Jul 2, 2015 at 11:29 am #1330389Megan PBPL Member
@meganpetruccelliLocale: San Francisco
I know I know… lightweight tripods are notoriously unstable, etc. but I I'm not using heavy cameras: Olympus EM & RX100. I know there are a bunch of threads about tripods in here but I'm wondering if anyone has any new info.
I was able to score a Velbon V-Pod tripod in here which I LOVE but it's on it's last leg. I bring it on everytrip with me. It's super lightweight (9.8) and works VERY well for my needs. It is shockingly stable. It holds the camera stable for 3+ hours over night while the camera shoots time lapses.
I have tried a LOT of "lightweight" tripods:
Joby Gorilla – too short and moves over time
ZIpShots – super unstable, moves WAY too much
Joby Micro Stand – painfully low to the ground and hard to get it angled up to the sky enough
anyone find anything recently?
This is what I found recently but have not heard ANYTHING about them.
https://www.cullmann.de/no_cache/en/results/cat/mini-mikrostative.html?page=1&cHash=58ecaf4465aa8fe55fc9e313fed0952eJul 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm #2211698JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
My friend got a TrailPix tripod recently:
He likes it for his DSLR. It actually seems to work really well.Jul 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm #2211700
I'm now using Sirui T-025X CF tripod w/ ballhead. Usually I leave the center pole at home, resulting in 27.7 oz. total weight and (if I remember correctly) about 44" height (center pole adds maybe 10"). That's light by photographer standards. It's more stable with the center pole removed and (I found) better balanced when folded up, so rides easily with one leg slipped over a shoulderstrap loop or waistpack strap.
I'd feel quite confident using it as a tent pole too, if I didn't use hiking poles.
I'm not optimistic about the Cullmann you linked based on looking at the image, specifically the means by which the legs are held extended. It reminds me of a $20 "lightweight tripod" I picked up at Best Buy a few years ago that didn't work out so well.
I've considered the TrailPix system. I'm mostly afraid that the setup time is going to take too long. Usually when I am "on location" I do a lot of running about with camera attached to tripod, using one hand to hold a tripod leg and the other for scrambling. With TrailPix I would have no way to carry the assembly with one hand. And I'd have to carry a 3rd leg too (the idea of stringing a line instead of carrying a 3rd leg is a nonstarter). But it may work for someone who does not run about madly re-positioning the way I do.Jul 2, 2015 at 1:51 pm #2211721JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
My friend uses trekking poles and a 3-section carbon fiber pole from SMD (2oz – the one for the Haven) for the TrailPix. It doesn't seem to take long to deploy, but he also doesn't do much running around with it :)Jul 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm #2211731
I've seen some photographers never re-position through an entire magic hour window. I guess they have a much better sense of composition than I do.
Really, I do wonder what the minimum weight could be for UL tripod that was reasonably easy to use and stable for, say, a Sony mirrorless full frame camera (ie, < 2 lbs with lens). And by stable I don't mean something that you can only use in its lowest position. Could one be made at 3 oz for each leg (1/2 the weight of the lightest hiking poles) plus 3 oz for a reasonable head for 12 oz total? There may be a new market for this with the new lightweight mirrorless cameras. I think my Sirui T-025X is considered too light by photographers with big DSLRs, but it seems about 2x too substantial for my needs with a Sony a7r. I wish someone would do this as a Kickstarter.Jul 2, 2015 at 2:16 pm #2211735Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
While not a tri-pod, the Rota Locura trekking poles can be ordered with a camera mount for a modest upcharge. That's where my search led me….I have not yet received or have actual experience but will provide a future report. Seems like a dandy solution.Jul 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm #2211736
I think a lot of it depends on what you're looking to do. If you're just playing around with a smaller point and shoot, I think you'd be fine with something like the FLM CP10. DPreview just did a review of a few different tripod models and this one came out on top. I've used it a bit in the past and have liked it, more so than the other models you have listed.
If you're looking for something more stable and substantial however, you're going to have to step up to something like a Gtizo Traveler. I have a Series 1 that I use as my main travel support, and while it's extremely pricey, it's one of the best tripods you can buy. Changing out a ballhead for a screw plate can save some weight, as can going down to a smaller model, but you're unlikely to shave too much off.Jul 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm #2211738
Gtizo Traveler is still made for a big DSLR as far as I can tell. I'm not appalled by the price so much (that's just photography) but it seems silly to carry something designed for 13 lbs when you are using a 1.5 lb camera+lens.
In short, there are tripods for P&S cameras and tripods for big DSLRs, but none as far as I know made for the new generation of lightweight APS-C and full-frame mirrorless cameras. (The Sirui T-025X is about the only thing that's even close, I think, although it's somewhat on the side of more-than-needed for this size camera.)Jul 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm #2211740Brendan SwihartBPL Member
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
If you're doing stuff like night skies where you need real stability I'll give a hearty 2nd to Charlie W's recommendation of the Sirui. Outstanding quality, a joy to use, packs down small, light, and a bargain compared to other stuff out there. Fantastic tripod.Jul 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm #2211744
Charlie, one thing to keep in mind is that you should never use a tripod at its max rating. I usually try to keep it to about 50% if I'm doing something critical, but obviously it varies depending on the application.
The FLM tripod I listed above should be more in line with I think what you had in mind.Jul 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm #2211752
Thanks Cameron, I think the FLM CP10-A1 might be more in line with what the original poster is looking for (similar weight and functionality to what they already have) but not what I was describing. My point is really targeted to the growing popularity of lighter mirrorless cameras (by serious photographers, not that I count myself as one) and there seemingly being no new tripods targeted at this market. Come on Gtizo, there is money to be made here! Yes, I'll still need a heavy tripod if I put a 400mm lens on it, but I don't want to carry a 3 lb tripod at all times just because I might someday need it for a big lens. I was going to include the term "dinosaur" to illustrate my point about DSLRs (their weight and probable fate) but didn't want to start a fight. ;)Jul 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm #2211776
Charlie, I think we'll probably start to see more offerings with mirrorless in mind as that format starts to pick up more and more.
One issue is likely that the majority of people who are going to drop $500+ on a tripod are either pros or semi-pro photographers (serious amateurs included). These are the people who are typically on the dSLR format, or at the very least spend a proportional amount on fast glass, which translates to higher weight. Anything "cheaper" is likely not going to stand up too well to even a mirrorless, and you'll be right back at where we were, with either a more expensive or bulkier tripod. I agree that I'd love to see something like a Series 1 minus maybe the center column and one section of legs,something just like a bare minimum waist level support that I could take backpacking. That said, I don't know how many other photographers out there would be willing to have to work from a kneeling position just to save a pound or two.Jul 2, 2015 at 5:23 pm #2211790Ito JakuchuBPL Member
The weight of the tripod and strength of the head is not only to handle the weight of your camera and mirror (which are minor to none in this case), but also to battle vibration caused by wind. This will be more of a problem if you shoot with a larger focal length but one way to deal with it is to have a sack that you can hang from the head and that you can fill with some rocks or sand.
If shooting with an RX100 I would personally just use a trekking pole as a monopod, perhaps combined with some of the mini tripods mentioned above though.Jul 2, 2015 at 5:39 pm #2211794Franco DarioliBPL Member
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
if the main reason for the tripod is night shots, take a look at the Slik Mini III :
wind speed is much less low on the ground
tilt the camera so it is over one of the legs
(no I don't own one. Photo stolen from the Net)Jul 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm #2211799Jim CBPL Member
@jimothyLocale: Georgia, USA
"I was able to score a Velbon V-Pod tripod…but it's on it's last leg."
Wouldn't that make it a monopod?
Sorry, couldn't resist.Jul 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm #2211803Franco DarioliBPL Member
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
Sometime ago I posted that a manufacturer had invented the bipod saving almost a third of the weight but unfortunately the idea didn't have a leg to stand on.Jul 3, 2015 at 10:30 am #2211919chris smeadBPL Member
@hamsterfishLocale: San Jose, CA
Not good for big dslr's, but I love my pedco ultrapod for my rx100 and gopro.
That little Velcro thing is super handy.
I mount it to trees, my trekking pole,etc.Jul 3, 2015 at 11:10 am #2211924Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
That Velbon V-Pod looks pretty good for the weight. I've seen a lot of junk in that size/weight, most of it Big Box store offerings.
I have a low opinion of tripods with legs like the page of Cullmanns posted. The legs are like noodles.
My favorite short/light tripod is the Pedco UltraPod II, but it needs a handy rock or log in the right spot for anything but "on your belly shots."
My litmus test for tripod stability is to extend it fully and attempt to twist it at the junction of the legs. The challenge for hikers is that weight is a good quality in a tripod– as long as you don't have to haul it. Back in my photography school days, my 4×5 kit was a measly 45 pounds and then I might want to haul a 6x6cm or 35mm kit too. For such things were assistants made :)
One trick with light tripods is to weight them with a water bag or a sack of rocks hung from the center. Pull up on the weight enough to leave a bit on the ground for traction so it doesn't sway.Jul 3, 2015 at 9:35 pm #2212058JSpectator
I've been making some similar to the zipshot but out of carbon rods with plastic ball heads. A 30" weighs less than 4oz, 43" weighs 5oz, and a 56" weighs 6oz. They all collapse down to 10". I primarily wanted something full height, super light, and compact for waterfalls and night shots with a small point & shoot but they will support 8lbs, although the taller one does get a little shaky.
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