Jul 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm #1305688
Photo gear is NOT ultralight, but a lot of landscape photographers strive to be. Going ultralight with 5-10lbs of camera gear is arguably MORE important because traditional backpacking stuff quickly clocks you up to "Too Heavy to Hike."
So, I thought I'd share this. In the (infamous?) hunt for perfect stuff sacks, I realized the Thermarest stuff-sacks by Cascade Designs come in lots of different measurements, and are ideal for keeping an expensive tripod relatively dry and dust-free when you're out on the trail. For pack-rafters, they also have drybags.
Here's my tripod, the Oben AC-1410 4-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-0 Ball Head (3.2lbs):
At 21", it fits perfectly in the Thermarest 11.5L stuff sack. I also wrapped it in about 2 feet of Gossamer gear's Thinlite pad, which adds a bit of protection for a couple ounces that doubles as insulation in camp.
Enjoy!Jul 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm #2008561
@kalebcLocale: South West
I only use tripods for time lapse or shooting flowing water with a ND filter in daylight. I brought my slik sprint pro II (1lb 13oz), after two trips i realized it is Waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too heavy to be worth bringing and is for day hikes now. I now stack rocks, fill a stuff sack with leaves to get my slow shutter shots.
Edited to add a few more a's and y'sJul 22, 2013 at 8:31 pm #2008566
I can usually do without a tripod and just use a small claw afixed to something. But im getting into video using cameras and sliders add way more interest to shots. Cant wait for this to hit the market. Hopefully it works.Jul 22, 2013 at 10:14 pm #2008603
I noticed the date that the fellow got him money.
Have you read the comments?
Looks like he has regained interest in the project… He went MIA for a while…Jul 23, 2013 at 10:26 am #2008756
What on your tripod would you be worried about? If you just remove the ball head and pack that away you should be fine? No need for extra stuff sack or pad.Jul 23, 2013 at 11:05 am #2008785
I don't want dust to stick to the grease in the joints. I don't want rust to form on the metal parts from salt corrosion along the coast, either.Jul 23, 2013 at 11:21 am #2008792
Tripod bags aren't a bad thing. I just usually keep my tripod in my pack or in my hand. It isn't typically found strapped onto or in anything else.
I made a light sack and reinforced just some areas where sharp tripod things might poke. I put the tripod in it to protect my pack from the tripod… I don't want it to abrade the coating of my pack.
Usually when I travel, I put the legs in the little sack and the head in two zipocs. This protects the pack enough. The inner ziploc does get some pokes…
I don't usually worry about wrapping my tripod to protect it. I figure if I have done a thing wrong enough to hurt it, then I got other troubles as well…
A bag wouldn't have helped with what caused this. Now, the way I was carrying the tripod may have had an effect, bag or not :^)
I call this Goblin's GrinJul 23, 2013 at 11:33 am #2008796
FWIW this month's Trail Groove Magazine has an article on UL tripods.
Starts on page 51Jul 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm #2008817
@mikuLocale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Thanks for the great tip to this magazine I have never seen before. It great.
DerrickJul 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm #2008818
I'm really impressed with the quality of this periodical too. One of the benefits of BPL surfing is coming across gems like Trail Groove.Jul 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm #2008831
Hmm I have yet to see any grease in tripod legs? The ball head yeh. which is why I could see taking that off and putting it away.
and as far as rust from salt corrosion- Are you using it on the coast or just carrying it? because use alone will expose it to the same salt corrosion as not having it in a stuff sack.
Also simply cleaning your tripod after back packing would solve this issue just like I'm sure most do with their sensors and camera bodies.Jul 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm #2008854
Yeah, I ended up reading about the WichitawsJul 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm #2008905
You are perhaps right. Call me paranoid. I'll carry the extra 3oz to guard the stuff sack.
I'll be using it while backpacking and bike touring. My pack gets dirty, my bike gets dirty, my body gets dirty- I can't help but envision sand grains wedging themselves between the sliders and joints of my tripod and ball head. And the Oben most definitely comes greased.Jul 8, 2014 at 6:19 pm #2118308
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
Just so theres a better link (Ian's just take you to the homepage), here is the TrailGroove link for UL tripods
-TedJul 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm #2118333
@vision-questLocale: Boulder, CO
Cool link, thanks! Unfortunately doesn't help with my search though. I need a new tripod myself.. mine is like 5 pounds. Problem is that I can't find something light that will also be stable enough for the D800E and 14-24.Jul 8, 2014 at 9:18 pm #2118340
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
It will help to find a good tripod if you first know the weight of your camera with lens. Plus, I would exaggerate that weight a bit, just to provide a safety factor.
I'm currently keeping my ultralightweight tripod down to about 17.5 ounces.
–B.G.–Jul 8, 2014 at 9:45 pm #2118345
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
I've been doing some tripod research recently and the sirui t-025x seems pretty tough to beat from a weight to capability ratio standpoint. A bit pricy but not really for a quality carbon tripod with a good head. I ordered one yesterday so I should have more useful info soon.Jul 9, 2014 at 8:05 am #2118416
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Light tripods aren't as effective. They need to be wobble free and weight helps dampen vibrations. And yeah, that is in opposition to basic UL principles. If you can get something with sturdy joints, you can use water or rocks or even your pack to help anchor the tripod.
The ones with tent pole like legs are toys IMHO. You guys should have hauled 4×5 or even 6x6cm cameras and accessories around. My 4×5 tripod could have held up a corner of my car! My Canon F1 35mm SLR was 795g for the body alone.
I got a deal on a Slik Pro 340DX and swapped out the heavy and bulky Slik head for an Oben BA-0 ball head. It tips the scale at 3lbs. It is nearly identical to Max's Oben model.
If I'm going light, it's usually with a digital point and shoot and an Ultrapod II.
Hmmm, I wonder if I can strap that on the dog's pack :)Jul 9, 2014 at 8:26 am #2118419
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
The article was aimed at lightweight cameras, not FF DSLR's
For a heavier camera, the lightest is a Gitzo GT-531 tabletop tripod and a RRS-25 Ballhead or a Gitzo G1077m ballhead, which will be slightly heavier than a pound. A little heavier, but still lightweight, would be a GT-0531 or GT-0541 tripod. Those are full size, vs the tabletop size. Both should easily handle the camera as long as you're not using a huge lens, and if you have the scratch to spend on a D800, you should be willing to spend some more on a quality tripod.
The GT-531 is the same height as zipshot mini. The GT-0531/0541 are "full size".
I currently have a GT-0531 and a G1077M ballhead and i love it. It has a hook on the bottom so you can hang additional weight, making it so you can dampen the tripod "on demand" when needed (very windy conditions, etc.) without having to carry a heavier tripod.Jul 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm #2118491
After much deliberation I went with a Slik Compact II tripod. Yes it is a little flimsy and no it isn't full-height, more like a half-height tripod which is much more preferable to a table-top style IMO. It weighs in at 21.8 oz which I think it about as light as it gets for a tripod with these specs. Unless you can find the fabled Velbon V-pod. I doubt it would work for a bigger dslr but I think an entry level dslr (rebel series etc) would do alright with a lightweight lens. I have a Ricoh GR so I'm not too worried about the max load. Plus it's only $35, practically free in photography dollars.Jul 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm #2118509
It's funny that this thread got ressurected. I ultralightened my photography setup considerably since this was posted.
Ricoh GR as well:
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