Suggestions for carrying a tripod

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Trigeek, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    Hello All,
    Later this month I will be traveling to Paris, Beirut and Istanbul on vacation / work and am looking for some suggestions from some of you more experienced travelers as to how to carry the equipment that I will use. Right now my plan is to carry a Domke F-803 camera satchel for my GH2, 45-200, 14-45 and 20mm Lumix lenses + memory cards, batteries, filters & other odds and ends. The F-803 is great for allowing easy access to lenses and it does not look like a camera bag, which I like.

    The part I am having trouble with is how to carry my tripod. I have a Gitzo GT2940C compact tripod that I would like to carry with me, but do not want to hold it in my hand all of the time. I was looking at the B&H catalog for a solution and came across the Gitzo GC5210 tripod strap that looked interesting, as I think it would allow me easy access to the tripod while not adding a lot of weight. I can't really tell how it works, but I assume that I would wear it diagonally across my back. The description states that it stays in place when the tripod is in use, so at first glance it seems promising.

    I was wondering what others thought of this, or had better suggestions that I should look into. I want to travel as light as possible as I will be walking within the cities as my primary form of transportation. I also want the minimum set-up time so have not explored the various tripod bag options.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
    Jim
     
  2. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    just get a tripod bag, that has a shoulder strap, it will be easier then using velcro straps to attach the straps, and give the tripod some dust and sand protection.

    You can just wear it over your back till you need it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for the suggestions. Something like the Vanguard looks like you could slip the tripod in and out quite easily.
     
  4. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    I have it for my tripod, and it works great. simple and easy to use. Just need to get the right size. They have couple of sizes.
     
  5. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I might not bother with a tripod for that trip--I usually have the tripod for mountains. However, the solution is simple if you are using a small daypack or backpack with your Domke: slip one leg of the tripod trough the shoulder strap where the strap meets the bottom of the bag. It rides there quite comfortably and it is easy to stow and remove. You can throw your Domke in the backpack to give your shoulder a rest too.
     
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    So many places won't allow tripods that don't schlep mine around. Creative use of benches, handrails, and something like a gorillapod covers 90% of my tripod needs, and a lot easier to carry.
     
  7. chuckgoolsbee

    chuckgoolsbee Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Apr 6, 2010
    Bend, Oregon
    How about a self-standing Monopod? Much more compact and easy to carry, but still quite stable. Another benefit of a monopod is that many museums forbid tripods, but will allow the use of a monopod.

    I love my Manfroto self-standing monopod!
     
  8. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I have the Gitzo tripod strap. I just recently got it and used it for the first time a couple weeks ago in Puerto Rico. One part goes under the head, the other around 3 legs and then one strap that just attaches to one leg. I found it easy to throw over my shoulder with my Gitzo Traveler both open and closed. I also have a very small tripod bag I transport the tripod in but when I am actually photographing I find the strap very convenient but if it is that very small short tripod it might be too much as even with my Gitzo traveler there is a bit too much extra strap length.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks, however I am trying to leave the backpack in the hotel room. The bag with a couple of lenses is quite light so I am not anticipating problems with the weight. I usually carry the bag with the strap running diagonally across the back, which helps with comfort.
     
  10. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    I do have a monopod, it's that my hit ratio is not as good as with a tripod. Either I have bad technique or I am just not as stable as I used to be. I am experimenting with some straps that I could use to fix the monopod onto solid objects when I need the extra stability. I also have a small tabletop tripod that would easily fit in the bag, but the gorillapod idea is interesting. Thanks
     
  11. StephenL

    StephenL Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Sep 1, 2010
    I've always found a Wife to be useful.... :sorry:

     
  12. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    If you do night or HDR a tripod is a must. That Manfrotto monopod looks like an interesting alternative too. Please let us know what you end up with.
     
  13. markyw

    markyw Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Mar 9, 2011
    London, UK
    Surely it's not called a 'wife', it's called a caddy.....

    Sorry too. :p

    There was a post recently about camera bags and on one of the sites there was a ~magic strap~ that helped steady the shot. Can anyone point us in the right direction for this as I can't find the post and example now??

    Edit: found it!! No Pod

    Mark
     
  14. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    Will do Lisa. I've been looking at the gorillapod and it seems that this and a monopod may be the way to go. Though I have a couple of weeks before I leave, so that gives me about a hundred chances to change my mind :biggrin:
     
  15. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I'm leaving three weeks from today. I've been playing around with my bag configuration to see what fits best I have several options but will likely go with gitzo traveler and manfrotto mini.
     
  16. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    My travel kit

    Hi all,
    I think I have my kit selected for the trip and I thought I would share with you what I have decided to do.

    I took TC's suggestion and investigated and purchased a Gorillapod SLR/Zoom (6lb capacity). It seems to work pretty good, though I find it does not grip objects (hand rails, etc) well enough that I feel secure not having my hand very close by if it started to slip. I solved this problem by adding a length of thin cord to my kit so I can lash the legs together and add just enough pressure to securely grip any object. Even vertical cylindrical objects. Oh, and it's very light.

    Next I purchased a "Gitzo Big Foot" for my monopod. This has really stabilized the monopod much better than the stock pointy rubber foot. I can even put my foot on the monopod's foot to stabilize it even further. Finally I added a length of webbed strapping and a D buckle to lash the monopod to a stable object if needed. It's light and takes up almost no space so it's a no-brainer.

    So here's my kit as it stands today:
    Domke F-803
    GH2
    GF1
    14-45
    45-200
    20 f1.7
    14 f2.5
    gorillapod
    monopod
    small ballhead
    6x16Mb Lexar Platinum II SD cards (4,878 raw images)
    Pelican SD card case
    58mm polarizer w/ 46 and 52 step down rings
    Remote release
    bubble level
    Lint-free cloth for cleaning lenses
    1m length of thin cord
    1m length of webbing w/ D-buckle

    All in all, a fairly light set-up that is easy to carry. The monopod has a clip on it so I can put on my belt when not needed and does not get in the way. All items in the Domke bag are easily accessible.

    I am also considering taking along a small hard drive and an SD reader and to back up the memory cards when I can have access to a computer.

    That's it... Thanks to all for your suggestions. I have 2 weeks before I leave on vacation, so I plan on taking this kit w/ me hiking to see how it works and do any fine tuning that is needed.

    Best Regards,
    Jim
     
  17. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Lighten the load

    Your camera bag sounds like mine! For what it's worth I found that I never use half of what I bring. GH2 is very good on batteries, so two batteries is plenty. Bring a small travel power adapter and you can top off the batteries when you stop for lunch or dinner. I usually try to find a table near a wall outlet, or just ask a waiter if you can plug in while you eat.

    As far as lens, too bad you don't have the 14-140. The only other lens you would need would be either the 7-14 or the 100-300 depending on what you style is. I find the 14-140 to be the best all around lens.

    The tripod stay home. I have a monopod and a "C" clamp device that has an adjustable head. I can clamp it on to a fence, railing, a chair or just about anything.

    I've forced myself to lighten the load and I enjoy myself much more.
     
  18. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    Pocket/table tripod

    Quite, esp. in Paris, Istambul, Beirut i.e. cities.
    I always carry a Leica (or Minolta, or Polaroid copy) table tripod. Undestructible. Fits in a jacket or jean's pocket. Use it creatively, too: on a table, on a car roof, held flat vertically against a wall... When none such prop available, it remains a great "chestpod", which with practice often replaces a monopod.


    Here's a copy from (RIP) Minolta CLE era. Works just as well...
    Table-gtripod.
     
  19. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    Hi Bob,
    I chuckled when I read your message, mind you I was not laughing at your comment, but considering that the last time I traveled I carried a Nikon D700, 24-70 and 14-24 I thought I was lightening the load:smile:

    Thinking about your comment, I would probably not carry all of this with me at the same time. The GF1 is partly a back-up camera, would not want the GH2 to stop working / become damaged and I am left without a camera. So this one will stay in the hotel room unless needed. However, I can think of a lot of cases where I would go out with the GF1 with the 20mm and have the 14 in my pocket (or vice versa). Leaving the rest of the stuff behind.

    I also have a different shooting style when I am walking around by myself vs with my wife. I just tend not to do the "tripod stuff" when we are out walking about. I do that when I go out on my own, like at 5am when the city is coming alive, or in my case, when she is working. Yep this time I get to accompany her on a business trip and I get to go out an play. So this will be my more "serious" time. Anyway, the gear selection will not be the same in both cases.

    I do appreciate your comment, I would say that if I look at my previous outings, I have ended up carrying too much which I think hindered my photography rather than enhance it.

    Best regards,
    Jim