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Thread: small tripod for travel

  1. #1
    Hopelessly Lost
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    small tripod for travel

    I am looking for a small, lightweight tripod that I can travel with and will still let me shoot my Wista 4x5 while I travel. I like to try and drive to where I need to shoot but some times, it is just not possible (Kenya, Kaliningrad, Mongolia, etc.).

    So, I am thinking that I would like to get something with at least 2 sections and is lightweight but damnit, the carbon ones are expensive. Something that would fit in a standard rolling suitcase (carry on size) is what I want and taking the head off to travel is not a problem.

    So, any suggestions would be very helpful. Oh, and to mention, I shoot a 210 at the longest but 90% of the time I shoot a 150 therefore, Im not too worried about hanging 2 feet of bellows in the wind.

    H.
    www.hollisbennett.com

    Huh? Oh, right, keep moving.

  2. #2
    Robert Oliver Robert Oliver's Avatar
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    Re: small tripod for travel

    I love my feisol tripod. Great product at a great price... contact Kerry at reallybigcameras.com... he will set you up with the right legs.

    they fold up around the head to save space if that makes any sense... super light weight and simple design to boot.
    Robert Oliver

  3. #3
    Hopelessly Lost
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    Re: small tripod for travel

    Ill look into those, sounds interesting.

    H.
    www.hollisbennett.com

    Huh? Oh, right, keep moving.

  4. #4

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    Re: small tripod for travel

    I got a Feisol Tournament CT-3442 together with a ball head Photo Clam PC-33NS (both from Kerry at www.reallybigcameras.com) and I am fully satisfied. I do not believe that you can put together much lighter or more compact combo. I travelled with it 3 weeks through New Zealand and it worked perfectly. Kerry was also very helpful (and also patient) when I was choosing the tripod/head combination.

    The only little downside is that the tripod does not have the "anti rotation" leg element feature, so it takes a little more time to fold/unfold, but it is rock solid and very well made. The head also does an amazing job - VERY light and still very stable.

    I used it with my Tachi 4x5 with lenses 75 - 400 (500g tele lens) and had no problem. You only have to keep in mind that with such a light tripod the whole setup is a bit top heavy, so just be careful not to tip it over. I used the Photo Clam long quick release plate that fits the Tachi perfectly with its two 1/4" screws. I also used this setup with my Rolleiflex T - a perfect match.

    Ah - and the tripod (without the center column) is actually cca 2cm taller than stated in the specs - in my case it was just enough to leave the center column at home.

    I just attach my setup as my wife snapped it in the Mt.Cook valley.
    Matus

  5. #5

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    2,952

    Re: small tripod for travel

    You'll won't regret buying carbon fiber, and you'll wonder why you didn't buy it sooner.

  6. #6

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    Re: small tripod for travel

    I've had really nice CF Gitzos and they are worth it, so one of Kerry's Chinese ones would be at the top of my list for a new tripod. But if you are poor, the most tripod for the money is a $100 Leitz-era Tiltall. I found that most of my work is handheld so it was silly to have $1200 tied up in a tripod/head but it was awesome the few times I used it.

    If your budget is only $100 or so and you want to fit into a 9x14x20" carry-on your choice is limited to a short #2 Gitzo, used on eBay, but even if you use the center column you'll be hard pressed to break 48-inches tall. That wouldn't work for me.

    There are also some old-school "Cullmans" from Germany that pack small.

  7. #7
    wfwhitaker
    Guest

    Re: small tripod for travel

    I may get laughed out of town for suggesting this, but a Crown Graflex No. 1 may be worth consideration. I just sold one and the packed shipping weight was about 3 1/2 pounds, so the tripod itself is certainly lighter. Although it looks spindly, it's surprisingly rigid and would be adequate for a lightweight 4x5 such as your Wista. The legs remove from the crown and fold so that the whole package will easily fit in a carry-on. They seem to sell for around $100, give or take. You would need to add a head, of course. Or not.

    On the other hand, I have Gitzo G1228 which I purchased used and it works very well for my 5x7 and 6x10. In the long run you'd probably be happier with a modern tripod. The Crown is suggested as a less expensive, but lightweight option.

    Last edited by wfwhitaker; 28-Jun-2009 at 09:31.

  8. #8

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    Re: small tripod for travel

    I picked up a used Gitzo 1550T a while back. It's a carbon fiber travel tripod that weighs nothing and fits in even a small shoulder bag.

    Carbon fiber is the best because it absorbs vibrations, as opposed to aluminum which transmits them.

    I've shot a lot of 4x5 and 8x10 on that tripod. The stock ballhead is plenty sturdy for my equipment...

    Edit: Here it is in action.


    And here is the tripod (not visible) packed in my bag, along with the 8x10:

  9. #9

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    Re: small tripod for travel

    Wow that is really extreme because the lower leg extensions look like pencils to me!

    Is that all you use? And you never loose a photo due to the tripod wiggling or sinking or something? Or have the tilting camera lever it over? Wouldn't loading a film holder shift everything?

  10. #10

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    Re: small tripod for travel

    Feisol.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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