Suitable Tripods ideal for μ4/3

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by akulya, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    As a slowly developing amateur photographer I decided to search out a satisfactory tripod for use travelling / walking, I read alot about Gitzo and Manfrotto, and was a little set aback by the cost of these (no doubt stellar) offerings. Also with the weight/stability factor to consider, and the need to physically carry it everywhere, I was unsure which product would be of use.

    Then out of the blue I was struck by some extraordinary good luck and given (freely) this old Bolex Paillard, I cannot find a model number, but its a Praying Mantis type.


    It weighs 600g and is just over 30cm long (compacted)

    Because of its unusual construction - and the absence of an integral spirit level; getting the head level flat takes a bit of work.

    Also, its longest edge when extended is just under 60cm, so this would be its maximum height, I guess with some ingenuity its minimum height would approach zero.

    Despite these quirks, it does seem well made, and very sturdy, perhaps being low to the ground and having a wide base helps here.

    Here are two photos of it attached to my E-P1


    However there must be people like myself who wish for a small sturdy tripod for casual walking use that weighs ~600g and given the unlikely scenario of them all being given Bolex Paillards, what are the options on the market today?

    Thank you all, AK
    • Like Like x 4
  2. naturecloseups

    naturecloseups Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    600g is bit on the lower side if you're asking for a full-size tripod.

    In my hands-on experience, the following might fit the bill

    Slik Sprint Mini II

    Velbon Ultra Maxi F / Ultra Luxi F

    Gitzo Traveler GT1541T
    • Like Like x 1
  3. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    akulya, good for you! There's nothing like having some good luck...and when it brings you something you need for free, that's even better.:2thumbs: And thank you for the photos, too.

    I've been asking about tripods forever, it seems but have yet to buy one.:redface:

    Here's a search that lists the other tripod threads in this forum, in case anyone is interested: Tripods.
  4. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Real Name:
    Stunning, and what a stroke of good fortune to be given something so unusual. It looks as though it would have been fairly expensive in its day.
  5. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    Just found on one on ebay, I think my wife and I might have to treat a certain elderly couple to dinner!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    This one looks very tempting - I currently have a J. C. Penny 3 section channel tripod, geared elevator with 3-way large pan head, that I have had for over 25 years. Fine for 35mm.

    I got rid on my good ones when I sold all of my medium and large format gear.

    I am looking for a good, small tripod for hiking. That Gitzo one looked good until I saw the price :eek:.
  7. I have the carbon Gitzo. It is on the expansive side but it is great to travel with. I only use it for night photography, or for my IR shots. Lumix G1 handles it will.

    For my pro grear I use the heavy duty Monfrotto.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. VisualFX

    VisualFX Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    Does anyone have any experience with the Tamrac Zipshot? I was looking for something very lightweight and fast to deploy for my E-PL1. But it is a fixed height of only 44"(112cm).
  9. dismalhiker

    dismalhiker New to Mu-43

    Aug 18, 2010
    Little Rock, AR
    Promaster C423W Carbon Fiber Tripod

    I have the PROMASTER C423W Carbon Fiber Tripod for my E-P2 and am very satisfied with it.

    It is relatively lightweight, easy to deploy/collapse and the quality is quite good for a relatively inexpensive carbon fiber tripod. The big name carbon fiber tripods may be lighter/better, but I didn't want to spend $400 on a tripod.

    The C423W is rated to hold a max load of 6.6 pounds, which is more than enough for any micro 4/3 needs and has a working height of 57 in. I bought the BH26 ball head for it, but they make a lighter tripod head that would probably work fine for micro 4/3.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    They should show a video of someone folding it back up - I'll bet that is not as much fun. :wink:
  11. BartonFlyer

    BartonFlyer Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2010
    Bolton, UK
    To be fair, if you watch to the end (and yes it's not too busy here today!!) they do show that

    My worry with this piece of kit is how long it would retain it's "spring into action" ability?
  12. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    That Zipshot appears a little bit lanky and gangly on the automatic video, but when you click to play the full length one; it actually looks a lot better. Certainly a smart piece of equipment, and for light loads in fair conditions I'm sure it's worth a look.

    I ought to point out that I have had no experience with one, just watched the video above - but if anyone has tried one out please chip in!
  13. angloasturian

    angloasturian Mu-43 Veteran

    As my last digital camera was an E300 + 2 kitzooms + assorted OM lenses etc and needed a backpack to carry - m43 has transformed my photography habits. Now, at the most, I carry a camera (E-P1 or E-PL1) with an Oly 4/3 40 - 150, and the m43 14 - 42 zoom, 17mm, and perhaps my CV 25mm or 50mm - and all in a bag that would be hard put to take just the E300. At the least it's the camera with the 17mm or a CV 25mm.
    So I would consider it rather illogical to hump around a tripod as well when I've reduced everything else to a minimum. I found this small minitripod which is fine for tabletop use or on walls etc


    It weighs virtually nothing and folds flat so you can slip it in a pocket.
    If I want something a bit more substantial - and taller - I have a Velbon Ultra Stick L50. It weighs 0.23g and extends from 35 to 155cm.


    By making a noose at the end of a spare strap I can carry it over my shoulder. Many times I leave it on the camera and carry both around. Also you don't need a tilt or ball head as you adjust framing by simply varying the angle of the monopod. If possible I try to steady it against something (wall, fence,table etc) but it's not difficult to wrap your leg around it and hold the camera reasonably stable. Of course for really long exposures there's nothing like a proper sturdy tripod (I have a Hama Star 63 - which I hardly ever use).
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Andrew Riddell

    Andrew Riddell Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2010
    I had a chance to try the Tamrac Zipshot recently. If you set it up and press down on the top, the legs bow very easily, so it feels as though a breath of wind would move it. I think it's a good idea, but it just doesn't have the basic level of stability.

  15. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  16. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    It seems like a shame to use a full-sized tripod with m43. I use one of those freebie 4 inch mini tripods (that can come in digital camera starter kits) that can fit in my pocket or easily into a bag as needed. Occasionally I miss something more substantial, but there's often possibilities to use walls, furniture, or other items to plant it on.
  17. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Real Name:
    Brian Ronald
    I use a Hama Star 75. It's available for a slow as a tenner, and it's very light indeed.
  18. xyzzy

    xyzzy Mu-43 Regular

    I realise it is not a "real" tripod, but I use a Gorillapod SLR, small and light enough to take anywhere, fits in most bags (well, all that I use ...) and can be clamped to many objects, like car doors, fences, ... and can also be used as a table top tripod. It takes my e-p1 with lenses up to the 40-150 FT version zoom. It has replaced my old Leica table tripod as take-everywhere tool.
  19. antithetic

    antithetic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    City of Angels
    I typically use the 'Gorillapod' style tripod for most of my photo outings. It's pretty easy to find a spot to place the tripod on; especially uneven surfaces. I often prop the stubby legs against my torso to gain some stability on shots taken a bit below my chin level.


    Make sure to get one with the ball head so getting the camera level is much easier.