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Thread: Tripod for Trekking

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Tripod for Trekking

    Can people recommend a tripod and (ball?) head combination that is:
    -Cheap enough that it is expendable, no great loss if stolen or lost.
    -Light enough to be packed in and used on the way to and around base camp of some remote 7000ers in the Hindu Kush
    -For portraits, landscapes and the usual waste of film. 210mm lens only.
    -To support a 5x7 Nagaoka in mostly fine weather, no strong winds, no rain but lots of heat and some cold.
    -Leg locks that are not totally infuriating.
    -Cope with sand and grit.
    -Take the knocks for 5 weeks.
    -Camera on an Arca plate.
    -Maybe no centre column.

    I already have a Berlebach that I love but it is too long and bulky for a pack full of climbing gear and legs yet to acclimatise to altitude.

    Thanks, shopping is not my strong suite and I have to buy sight unseen over the internet, could come from anywhere.
    David

  2. #2

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    Jul 2007
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    Austin TX
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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    Yes, trekking for a tripod over the internet can be frustrating. I've been looking for one with similar specs as you but have failed - probably mostly since I was after the low price end where there are simply no important specs listed. So I trekked to my local camera store in Austin (Precision Camera and Video), which is actually quite a fine repository of a complete range of tripods. However I'm still indecisive about what to buy so I need to stop obsessing over the issue of specs and just get something that mainly won't fail on short trips.

    OK, so that was no help - more philosophy than practicality.

    Nate Potter, Austin TX.

  3. #3

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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    Oh well, plenty of time to think about it.

  4. #4

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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    Mdm, I understand your needs. If I'm carrying...then a gitzo carbon fiber knock-off....(feisol et al) & a strong head ( I've used mine with a Ries head). If you've got a porter carrying stuff....then i'd go for something cheap strong & replaceable like a Tiltall or a cheap Manfrotto. I've used these for my Deardorff 5x7 with good results.

  5. #5
    austin granger's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    I've been searching around for a similar thing, and am considering this Feisol CT-3342:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...id_Tripod.html

    It's light, simple, can handle the load (I have a Deardorff Special) and seems well put together.

    As for a ballhead, obviously there are a dizzying array of options. I'm thinking of something like this FLM:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...G&Q=&A=details

    Again, light, simple and from all accounts, a quality head. At a little over $300 I wouldn't call it cheap, but it's not totally outrageous.

    Just my two cents. I do not own either of these, but like I said, I'm thinking along these same lines. I'll be interested to see other's advise.

  6. #6

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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    I bought the Triopo (CF / Gitzo knock-off) for $150 on ebay with free shipping, & not so sure i'd use a ball head although I have with medium format. Last time I was in Nepal I carried a Leitz tiltall. I've seen porter loads take quite a beating & stuff can disappear. Personally I'm not inclined to put together a $700 tripod rig...when really I'd rather be using my Ries. I'd go cheap...sturdy...dispensible.

  7. #7
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    If it's really cheap you need, I would second Austin's tripod suggestion, though the tripod may disappoint you, and last a little longer than 5 weeks.
    It seems light enough, the drawback is that it folds down to a long-ish length; other tripods (more $$$) will fold down to smaller than 59cm, and be easier to stuff in a backpack/suitcase.

    Greg's Triopo suggestion is ok; I had one for a year, but sadly, I did not get to abuse it much.
    It was used for a 4x5 Wista, and did ok, as long as the ground was level and there was no wind.
    But I'd be hard-pressed to think that that tripod is still in one piece, wherever it is; it was very cheaply made.
    And I'm pretty sure that the accompanying Triopo ball head will be sufficient to your short-term needs, and provide an Arca-type QR clamp/plate.

    For 5 weeks, I think you can thrash either of these tripods around and get your money's worth.

  8. #8
    Les
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    Seattle, WA
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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    Agree with Austin. My Feisol (no middle column CT-3371) is somewhat taller and is about 4.5lbs and it fits into my duffel bag quite easily....and I use it with the beastly 410 gearhead. I've had no issues with it in over 2 years and it was baptized many times in salt water and sand....not to mention took a beating in several flights to E. Coast and AK.

    Les

  9. #9

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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    ..... from a standpoint of disposable & tough enough...there are at least 3 Tiltalls currently on Ebay for 49-$100.

  10. #10
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Tripod for Trekking

    When weight and bulk are an issue, I take a Feisol CF (can't remember the model, but even the large ones are quite compact) without a head. Takes a bit longer to set up, but light, compact and super-stable.

    Even if it's not the Feisol, my suggestion is to leave the head at home.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

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