Travel + Wildlife Tripod - What do you use?

mrjoemorgan

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It can, that's why if it's windy I just hang my pack from the hook on the bottom of the center column.
Yeah good idea, I used to do that but don't see the hook on many tripods these days. Is it an extra you need to get?

I went to my local store today to play around with some tripods. Manfrotto just feels cheaply made these days. My two favourites were the MoFOTO Roadtrip Carbon Fibre and the SIRUI A1205. 3.1lb and 2.6lb respectively with a relatively nice ball head.

@Phocal have you tried the MoTOTO Roadtrip S version too? Doesn't seem to be too much difference in spec, but 1/2 the price.
 

Holoholo55

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I bought a used Benro Slim TSL08CN00 CF tripod recently to replace my MeFoto Roadtrip Aluminum as a travel tripod. It's 1.4 lb lighter than the MeFoto. I had to replace the Benro head with a Sirui B00K ballhead, but it suffices for travel and will fit in my carry-on. I have a bigger, and much heavier set of Slik 700D Pro AMT legs and a Manfrotto 128RC QR fluid head on it. The latter is only for around the house and near the car sort of stuff. The former is a little light and short for wildlife, and the latter too big and heavy to carry around in the field. If I had to, I'd make do with the Benro or MeFoto. If you really want a travel tripod that's sturdy enough to use for wildlife, then maybe your best choice is the Gitzo Traveler.
 

Holoholo55

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@Phocal have you tried the MoTOTO Roadtrip S version too? Doesn't seem to be too much difference in spec, but 1/2 the price.
Hi Joe,

The RoadTrip S has a 2-part column extension. When the legs are extended and column retracted, it's shorter than the Roadtrip. Both are the same height with column fully extended.

It is cheaper than the Classic Roadtrip, but the Classic might be a bit sturdier with the column extended.
 

mrjoemorgan

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Hi Joe,

The RoadTrip S has a 2-part column extension. When the legs are extended and column retracted, it's shorter than the Roadtrip. Both are the same height with column fully extended.

It is cheaper than the Classic Roadtrip, but the Classic might be a bit sturdier with the column extended.
Thats good to know, thank you. Knew there had to be something.
 

Joris

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I do a lot of hiking and traveling, so looking for something that can go into the side pocket of my camera backpack. Want something light but not too light that it's not stable in the wind or when taking long exposures etc

Also looking for a good ball head that's good for wildlife photography with a long telephoto lens, so the ability to have friction control (so it can act a little bit like a gimbal)
Thecentercolumn.com is specialized in (travel) tripod reviews as well as (ball)head reviews.
Leofoto usually seems to give the best stiffness to price ratio. Very happy with my 324C+LH40. Usually these tripods are offered as a kit with a good ballhead for a very reasonable price.
 

Phocal

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Yeah good idea, I used to do that but don't see the hook on many tripods these days. Is it an extra you need to get?

I went to my local store today to play around with some tripods. Manfrotto just feels cheaply made these days. My two favourites were the MoFOTO Roadtrip Carbon Fibre and the SIRUI A1205. 3.1lb and 2.6lb respectively with a relatively nice ball head.

@Phocal have you tried the MoTOTO Roadtrip S version too? Doesn't seem to be too much difference in spec, but 1/2 the price.
every tripod I have bought has had one, then again I wouldn't buy one without it.

I have no idea what the difference is.
 
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every tripod I have bought has had one, then again I wouldn't buy one without it.

I have no idea what the difference is.
Many Gitzo tripods don’t come with a hook (you can buy an additional part from Gitzo).
Most “cheaper” brands do have a hook included. Anyhow for me a hook is important as the lighter m43 system on a light tripod is not the most wind resistant setup. Weighting the tripod (or go with a bigger beefier one / setup the legs in a wider stance) does help stability in windy conditions.

Good sized spikes also help tremendously if you can use them (depending on the ground/soil).
 
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I recently bought Leofoto LX225TC, a carbon fiber really small tripod with ball head. I'm quite happy with the price - performance ratio and is decidedly better than Vanguard cf tripod I had before.

Edit: this was after centercolumn reviews of Leofotos in general. No way I was going to spend $800 on something that I use rarely. I see this being mentioned above.
 
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ac12

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Yeah good idea, I used to do that but don't see the hook on many tripods these days. Is it an extra you need to get?
I don't think any of my tripods came with a hook, it was an optional item, on some of them. Some just did not have that option.
I used to make a rope loop to go around the column, between the tripod and the head. Then I put a S hook on the rope, where I could hang something heavy.
 

ralf-11

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The real question is - How many times do you want to buy a tripod?

If the answer is one, then get an RRS or Gitzo, maybe a Sirui
 

Phocal

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The real question is - How many times do you want to buy a tripod?

If the answer is one, then get an RRS or Gitzo, maybe a Sirui
The MeFoto
The real question is - How many times do you want to buy a tripod?

If the answer is one, then get an RRS or Gitzo, maybe a Sirui
Not going to deny that they make good tripods but they are not the end all be all of the best or the only quality ones. I have put my MeFOTO through hell for the last 5 years and it has performed very well and I have never had a complaint about it. When I say I have put it through hell I mean that. My tripod is under the ball head in this photo and this is not the first and will not be the last time I do this with the tripod.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
EM1 w/ Bower 7.5mm Fisheye by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Those ones you listed would hold up just as well but at a lot higher cost for the name recognition.

I also have a Manfrotto aluminum tripod that I have had since the film days that is still going strong. Doesn't get as much anymore because I don't need a tripod that sturdy, but it does stay in the car for those times I need one and forgot to grab my MeFOTO or if I am going to be shooting from the car I will use it over bringing another one.
 
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I use an aluminum MeFoto Roadtrip and don't really have any complaints about it. I am no where near as rough on it as @Phocal is, but it has handled anything I needed. I do wish that it would get shorter for macro mushroom shots. I really just need to get something like the PlatyPod for that.

I will say MeFoto has great service. I bought my tripod used. Last year while taking this shot, I somehow unscrewed one of the bolts holding the leg on and lost it in the rocks. I have no clue how it happened. I messaged Mefoto about buying a replacement. They simply sent me one, no charge. For their low end product that I didn't even purchase through them, that really surprised me.
 
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ac12

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My travel tripods have smaller diameter bottom sections, and the skinny bottom section and foot, lets the tripod sink into the unpacked dirt/sand.
I found that a good FAT foot cap helps keep the tripod from sinking into the dirt/sand.
Though for loose dirt/sand, there are"snowshoes" for tripods, that attach to the bottom of the leg. They provide a WIDE surface area so the tripod does not sink, like when shooting on unpacked sand at the beach or in the desert.
 

Mike Wingate

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Me,Carbon, Manfrotto Befree plus a Sirui P 326 monopod with a small Manfrotto ball head.
 

Holoholo55

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I use an aluminum MeFoto Roadtrip and don't really have any complaints about it. I am no where near as rough on it as @Phocal is, but it has handled anything I needed. I do wish that it would get shorter for macro mushroom shots. I really just need to get something like the PlatyPod for that.

I will say MeFoto has great service. I bought my tripod used. Last year while taking this shot, I somehow unscrewed one of the bolts holding the leg on and lost it in the rocks. I have no clue how it happened. I messaged Mefoto about buying a replacement. They simply sent me one, no charge. For their low end product that I didn't even purchase through them, that really surprised me.
MeFoto sells a short column for the RoadTrip. I bought one to use with the monopod leg to shorten it for schlepping around. But, also good for low angle shots. I just stuff it in the tripod bag for when I need it.
https://www.mefoto.com/products/asc31-aluminum-short-column-series-1

As far as service goes, ditto. I lost the screw-in hook from the RoadTrip when I took it off to convert it to a monopod. I emailed them and was able to order a new hook. I paid for it, but just glad they had the part.
 

Phocal

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MeFoto sells a short column for the RoadTrip. I bought one to use with the monopod leg to shorten it for schlepping around. But, also good for low angle shots. I just stuff it in the tripod bag for when I need it.
https://www.mefoto.com/products/asc31-aluminum-short-column-series-1

As far as service goes, ditto. I lost the screw-in hook from the RoadTrip when I took it off to convert it to a monopod. I emailed them and was able to order a new hook. I paid for it, but just glad they had the part.
I keep saying I am going to get that short column. Only time I extend mine is when I flipping the legs back to get it into it's shortest length.
 
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I got the short column with the full-size Sirui w-2204 but hardly use it exactly for the reason you described.

Not recommending against getting one (can be useful to get really low to the ground), but it wouldn't be very high on my list.
Stability-wise an unextended center column is equally stable than the short column.

A benefit of an unextended center column is the piece between the legs of the tripod. You can hang your camera bag using an elastic/bungy cord so that it's barely touching the ground (helping stability in super windy conditions).
 

mrjoemorgan

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So I just had my new tripod confiscated off me at an airport in Mexico as you're not allowed to fly with Tripods in this country apparently. Who knew! I had the Sirui A-1205Y with Y-11. It was great! Perfect weight and size for my travels.

So I am trying to buy a new one from amazon mexico, but my choices are limited.

I am now looking at the Benro Tripster Travel Tripod but I'm surprised that the 2 series is double the weight of the 0 series. How is that possible? I think the series 1 will be suitable for my needs?

The other one I am considering is this, but I cant seem to find the model in the US to check the specs: https://www.amazon.com.mx/Benro-Mach3-Serie-Monopod-Sección/dp/B00YEUA2J6/ref=sr_1_5?fst=as:eek:ff&qid=1583453953&refinements=p_85:9841545011,p_89:Benro|Fotopro&rnid=11790855011&rps=1&s=electronics&sr=1-5&th=1

Hoping some Benro users out there might be able to help

Or I go for the MeFoto Globe Trotter.

https://www.amazon.com.mx/MeFOTO-Gl...lobeTrotter+Carbon&qid=1583459371&sr=8-1&th=1
 

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