well.
01-24-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
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General suggestions:

- get carbon fiber - it is light, stiff, and strong
- get no more than three section legs.
- get a head with compact articulations - most ball heads do, but not all. Long articulations must be heavily built to eliminate oscillation.
- plan on not using the center section

Last edited by civiletti; 01-24-2014 at 05:53 PM. Reason: add info
01-25-2014, 01:30 AM   #8
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I've just got the sirui t-025x after lots of research. I couldn't find anything else as light or that packs down as much. Sure there are some compromises eg total height but I was happy for those. Main thing was to have something I could always take with me and you hardly notice carrying this thing. Plus it can get really low which was another requirement for me.

01-25-2014, 11:50 AM   #9
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+1 for the Slik Sprint Pro II as well if you don't have the bank roll for a high end carbon fibre travel tripod and/or you are not overloading it. It is light and easy to pack along with feeling the weight. The ballhead isn't too bad, or you could replace it with a Slik SBH-200DQ.

QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
I'll recommend this:

Slik Sprint Pro II GM Tripod with Ballhead - Supports 611-849

It's the one I've been using for over a year now. I regularly go overnight hiking/snowshoeing with it. It came to Asia with me this past Fall and it performed quite well.

There are over 50 reviews each on B&H and Amazon and the average rating is 4.4/5. I myself would give it a 5/5.
01-26-2014, 05:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback, I will keep the Slik Pro II in mind but I am also considering something smaller that would fit into a backpack.
I searched Amazon and found this (see below link). It fold down to a compact 12.5" and extends to 57". It weighs 2.5 lbs....what do you guys think?
TX570B104 / TX570B150SL - 57" Reversible Folding Tripod with Premium Ball Head - Dolica
01-26-2014, 07:51 PM   #11
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Don't know much about that one, although for $70 + free shipping from Amazon right now, it wouldn't be expensive to find out. Amazon ratings are generally good, but not sure what the respondents were using for gear relative to what you want to use, or how you want to use it.

QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
Thanks for the feedback, I will keep the Slik Pro II in mind but I am also considering something smaller that would fit into a backpack.
I searched Amazon and found this (see below link). It fold down to a compact 12.5" and extends to 57". It weighs 2.5 lbs....what do you guys think?
TX570B104 / TX570B150SL - 57" Reversible Folding Tripod with Premium Ball Head - Dolica
01-26-2014, 09:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
Thanks for the feedback, I will keep the Slik Pro II in mind but I am also considering something smaller that would fit into a backpack.
I searched Amazon and found this (see below link). It fold down to a compact 12.5" and extends to 57". It weighs 2.5 lbs....what do you guys think?
TX570B104 / TX570B150SL - 57" Reversible Folding Tripod with Premium Ball Head - Dolica
The Slik tripod mentioned is 18 inches long when retracted. Don't know how big your pack is, but I know my Pro II fits in my backpack quite easily. I usually just strap it on the side and that works well too.

Don't know much about the Dolica. My initial reaction is one of extreme skepticism about the 15 pound rating. Also, it only extends to 57" with the column fully raised. On a 2.5 pound tripod, my guess is that would make it a bit shaky. It's 47" with the column down. Finally, that's a lot of leg locks to adjust......and they are the twist kind. The cam type like on the Slik are typically faster.
01-27-2014, 06:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ccd333 Quote
Finally, that's a lot of leg locks to adjust......and they are the twist kind. The cam type like on the Slik are typically faster.
good point about the type of locks on the legs
01-27-2014, 07:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ccd333 Quote
Finally, that's a lot of leg locks to adjust......and they are the twist kind.
I have to say, not all twist legs are created equal. I have an old Slick tripod with twist legs and find them a real pain. This was the one concern I had with getting the Sirui as it also has twist legs. However, I went ahead and got the Sirui and find the legs so much easier. The difference is that with the Slick one the legs themselves also twist about. With the Sirui all but the bottom leg extension are fixed in place (do not twist) and this makes a huge difference. Also they only need a quarter twist so it is really easy to undo them all at once with one hand then tighten after extending.
01-27-2014, 09:38 AM   #15
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OK, after lots of research I ordered the Slik Sprint Pro II from Amazon...$72.00 shipped so even if it isn't exactly perfect for me it's good enough for now. I'll post a follow-up when it arrives.
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