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Thread: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

  1. #1

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    In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    Up to now I have been using a Ries tripod with a Ries head. My Ries equipment has never failed me, but turned 71 last year and carrying it over my shoulder with a backpack on my back has gotten to be a bit cumbersome. Plus like to hike with a walking stick (nothing fancy, I made it from a young hard wood sapling probably 12 years ago). With one hand on the tripod and the other holding the walking stick, left me with no free hands to tackle 4th class portions of the hike. The Ries still my tripod of choice when only having to hike a short distance from the car.
    Was looking for a very light weight tripod with a very compact head. Prefer flip lock levers to twist locks (total personal subjective preference). Carbon fiber legs. Feet should be interchangeable between rubber and spikes. Center column able to be removed and replaced with a simple platform head. Tripod had to be short enough when folded up to easily carry on the side of a backpack.
    Wanted to head down to B&H to look at potential tripods in person, but after having to cancel that day's trip 3 times, decided to just look on their website and "take my chances".
    Ended up acquiring a BENRO TAD28C Adventure Mg-Carbon Fiber Tripod. Specs: load capacity 26.5 lbs. Maximum working height without center column 53.5". Minimum working height 12.2". Folded length 20.7". Weight 3.2 lbs. Leg lock type Flip Lock. Legs sections: 4. Head mount diameter 2 3/16". So have been using the tripod now for just about a year.

    Pros: Though the tripod doesn't physically look like it would carry an 8x10, It definitely will. Legs are very solid even at full extension. Flip locks on the legs made of plastic?, but with a lot of use (and a bit of abuse in the winter in icy water) they have yet to fail me. Light in weight and small size when folded up.

    Cons: Wish the diameter of the head mount was a bit larger. Don't think a short center column and/or just a pain platform head are available. One of the 3 set screws on the bottom side of the center platform came loose.

    Adaptations: Put threadlocker on the 3 set screws on the bottom side of the center platform, solved that. Not sure what those 3 screws are even there for. Machined 3 screw-in spikes for the tripod but have yet to use them.

    Present Status: Have decided not to replace the center column with a plain flat platform. Just not worth it, cause it weighs so little and if not extended up, essentially is a plain flat platform. Still have yet to find the ideal head for this tripod... Monoball looks great but heavy and not exactly my preference for use with LF cameras. Now using an older "vintage" Gitzo tripod head, works but heavy... there has got to be a better head out there. Suggestions most welcome.... Tripod carried on the side of my Mindshift (Whole Plate) or f/64 (8x10) backpacks. Would I buy it again? DEFINITELY. I've used a CF Gitzo several times, and it definitely outperforms my BENRO TAD28C Adventure Mg-Carbon Fiber Tripod but at X4 times the purchase cost...

    Again suggestions for a head most welcome.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BENRO TAD28C Adventure tripod.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    https://www.linhofstudio.com/product...elling_Head_77

    maybe this will fit the bill

    I've tried cheaper Chinese made versions rated for higher loads but they weren't up to the task

  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    Manufacturer's load ratings are whatever they say they are. There is no standard or third party testing.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    I tried a Benro---forgot the model---it's supposed to(on paper) handle 8x10 but IMHO wasn't up to it.
    It was an easy return(thanks, Benro)
    Leaving the head of your Ries at home or in the car will lighten the load a wee bit
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  5. #5

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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    I use a simple one way tilting head on top of my Otto (the one ies wishes it was). Otto also made a 2way tilt, but it, like Ries, weighs much more. I will be 90 very soon and may have to lighen up a bit more.

  6. #6

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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by asf View Post
    https://www.linhofstudio.com/product...elling_Head_77

    maybe this will fit the bill

    I've tried cheaper Chinese made versions rated for higher loads but they weren't up to the task
    Thanks... one dope slap to the forehead on this end. About 18 years ago sold my Noblex camera but not the self leveling head that I dedicated to the camera. Put it away in a box (on a shelf in the basement) that I had long ago forgot about. Retrieved it and mounted it on my tripod. Works great! 7 degrees outside right now, but as soon as it warms up a bit will be out there shooting with the tripod and found head.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails linhofhead.jpg  

  7. #7

    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    That's a bomber-looking set-up, but for myself the primary issue with "2-series" tripods is that they're top-heavy and tippy (even if they're easier to get to the top of the hill.) If you're not already adding a weight to the bottom of the column, you might consider using a bungee or even guying out to a tent stake.

  8. #8

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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    That's a bomber-looking set-up, but for myself the primary issue with "2-series" tripods is that they're top-heavy and tippy (even if they're easier to get to the top of the hill.) If you're not already adding a weight to the bottom of the column, you might consider using a bungee or even guying out to a tent stake.
    Agree 100%, definitely top heavy... to me an acceptable tradeoff for it being light and portable. In New England most of the time, I attach a plastic grocery bag to the bottom of the column and fill it with rocks. When shooting in a field or around town where there are no rocks, I hang, best as I can, my backpack to the column which adds some stability to the tripod but really not all that much.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    Today I wanted a little less bulk to my pack so I could hike a little quicker, since the breaks between storms have been quite brief. So I left my Ries behind and took my Feisol CT3472 carbon fiber unit. It has a nice platform-like head, which I've slightly modified with a 3/8-16 turnbolt through it. I also bought their optional spike feet. Supports my 8x10 quite well, even with a 600mm lens on it. No tripod head, as usual. I gave up on those decades ago, except for small camera use.

  10. #10
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: In search of a very compact & lightweight tripod for up to 8x10

    I have a Bulebach with a leveling center post. I put an 8x10 Kodak 2D on it without a ball head. Seems to work for me.

    Nothing about 8x10 is "light" in my book. My tripod is lighter and more compacgyt than what many use, but its still over 10 lb.

    I suppose that someone makes a 4 pound opposite carbon-titanium tripod that will take a 20 pound camera for just under a grand.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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