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Which tripod for 'in the field'?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Farcanalman, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Farcanalman


    Feb 12, 2012
    I have to get a sturdy and widely adjustable tripod, that is easy to use but not too big when collapsed.

    Weight is not too much an issue, rather pack-size in/on my rucksack is!

    I have looked at Hahnel, Cullman, Gitzo, Benro and Berlebach so far, but would like some input from regular tripod users, in particular if you work out in the natural environment.

    My needs are strength over lightness, ease of adjustment and a not too wallet busting price!

    Is there such a thing?

    p.s. So far the choice has just confused me like a kid at a sweet counter!

  2. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    have you looked at the benro travel angels? Both Gitzo and Sirui also have tripods w/ similar specs.. I have a Sirui T-1005X that collapses to about 14" (w/ ball head!)
  3. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    This setup may be too big for you, but I really like my friend's tripod:

    Manfrotto 190CX3 Carbon Fiber tripod (about $300)
    Giotto MH1000-652 ballhead, with Giotto MH652 Quick Release ($99 for both on Amazon, great deal)

    It's stable and easy to use and adjust, yet not too heavy to carry.

    I had an opportunity to use it a few times in the field, and I liked it a lot.

    Hope this info helps you...

  4. Farcanalman


    Feb 12, 2012
    Yes I have!

    The one I looked at was amazing, it turned into a completely floppy tangle of legs and centre-tube with the twist of just one knurled knob!


    And the price was high enough to raise the blood pressure a little. We are a very over-charged people here in the U.K.!


    Same for some of the others, just making me worry that my budget will be reduced for my trip because of the vital necessity of a tripod as the one I have is rather cheap(both in materials and construction)!

  5. cherrywood

    cherrywood Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2010

    Plus 1 on the Manfrotto. 190cxpob, B&H has them for 235.00 USD. Since going digital with fuji x10 and mu43, this is IMHO the best tripod for the price and strength and weight on the market, for these small cameras. This is carbon fiber and dampens the vibrations very fast, much better than aluminum.
    Yes the Gitzo's are the best, but you are going to spend twice as much. I used to have the Gitzo carbon fiber for travel, very nice but costly.
    I have no problems with this Manfrotto., for these size cameras .Plus if anything brakes ,parts are always available, just like the Gitzo. All the Chinese ones are probably going to be very difficult to get parts for.

    Check it out at B&H

    All the best Dennis
    • Like Like x 2
  6. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Part time philistine

    Aug 10, 2011
    Manfrotto 055XPROB with 496RC2 ball head.

    It Aint going to blow over thats for sure. May be a little overkill for M43.
    (used to have heavy DSLR)
    Sure the 190 would do the job perfectly.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Farcanalman


    Feb 12, 2012
    Well at about £150 from Amazon for that pair, I am starting to think we are getting somewhere!


    Look at my sig and see that my monster 300 weighs in at nigh 2.5kg with camera body!

  8. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    :eek:  I take back my travel angel suggestion..
  9. Farcanalman


    Feb 12, 2012
    :redface: I know, but I do not expect to use it too much!

    Thinking carefully, I might only use it in a more 'local' sense!

  10. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    The Benro Travel Angel gets a resounding two thumbs up from me.

    Easily fits into a backpack, isn't very heavy at all yet can easily accommodate a cam/lens combo of about 9lbs. It has the extremely easy to use click system for extending and locking leg extensions....I personally dislike the twist type. The ball head is really smooth allowing for subtle and fine adjustments and once locked in is super secure.

    Can be used at a very short minimum distance and up to about 170cm (or close enough too)

    Unless you have an unlimited budget and are prepared to drop $400 on a tripod, everything else will be a compromise. The Travel Angel is I think a very effective compromise.
    Quality build.
    Relatively light.
    Very compact.
    Super stable even for outdoor long exposures.
    Great build.

    Given its overall quality, features and usability, as an "in the rucksack" tripod, is pretty good bang for the buck at about $170.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Farcanalman


    Feb 12, 2012
    Hmmm, the choices!

    Benro A0685FBH00 Aluminium Travel Angel Kit Head

    is the Benro I was seriously considering and the other suggestions are good too!

    Thanks so far for the input.

  12. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Part time philistine

    Aug 10, 2011
    Mmmm ! Half the weight of my manfrotto :eek: 
    Time to go small & lighter with my t-pod ?
    Naa, I might decide to go back to big on cameras in future.
    And to be honest, I dont use it as much as i should.
  13. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    Having compared travel angels and sirui products side by side in store last year, I ended up choosing sirui for better price/performance.. not sure where things stand in today's market, but here's the guy I have:
    Pro SIRUI MIN T-1005X Tripod & G-10 Ball Head with bag | eBay

    .. and I bought that for travel w/ my DSLR gear! Compare the max load against the travel angel you're looking at.. and then compare the folded height..
    • Like Like x 1
  14. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    The Benro Travel Angels are very nicely built and have the advantage of collapsing to a very short length. They are, however, somewhat bulky as is any conventional tripod.

    My solution was to switch to a Benro C2192T, which is a flat design and very portable. One of the legs unscrews to be used as a monopod, saving carrying a separate monopod as I have been doing. The lack of a conventional column is, for me, not a big deal. If you like to photograph little things on the ground, however, it would be a shortcoming. I bought the tripod bundled with the B1 ball head, which is very nice as well. (This is the guy I bought from: BENRO C2182TB1 Carbon FLAT Tripod Kit * C2682TB1 alternative | eBay) The US and Canadian importers of Benro do not seem to import the models with monopod conversion legs, so we cannot see them or buy them locally.

    The "dc-stuffs" auction I linked to has a nice table of Benro flat tripods including the slightly heavier and significantly cheaper aluminum ones. Here is a video review of an aluminum one: [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goCKpvTxMfo]Benro A2190T Travel Flat Tripod - YouTube[/ame]

    (Hmmm ... that's interesting. I put in a YouTube link. I didn't expect to imbed the video. Oh, well.)

    Mine came with separate spike feed and an installation wrench. I bought a set of Gitzo combination feet, which can be set for either rubber or spikes without tools. They screwed right in to the Benro legs.
  15. thinkcooper

    thinkcooper Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2011
    I lust for a tripod from 3 legged thing. They're in the UK. Their design is very industrial yet really colorful. I've never tried one, but you should buy one and let me know how it is.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Vripper

    Vripper Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 3, 2011
    I'm a big fan of Vanguard tripods and heads.

    I've got the 284CT carbon fiber tripod and the GH100 pistol grip head.
    Excellent value for the design, features and build quality.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    I agree, this is a great tripod. I put my 5D Mark II on top, and mount my Gf1 to a leg using a Manfrotto Super Clamp and small ball head.
  18. montaggio

    montaggio Mu-43 Regular

    Personally, I find monopods a bit more travel friendly. While they aren't freestanding (there are a couple with tripod like feet), they do provide a nice stable platform. In addition, I carry a little generic aluminum tripod for adhoc use. Legs are about 5 inches - small and transportable when you really need a self timed shot.
  19. Farcanalman


    Feb 12, 2012
    Some info/pics of your mono/tripod setup would be nice!

    I have time to peruse before my decision.

  20. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Part time philistine

    Aug 10, 2011
    Well I watched the vid all the way through because the music is great ( John Murphy) from one of my favourite films (Sunshine) so I think I must get one ! Lol

    Holy s##t I've just seen the prices !!
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