Lightweight tripod or no tripod?


mattie

Link Posted 23/02/2012 - 21:34
Hi all

I've been struggling with a dicky back so could do with saving weight on longer walks. I've got the heavy end tied up (Manfrotto 075B, which I suspect could double up as an axle stand) and have a flexible tripod (an old Benbo which confuses the hell out of me) but both are substantial lumps.

I've noted Manfrotto et al are offering tripods of around 1Kg in weight - I realise that compromises will exist, but am happy to lose some extension and flexibility. I'm less happy to spend a lot given other investments (so pro-level carbon jobs are out), and I can't realistically sell the others as they're needed for certain roles.

Should I bother with these lightweights? These will be used with either a *istD with grip or a K10D and with little more than a prime or short-range zoom (although a 400FTZ flash might find its way on occasionally). Use will be landscape, although not in overly nasty weather - I hope!

As an example of something a little bit bulkier than the real lightweights but of the type of thing catching my eye, clicky here:link.

The tripod really suggested this approch was this: link - I worry it's going to be too fragile, but wonder if I could keep it at a lesser extension for some attempt at rigidity?

The alternative is to hand-hold, which the K10D makes a fair bit easier but is not always ideal - I generally prefer longer exposures for water, which I've not rally figured a way of doing satisfactorily without a tripod.

All advice gratefully received. Hands-on feedback especially welcome!


Cheers

Matt
Last Edited by mattie on 23/02/2012 - 21:37

Gwyn

Link Posted 23/02/2012 - 21:53
The second one you to link to can only hold 1.5kg, which isn't enough.

If you have a bad back you need a tripod which gets to be as tall as possible for you so you are not bending over it all the time. Using the centre column increases height but reduces stability.

Have you looked at the red snapper range? They weigh a bit more but aren't that expensive and may offer you more what you are looking for.
Or consider a Trekpod linkfor your walks.

bforbes

Link Posted 23/02/2012 - 22:00
If the fold down size is less important than rigidity I would look for three section legs over four. less joints and larger leg sections = more stable.
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes
https://www.flickr.com/photos/189482630@N03/

punkrockemo

Link Posted 23/02/2012 - 23:19
Its not the same as a good tiripod but would the locations you like to take photos permit the use of a gorillaPod, i have not used one but they can take upto 5KG if you get the right one & as long as you con find something to put it on at the right height/location etc.

Mark

Spaceman_Spiff

Link Posted 24/02/2012 - 02:23
Have you ruled out a monopod? Also it's possible to use the old sniper trick if there are trees or posts around: wind a strap around it tightly and use the knot as an anchor. See Day of the Jackal (not the execrable Bruce Willis remake tragedy!) for a practical demonstration

Second the comment about height - a dodgy back means the camera has to be at head height to eliminate bending over, the worst possible thing in that condition.
Better equipment enhances my ability to display my shortcomings.

MarkD

Link Posted 24/02/2012 - 07:04
I have Hama mini traveller pro. As a small fairly basic tripod it is actually quite good. The leg angle isn't adjustable just open or shut basically but it opens to a decent height and is very light yet stable.I don't think I'd trust it with a gripped K5 and 60-250 on it but for my k5 and 17-70 it works fine.
My only gripe is it could do with a hook on the bottom of the centre column to hand my bag on for more stability.
But it hasn't bothered me enough to actually try to find a screw on one!
Got mine at Amazon for around 16.
.........all the gear, no idea!
Me super, MX, LX, K5,DA 18-55WR, DA 17-70, DA 55-300, DA40 Ltd, FA50 1.4, Samsung D-Xenon 12-24,Samsung 100mm macro M50 1.7(x3), M28 3.5, M35 2.8, M100macro f4, M135 3.5(+others)

simonkit

Link Posted 24/02/2012 - 16:50
Tricky one this..

When hiking in normal daytime conditions most of the time I don't carry a tripod, I find a monopod combined with the K5 IS works very well, producing very sharp shots - having said that as you mention, you are limited on the length of the exposure you can achieve with this combo.

This means a tripod is pretty much essential - I've recently bought the new version of the Benro CF "Travel Angel" series for this very reason,bought it from a dealer in China via Ebay and made a substantial saving. It's a great tripod, in fact I'm sure I'll now rarely be using my heavy Aly one.

It's also worth thinking about how you carry the tripod, you need a backpack with an effective strap system that distributes weight correctly - if you don't have this the tripod will feel much heavier than it actually

Simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

fatspider

Link Posted 24/02/2012 - 19:04
I think if your definitely aiming for blurring water then you need a good solid and stable tripod.

Have you considered selling the Manfrotto and Benbo Bagpipes, then investing in a Carbon Fibre model?
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
My Flckr link

davem

Link Posted 24/02/2012 - 19:39
I find tripods are ok on their own. They suddenly get very heavy when you add on a decent head.

I would suggest that you try and buy them together and then you know what weight you have

mattie

Link Posted 28/02/2012 - 09:23
Ta all for comments, I'll look into a few of the suggestions and see which looks preferable.

I'm really after something that serves as an 'emergency' tripod, such that I can take a single camera and lens in a toploader-style case and not add double the weight when including a tripod.

I appreciate I'll be crouching down when using many of these lightweights, but it's more the weight that's an issue - some nerves got a bit pinched with a disc prolapse which has killed calf strength, and therefore makes carrying anything heavy quite an endeavour. Back flexibility is, or soon will be, back to normal.

jules

Link Posted 28/02/2012 - 10:51
For emergency/lightweight/travel use I now use this A Gorillapod DSLR, with Manfrotto 494 head, holds the K5 with the 60-250 easily!
Excuse shot quality, HTC Desire
Just Fits in the front pocket of my Retrospective ten...




Shot taken with my last K5 and the same Combination


Cheers Jules...

My viewfinder is 576,000,000 pixels.
My other viewfinder is 5.76,000,000.

www.exaggeratedperspectives.com
Last Edited by jules on 28/02/2012 - 10:52

mattie

Link Posted 05/03/2012 - 13:49
I had a look at the Manfrotto 732CY w ith A3RC1 in jessops, now 85 on-line (link)

It seems to be pretty well put together, and is certainly light - but I'm concerned that many places are offering this at what appears to be a huge discount (list price is in the 200+ range, plenty of offers at 90ish including SRS). Does this perhaps reflect a perceived problem with the tripod, or just that it's coming to end-of-line?

Nice shot Jules, btw, and I had a look at gorillapods but jessops didn't have the DSLR version in stock - I'll keep an eye out for them though!

johnha

Link Posted 07/03/2012 - 00:50
I remember in the '90s that beanbags were very popular, although you'd need a convenient rock/fence post to make it work most of the time.
PPG Flickr

simonoffpiste

Link Posted 07/03/2012 - 07:03
mattie wrote:
I had a look at the Manfrotto 732CY w ith A3RC1 in jessops, now 85 on-line (link)

It seems to be pretty well put together, and is certainly light - but I'm concerned that many places are offering this at what appears to be a huge discount (list price is in the 200+ range, plenty of offers at 90ish including SRS). Does this perhaps reflect a perceived problem with the tripod, or just that it's coming to end-of-line?

Nice shot Jules, btw, and I had a look at gorillapods but jessops didn't have the DSLR version in stock - I'll keep an eye out for them though!

I have this tripod and have had no problems. Yet...!

It's clearly not the sturdiest tripod on the market; I guess the laws of physics have a big part to play and a bigger, heavier tripod will almost always be sturdier than a smaller, lighter one.

Having said that it is light, easy to set up and flexible in regard to the angle of legs and the height you can set the camera (including upside down if you want to get really close to the floor) and I've found it plenty sturdy enough.
500px

Flickr

mattie

Link Posted 07/03/2012 - 17:46
Ta Simon - sounds ideal, I'm resigned to the fact that strength and rigidity has been traded for lightness but I hope it'll manage a few trips out!

Just ordered from Jessops with an additional 5% off - vouchers listed on their own website.
Last Edited by mattie on 07/03/2012 - 17:48
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.