Advice for Lightweight Tripod?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Edward Holt, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Edward Holt

    Edward Holt Guest

    I do a lot of off road cycling and take my camera with me - Canon 5D plus a
    few lenses.

    I've currently got the original Kennett Benbo tripod (about 20 years old)
    but it weighs too much and is too bulky to carry.

    Can you advise what would be a good back pack and tripod combination?
    I'm after a ball and head mount.
    Edward Holt, Jan 15, 2006
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  2. For a 5D you need a very good tripod. For hiking, I use
    a gitzo 1228 carbon fiber tripod and an arc-swiss B1 ballhead
    with both 1D Mark II and 4x5 view vameras.

    If you want light weight, stability, and vibration dampening,
    carbon fiber is great. Unfortunately, the cost is high.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 15, 2006
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  3. Edward Holt

    Don Guest


    Are the CF tripods that much lighter? The models I have looked at do not
    appear to be much lighter than their Alloy cousins. For instance, the 055
    Pro manfrotto and the same model in CF is only .4 kg difference (2 to
    2.4kg). The 055 just happens to suit me perfectly for my height and style
    of work. I have been looking for a good CF but had hoped it would be around
    1/2 the weight in saving. Not much success in finding such to date. With
    the model you use, how much saving is there over its alloy model?


    Don, Jan 16, 2006
  4. It is more about stability. You can use a carbon fiber with much
    thinner legs. I feel I can do better with a gitzo 1220 CF
    than I can with a Bogen 3021 aluminum tripod. Metal 3021
    legs vibrate. The 3021 (8 lbs, 3.6 Kg) has an 11 pound load
    capacity while the gitzo 1228 weighs 3.8 lbs (1.7 Kg), and las a
    load capacity of 17.6 pounds. I have both, and the 1228
    is much more stable at half the weight. Just an example.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 16, 2006
  5. Edward Holt

    Edward Holt Guest

    Why do you say that the 5D needs a good tripod - is that due to the weight
    of the camera?
    Edward Holt, Jan 16, 2006
  6. Edward Holt

    Don Guest



    I will have a look at the gitzo.


    Don, Jan 16, 2006
  7. Well, most cameras need a good tripod ;-) !

    But high end cameras, like the 5D have so much resolution, and
    the camera is not feather light, so a good camera is really
    warranted. Most camera owners have too flimsy a tripod,
    if they have one at all. I was no exception a dozen years
    ago when I started getting drum scans of my slides, and
    seeing blur. I analyzed what did it and it turned
    out to be the tripod. I upgraded to bogen 3001, then
    3021, then carbon fiber. The CF was a big jump.

    When choosing a tripod, extend the legs, grab the head
    and twist. Note how much twist in each one.
    Put a big camera with big lens on it and
    tap the legs and watch and feel the vibration. Most
    tripods are pretty poor. The carbon fiber will be
    the best.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 16, 2006
  8. Edward Holt

    C Wright Guest

    Like Rodger I use and heartily recommend the Gitzo 1228. This, or one of
    the competitive CF tripods, seems to offer the best combination of lower
    weight AND really solid support.
    This has been posted here before but deserves a look for anyone considering
    a tripod purchase:
    Thom illustrates in this piece what many (including me) have gone through in
    tripod expenditures when we could have actually saved money by going with a
    high quality tripod in the first place.
    C Wright, Jan 16, 2006
  9. Edward Holt

    babalooixnay Guest

    I love my Cullman Magic 2. Carry a small, 12" x 12" nylon drawstring
    bag and fill it with rocks and then tie it to the center for extra
    stability when needed. The center shaft pulls out for a monopod.
    babalooixnay, Jan 16, 2006
  10. Edward Holt

    eawckyegcy Guest

    CF legset (whatever size fits). The "B1" head is a fairly heavy
    affair, and rather pricey at that. It's the usual recommendation, and
    a safe one to give. I'll be more radical and suggest:

    It has an unusual user-interface but it is substantially lighter and
    less expensive.
    eawckyegcy, Jan 16, 2006
  11. Edward Holt

    Edward Holt Guest

    Would I be able to accommodate that tripod on a backpack in terms of weight
    and size?

    Also, is their any one brand or type of back pack that I should be looking
    I've had a look at the Lowepro stuff and seems reasonable - but I've not had
    any experience other than brochures for that sort of stuff.

    I'd guess I'd be carrying a camera, three small lenses, a 200/300mm
    telephoto plus tripod.
    I'd also want some space for a few sandwiches as I'd be gone on a day trip.
    Edward Holt, Jan 16, 2006
  12. Edward Holt

    Skip M Guest

    Not only is the camera heavy, although not as heavy as a 1 series, the
    lenses most deem necessary for good images are heavy, too. While the
    heaviest, like the 70-200 f2.8L IS, have their own tripod collars, many,
    like the 24-70 f2.8L and 85mm f1.2L, do not. And that chunk of glass hung
    on the front of a camera can seriously destablize a weak tripod.
    I have the 3001, and find it ok, but a little short for my complete comfort.
    And the "elevator" could be a little more stable.
    Skip M, Jan 16, 2006
  13. Edward Holt

    cjcampbell Guest

    I use a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod. Granted, it is only half a kilo
    less than other models, but that is still a significant difference,
    especially when you consider the weight of everything else. I am not
    enamored of the ball and head mount, but to each his own. I like the
    little lightweight three knob head; there is no excess weight on this
    thing at all and it never slips.

    If you really want to save weight, consider reducing the number of
    lenses you carry. A super wide angle zoom and a telephoto are about all
    you should ever need. I will grant that mid-range zooms are popular (I
    own a few myself), but I find that I spend most of my time shooting at
    one extreme or the other.
    cjcampbell, Jan 17, 2006
  14. Yes, depending on what you consider your weight limit.
    Camera baclpacks are for camera gear. I have 3: computrekker,
    the second largest and the largest (forget their names). They are great
    for carrying gear, but not a lot of other stuff. When you say
    backpacking, do you mean overnight with sleeping bag, cooking gear
    and tent? If so I would use a regular backpack and put in little
    bags with the camera gear.

    I use my lowepro large backpack for large format gear.

    I use the second largest pack for wildlife expeditions when
    I carry my 500 mm f/4, or smaller amount of large format gear.

    I use the computrekker for trips with digital cameras laptop and
    lenses up to 300 mm f/4.
    Day trips like this I would use the computrekker plus an external
    pack addition for coat, food and emergency gear on a day hike.
    Sometimes I add a large side pouch for an additional lens. For example,
    I might carry 1D MarkII, 300 f/4 IS, 28-135 IS, 24mm f/2.8, 180mm f/3.5
    macro, 1.4 and 2x TCs and in the computer section 10D backup camera. I took
    that setup to Australia and New Zealand along with epson P2000
    and nixview vista (instead of a computer). (Space/weight forced me
    to travel light.) And of course the gitzo 1228.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 18, 2006
  15. Edward Holt

    cjcampbell Guest

    For day trips I like the Lowe padded waist belt, AW-40 camera pouch,
    and shoulder harness. The geek factor is terrible, but it sure is
    cjcampbell, Jan 18, 2006
  16. Edward Holt

    Edward Holt Guest

    I just intend to drive somewhere, get on my bike with my camera and
    disappear off into the countryside for the day, returning home at night.
    Edward Holt, Jan 18, 2006
  17. Edward Holt

    Edward Holt Guest

    I bought the advised tripod - the Gitzo 1228 carbon fiber tripod
    I also got a free head mount with it worth 1/3 of the price of the tripod.

    I'm not sure if that tripod is now discontinued as I could not find it on
    the Gitzo site.

    The build quality is impressive.

    I also bought a Lowepro Mini Trekker AW backpack - which allows me to carry
    the tripod on my back, along with my camera.

    Thanks for all your advice.
    Edward Holt, Feb 1, 2006
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