Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

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Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby mic291 on Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:06 pm

Hi everyone

I start a significant amount from this weekend and will be in some amazing locations for taking fotos so time to sort out what I will be taking!!

Took a trip to Teds this week to see their tripods (the one I have is way to heavy to bring with me) and I came away with nothing as everything was way to flimsy and would probably take a tumble with a heavy camera.

Probably not too many options out there for a suitcase traveller but any recommendations appreciated!!

Thanks
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Biggzie on Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:55 pm

I found a nice little Velbon Tripod in a local store that is small. I cant remember the model, but they have a web site. I wanted a Tripod that gets down low for macro work. I didnt buy it because I added up the weight of my 500mm plus body & flash (for worst case) and it wouldnt handle it, but it would have done the macro work and general photo work well even though it maybe a little short.
I didnt want to have 2 tripods to lug around as I have too much stuff now. Im still tempted now that Im running 2 camera bodies every now and then.

Edit: I just had a quick look at the Velbon Website ( http://www.velbon.com) and it was one of the Ultra Maxi or Ultra Luxi models ... Just add up the weight of your camera first
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby photohiker on Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:28 pm

How big is your suitcase? :)

Have a look at the Gitzo knockoffs from Benro.

Basically, it comes down to 3 section legs or 4 section legs, and the choice is a tradeoff between stability with the three sections or size with the 4 sections. I've met people with 4 section tripods who are happy with them, I prefer the 3 sections. I guess it comes down to the tripod you carry because it's easy to carry is a lot better than the one you leave at home because it aint...

Link to the much talked about sydney shop that stocks Benro.

I think Gary can get these through HK too.

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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby who on Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:18 pm

I'm looking at getting a Gitzo CF tripod soonish.

Have a read of this :

http://www.bythom.com/support.htm

I am looking at the GT2540 recommended there - priced at about $1K from either Kayell Qld or Ted's in Brisbane...... or cheaper from HK at about $570 + freight.

I saw this company linked in an older post on this forum....
http://www.tincheungcamera.com.hk

They a good range of Gitzo on their site too. I would consider Benro if I could get hands on, also waiting to see what the new Manfrotto CF offerings will be like too.

Looks like I will be in Sydney at the end of next month, so can go into the Benro stockist then to have a look at their stuff.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Matt. K on Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:50 pm

I had a look in the Sydney Benro shop and he's got a very good range. I don't know how his prices compare to buying from china. Some of the smaller carbon fiber legs are excellent!
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby robert on Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:21 am

Hi Mike,
what have you currently got?

I was dead set on getting a benro for travel but when i measured my tripod (an old Manfrotto 190) found the difference of a new purchase not really worth it (a benro 4 section 158 is 300g lighter and 2cm smaller folded).

I am still tempted by a light weight tripod for OS travel and lightweight hiking, though I am also considering one of their monopods which has very small stabiliser legs that come out (MC-91). Never heard how effective they are but might be an option?

Robert
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby mic291 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:03 am

Hi Robert

I have a Velbon right now which is about 65cm when closed and weighs a little over 2kg. For international travel it is too much as it takes up a fair bit of size in the suitcase.

Originally the plan was for a mono however I am thinking at night shots I wouldnt mind getting a tripod.

Might take a look around today and see whats out there.

Thanks
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby photohiker on Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:31 am

Mike,

I have a 3-section Gitzo and it is about the same length as yours with ballhead attached. Weighs about 1.5kg. It fits our medium suitcase fine, but you do have to pack around it. I used to carry it onto the plane, but that has gotten a lot more difficult these days. If you want smaller, you will probably need to look at 4 section legs.

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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Andyt on Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:41 am

Hi! Mike,

Having had the same problem as you, I opted for the Gitzo 1228LVL (4 leg sections) it fits into my samsonite diagonally with cover on O'K and as said before you will need to pack around it. My reasoning was that the extra quality / rigidity of Gitzo would negate somewhat the advantages of a 3 leg section tripod.

When considering weight, don't forget to add the head, also, I usually take my Tamrac back pack which has provision for a tripod to be carried strapped on to the back of it. Very welcome for days when lots of walking is involved. (have to be carefull to not knock myself out when putting it on as the head sticks up a bit! :D )

After 2 years and three O/seas trips of use I would go "lighter", if you have a D300 and don't use long / heavy lenses my advice would be to go CF with say a RRS BH40 head. This is what I am considering when I "downsize" from a D2X to a D300 for travelling.

When flying be sure of your baggage weight, its no fun trying to win an unwinnable argument at a foreign airport with $K's... of camera gear being threatened to go into the hold or having to pay extra for.

Whatever you buy, buy the best and keep it, over time it becomes the cheapest option!! :lol:

Cheers, Andy

ps. I am off to Hawaii next week, as usual for me I take 20Kg's of camera gear, and buy clothes when I arrive for the stay, and donate to the nearest "Op" shop when I leave, much cheaper than paying for extra baggage! :P
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby mic291 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:59 am

Thanks for the suggestions, I need to go and take a look at a few this morning as my next trip is to India tomorrow.

I need to find the absolute lightest as I usually have a few work bits and pieces to carry with me so weight is important. It will be interesting to see what sort of stability these things have. I will take a look at Benro first and go from there as I have spent so much on gear this month its getting crazy :shock:

I know what you mean Andy, they ole gaza strip checkin experience can be a bit frustrating!! Qantas is OK for me as I travel so much, however I have some internal airlines over the next few months which should be interesting....

M
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Mr Darcy on Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:14 am

I am also considering one of their monopods which has very small stabiliser legs that come out (MC-91). Never heard how effective they are but might be an option?


I have theBenro MC91. I use the stabiliser legs when I want an impromptu stand for my flash. They are certainly no substitute for a tripod even for a light PHD. They may be OK on timer release with an electronic shutter. I haven't tried.
Their main advantage is that they help to stabilise the load a little when you are using it as a monopod. Maybe add a stop.They interfere with panning though. They also rattle in storage. I have added a rubber band to stop this.
The pod itself is rock solid. I love it. ATM I have a Ballhead on it. Waiting on the monopod solution to arrive from RRS - over two weeks now Grrr!
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Glen on Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:00 pm

Mike, this may be too late for you but I wouldn't rule out a table top tripod. Not perfect but great size for travelling and Manfrotto make a small, cheap ($60) one which would be fine for your rig. They even have an extension rod to make them about 30cm higher

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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby robert on Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:00 pm

Mr Darcy wrote:
I have theBenro MC91. I use the stabiliser legs when I want an impromptu stand for my flash. They are certainly no substitute for a tripod even for a light PHD. They may be OK on timer release with an electronic shutter. I haven't tried.
Their main advantage is that they help to stabilise the load a little when you are using it as a monopod. Maybe add a stop.They interfere with panning though. They also rattle in storage. I have added a rubber band to stop this.
The pod itself is rock solid. I love it. ATM I have a Ballhead on it. Waiting on the monopod solution to arrive from RRS - over two weeks now Grrr!


Mike mike be gone by now but thanks for the info- Mr D. might think again about it.

Robert PS-Mr Darcy nice sig line though due to budget I am a Lee Valley man- Veritas Low angle block, Low Angle jack, and scraper, as well as a bunch of nicely tuned stanley's and mujifang's. The LV MkII honing guide is the best.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Mr Darcy on Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:30 am

robert wrote:The LV MkII honing guide is the best.

I would agree in general, however the Richard Kell is hard to beat for narrow and short blades (And hard to find:))
Their (LV)Low angle block is good, but I have heard bad reports about their #6. I know one person who threw it away in disgust after buying it, Replaced it with a LN
An old Stanley done up well is a joy too, but replace the blade with a Hock, Academy, or even a LN. I would avoid the new ones though. My #6 is a 1970 model & it took over 6 months to get it right. My Stanley #4 is a 1902 model. It was almost perfect from day one. Still not as good as the bronze LN though.
I also have the LV Tucker vise. Well worth the pain getting it into the country.
I mostly use Home made scrapers. I scored an old blade off a Hitachi Resaw. It will keep me in scrapers for centuries.

Hmm I think we have drifted a little OT. Sorry.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Joshman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:46 am

and here i am to try and bring it back on topic.

i'm headed over to europe in august for 5 weeks, and i only plan to take a joby GorillaPod as far as tripods go. for what i want it should be enough, and i've got my 50mm 1.8 for extreme low light situations.

just a thought. it weighs less than 1kg, fits into teh top of my camera bag, and will support my 400D, with battery grip and the sigma 18-200mm lens.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby antman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:59 am

I have recently been investigating similar options for a travel tripod.

In the end I decided on a Feisol CT-3441S tripod and Markins Q3 head.

The Feisol is only 43 cm folded, extends to 128 cm without centre column (178 with), has a 10kg load capacity and weighs only 1kg.

I ended up purchasing direct from the manufacturer in Taiwan.

http://www.feisol.com/english/feisolen.htm

Mine will hopefully arrive in the next few days.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Joshman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:36 am

i am interested in this product, if you don't mind my asking, what is the total cost of the tripod and the head?
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby robert on Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:59 pm

That feisol range looks pretty impressive.

Might have to find some extra $$ and this could become my normal tripod- not just a light weight travel compromise.

Looks to me like the 3441s (w/out head) is less than $370AUD shipped.

This with a markins would be awesome.
Thanks for the tip.

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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby antman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:23 pm

The tripod cost ~ $USD 370 (including postage) but this included an extra shorter center column and some long foot spikes.
The ball head cost $USD 300 (including postage). I also ordered some extra plates / L bracket from RRS.

Overall, not a cheap option but not bad value in comparison to the Gitzo's. Also I was happy to spend extra $$ to save a few grams in weight, as the setup will be used for hiking etc.

Now I'm just waiting (impatiently) for all the gear to arrive.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Murray Foote on Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:52 pm

I have one which works well (I don't remember the model number). I use it with a lightweight Manfrotto 3d magnesium head.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby robert on Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:08 am

Just bit the bullet and ordered a new CT 3441s!!

Cost me $390AUD with additional optional short centre column.

Thanks for the tip- hopefully it will be as good as it appears.

Now I need to save some more $$ for a new head but my old Manfrotto 486 will do for now.

Robert

(Looks like my new 35 1.4L will be a little longer in the waiting..)
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby antman on Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:04 pm

Congrats on your purchase Robert.

I finally received the Feisol today. I ordered on the 19th April and I picked it up this morning (10 calender days). The item came well packaged and the tripod includes a small carrying case.

I am extremely happy with my purchase. The tripod seems to be beautifully engineered and manufactured and is also very light.
I'm still waiting for the head and plates to arrive but so far, so good.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby robert on Mon May 05, 2008 2:24 pm

antman wrote:I finally received the Feisol today. I ordered on the 19th April and I picked it up this morning (10 calender days). The item came well packaged and the tripod includes a small carrying case.

I am extremely happy with my purchase. The tripod seems to be beautifully engineered and manufactured and is also very light.
I'm still waiting for the head and plates to arrive but so far, so good.


Same as antman,
Got mine today- ordered it the 29th April and arrived 5th may!!!

Looks great and the folding design is really innovative- for storage the legs fold back on the centre column (ie 180' from when standing). Great way to decrease folded length. Looks to be stable and weighs almost nothing. Glad i went for this option.

Now I'm deciding between a Really Right Stuff BH 25 and the Markins Q3.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby antman on Mon May 05, 2008 10:51 pm

Glad you got your purchase so quickly and that you are happy with it.

I had a similar dilemma as you regarding the head. In the end I decided on the Markins Q3. It is still reasonably light and has the advantage on an independent panning base as well as a friction control. I have not owned a ball head before but these seemed to be useful features to have. The RRS BH-25 still seems like a reasonable choice if you wanted a really light weight setup. In the end, I compromised with slightly greater weight with the Q3 but I felt that I could probably use it on a more permanent basis without changing it for something more heavy duty.

Have a look at this post / thread -

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... e=22725204

and this one -

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... e=22716801

In terms of cost, don't forget to factor in the additional cost of (L) plates etc.

Good luck with your research.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Andyt on Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:25 pm

I thought I would "kick" this thread as I am looking for a light weight compact tripod for travelling,
planes, bus tours etc, my trusty C/F Gitzo is proving a problem because of its bulk and having to be carried seperately.

For those who have acquired the Feisol CT 3441s, any user reports or comments?

After my research this looks ideal for my needs, but I am a little wary regarding build quality issues.

User opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Andy
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Murray Foote on Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:24 am

I have a CT3301 that I have had for 3 years and have no problems with build quality issues.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Matt. K on Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:12 pm

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a Benro M-058 with a KS-0 ballhead from The Photo Shop in Liverpool street. I needed the tripod urgently otherwise I would have got it from the fantastic Poon in Hong Kong. It's a carbon fibre job and cost around $340 all up. The tripod is small enough to fit into a back pack but sturdy enough to hold a D200 and 300mm lens provided you don't extend it all the way. I'm very happy with it and it does what tripods are supposed to do. Pay heed to the old saying..."the tripod you have with you is much superior to the tripod you leave at home".
Cheers!
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby antman on Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:58 am

Andyt wrote:For those who have acquired the Feisol CT 3441s, any user reports or comments?

After my research this looks ideal for my needs, but I am a little wary regarding build quality issues.

User opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Andy


I have the CT 3441s and I am very happy with it. It is a great compromise between size, weight and stability for a travel tripod.
I don't think you'll have any issues regarding build quality as it is beautifully made.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby wheels on Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:23 pm

This may be a little late to help but I use a Velbon Ultra Lux i SF when I'm travelling or walking any great distance. It's small enough to strap under my Lowepro Microtrekker 200 so it doesn't get caught on scrub etc and light enough not to bother the scales at airports. Woudn't use it to mount the 20D + 70-200mm though unless I was holding onto it all the time as it is a bit light for that. The legs open right out so macro isn't a problem. I've got my other tripod I use for landscapes etc but it's too heavy for trekking or flying. Total length of this thing folded in its bag is 350mm.
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Re: Recommendations for a good tripod to fit in a suitcase

Postby Andyt on Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:41 pm

Thanks for all your comments & feedback,

At this stage the Feisol looks to be the best for my needs (Travelling)

Discovered quiet a lot about what is available in this specialised niche, "tripods an't tripods" :shock:

Apart from load capacity, max height with column down -v- weight & size were my main criteria.

Cheers All, :cheers:
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