Jul 17, 2014 at 6:38 pm #1319046
Has anyone had a chance to use this? Only a few reviews out there and everyone seems to like it; the few negatives I've seen are all things that I can live with.
I want one for my Sony RX100iii, so no big heavy DSLR yet, primarily for landscape shots and attempts at astrophotography :)
Any thoughts on this one, or does someone have a different one they like?Jul 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm #2120639
I have used a BackPacker and own a RoadTrip (not for hiking). The mefoto stuff is great for the price.
The DayTrip maxes out at 24" off the ground. It's not really buying you much height and is still almost 2 lbs. A simple gorillapod with ballhead supports the camera for only ounces.
I would move up to the mefoto BackPacker if you are looking for more of a true tripod. Otherwise there are lighter options.
Have you looked at the light stuff for hiking like the zipshot or the trailpix?Jul 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm #2120660
The zipshot seems a tad too flimsy for me – I really want to experiment with astrophotography and seriously long exposures, say 30 seconds or longer. The trailpix seems like a great idea, except for the fact that I really like to do a lot of my shooting after I set up camp…which requires my trekking poles for my tent.
I was seriously intrigued by the VPod, but alas one really can't find it anywhere, and just about everything that is relatively solid seems to weight 2 pounds or more.
The daytripper seemed like a decent compromise………..Jul 18, 2014 at 12:07 am #2120703
V-pod would be great.
The mefoto daytripper will give you a stable shot if you just want to point it up at the sky for night photography. If you dont need the height and dont mind the weight they feel really solid.
This was 6 shots at 40 seconds each with my NEX on the trailpix: http://panteca.io/view/bUluTWkyMjk1/Jul 18, 2014 at 5:27 am #2120715
I've had reasonable success with the Ultrapod II by using its ability to velcro to larger objects for stability. Around here that usually means a tree trunk or downed limb.Jul 18, 2014 at 9:27 am #2120756
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
The Manfrotto Manfrotto Compact Light Aluminum Tripod (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1059024-REG/manfrotto_mkcompactlt_bk_compact_light_tripod_black.html) is the same weight, half the price and will go up to 51". Comes in colors too. The MeFOTO does look cool, but the height is kind of halfway to nowhere.
The Slik Spint Mini is another good example of taller for the same weight and less cost (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/614703-REG/Slik_611_806_Sprint_Mini_II_GM.html). The legs will splay out nearly flat, which I like in a nature/landscape tripod, as you are never on level ground and working in small spaces, up against a rock or log, etc.
If you are going "table top" size and want UL, I agree that the Ultrapod II is the way to go. Oben makes a couple table top versions that are light and a bit more solid, as well as Manfrotto. The old Polaroid SX-70 tripods (a knockoff of the classic Leizt/Lieca design) are quite solid and portable. You can find them on eBay for ~$25Jul 18, 2014 at 10:30 am #2120775
You are right that it is harder with your campsite set up. But I setup my tent and everything and then just remove my trekking poles. The I just re-raise the roof when I'm don't taking pics.
But it can be a pain. I actually take more in the AM then the PM when I don't need the tent anymore.Jul 18, 2014 at 10:53 am #2120777Jul 18, 2014 at 11:14 am #2120782
What are you going to do with a little Ultrapod when you are above timber line and there aren't any trees to attach to?
I always carry a tripod into the backcountry, but I need one that will raise the camera up to roughly chest level. Currently I use one that raises to about 40" and weighs less than 18 ounces. However, it has a pan-tilt head with QR. Some people need a ball head. Ball heads just give me heartburn.
If the wind is blowing too hard, I just pile up rocks around the tripod feet.
–B.G.–Jul 18, 2014 at 11:20 am #2120785
Which tripod are you currently using?Jul 18, 2014 at 11:38 am #2120789
The brand is Targus, and I don't know what model it is. It came in a nylon case, which I tossed. I just slip the tripod into my backpack's rear mesh pocket.
–B.G.–Jul 18, 2014 at 11:49 am #2120791
Those look like great suggestions guys! I guess I just assumed to get anything of any substance that wouldn't be too shaky but still didn't weigh 4 pounds I'd have to go short. But if I can get a normal-sized one…..Jul 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm #2120797
Chest-level and eye-level are subjective heights. It depends somewhat on the camera in use.
For example, if I am using a long telephoto lens and trying to shoot birds in flight, then the lens goes onto the tripod head and the camera attaches to the back of the lens. The whole camera end of that is sticking out a foot behind the tripod head, and you need a big gimbal head for that. As you elevate the front of the lens, the back of the camera will drop down. As a result of that, you need to have a tripod that will elevate to slightly above eye level. Either that or else you will have to bend over to get your eye down to the camera, and that isn't practical for long. I find the articulated rear display to be inferior to the optical viewfinder.
If I am using a normal lens camera, I might be trying to shoot a shot of me on top of some peak. There, it is ideal if the camera height is roughly the same as eye height. My lightweight tripod isn't that tall, but at least it gets to chest height, so that works.
Lately I have shifted over to a small sensor camera, so I don't need the massive length of the big telephoto lenses, so I don't need the massive tripod. For backpacking, I can go with an entire rig with all parts that adds up to less than 3 pounds, and that includes remote cord, spare batteries, polarizer, tripod, etc.
–B.G.–Jul 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm #2120865
Since I'm upgrading from one of those 1 oz, quarter-inch-tall joby do-hickies I'm assuming I don't need much. I really just want something solid to take nice flowing waterfall shots, play with exposures at dawn and dusk, play with HDR, and learn how to do astro shots.
I like those nice cheap models you guys mentioned….of course the folded size of the meFOTO table top one looks quite appealing.
Argh. Decisions decisions decisions…..
Just wait 'til I have to pick out a mirrorless or a 4/3s camera. Uck.Jul 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm #2120866
Would something like this work for you?
It's plenty strong for the RX-100. But not all the bells and whistles of a real tripod…Jul 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm #2120867
If you are shooting a photo of yourself or doing HDR, just about any tripod will hold the camera. If you are shooting a nice flowing waterfall, you are typically shooting at a large fraction of one second, like 1/8th or 1/4, so just about any tripod will hold that one as well. As soon as you jump into astrophotography, you are sometimes talking about a large fraction of one minute or longer, so it is kind of a different game. For the long exposures, you probably want to have a remote shutter cord. That allows you to shoot without the jiggle from the finger on the shutter button. You can eliminate the cord by shooting with a time delay like two seconds. However, I never find that so convenient.
–B.G.–Jul 18, 2014 at 7:15 pm #2120875
Thanks Bob…the sony RX100 has a remote, so that's nice :)
I do miss the mechanical shutter cord tho – as a kid I used to play with my dad's like I was giving him a shot. That was fun…..
A plain ol' remote just doesn't have the tactile enjoyment that the remote shutter cord always did. Damned digital……Jul 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm #2120884
Jennifer, I still have an old mechanical shutter cord here, although I have no idea what I will ever do with it.
–B.G.–Jul 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm #2120895
I was actually just in the camera store today and spend a little time in the tripod department. They had a big display of the MeFoto tripods. They are really nice and well built but they are REALLY heavy. I couldn't find the exact weight, and while the smallest one seem nice, sturdy and compact, it also seemed unnecessarily heavy. There was a good variety of SLIK tripod and one in particular looked really great. Sturdy, lightweight, and built well. Or course now I'm having a hard time finding it bc I don't remember the name. However while look I have stumbled on a number of full range tripods that are lihtwieht that might fit the bill.
Slik Compact Tripod II (1.26lbs)
Slik Sprint Mini II GM 4-Section Tripod (1.74lbs) This is the one i saw. if your willing to carry the weight it seems like an awesome all around tripod. it's really tall and really well built. I would use this as my day to day tripod in a heartbeat.
this is another one I have had my eye on. great tripod but expensive.Jul 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm #2120897
A tripod purchase can be quite the rabbit hole to follow.
If you are really sure that you want a ballhead on it, then fine. I've had too many ballheads, and I hate them. A good pan/tilt head works best for me. In any case, you have to decide about a quick release style. Many heads have the QR already built on, but if you use multiple tripods, you don't want to have multiple QR plates to deal with. You almost need to standardize on one type, equip everything with that one type, and then go to work.
Now, assuming that this is purely for ultralightweight backpacking, then I believe that you want something in the 16-24 ounce category, and no more. Then just try to get as many of the features that you want. The more complicated it is, the longer it will take you to deploy it, and then you've lost the shot.
–B.G.–Jul 19, 2014 at 6:54 am #2120915
"Just wait 'til I have to pick out a mirrorless or a 4/3s camera. Uck."
That's easy. Fuji XT1 or on a budget Sony a6000.Jul 19, 2014 at 8:31 am #2120933
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
I recently picked up the Sirui that Megan mentioned. While more expensive than the other options, it's a very high quality tripod and is really a killer price compared to similar carbon tripods from Gitzo, etc. The weight spec is a bit optimistic (it's more like 30 oz) although the stock ballhead is pretty beefy and could be swapped for a lighter head. It has a six year warranty. There's a very in depth review with comparisons to some other similar tripods here:
The Giottos RT-8150 with one of the lightweight Giottos ballheads is another (cheaper and lighter) option.Jul 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm #2120971
I've been going through the same process. My current tripod plus ball head is 4.0 lb, and that was considered light when I bought it years ago (Gitzo 120, Giotto M1002). I never take it backpacking, just local walks and sometimes dayhikes. I have a small light micro 4/3 camera.
Some useful links and data:
Sirui T-025x: 1.8 lb, 54.5 " max height, $239.
Brendan's link is very informative: http://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/sirui-t-025x-travel-tripod-review/introduction.html
This sounds like a good choice given it's weight, price and height. Very compact.
Sirui T-005x: 2.2 lb, 54.5" max height, $137.
Same as T-025x except aluminum instead of carbon and half the price. Here's a comparison of the Mefoto Backpacker vs. Sirui T-005x:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51821471 Sounds like a good choice.
Conclusion is that Sirui T-005x wins. Weight 2.2 lb vs. the T-025x 1.7lb (manufacturer's spec, Brendan says T-025x is heavier than spec, 30 oz, pentaxforums says 1.8lb. Very compact.
Slik Compact Tripod II: 1.26 lb, max height 39", $35 at BH.
Slik Sprint Mini II Tripod, 1.75 lb, max height 43", $80. This gets some good reviews at amazon: http://amzn.to/WrSl0r
Tamrac TR406 ZipShot: 11 oz, 53" max height, $53. Seems like it's being discontinued. To me, looks flimsy from it's pictures.
Ultrapod and Ultrapod II, 1.7 oz to 4.2 oz, cheap, very low height.
Bob Gross's 18 oz Targus. I can't find this. The problem with cheap light tripods is that it can be hard to find a good one; perhaps spending time at a camera show flea market with a scale. You could spend a lot of money on cheap tripods.
"Wibble wobble wibble wobble jelly on a plate" from an amazon review of a cheap tripod.
What to do? There doesn't seem to be a lot available between the 4 oz Ultrapod and travel tripods that are nearly 2 lb. I'm tempted by the Sirius T-025X or T-005X but I'd be happier if they were closer to 1 lb.Jul 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm #2120977
"Bob Gross's 18 oz Targus. I can't find this."
They are not constantly available. I found it in a Target store. Often there are similar models with similar features and similar costs.
As a general rule, carbon fiber is a nice material for tripod legs. However, it adds a lot of cost. The cost would be tolerable if it saved a lot of weight (as compared to aluminum or something). However, carbon fiber doesn't save that much weight except in the larger tripods (like 6 feet tall). So, with the short travel tripods like we are discussing, aluminum is often the simple choice. Carbon fiber does have a better dampening effect on vibration, so if you were sitting out next to a highway trying to take a shot, carbon fiber might help. However, I think we are talking about this for ultralightweight backpacking purposes, and that is probably a long way from the vibration of a highway.
–B.G.–Jul 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm #2121012
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
I agree, Walter; I was thinking I could get the Sirui to close a pound so I was disappointed how much over spec it was. The nice thing though is that you can take parts off as needed. Some additional weights and heights without the stock ballhead (which weighs 6.75 oz):
Remove lowest leg sections: 45" high, 21 oz
Remove lowest leg and center column: 32" 17.9 oz
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