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Thread: Lightest & compact tripod recommendations for an 8x10 Chamonix?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Collinsville, CT USA

    Lightest & compact tripod recommendations for an 8x10 Chamonix?

    My current set up is a BENRO TAD28C Adventure carbon fiber tripod and an Oben BE-126 ball and socket head that I adapted a Kessler Crane Kwik Release Receiver to. OK the Kessler is a relatively heavy overkill, but I just love it's double locking operation. I've found that the Oben BE-126 head is the lightest head that will securely support my 8x10 Chamonix. I do hang my backpack off the hook on the bottom of the center column to stabilize things up. The BENRO TAD28C Adventure carbon fiber tripod is great when carried on the side of my photo backpack, its almost 22" length sticks up too high and keeps getting caught up on the branches I duck under. Last week twice nearly caused me to fall over backwards. FORUM member Kenneth Lee has praise for an Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head. From the specs seems as using an 8x10 on it a bit taxing is capabilities.
    So am looking for a carbon fiber tripod that folds down to less than 22" and is reasonably priced. Gitzo probably makes one to fit my specs, but their prices just a bit too high for my wallet.

    Any recommendations out there? and comments most welcome.


  2. #2
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: Lightest & compact tripod recommendations for an 8x10 Chamonix?

    Greg, are you using the new Alpinist camera?
    If so, contact this gentleman:
    He has a Chamonix Alpinist and recently bought an FLM travel tripod and ball head kit, so you can ask him if he likes the set-up.
    I know he has the tripod kit because I sold it to him.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Lightest & compact tripod recommendations for an 8x10 Chamonix?

    Ballheads are to root of all evil when it comes to view cameras, esp 8X10. Just redundant extra wt, length, and wobble. I boltmy cameras directly to the tripod platform and learned to intuitively adjust the legs just like early surveyors did for decades, often in trickier circumstances than photographers face. I even modified my CF trpods with turnbolts from below. My 8x10 CF, about half the wt of my wooden Ries, is a Feisol CT3472, and measures just over 22 in collapsed, incl the optional foot spikes. I'm quite pleased with it, but wouldn't personally want to go any lighter for 8x10 work.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Rondo, Missouri

    Re: Lightest & compact tripod recommendations for an 8x10 Chamonix?

    I use a Berlebach 3032 with my Toyo 810M quite easily. Since it's heavier than the Chamonix, it should suit well for your purposes also. I'm with Drew on using a ball head, though. I'm okay using one with my Chamonix 4x5 and do so all the time. But on the 8x10, it's a disaster waiting to happen.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Palo Alto, CA, USA

    Re: Lightest & compact tripod recommendations for an 8x10 Chamonix?

    Finding a tripod that is less than 22" long and is stiffer than your BENRO TAD28C will be very hard.

    There are a few 5+ section series 4 and series 5 Gitzo tripods such as the GT4553S which are shorter when collapsed but even used ones are expensive.
    Generally the "traveler" style tripods are intended for loads less than your BENRO.

    Consider replacing your ball head with a leveling head. It might save you an inch.

    The Novoflex TrioBalance ( ) tripods have a leveling head as part of the tripod itself but they are expensive and roughly equivalent to your tripod or a Gitzo series 2 tripod in terms of stiffness.

    The older Gitzo leveling tripods such as the GT2540LVL can be used without a head and have a load rating the same as your Benro.

    My own limited experience is that a tripod without a center column is noticeably stiffer than one that has a center column. A Gitzo series 3 "systematic" tripod seems to be light and stiff enough to handle any load I would carry any distance (noticeably stiffer than a series 2 having a center column).

    Good luck,

  6. #6
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Houston Texas

    Re: Lightest & compact tripod recommendations for an 8x10 Chamonix?

    I use a Berlebach (model ?) that is a little small for my 8x10 Kodak 2D. The tripod has a leveling center post. I often use this combination with no ball head or pan head. Pan and tilt are all done with the leveling center column. Saves weight and works well enough . . .and saves weight.
    Drew Bedo

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

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