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What tripod do you use and carry and why...

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What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby scrotata » Sun May 10, 2015 8:46 pm

Hello HST...

I am curious what some other folks use and why they use it.

I am in the market for a tripod to use on backpacking trips and just normal travel/hiking, etc.

I am not a professional, but enjoy making memories on my trips. I use a Nikon D7000 with a 10-24 lens primarily.

Looking for something sturdy, flexible, reliable, etc. and something adaptable to shooting in the mountains (i.e. rough terrain, strange angles, etc.) most importantly it cannot be too heavy and really something that does not break the wallet (i.e. ideally under $300).

Thank in advance!!

Michael



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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby ExploreABitMore » Mon May 11, 2015 9:16 am

I ended up getting the Benro C1682TV1 Carbon Travel Angel II and have been real happy with it. Was around $400 though, IIRC. I liked it because it seemed to have a short length with all legs contracted compared to other models (that I could afford anyhow!), so a little easier for packing. I splurged for the carbon model for weight reduction, but it's not that much lighter than some of the aluminum models, so not sure how much I saved there really. I guess the carbon is also supposed to help with vibrations, which I liked the sounds of for the long exposure night sky photography, but once again I'm not sure how much of a difference it's really making, if any. Legs contract/expand real easily, legs adjust to the uneven ground as you mentioned, resists dirt/dust very well so far, nice handle that isn't too cold to touch on those frigid nights, ball head works well enough.

Overall, seems like a nice tripod I've been happy with over many trips now.
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby fishmonger » Tue May 12, 2015 6:25 am

I carried a small carbon Benro through the Sierra for a few weeks last summer. With small ball head and Arca clamp, it's under three pounds. Works great an unless I am on some sort of ambitious speed hiking plan, I will probably bring it again. Great for more accurate panorama stitching and anything with moving water or night skies. I used to get by with rock piles and remote trigger for night sky shots, but the composition usually had to follow the available rock pile options :)
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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby dougieb » Wed May 13, 2015 1:47 pm

I'm using a Sirui carbon fiber T-025x with c10 ballhead kit ($235) for my 3lb camera/lens combo and it works fantastically in the back country. I wouldn't recommend it as a general tripod because it doesn't get tall enough and it is too lightweight, thin and not the most rigid thing out there, but for backpacking it is perfect. I wasn't able to find any other lightweight alternatives that could provide me with the right balance of weight, height and weight capacity other than this one. It weighs 1.8 lbs for the legs and ballhead. Oh and even though the ballhead is quite small, I've never had it sag or creep, even with a 4 or 5lbs setup. It is also quite compact when all folded up so it will fit in the outer stretch pocket on my Granite Gear Crown 60.
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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby The Other Tom » Wed May 13, 2015 6:54 pm

I used to use the rock pile method but graduated to a gorilla pod. It's relatively lightweight and inexpensive. But it takes some fidigeting with to make it work. All in all it was a good compromise for me.
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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby Jimr » Wed May 13, 2015 8:28 pm

I went with a Dolica Proline Carbon Fiber and replaced the ball head with something sturdier. It's cheap and light and there is a hook on the shaft to add weight if needed. I've only backpacked with it twice last year, but it seems to be just fine.
Last edited by Jimr on Thu May 14, 2015 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby ExploreABitMore » Thu May 14, 2015 11:17 am

The Other Tom wrote:I used to use the rock pile method but graduated to a gorilla pod. It's relatively lightweight and inexpensive. But it takes some fidigeting with to make it work. All in all it was a good compromise for me.


I'll second the Gorilla Pod. It's pretty small, but on those trips where you're just not willing to carry the extra weight of a full-fledged tripod, these guys seem great.
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby maverick » Thu May 14, 2015 2:45 pm

I love my carbon Gitzo! Have lived by the motto, a landscape photographers most
important piece of equipment is his/her tripod. Even though this is old school with
some of the modern advances, but for me, getting the sharpest file to work with from
the start, still warrants carrying a heavy duty tripod on all my backpacking trips.
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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby SSSdave » Fri May 15, 2015 8:52 am

Quite agree with Maverick and any others that are more serious about their landscape and nature photography. All depends on what one does with imagery. Three pound or so carbon fiber tripods are enough to support and give adequate height to even my heavy 4x5 view camera gear much less DSLRs. Using a tripod slows down the photography process forcing a person to spend more time and effort setting up camera positions. One learns after initially setting up a subject to carefully consider subtleties of elements within lens frames and slightly move this way and that, then looking again and repeating the process refining a subject to what one's right brain feels has most visual appeal. Doing such over a period of years develops a strong aesthetic sense.

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Re: What tripod do you use and carry and why...

Postby JWreno » Tue May 26, 2015 7:00 pm

I also have a Sirui carbon fiber T-025x. I used it on a southbound JMT trip with my Canon 6D and Canon 16-35mm IS II zoom. It was fine for that load. The lens was fantastic but not exactly a lightweight. At home I use the tripod for a Lunt 60mm solar scope with an FTQ mount on the Sirui tripod. The Lunt scope is much heavier than the camera and lens and does fine at 50 power.

I have to give you guys credit for carrying a large DSLR, lenses and a tripod. When I carried the Canon 6D on a a short trip with low food weight I didn't notice the weight as much. Going with a full food load from MTR to Whitney Portal, I felt the camera weight a lot more. In the future on longer trips requiring significant food weight, I will stick to my Sony DSC-RX100 III camera.

I think I would use the tripod more if I was hiking on my own and not having my wife and son look at me impatiently when I am trying to setup shots on the tripod.
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