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Help me find the right tripod

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by prophet, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    I am looking for a tripod that is:

    - reasonably priced (I cannot afford several hundred bucks)
    - small, so I can use it for travelling. Ideally packs under 40cm
    - light, for the same reason
    - still sturdy enough so my shots will not be blurry.

    I have an E-PL7, so the camera is not very heavy. Any recommendations? Thanks!
     
  2. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    You're going to have compromise somewhere along the line, but I suspect you guessed that :)

    The Manfrotto befree might be a decent compromise - not too expensive as reasonable tripods go, reasonably light, fits the size requirements and is sturdier than a lot of travel tripods...
     
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    1) Food for thought: http://bythom.com/support.htm

    2) With your budget I would concentrate on CraigsList and eBay for used tripods and ball heads.

    3) Search is your friend here. Your question gets asked and debated every month or two.

    4) Sturdy, light, cheap. Pick any two.
     
  4. Dave Lively

    Dave Lively Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Mar 16, 2014
    Thom Hogan also wrote about tripods specifically for mirrorless cameras at http://www.sansmirror.com/articles/how-much-tripod-do-you-need.html .

    While he has very high standards for tripods and I found his recommendations useful you might be able to get away with less depending on what you expect the tripod to do for you. If you expect to get shots with a long lens on a windy day with very long exposure times expect to spend a lot of money. If you want to be able to take a night shot with a wide angle lens that does not look like a blurry mess on Facebook just about any tripod will do. What sort of pictures do you expect to use the tripod for?
     
  5. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    I will mainly use it for landscape and city HDR photos with a wide ange lens, plus the occasional long epxosure (night sky, traffic passing by).
     
  6. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    If you're typically using a wide-angle you can probably get away with a lighter pod than if you're using telephotos.

    The other point to think about is whether a slightly sub-optimal tripod that you actually carry is better than a good one that stays at home...I'm a lazy sod and rarely carry my full-size one, but always carry a Pixi.
     
  7. Dave Lively

    Dave Lively Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Mar 16, 2014
    I have two carbon fiber tripods I bought used off ebay. The first is a ArcaSwiss monoball head on a set of Gitzo 1325 legs that is big and heavy but very stable. I paid about $500 for this tripod. Great for wildlife pictures with the manual focus Canon 300mm f2.8 I have but it is too big to travel with. The second is a Benro C1691T that cost about $250 and sounds like it would be all the tripod you need. For the sort of shots you are describing it works fine, and if I keep it short by not extending the bottom set of legs works OK with my 100-300. It is not rock solid with a long lens like my big tripod but is small enough to take on a plane. Like others said, you have to make some compromises.

    If you have time look on ebay for a used tripod like the Benro. They are less likely to wear out than a used camera or lens and while a 10 year old camera would be obsolete a 10 year old tripod will not be.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    You could put together a Sirui ballhead and legs and keep the price within a moderate budget if you reasonable in your expectations. Naturescapes was running a 20% off sale, but sales are final.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  10. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    +1 for the MeFoto.

    This was a user review on steve huff awhile back. Ive seen these in person and they are very sharp and well built. The traveler goes for less then $125 these days.

    He also shows how he changed out the head for a more convenient quick plate.

    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2014/03/14/the-me-foto-road-trip-tripod-review-by-zev-hoover/
     
  11. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
  12. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
  13. franklyadam

    franklyadam Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Mar 3, 2014
    I'm far from a tripod expert but I grabbed myself a fotopro tt-1 combo on sale at Xmas http://www.fotopro.com/en/?page_id=1196 it's pretty small and seems sturdy enough for my em-5. Folded length is 12.5"
     
  14. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    458
    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Paul
    I've been getting good results from my Sirui T-005. Nice and compact yet not expensive.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
     
  15. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    679
    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Evan
    The Slik Compact Tripod II has worked well for me when I want something really light--for hiking, backpacking, etc. I've even taking it in my Camelbak when mountain biking. It weighs 1.25lbs. I've used it for landscapes, HDR, night shots, etc. It has the benefit of being really cheap ($30) so the downside is limited if you don't like it. No, I'm sure it's not as stable as some of the others mentioned here, but it does fine (with my GM1) using the timer as long as it's not too windy. And it's a little short. I wouldn't necessarily suggest it as your only tripod (did I mention that it's cheap?), but there are times when it's perfect--when weight and portability are critical. And it's always a much more useful tripod than the bigger, heavier one you left at home! :(

    This is an HDR I took with it using my GM1. My "real" tripod was at home so I would have missed the moment if I hadn't thrown this in my bag at the last moment. Just my $0.02 worth...

    20150101-P1020787_tonemapped-X2.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
    • Like Like x 3
  16. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    This looks like a good option. Can you comment on how sturdy the tripod is?
     
  17. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
  18. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    458
    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Paul
    Hi Prophet,

    The ball head is excellent (worth the price just for that) the legs are as good as, and better than, most travel tripods and comes with the ability to weight them down. I've not even had to resort to removing the centre column yet with any combination of m4/3 camera and lenses (although I might for the 45-175mm at full zoom in very windy conditions). Sorry for the initial error but mine is actually the later X version T-005X.

    There is a review of the carbon fibre version T-025X on a Pentax forum (and video) that might give a fuller picture but for only half the price if you are not trying to save the last gramme or using a big DSLR then the aluminium version is very very good value for money as all the parts except the tubes are the same.

    http://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/sirui-t-025x-travel-tripod-review/introduction.html

     
  19. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    Interesting to see what different folks see as lightweight and/or cheap. :confused:

    In my pack. YMMV and probably will :)

    clamp_pod.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    I have one like that, I purchased it in 1976. I think mine is bigger and I'm sure, heavier.